Ain’t She Sweet?



Ain’t She Sweet? ****.* by Susan Elizabeth Phillips




I’m joining Jain with my edible book review at Food for Thought~ where pages from your book magically mix with the kitchen and your camera.



This is one of my favorite books of Susan Elizabeth Phillips, but not her most recent. I also listened to the audio version in addition to reading it. Kate Fleming (who also recorded under the name Anna Fields), is one of my favorite narrators and her accents made listening to this book highly entertaining. She did a GREAT British accent for the character of Colin Byrne.



 I thought this would be a timely review given the title, referring to the main character, Sugar Beth Carey.






And No. She Ain’t.



Rich. Spoiled. Beautiful. Conniving…Fifteen years ago.


Now, she’s returning to Parrish, Mississippi…Broke. Tough. Determined. Desperate and too proud to show it.




The citizens of Parrish still remember the abandoned friendships, broken hearts, and reputations she destroyed…and no one is willing to forgive and forget. Least of all, Colin Byrne, the teacher whose career Sugar Beth attempted to ruin.


  Colin Byrne:


“He’d use phrases like ‘bloody awful’ and ‘don’t muck about’, and just once, ‘feeling a bit dicky, are we?’ The first week of school they’d spotted him using a tortoiseshell cigarette holder. When he’d overheard some of the boys whispering that he was queer, he’d gazed down his long nose at them and said he regarded that as a compliment, since so many of the world’s greatest men had been homosexual. “Alas,” he’d told them, “I’ve been sentenced to a life of mundane heterosexuality. I can only hope a few of you will be more fortunate.”





Returning to Parrish, Sugar Beth discovers that her former teacher is not only a rich and published author, he is the owner of her former home, Frenchman’s Bride. With financial obligations and unable to find a job, Sugar Beth takes a job as Colin’s housekeeper, where he hopes to exact his revenge.





In addition to Colin, Sugar Beth’s former friends, the Seawillows are biding their time, choosing their plan of attack– especially Winnie Davis, who Sugar Beth took particular delight in tormenting in school.



Shortly after Sugar Beth’s return, Colin’s sequel to his best-seller comes out. Who should star in it but Sugar Beth herself? The names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent. . .



“In 1986, I was 22 years old and Parrish was my nirvana. The townspeople accepted my oddness, my staggering shortcomings in the classroom, my strange accent and haughty pretensions. I was writing a novel, and Mississippi loves a writer more than anyone else. I felt accepted for the first time in my life. I was completely, blissfully, happy… until my Southern Eden was destroyed by a girl named Valentine. . .”




The Seawillows emergency meetings generally call for vodka, cranberry juice and chocolate. . .








 With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I took a page from the Sea Willows’ handbook and found a recipe for a Valentini:


  • 2 oz.Vodka

  • 1 oz. Raspberry Schnapps

  • Top with Cranberry Juice



 I LOVED the dialogue between these characters~


Sugar Beth eyed Colin’s dark trousers and long-sleeved grape-colored shirt:


“If only I hadn’t sent your dueling pistols to the cleaners.”



As one might expect, Sugar Beth finds redemption, and Colin discovers that revenge ain’t nearly so sweet…



Visit Food for Thought & see what everyone is reading and eating~



  6 comments for “Ain’t She Sweet?

  1. February 13, 2010 at 2:58 am

    I loved this book and had forgotten how funny it is. Your pictures are perfect. This is a great Valentine’s selection and just the right amount of information!

  2. February 13, 2010 at 4:35 am

    Great post, Mary. Sounds like a fun read. I love sweets! Your photos are as cute and clever as those conversation hearts.

  3. February 13, 2010 at 11:59 am

    What a fun post about an obviously fun novel! I will have to check it out, as I love a good comeback! LOL

    Your photos are pure sweetness, too………..♥ all the ♥’s!! :D

  4. February 13, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    i get such a KICK out of food for thought, really, its just a guaranteed smile maker, i sooooooo get all the attention to detail you are sharing with such fab pics, its like a head tilt moment like the victrola dog, I LOVE IT! your photo tie-ins are just mouth watering, you are so creative i love love love your posts!

    this book looks like a hoot, it is so fun to me to exposed to so many new books, and in such pretty prose/poses! that martini looks like a perfect start to my day, hmm tmi?!

    thanks so much for sharing, can’t wait to see the rest of your books~

  5. Carolyn
    February 13, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Your reviews are so inviting and pictures so stunning. Makes me want to be there when you are preparing the recipes so I can sharet a Krispy Kreme and a Valentini with you, or even better? A cupcake with my cupcake wine. What is that you say? You don’t imbibe when you are preparing your blog material? Darn! Just keep on, keep on entertaining us with your words and pictures.

  6. February 15, 2010 at 2:46 am

    This one looks like fun. I love revenge themes, revenge themes gone wrong, et al. Love the Valentini!

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