I first heard of The Sweet Spot last summer when I took an online class and the instructor used examples from this debut novel. I have to agree, the opening line is awesome!
The grief counselor told the group to be grateful for what they had left. After lots of considering, Charla Rae decided she was grateful for the bull semen.
And the story just got better and better.
Charla Rae and her husband, JB or Jimmy, are recently divorced. The details are dribbled into the story on a need to know basis. A tragedy is alluded to and Charla’s dependence on Valium is shown.
But Charla has to ignore the pills calling to her when she has to take care of the ranch and her Alzheimer’s afflicted father.
Charla learns just what she’s capable of.
Jimmy already knows what he’s capable of. He’s a big man in the professional bull riding world and he let that go to his head. When their life fell apart, he tried to keep it together, but gave up.
This is a seriously good book. While written with a light and humorous voice and fun secondary characters, The Sweet Spot is not a slight story. There’s heart, depth, and great emotion. I loved it!
After last summer’s class, I continued to hear about the book. Then it was a RITA® finalist. Then, in San Antonio last month, Laura Drake won the RITA® from Romance Writers of America® for Best First Book. Because I was at the awards gala as a Golden Heart® finalist (insert demure smile here), I got to see Laura’s shock and humility and hear her gracious acceptance speech.
The book is warm and witty and as much women’s fiction as romance. It’s an easy read and well worth the few hours you’ll invest. I highly recommend it.