Title: “Enjoy Your Stay” (The Sugartown Series #2)
Author: Carmen Jenner
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 3rd March 2014
*Book two in the Sugartown Series!*
The last thing Holly Harris expected was to wind up nineteen, knocked-up, and all alone. When Coop left to pursue his dreams of becoming a rock god, he left a tiny piece of him behind.
Holly wishes he hadn’t.
Jackson wishes he hadn’t.
Jackson Rowe tried filling the void his family left by drinking, screwing around, and leaving a string of heartbroken women in his wake. Moving back to Sugartown should have been easy, but he hadn’t counted on the fact his sometimes attraction to Holly would still be alive and kicking—and he sure as hell hadn’t counted on her being pregnant with another man’s baby.
They drive one another crazy, and yet they can’t stay away.
When old flames resurface, and even older wounds are torn open, can two people so similar make it work? Or will their stubbornness only drive them further apart?
*Content Warning. Intended for a mature 18+ audience. Contains angst, a crap-tonne of profanity, short-tempered Australian wildlife, and some very pregnant sex.*
ARC received by the author in exchange for an honest review
Carmen Jenner has done it again: she has made me laugh hysterically, bawl my eyes out, clutch my stomach and (almost) made me throw my Kindle down in frustration. Nevertheless, she has also made me sigh happily and swoon over certain parts in this second instalment in her Sugartown series.
Since reading “Welcome To Sugartown”, I have been anticipating getting inside the head of “the crazy ranga midget” – a.k.a. Holly Harris, best friend to Ana Belle. I have always wanted to see beneath her tough exterior and I must say that Miss Jenner has succeeded in showing the reader who the real Holly is.
And what a mess Holly is…Barely twenty years old, pregnant, hormonal and, first and foremost, scared out of her mind. Her parents threw her out when she told them about her pregnancy, and she now lives with Ana, Elijah, and her arch nemesis, Jackson Rowe. These two share some history – which will be fully revealed as you read the book – and they are completely crazy characters. They fight all the time, but they cannot deny the extreme sexual attraction they share, even though they both fight tooth and nail to ignore it.
“Every moment with Jack can be boiled down to games, and taunts, and who is coming while coming out on top. For the first time since we met, I don’t want to play anymore. ‘You win.’” (Holly)
Like I mentioned before, Holly is terrified of becoming a single mother – after all, the father of the baby, Cooper, left her to follow his dreams in Sydney – but she is determined to become the best mother possible. You have to admire her for not putting her child up for adoption, for wanting to take responsibility, and I could definitely understand her reactions and actions, even though some readers will probably frown upon them. But that is the best thing about books: what we think of the same story is entirely subjective. This does not, however, mean that I did not want to shake some sense into Holly sometimes…Oh, how I did!
And do not get me started on what a douche Jackson tends to be! Yes, he is charming. Yes, he is gorgeous. Yes, he can be vulnerable. But is he also a typical guy? YES! Conclusion: I wanted to throttle him for some of the things he said and did – but, as with Holly, I could also connect with him entirely throughout the book, and his feelings of doubt and hurt about Holly’s pregnancy seem to be pretty valid and…well, normal, I suppose, for many men in the real world.
In case you are wondering: yes, both Holly and Jackson show some redeeming qualities, and they can be incredibly sweet towards one another when they are not fighting. But both of them will have to learn acceptance, forgiveness, and how to allow themselves happiness instead of doing what they think is the right choice. In short: they have to learn that it is okay to follow your heart in everything instead of listening to what your mind is telling you to do.
“She laughs and fuck me it sounds like birds and springtime and all that other fucking bullshit Disney feeds us.” (Jackson)
Carmen Jenner excels at telling her readers a story filled with lots of drama, sadness, heartache, steamy sex scenes, and, ultimately, an unconventional happy-ever-after. Her characters are perfectly imperfect people, and the town of Sugartown and all its inhabitants seem so real that you almost wonder if this place does exist. (Sadly, it does not…I have checked.) I love how we see flawed and stubborn characters because these are traits that we all – to some extent – possess, even if we refuse to acknowledge them. We get to see Bob, Ana’s father, and Sammy, her little brother, again – and poor Bob and Sammy…my heart broke on more than one occasion for these two…and that is all I will say about it – you will have to read the book to find out what I mean *wink*.
I would also like to add that it was wonderful to see a seemingly happier Ana Belle & Elijah Cade, but they do not take the focus away from Holly & Jackson’s story – so yes, I loved when they made an appearance, but I was completely focused on our crazy redhead and stubborn mule, and my adrenaline really picked it up a notch or two in the last 20% of the book.
So to conclude my review, I would like to say that if you are wondering if “Enjoy Your Stay” is just as good as the first book in the Sugartown series, I will have to say: yes, it is. It is different, as all sequels should be, and Holly and Jackson are completely different characters from Ana and Elijah, but that is also at it should be. You will find yourself going from crying your heart out on one page to laughing hysterically on the next. And I really think that you will find yourself empathizing with all the characters, even Chelcie and Cooper, at some point while you are reading this book. And that, my friends, is why I love this author to bits: she makes you fall for all her characters even though you know it, on some levels, is wrong. Miss Jenner: I still wish we could all move to Sugartown and I cannot wait to see how you will torture us in your next books in the series!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carmen Jenner is a thirty-something author, doctor, pilot and CIA agent.
She’s also a compulsive, flagrant prevaricator who gets to make things up for a living.
While Sugartown may not technically exist, Carmen grew up in a small Australian town just like it, and just like her characters, she always longed for something more.They didn’t have an Elijah Cade, though. If they did, you can be sure she would have never left.