SWEET TALK ME – Kieran Kramer
St. Martin's Paperbacks
Biscuit Creek, South Carolina - The Present
On a street in Atlanta dressed in her great aunt's clothes, True Maybanks sees her childhood friend, now big name country singer, Harrison Gamble. She hasn't seen him in ten years, not since the morning after her prom when she left the party to join Harrison on the beach to share an unforgettable night. Now she is carrying her wedding dress, which had been her Mama's, back home to marry Dubose. Joining the elite Biscuit Creek Maybanks and Waring families is the right thing to do, although the Maybanks aren't so prosperous anymore. Her Daddy had wanted it, and Dubose had taken an interest in her a few years back when True struggled back from leaving her college career to try to keep her family home and take care of her younger sister Weezie after the deaths of her parents and her great aunt. True was sure Harrison, surrounded by fans, hadn't seen her, but a few minutes later she finds herself in his expensive sports car, with Harrison driving her home.
Handsome, well built, and both famous and wealthy from his music, Harrison had left Biscuit Creek with a broken heart, a desire to achieve, and with the chance to leave his shame behind. While he hadn't planned to return to Biscuit Creek even though his older brother Gage still lives there, he reluctantly finds Gage needs his help, and with his mind refusing to create songs, it is a good place as any to lay low since he is so late with his still unwritten new songs.
The triangle between Harrison, True, and Dubose is fascinating for readers to figure out. Author Kieran Kramer allows the reader to get very close to Harrison and True, to share their friendship, pain, and frustrated desires, but leaves Dubose's actions to show his true character. Harrison and True also have to deal with their siblings, both of whom suffer from some social problems. Gage still lives in their parents' now dilapidated trailer, but makes good money writing crosswords, and outspoken Weezie is preparing to go to college. Other characters like Carmela, a Yankee from Queens and True's best friend, and Penn, Dubose's mother, add more dimensions to this down-home story. Readers will share the emotional ride of the characters, wanting to kick some butt and pull some hair along the way, but ultimately will be moved by the generosity of just plain people.