Heart of Dixie by Ruthie Henrick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
*** 3.5 Cranky Stars ***
Heart of Dixie is a sweet, second chance romance set in the small town of Moreover.
The title comes from the eponymous character, Dixie Barnes, who has to return from LA to her hometown of Moreover to bury her father. Filled with quirky characters, Moreover is a world away from the celebrity clients and fast pace of the city.
Dixie has no intention of staying longer than it takes to fulfill her familial obligations. She reconnects with her childhood best friend, Beth, who is now a Police Officer, and is informed that her high school boyfriend, Deke McAllister is back in town.
It's inevitable these two come face-to-face with old wounds that haven't really healed between them. When they do meet, they realize that the past never really died, and a different perspective changes your entire world view.
Told in the dual points of view of Dixie and Deke, the reader gets insight into both characters.
I enjoyed this story. It was quick and sweet. It had enough heat to satisfy romance lovers and wasn't graphic.
I have to admit, I did struggle with Dixie's backstory. We get hints that her family life with her father, Cooter, wasn't happy, but for the life of me, I couldn't work out what he did wrong enough for Dixie to abandon him and cut ties. I interpreted most of his actions as 'embarrassing', rather than soul destroying. Also, he was the parent who stayed. As such, I found it difficult to feel much sympathy for Dixie and began to see her as self-absorbed.
Similarly, I struggled with her past decisions in relation to Deke. I understood the rationale, I just didn't really buy it. I much preferred Deke's point of view, even though he made me cringe (in a good way) at times.
I have to add that although this story is set in a small town and in contemporary times, it felt like it belonged more to an older one. There were quirky characters, but next to no diversity.
All in all, if you are looking for a sweet, second-chance romance - I say pick this up and give it a try.
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