Pros: Hilarious & terribly fun!
Cons: An inconsistent accent; a rushed subplot
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Jolie Russell is a farmgirl and a dyed-in-the-wool redneck. She loves to fish, cook, and drink beer. But when sexy developer Cody Dean pays a price she and her father can’t refuse for their land, and gives them a new home in a pricey development as part of the deal, all that has to change.
Jolie and her dad drive their new neighbors nuts. Her dog wreaks havoc at local garden parties, their boisterous cookouts annoy the neighbors, and the bylaws prevent them from fishing in their own stream, building a garden shed, having a decent-sized garden, or any of a number of other things. After a particularly humiliating incident, however, she discovers she has a surprising advocate in Cody Dean’s younger brother, who’s willing to help her learn to fit in—without wanting to destroy what makes her such a unique fixture in the neighborhood. Helping him is her part-time maid (and now personal assistant), Carletta.
But it’s Cody whom Jolie finds herself falling steadily in love with—and to her shock, he seems to return her affections. She can’t imagine, however, that someone like her could fit into his world in the long term.
LuAnn McLane’s Redneck Cinderella is absolutely, utterly hysterical. Jolie’s Southern-fried tomboy characterization is dead-on perfect, and her unflappable father is a riot. Together, the two of them make unlikely, yet amazing, romance novel heroes (yep, that’s right, Jolie isn’t the only one getting some action in this book!).
I think my favorite part about the book is that Jolie learns how to fit in when she wants to, but doesn’t become something false in order to do it. In fact, she finally finds herself. Cody Dean is also an interesting character—not just a vacant, pretty, wealthy face—and the secondary characters provide a wealth of additional material.
I only have two minor complaints. One is Carletta’s accent—her ability with the English language is inconsistent over the course of the story. The other is a sub-plot involving a writing project Jolie is doing; it was brought up just late enough into the book that it felt a bit sudden, rushed, and conveniently placed.
It’s the details of Southern society life and Jolie’s difficulties fitting in that really make this book, however. It’s a hysterical, sexy, highly entertaining read!