REVIEW: “Stubborn as a Mule” by Juliette Poe

Juliette (Sawyer Bennet) Poe’s Sex and Sweet Tea series is sweet, sassy and Southern like sweet tea and moonshine.  “Stubborn as a Mule” brings us a fabulous book boyfriend in ornery Lowe Mancinkus who’s actually a romantic Southern gentleman.  The Heroine’s Yankee Melinda (Mely) Rothchild, a sleek, blue-blooded, interior designer.  Lowe and Mely’s “relationship” begins in “Ain’t He Precious” when they end up in a wildly amusing court proceeding.  Lowe’s parents sold a family home to Melinda.  For Lowe the building’s important as it’s part of his family’s history and he felt by the betrayal.  The fact Melinda’s a Yankee makes it sting worse.  In “Stubborn as a Mule” Lowe and Mely face off again in court; again in highly entertaining fashion.  This time the judge orders Lowe work off his punishment by making repairs, to Mely’s house.  150 hours  At first antagonism rules then the just-beneath-the-surface heat combusts.  Spectacularly.

In “Stubborn as a Mule” we spend more time with Pap Mancinkus, the family grandfather.  We get to know some wonderful small town characters more in depth.  Floyd the town protector and hardware store owner figures prominently; and butcher and moonshine maker Billy Crump’s also a gem.  More time’s spend on the Mancinkus siblings twins Lakin and Larkin and brother Colt.  We get a brief glimpse of the hero and heroine of “Ain’t He Sweet” Trixie and Ryland.  The most important secondary character’s Mely’s best friend Morris “Morri” D.  A gay, black, drag queen who comes to the small town of Whynot, NC to mend his broken heart.  Morri and “town protector” Floyd go (off stage) on a trip to a Raleigh drag club.  Floyd misunderstood and thought they were going to a drag race.  Priceless!  Lowe and Morri have an hilarious arc to their relationship; contentious to best buds.

Juliette (Sawyer Bennett) Poe fills this book with wonderful Southern picturesque festival and dating opportunities.  A romantic Lantern Festival and pick-up truck camping.  Even the General Lee makes an appearance.  There’s a running theme of tolerance and gossip throughout the book.  The small town gossip of Whynot itself is the sweetheart and the villain in the book.  There are chapters dedicated to the Gossip Mill and it’s delightfully humorous but also hateful and cruel.  A nod of the Wild Horse Las Vegas sex club is made, which is a “cute wink” to dedicated fans.  Along with the Hero and Heroine, Lowe and Mely, the Miner House is the third main character.  This house fosters two grand romances which is wonderfully sweet and touching.  Lowe and Melinda are truly a perfect match.  Neither are what they appear at first glance and both are terribly romantic and sentimental.  This book’s flat-out Fantastic!

I’m giving “Stubborn as a Mule” 5 Lightning Bolts and Sunny Skies.

 

This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed.

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