Book Review: Southernmost by Sarah Sadler

31080280Title: Southernmost by Sarah Sadler
Genre:  Fiction – Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Blue French Press
Page count: 338 pages
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Rating – 5/5!!

In this engaging new novel from critically acclaimed author of southern literature Sarah Sadler, Southernmost delivers a charismatic account of one woman’s journey through the rigors of starting over in life and love. Set in the charming city of Charleston, South Carolina, Southernmost is a satisfying spin-off to Sadler’s debut novel Southern Solstice and firmly establishes the sophomore author with a stand-alone release that is sure to capture new and return readers alike.

Former Alabama beauty queen Kayla Carter is given an ultimatum by her wealthy ex-boyfriend Jackson Winslow – either move to his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina with their seven-year-old daughter or support herself on a waitress’s salary. She relocates only to discover Jackson’s life is suddenly in shambles, and he has become a broke, undependable and depressed alcoholic.

Kayla hesitantly establishes herself in Charleston’s bustling culinary scene and becomes involved in a delicious fling with a free-spirited and visceral photographer. While she navigates the turbulent waters of Jackson’s new emotional state and fights feelings for him that she’s suppressed for years, Kayla’s personal success is overshadowed by an unexpected complication.

With a secret from the past threatening the chance of restoring her family, Kayla forces herself to break Jackson’s heart – and her own – once and for all, or risk everything by facing the shameful truth that has kept them apart.

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Happy Monday everyone! Today I am SUPER excited to share with you my review for one of my most highly anticipated books of this year: Southernmost written by Sarah Sadler. I had the pleasure of reviewing her first novel Southern Solstice (click to see that review) back in 2015. I was really fortunate to have received a copy of Southernmost from the publisher in exchange for my honest review of it as well!

Southernmost is a contemporary fiction book about a woman named Kayla who at her ex’s request, moves to Charleston with their young daughter Avery. She has more or less  been living in the shadow of Jackson’s relationship with his ex, Larken and she immediately feels out of place in the new town. When Jackson’s bad decisions concerning Larken impact their lives in unseen ways, Kayla’s world is further thrown off kilter which may actually have been just what she needed to find her place and people in Charleston.

Since I absolutely loved Southern Solstice, I had really high expectations for Southernmost and it really delivered. Sarah Sadler has done it to me a second time. I loved this book but I am not at all surprised. It’s been a full year and a few months since I read Southern Solstice and while I remembered adoring it, I couldn’t exactly remember the specifics of why and reading Southernmost reminded me exactly why from the very first page.

This book was beautifully written. The language is gorgeous and the characters are so wonderfully fleshed out. My most favorite thing about a Sarah Sadler book is the characterization, she is an ace at characterization. All of the characters in this book made an impact on me. I cared so deeply for all of them (except Justin!) and each of them just really felt like old friends to me. Slipping back into this world was such a comfort, but it was also really thrilling to unfold Kayla’s story – her coming into her own and her romantic story line as well.

I also loved that this book, although it took place amongst the same people as Southern Solstice and in the same place, you don’t have to have read it to read this one. It can definitely stand on its own although it was definitely great to have that background on the people and certain events that had transpired in the first book to put a few things in this book into clearer perspective. This book is not more about Larken, so if you’re expecting that, you won’t get it in this book although we do see a bit of her. But don’t fret! Our main character Kayla, is every bit as wonderful of a character as Larken is. I do have to say that Jackson Winslow has impeccable taste in women.

I truly can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed my time with this book. I could have read it in one sitting but I chose to draw it out and enjoy it for as long as I could but there came a point where I just couldn’t anymore and I needed to devour it. My copy at this point looks pretty well read because I took it with me everywhere. This book will definitely give you all the feels…it certainly gave me all the feels!!

I am giving Southernmost a five star review, hands down. One of my favorite 2016 reads for sure…perfect for reading at the beach or to just curl up with at night for some good romance. If you are a fan of contemporary romances definitely pick this one up although I feel like the romance angle is just one piece of this book, there is so much more dealing with family, southern life and Kayla’s journey to really being comfortable with herself. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of Southernmost, you purchase it on Amazon! (Isn’t the cover gorgeous?)

P.S. I’m still waiting for the first book to be adapted to film and now I also need a sequel. Ahhh!

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img_3040About the Author

With her first song published at the age of twelve, Sarah Sadler had a pretty good notion early on that words would be her compass.  Nurtured by a wildly creative family full of Opera singers, inventors, pianists, hippies, preachers, pageant girls, master gardeners, world travelers and fellow writers, Sarah explored every gamut of where words and their possibilities could take her.

A sixth generation North Carolinian, Sarah’s family moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming when she was nine (where an insatiable love of the Wild West was born) before returning to Nashville, TN where much of her writing is influenced by the rich cultural distinction of being born a southern woman.

Sarah lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and their young son. When she’s not writing books and songs, she’s riding horses.

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