“Love, Alabama” by Susan Sands

Emma Laroux is a South Carolina girl, a past Miss Alabama for a short time, and now a pageant coach.  She is part of a large, close-knit family who run a venue for celebrations.  Her mother is getting re-married soon and her sister, Cammie, is the host of a popular television cooking show.  She does her make-up before the taping every day.

The show has a new director, Matthew Pope, who has not made a great impression on anyone since he came.  There is a secret that Matt is keeping close to the vest, one that may impact his relationship with Emma.

Emma is also keeping a secret, one that she is not even sure about.  Her former beau, the town mayor, Tad Beaumont, seems overly solicitous of Emma and is determined to keep her away from Matt.  Something is not computing here.  Emma has not dated in a decade, ever since she resigned as Miss Alabama right after her crowning.  Something happened one night that she is not aware of, but that caused Tad to break if off from her and threaten her all these years.

Matt knows more than he’s telling.  He finds himself enamored by Emma, but unable to tell her who he really is.  She does not recognize him and he keeps putting it off, which doesn’t spell a good thing.  Following this story as it goes along and comes to a surprise ending is a good evening’s pastime, but I found the premise a bit soft.  It just didn’t ring true to me.  Nevertheless, “Love, Alabama” by Susan Sands was entertaining.

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