Welcome to Destiny, Ohio—where two families have been at odds as long as anyone in town can remember.
Rachel Farris returned to her childhood home with one mission in mind: get Mike Romo out of her family’s apple orchard business and out of their lives. But hard-nosed and totally hot Mike, who happens to be the law in Destiny, is convinced the Farris clan stole the land from his family fifty years ago and he’s not backing down. Even when shapely trouble shows up in a pair of designer blue jeans. However, neither the hunky cop nor the sexy prodigal hometown girl can anticipate the electricity that heats things up whenever they’re together—adding new sizzle to an ongoing feud that’s raged for generations, and soon putting both their hearts at risk.
A Note from Toni
No one particular factor inspired this book, and now that I’m writing a series of linked stories, much of the inspiration is growing from the secondary characters who show up in Destiny. So Rachel and Mike, along with their conflicts, developed in large part just from the ideas I had in my head about them when they were mentioned in One Reckless Summer.
But one character in this book – Rachel’s grandma, Edna – was very much inspired by my late grandmother, Mary Irene Hargis Blevins (shown here at age 14). My grandma was the ninth of fourteen children raised on a farm in the Kentucky Appalachian region. Hard work was a way of life for her from her early childhood, whether it was taking care of her younger siblings or doing farmwork. (A helpful and colorful tip from Gran: When collecting eggs, never reach into a chicken’s nest without looking first or you might pull out a big snake.) Gran left the farm to visit Cincinnati around 1940. One day she and her sister, Frances came upon a man with a guitar in a schoolyard, and they began singing while he played – they often sang together, songs of the period like “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.” A crowd gathered to listen, and when the crowd dispersed, a young man on a bike remained, and he asked her to go for a ride on the handlebars. She accepted, and later married him – my grandpa, Charles Blevins – and the rest is history.
Edna’s story is not my grandma’s, but what they have in common is a tough spirit and a big heart. My grandmother died in 1992, but I still miss her, so Sugar Creek is dedicated to her.
Awards & Honors
- Finalist for the National Reader's Choice Award
- Top Pick at The Season
- Featured Title for DoubleDay Book Club Envelope
Trivia & Extras
Listen to songs from the Sugar Creek soundtrack below or get the iMix on iTunes.
Reviews for Sugar Creek
“Intoxicating and addictive….No one does it like Toni Blake.” ~Robyn Carr, NYT Bestselling Author
“An entertaining return to Destiny with a Romeo and Juliet romance. The rocky road (Mike and Rachel) travel makes for a fun, sometimes humorous, journey." ~Romantic Times, 4 STARS
“Toni Blake’s smooth storytelling style is almost hypnotizing, and her realistic characters jump off the pages. I enjoyed SUGAR CREEK from beginning to end, and look forward to reading the next installment in this charming series. Well done!” ~Kay James, Romance Reader at Heart, TOP PICK
“If you like a well-written, sensual, and often delightfully funny romance then SUGAR CREEK is the book for you.“ ~Natalie, Romance Junkes, 4.5 Blue Ribbons
“Sugar Creek is fun, sexy, and sizzling hot! It's not too often when a book like this comes across your path. It's so good, it will make you want to rush out and risk getting a speeding ticket - just to find your own sexy cop hero!” ~Jennifer A. Jones, The Romance Readers Connection, 4 ½
“Blake’s … story outshines others due her mastery of characterization and dialogue. With each turn of the page she captures … passion and depth of emotion. Strong conflict and an entertaining cast of supporting characters will keep readers entertained as they visit Destiny in Blake’s top-notch contemporary romance. Don’t miss it!” ~Elizabeth, The Season, TOP PICK
“A warm, fresh tale … readers will be holding their breath. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of SUGAR CREEK for an easy, pleasant read that’s pure joy.” ~Patti Fischer, Romance Reviews Today
“I loved this book! Ms. Blake knows how to hook a reader in and keep them turning the pages for more until the very end. I can’t wait to read more from this talented author!” ~Diana Coyle, Night Owl Reviews, 5 STARS, TOP PICK
“SUGAR CREEK is a story about families, love and more all wrapped up with a bow … had me glued to the edge of my seat … highly enjoyable, engrossing and makes me want to move there myself.” ~Dawn, Love Romances and More
“A sexy, sassy, and heartwarming story. Toni Blake's fictional town of Destiny, Ohio is rapidly becoming my favorite summer vacation destination!” ~PJ Audensmore, The Romance Dish, 4 ½ STARS
“Another charming and intriguing story involving the town of Destiny. Toni Blake's characters will make you laugh, cry and genuinely cheer them on. I loved it!” ~Mandy Burns, Fresh Fiction
“As always Toni Blake has a way of getting into a reader’s head with her sensational novels and charismatic characters. This is one hot read!” ~Danielle, Coffee Time Reviews, 5 CUPS
“The romance is magical, highly sensual, and intense.” ~Nannette, Joyfully Reviewed
“Hot, spicy, and homespun fun. Small town romance at its finest.” ~Sandra VanWinkle, ReaderToReader.com
Toni has always used music to set the tone of her books. Enjoy this playlist of songs featured in Sugar Creek:
You Can't Always Get What You Want – The Rolling Stones
Cruisin' – Smokey Robinson
Gold to Me – Ben Harper
Something in the Way She Moves – James Taylor
Pink Moon – Nick Drake
Fade into You – Mazzy Star
Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson
Show Me a Little Shame – Ben Harper
All I Have to Do Is Dream – The Everly Brothers