Mary Kay Andrews
St. Martin’s Press (2012)
In Mary Kay Andrews’ latest “escapist novel”, Spring Fever, Annajane Hudgens is about to say good-bye to the only life she’s known in the quaint lakeside town of Passcoe, North Carolina and move on to a better future in Atlanta. She’s sold her loft, quit her job at the Quixie soda pop company, and is engaged to bluegrass musician, Shane. Proving that she is over her short-lived marriage to Mason Bayless, Annajane attends his wedding to the perfect-in-every-way Celia shortly before leaving town.
But the wedding doesn’t go off quite as planned, and Annajane finds herself and Mason Bayless coping with a family crisis instead. For years following their acrimonious break-up and divorce, Annajane and Mason continued to work together at the Bayless family’s specialty cherry soda soft drink corporation, the largest employer in the small town of Passcoe. They have managed to keep their working relationship professional even after the arrival of wunderkind Celia. Now, the formerly married couple are trying to manage a situation that Celia’s stellar business skills cannot control.
Annajane’s departure date arrives sooner than expected. She packs in a hurry and leaves her hometown for her fiance’ Shane, and the big city of Atlanta.
What follows is a fairly predictable “girl meets boy; girl loses boy; does girl want boy back?” story, set against a backdrop of corporate and familial backstabbing, deceit, betrayals, and eventually, an outpouring of closely held secrets. Much of the plot is easy to foresee; however, there are enough twists and turns at the end to forgive the novel’s somewhat unexceptional plotline.
Definitely not highbrow literature, Spring Fever is a fluffy, fun summer frolic that is easy-to-read and entertaining. It has an element of romance to it, but enough intrigue to keep the book from becoming overly sappy. Mary Kay Andrews has served up a novel as refreshing and as bubbly as an ice-cold bottle of Quixie cherry soda, and for that, I give it a rating of 3+ eyes.