My review originally posted on Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/baby-drive-south-by-stephanie-bond
Ten years ago, the Armstrong brothers’ home town of Sweetness, Georgia was completely destroyed by a tornado. Now, the brothers have managed to get government grants to rebuild Sweetness as an eco-friendly town. They’ve hired workmen and are making progress to meet the deadlines needed to keep their funding, but the lack of women in Sweetness is starting to hit everyone hard. The youngest Armstrong, Porter, comes up with a plan: place an ad in a northern newspaper offering free room and board for two years to a hundred women. His plan works out better than he could have expected. Unfortunately, Porter’s first sight of his victory comes when he’s on top of the water tower with a pair of binoculars. He’s so surprised by the caravan of women coming to Sweetness that he falls off the water tower. Luckily for Porter, one of Sweetness’s newest residents is the lovely Dr. Nikki Salinger…
A rakish Southerner too charming for his own good squares off with a smart Northerner unwilling to be taken in by his tricks in Baby, Drive South. The first book in Stephanie Bond’s Southern Roads trilogy is a delight to read, mostly because I loved watching Nikki knock Porter off his feet. Nikki is brilliant, but most of the men in Sweetness don’t seem to want to trust a female doctor. She’s also not drop-dead gorgeous like some of the other women who’ve moved to the town. Put these two problems together, and my heart broke for Nikki at times. I was cheering for her to get the recognition and appreciation she deserved, especially since she was stuck in Sweetness (thanks to Porter messing with her car so they wouldn’t lose their only doctor). As for Porter…he had a lot to prove before he could win me over. Porter doesn’t always think when it comes to Nikki, and – however unintentional it may have been – he was a bit of a jerk to her in the beginning of Baby, Drive South. Having read the prequel to the Southern Roads trilogy, Baby, I’m Yours, I knew Porter to be a genuinely good man, so I was willing to stick with him in his own book. Thankfully, Porter grew into the hero I was hoping for – namely, one who deserves Nikki.
Baby, Drive South is the first full-length book in the Southern Roads trilogy, but Ms. Bond has written a prequel, Baby, I’m Yours, that is currently free. Readers who enjoy Baby, Drive South will no doubt delight in seeing Porter when he was ten years younger, not to mention the town itself before it was devastated by the F-5 tornado.
Ms. Bond is a writer whose books I always enjoy and Baby, Drive South is no exception. I finished Porter and Nikki’s story a well-satisfied reader and I was happy to have the second book in the series (Baby, Come Home) on hand so I could dive into Kendall Armstrong’s story right away – the series is that addictive!