Cover Image: Sweet as Pie

Sweet as Pie

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Member Reviews

I must firstly apologise for the amount of time it has taken me to provide a review of this book, my health was rather bad for quite some time, something that had me in hospital on numerous occasions and simply didnt leave me with the time I once had to do what I love most.

Unfortunately that does mean I have missed the archive date for many of these books, so It would feel unjust throwing any review together without being able to pay attention to each novel properly.

However, I am now back to reading as before and look forward to sharing my honest reviews as always going forward. I thank you f0r the patience and understanding throughout x

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It doesn't bode well when I find myself setting a book aside for something more interesting and have to force myself to pick it back up. I did that a lot with Sweet as Pie, which was really disappointing. This book is a combination of some of my favorite romance tropes - friends to lovers, small town, sports, Southern - so I should've enjoyed it so much more than I did. I love the charm of a small-town romance, but that fell short here in my opinion, and the story was way too repetitive. Plus we spend a lot of time inside Evans and Jake's heads when I'd rather have had more interaction between them. I got that they were friends, that came through loud and clear, but the romance fell flat. Telling me that there is romance and chemistry does no good if the emotion doesn't come through. I don't know, maybe this author's writing style isn't for me or maybe it was just the combination of issues I had with this particular book. Either way, this one did not work for me at all.

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Being a hockey fan, I was intrigued by this series. Of course it was a made up team and location, but that was okay. Jake Champagne and Evans Pemberton have a past. In Sweet as Pie, they rekindle that friendship and it blossoms into more. Evans (Evie) was in love with Jake back in the Mississippi Delta. Jake thought of her as a friend and broke her heart when he married her snobby, beauty queen cousin. She moves to Laurel Springs, Alabama and opens a Pie Shop that is flourishing. With her two best friends, also business owners, she is happy and making a new life for herself. Jake is a hotshot hockey player who has been traded to a new team stationed in Laurel Springs. He has had a scandal filled year and he and his BFF, Robbie, have been traded to the same team. Jake bets Robbie that he can refrain from sex for the rest of the year, trying to build up his reputation. That is fine until he begins to realize that he has lingering feelings for Evie.

This is a fun, sweet story that I really enjoyed. All the characters were wonderful from Jake and Evie to their friends and the local community. Of course pie plays an important role in this story and it was quite funny how it all plays out. I always enjoy books set in the south with all that comes with Southern Hospitality and the expectations of well bred southern women. Evie often makes decisions based on family expectations, but does finally stand up for herself. Jake is swoon-worthy male lead and I enjoyed watching him try to get through to Evie. There was There was some not a huge storyline dealing with hockey, but there was enough to keep the sports an important part of the story, but not too much to turn people off if it is not there thing. There frustration and angst, but this friends to lovers story was just what I was looking for. This story is definitely, "Sweet as Pie".

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Be warned! You will be craving pie while reading this delicious story! SWEET AS PIE by Alicia Hunter Pace is the first book in the Good Southern Women series and I loved every minute of it! Can once best friends become more than friends but still stay best friends? I really loved Alicia’s writing and I’m on a quest to read her older books now. She will now be an auto buy author for me. Ms. Pace, you have a new fan!! Once I started reading SWEET AS PIE it was very hard to stop! The twists and turns made it impossible to put down, as I had to know what was going to happen to Evans. What an awesome story. All of Alicia’s characters feel genuine and relatable and put your emotions on one heck of a roller coaster ride.


Evans Pemberton finally has her dream of owning a pie shop in a small town in Alabama. When her old childhood friend, Jake comes back to town to join a new local hockey team, they once again become a part of each other’s lives. SWEET AS PIE is all about family and the past and the secrets that come out are heart tugging. It had me flipping through the pages like a woman on a mission. I had to know what was going to happen to Jake and Evans and all the secondary characters. Evans and Jake are two old friends who reconnect as Evan’s seemingly perfect life falls apart, and their story is one of dreams, secrets, second chances, surrender, and love. I really wanted to reach in to the story and give them both a hug. The bantering between these two is hysterical and I was giggling out loud more than once. SWEET AS PIE is a heart tugging story that will hold you hostage until the very last page. Once you start reading, it will be very hard to put down!


If you’re a fan of slow burn, small town romances with lots of different pie, SWEET AS PIE is the one for you! Evans and Jake have never been anything more than friends, but Evans has always wanted more from Jake, only she has never told him. When she thought Jake might actually take it to the next level, he ended up marrying her cousin, Channing. I was instantly emotionally invested in all of the characters. My heart broke for Evans and for all she was dealing with. I can not wait to read more by this wonderful and heart tugging author. I have never read anything by this spot on author but I am now on a quest to find many of her older books to read and that brings me so much joy and happiness to know they are waiting for me! She has the most beautiful covers! Check them out!!


I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harlequin/Carina Press through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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This story opens with a MMC going back home to his Southern town. There is a brief scene where his mother/family member mentions the long time housekeeper. In 2021 I have a hard time with books in the south that even hint at throw back days of yore. I had just finished reading some heavier non-fic about race in america, so this might be a me thing. But it was a DNF for me.

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Much like pie, I have a sweet spot for friends to lovers romances and Alicia Hunter Pace delivered with Sweet as Pie.

Burned by events in the past, Evans and Jake are excited to meet up again after several years apart and rebuild their friendship. But the past never stays in the past and soon all their old doubts and insecurities come creeping back.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching these two battle through their issues. I was extremely pleased and proud when Evie finally put her foot down and stopped being a Yes girl. And Jake, he has a heart of gold but there were some moments when I wanted to wring his neck. I was so happy when Robbie called him out on his behavior.

Sweet and charming, with a healthy dose of feelings, Sweet as Pie was a wonderful read and just the book to help bring me out of my book slump.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Thank you NetGalley, Alicia Hunter Pace and Carina Press, for the book Sweet as Pie. This is my personal review.
I am huge hockey fan; romance book fan and I love small town southern settings for books and this one had it all.
Jake and Evans are so right for each other, and the author did an amazing job of making them so real to me as I read this book. The path to happiness in this book was wonderful. My heart was in this book from beginning to end.
I am excited to read the next book in this series- Good Southern Women. Sweet as Pie was a great first book.

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LOVED this book! It's literally the perfect escape read. I can't wait to read more from this author (duo!)!!

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Love, love, love this book! Robbie and Jake's bro-mance is so fun! I love Evans' passion for her career and doing the right thing. So much fun in this book and I will cry a river if this isn't a series! LOVE the book cover as well!

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This is a Friends to Lovers Sport Romance. I found this book so very cute and a fun read. I loved the characters so much. I wish I had a Pie shop near me like what was in this book. I loved the ending so much. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Carina Press) or author (Alicia Hunter Pace) via NetGalley, so I can give an honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.

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Overall I enjoyed this book. The story was fun, sweet and emotional. For me the characters were just OK. I did think Evans was quite relatable though because lets be honest here, a lot of us have a very hard time saying no and putting ourselves first. As for Jake, I would have liked him more if he really owned his actions and the hurt he caused instead of just basically brushing it aside. Even though these things bothered me and occasionally feeling that things got bogged down, I thought this book was good.

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This is a new to me author and after seeing this cute cover I had to give it a read.

If you love slow burn, small town romance, hockey, friends to lovers then this is the book for you.

I loved it from start to finish. I loved Evans and Jake alot This book is about friends falling out of touch a few years previous and they lived different lives. Only for Jake coming back to town to reconnect with Evans

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This is the classic rom-com. Can best friends become more than friends? Evans has a good life. She is the owner of her own pie shop in her town of Laurel Springs, Alabama. But then that idyllic life gets turned on it's heel when her former best friend moves to town. Jake the handsome pro hockey player has requested a trade to the new Yellowhammer team in Laurel Springs. He has wounds to lick and fences to mend. He and Evans have grown apart ever since he married her cousin. That marriage ended in disaster. Yet another reason to leave his old team and Nashville. The will they or won't they tension continues throughout the book. Just when you think they might make it one of them does something stupid, mainly Jake, to ruin things. Will Evans ever feel like she is enough and worthy of being loved by Jake and will he stop putting his foot in his mouth? There's some great southern charm in this book and I can't wait for the next one in the series.

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I am grateful to the good folks at Carina Press who made it possible for me to get an e-ARC of this delightful rom-com in exchange for an honest review. This is my first Alicia Hunter Pace and I am signing up for all her books because this beautiful book was a delight. This book made me hungry but then again it's called Sweet as Pie. The book is set in a town in the south and is a friend to lovers /sports romance and a first in the Good Southern Women’s series, and I will be anxiously awaiting the next books in this series. The book follows the relationship between longtime friends Evans and Jake and......it's as messy as my attempts at pie baking. Evans is a small-town pie shop and is happy with her life just the way it is )or she assumes). When Jake comes back to town to join a new local hockey team, they once again become a part of each other's lives. Evans and Jake have to work out what's going on between them.. I enjoyed this delightful read.

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3.5 stars rounded up

Evie Pemberton has always had a problem saying no. She owns the bakery of her dreams and is a great businesswoman, but finds it hard to assert herself to the people in her life. It's been a few years since she lost the friendship of her childhood best friend, Jake, and she still feels hurt by his abandonment. After Jake marries her cousin and drops their friendship, he heads off to play professional hockey and ends up divorced and unsure of his future. When Jake returns home to play hockey for a new team, he and Evie attempt to put the past behind them and rekindle their friendship.

Overall I enjoyed this story, but it took way too long for Evie to stand up for herself. Jake completely dropped Evie after his marriage to her cousin with no explanation at all. I kept waiting for Jake to give a good reason for abandoning Evie, but none ever came. He only alluded to falling under the cousin's spell, but I can't really buy that. Evie and Jake had been friends their whole life! I completely understand why Evie had a hard time forgiving him. Jake constantly takes advantage of Evie's "yes girl" persona, although Evie isn't innocent in all this. She never stands up for herself, whether it be with her family, Jake, her friends, her bakery investor/mentor. She never says no to anyone! It became extremely frustrating reading about that after a while, but I was happy to see her and Jake come to some illuminating realizations at the very end.

This seems to be part of a series, and I'm interested in seeing whose story is next!

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Four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sweet as Pie by Alicia Hunter Pace needs to come with a warning. “Will make you hungry for pie”. Besides feeling hungry while reading, I enjoyed this book very much. It’s a heartwarming book set in a town in the south and has all the charm you would expect from a book about a pie shop! Sweet as Pie is the first book in Alicia Hunter Pace’s Good Southern Women’s series, and I will be anxiously awaiting the next books in this series.

Evans Pemberton finally has opened her dream of owning a pie shop in a small town in Alabama. Her ‘silent’ partner is also the owner of a new professional Hockey team, and Evans is chosen to cater a breakfast for the players. Evans is distressed to learn one of the new players is none other than Jake Champagne, an old friend she grew up with back in the Mississippi Delta. She has a history with Jake, and when she finally decided to change their relationship from friend to more, Jake fell for Evan’s beauty queen cousin and was soon married.

Jake’s marriage soon fell apart, but he can’t figure out why his best friend Evans stopped contacting him. When he arrives in Laurel Springs, he’s happy to find his old friend Evans, but can’t figure out why she’s polite but reserved with him. He soon realizes the hurt he caused her when he fell for her cousin and decides to try to make up for his past behavior.

This book is as sweet as the pie on the cover. I enjoyed the sports aspect of the book and learned a lot about professional hockey. Jake and Evans have a complex past, and it takes some twists and turns for them both to realize they are perfect for each other. The author did an excellent job of making the town of Laurel Springs come alive, and I felt like I want to live there. I highly recommend this book to lovers of small-town romance with the caveat that you should read this book on a full stomach! I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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This is a book you can’t put down. The main two characters are Evans and Jake. They have known each other since birth. They have helped each other through some hard times to come out on the other side to love and marriage. This story has hockey and pie a great combination.

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Small town, hockey, friends to lovers. What more could you want??

This is a sweet book about friends that fell out of touch throughout the years, lived different lives, only to come back to each other and find one another. How much cuter are you expecting this to get?? Because it does get cuter. Also, add hockey. I love hockey so, this was heavenly.

If you're a fan of slow burn, small town romances with lots of different pie, this book is the one for you!

Thank you to NetGalley and Carina Press for the earc in return for an honest review.

Pub date: August 24, 2021

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Sweet as Pie follows the relationship between longtime friends Evans and Jake and......it's complicated. Evans runs a small-town pie shop and is happy with her life just the way it is. When Jake comes back to town to join a new local hockey team, they once again become a part of each other's live. Evans and Jake must choose between staying stuck in the past or starting over new.

Sweet as Pie has a great premise: a small-town setting, local pie shop, and complex love story. The relationship between Evans and Jake has a lot of baggage, and they hit many twists and turns on their journey back to each other. I liked their story as a whole, and stayed curious to read what would be the outcome of their relationship. The book had a tendency to drag a times, and it took longer for me to read it than I expected. Still.....I'm a sucker for books with a food theme to them, and I stayed hooked reading about the pies. Pick up a copy of Sweet as Pie if you like romance reads with a side of sweet desserts.

Thanks to Netgalley and HARLEQUIN - Carina Press for this ARC; this is my honest and voluntary review.

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I always love reading friends to romantic lovers and this book delivers. Fun and sweet. I actually enjoyed more the successful female and the bond they have. Their mentor, a strong and feisty female was a joy in reading . I hope that a story for her is in the works

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