Other Mary Kay Andrews reviews are available in the Archives.

 
Spring Fever
by Mary Kay Andrews
(St. Martin's, $25.99, PG-13)  ISBN 978-0-31264-271-6
****
Annajane Hudgens is over her ex. Of course she is; she's an engaged woman after all.  She and town golden-boy Mason Bayless have been divorced for five years now; never mind that they've continued to work for the same company, Quixie, which is owned and operated by the Bayless family.

Never mind that she's been in love with him for more than half of her life.  Or that his sister, Pokey, has been Annajane's best friend since kindergarten and insists that Mason and Annajane are being ridiculous.

And certainly, never mind that it takes Mason's wedding to another woman for Annajane to realize she's finally going to have to let him go.

Launch yourself into summer reading with Mary Kay Andrews' Spring Fever, a read which is just as much heartwarming as it can be heart-breaking.  Andrews certainly doesn't hold back; the novel opens just as the wedding party is starting down the aisle and poor Annajane is stuck right up front, bearing witness to her own humiliation.

Thankfully, Mason's daughter (bless her heart), falls ill just before the ceremony that was to legally bind a panicky-looking Mason to shark in the water Celia.  Celia had scented blood in the water the previous year at a convention and conned Mason's brother, ad exec Davis Bayless, into a position at the faltering soda company.  Bagging the CEO made everything so much sweeter, and she's bamboozled everyone but Annajane, Pokey, and the Quixie employees.

Annajane is loathe to admit her feelings, but at the end of the week she's leaving Passcoe for good.  She lets Pokey convince her to help bring down the conniving Celia; even if she and Mason are over for good, he shouldn't have to live with that woman and his poor daughter would be better off motherless.

But the abrupt end to his nuptials is a slap in the face to Mason Bayless and he's ready to confront his feelings about Annajane head-on—at least until Celia plays her final card.

Crammed full of southern hospitality, family ties, old secrets, and the messy workings of lifelong friendships, Mary Kay Andrews has definitely brought us a winner of a summer read.  Though Spring Fever lacks the comedy present in most of her novels, it has its fair share of humor equally balanced with poignancy and warmth.  Readers who may have been disappointed with last year's venture will find their faith in Andrews renewed after delving into Passcoe, North Caroline and Spring Fever.

--Sarrah Knight


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