This was my first read by Jennifer Lynn Barnes and I officially now have a favorite author to add to my list. Reading the synopsis for this novel I was immediately reminded of Pretty Little Liars which is one of my favorite TV shows as well as some of my favorite books. While I myself never had to be subjected to debutante balls I have always been intrigued by everything that goes into being a debutante.
This book is about Sawyer who lives with her single, kind of absent mother while working as a mechanic for a local garage in a very small town. Having grown up never knowing her father, Sawyer is shocked when her grandmother on her mother’s side appears on her doorstep one day offering an insane amount of money to live with her for nine months and become a debutante. Sawyer sees it as the perfect opportunity to dive into her family’s past and try to figure out who her father is. With the help of her cousin Lily, Lily’s best friend Sadie-Grace, and their enemy Campbell, Sawyer not only finds out the secrets held in their family but she also discovers that perfect southern belles are also capable of felonies.
I loved this book from the very beginning but who wouldn’t be intrigued by four debutante girls, clad in their ballroom gowns, being held in jail cells and the rookie cop is tasked with finding out 1. why they got arrested and 2. finding out the true story behind it all. It has blackmail, family drama, and comedy all wrapped up perfectly.
I loved Sawyer’s character the most but I think that’s because I can relate more to her than anything. I was brought up a tomboy working on cars beside my dad and would have laughed at the thought of me being a debutante, wearing ball gowns, and attending a ball. About the only time I’ve worn a dress was at my wedding. Her quick wit and sarcasm kept me laughing and I loved the bonds she developed with the other characters in the book.
I did feel like this book could have been condensed down a little bit which was surprising to me considering some of the chapters skipped a whole month forward. It was written well enough that I didn’t get bored of reading, it only felt like certain areas got more drawn out than they needed to be. It was still an excellent read overall and I’m very excited to read more by the author.