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I Want Candy Susan Donovan  Candace Carmichael was just getting used to the lavish life when everything went sour. Now the down-on-her-luck real estate agent is back in Bigler, North Carolina, jobless and illegally rooming with her her mother in a swank retirement community. All this makes her wonder why she ever considered her BFF Cheris invitation to move back home. Life I Want Candy Susan Donovan  Candace Carmichael was just getting used to the lavish life when everything went sour. Now the down-on-her-luck real estate agent is back in Bigler, North Carolina, jobless and illegally rooming with her her mother in a swank retirement community. All this makes her wonder why she ever considered her BFF Cheri’s invitation to move back home. Life in this small mountain town may not be as glamorous as the one she had in Tampa, but she knows a girl can’t be too choosy in this market. Besides, everyone’s happy to welcome Candy back—especially one handsome widower named Turner… Turner has grown up to be one fine-looking piece of man candy—and looks even tastier in his sheriff’s uniform. Maybe that’s why she couldn’t resist kissing him when he pulled her over for a traffic violation. Even if a relationship was part of Candy’s business plan,  Turner would be off limits—he still wears his wedding ring, four years after his wife died. If falling in love too fast is a crime, Candy is soon guilty as charged and ready to be fingerprinted. But is she ready to lock away her dreams and hand Turner the keys to her heart?    


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I Want Candy Susan Donovan  Candace Carmichael was just getting used to the lavish life when everything went sour. Now the down-on-her-luck real estate agent is back in Bigler, North Carolina, jobless and illegally rooming with her her mother in a swank retirement community. All this makes her wonder why she ever considered her BFF Cheris invitation to move back home. Life I Want Candy Susan Donovan  Candace Carmichael was just getting used to the lavish life when everything went sour. Now the down-on-her-luck real estate agent is back in Bigler, North Carolina, jobless and illegally rooming with her her mother in a swank retirement community. All this makes her wonder why she ever considered her BFF Cheri’s invitation to move back home. Life in this small mountain town may not be as glamorous as the one she had in Tampa, but she knows a girl can’t be too choosy in this market. Besides, everyone’s happy to welcome Candy back—especially one handsome widower named Turner… Turner has grown up to be one fine-looking piece of man candy—and looks even tastier in his sheriff’s uniform. Maybe that’s why she couldn’t resist kissing him when he pulled her over for a traffic violation. Even if a relationship was part of Candy’s business plan,  Turner would be off limits—he still wears his wedding ring, four years after his wife died. If falling in love too fast is a crime, Candy is soon guilty as charged and ready to be fingerprinted. But is she ready to lock away her dreams and hand Turner the keys to her heart?    

30 review for I Want Candy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Duchess Nicole

    This was cute. A little all over the place with regards to it's plot, but it was fun. I listened to the audio and the narration was good. I think what held me back from loving this was that it couldn't decide whether it wanted to be funny and sweet or intense and sexy. At first, Candy was pretty goofy, and it was easy to let her silliness overtake her character. But when the serious parts come into play, it made her seem a little more air-headed than she should be. There was a good message here, This was cute. A little all over the place with regards to it's plot, but it was fun. I listened to the audio and the narration was good. I think what held me back from loving this was that it couldn't decide whether it wanted to be funny and sweet or intense and sexy. At first, Candy was pretty goofy, and it was easy to let her silliness overtake her character. But when the serious parts come into play, it made her seem a little more air-headed than she should be. There was a good message here, some past abuse, but that was the parts that were lost somewhere for me. I did like that we got a biracial couple...Candy is a blonde eyed white girl, Turner is a black man. And it played a pretty large part of the story when the town of Bigler, North Carolina starts to realize that there is more to their relationship than pure friendship. A few bigots pop up, but it was nice to get a lot of support as well. After all, Turner is the sheriff...they'd better trust him and like him enough if that's his job. It was a great small town story...the usual busybodies sticking their noses where it doesn't belong. Mostly with good intentions, so it was quirky more than annoying. A cute story. This is my second book by Susan Anderson, and for some reason the spice level of this surprised me. Something I've never come across in all my romance/erotica reads gave me a moment of pause. (view spoiler)[Candy is a squirter... (hide spoiler)] Of course, Turner eats up on it (no pun intended) but it wasn't something I was prepared for, so I'm not sure what to think about it. Raise my eyebrows and be jealous? Smirk and roll my eyes? I guess just laugh and move on. Good for her, I suppose ☺ ☻

  2. 5 out of 5

    Quirky Omega

    Yes! *Fist Pump* Yes! Finally. It is weird how I was just wondering how I don't see any romances with a Black character paired up with a White character. And I unwittingly came across this. I went completely blind into it and boy was it a hot read. Turner is a hot character. So hot, my metaphorical hands are covered with ice packs. He is not the traditional ripped hunk. Oh no no. He's the average fit man who makes the reader drool with the sweetest words and the most swoon worthy actions. When he Yes! *Fist Pump* Yes! Finally. It is weird how I was just wondering how I don't see any romances with a Black character paired up with a White character. And I unwittingly came across this. I went completely blind into it and boy was it a hot read. Turner is a hot character. So hot, my metaphorical hands are covered with ice packs. He is not the traditional ripped hunk. Oh no no. He's the average fit man who makes the reader drool with the sweetest words and the most swoon worthy actions. When he describes his attraction for Candy, you actually feel it. It is not forced like so many books are these days. You know his love and lust for everything that Candy is comes from heart. Kudos to Susan for handling the deceased wie plot so well. Very well executed indeed. Yeah it is a little weird how both the characters go on talking to the dead person's spirit in their heads but at least both were ready to move on. Candy was pretty great. Could be better. And the last chapter's resolution felt rushed. Thus the 4 star rating. But it is a memorable book. I may be in the minority here but I stand by my opinion. It is definitely worth a read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Proffitt

    This is the second in the series and reading the first is probably helpful. Only I hated the first, so maybe not. The characters from the first show up a lot and Candy is introduced there so it's a reasonably heavy dependency, at any rate. This would have been good as a romance. Which is to say, if it had only been a romance. The tacked-on thriller story was complete crap and warped the characters (characters that I really liked) all out of shape. I enjoyed Candace, even though she's kind of This is the second in the series and reading the first is probably helpful. Only I hated the first, so maybe not. The characters from the first show up a lot and Candy is introduced there so it's a reasonably heavy dependency, at any rate. This would have been good as a romance. Which is to say, if it had only been a romance. The tacked-on thriller story was complete crap and warped the characters (characters that I really liked) all out of shape. I enjoyed Candace, even though she's kind of shallow at the beginning. I liked her determination to be independent, even as I was frustrated with her refusal to accept help from anyone, even the friends who love her and welcome her into their lives. I particularly liked how well Donovan depicts her finding a place in her hometown even as she resists it on the basis of her previous (well-deserved) dislike. And her being willing to deal with all her setbacks was just lovely. Turner is even better. I love his strong maturity and determination and competence. I love how he handles people in the town and particularly how he handles racial prejudice (as he's the town's first black sheriff and some of the older citizens are pretty stupid). Again, Donovan does a good job with the character as she shows his quiet authority and absolute certainty that things will go his way (even as they obviously aren't). Even better (and trickier) was Donovan's handling of him coming to terms with the loss of his first wife to a tragic accident years prior. Seriously, tears may have been involved. Unfortunately, Donovan also has a drug ring plot that is stupid on every conceivable level. The people in it are violently stupid and, bonus, we get to spend time in the head of the creepiest of them from time to time. The specifics don't work, the "mystery" isn't one, and every time a character comes into contact with that plot they become a dumber version of themselves. This hurts worst when Candy has to have a crisis of faith/love (view spoiler)[in order to isolate her and cause her to "forget" to be careful in a key moment. Seriously, I saw it coming and hoped it wouldn't because it's the clichéiest of clichés and I had begun to think better of Donovan until that point (hide spoiler)] . Donovan had been so original and fresh with the relationship and characters that seeing her devolve in this one aspect was, frankly, crushing. This was a solid four stars for most of the book as the crime stuff was backgrounded for large portions of the story. Unfortunately, it intrudes enough in the last parts that it dragged the whole thing to three-stars (and nearly lower). This leaves me seriously torn on whether to continue the series. I suspect they'll all have a tacked-on thriller/crime addition and that just makes me sad. A note about Steamy: There's a single explicit sex scene (though some foreplay goes far enough others may count it higher) but it's a long, drawn-out one and full of descriptive superlatives. So this is the middle of my steam tolerance. Also, both main characters become rather crude when talking sex and I found that a bit off-putting as well. It just felt out of character to me.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Keri

    This was a sweet 2nd installment to Donovan's sweet series. Candy is back in her hometown of Bigler NC a failure. She and her friend Cheri lost it all in the Florida commercial real estate bust. She has reinvented herself in the past, she can do it again. But this time it feels different as there is a sexy dark eyed sheriff that can't keep his eyes or hands off of Candy. Turner had always had the hots for Candy-Pants, but their paths never traveled together. Until now and Turner is determined This was a sweet 2nd installment to Donovan's sweet series. Candy is back in her hometown of Bigler NC a failure. She and her friend Cheri lost it all in the Florida commercial real estate bust. She has reinvented herself in the past, she can do it again. But this time it feels different as there is a sexy dark eyed sheriff that can't keep his eyes or hands off of Candy. Turner had always had the hots for Candy-Pants, but their paths never traveled together. Until now and Turner is determined that Candy won't slip through his hands again. Candy has had a hard time herself keeping her hands or lips off of Turner's body. But she doesn't intend to stay in tiny Bigler. She has bigger fish to fry. But between being homeless and being in the love-sick cross-hairs of a drug dealer Candy has a lot on her plate. Never mind the biases of a small town that caused Candy to run in the first place. Can Turner's love and ties hold Candy back from leaving or can they set her free to do what she was always meant to do? This was a fun light read perfect for a Sunday morning. It wasn't total fluff though as it deals with inter-racial relationships and even today how hurtful racist attitudes can hurt. We also got glimpses of who our next couples are and wait until you get a load of the new and improved "Tater" Wayne. ;-) All I can say is, YUMMY!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Romancing the Book

    Posted on Romancing the Book blog Reviewed by~Marissa Review Copy Provided by~the Publisher I Want Candy is one of those going home books. You know, girl goes through a rough patch (like losing her business, her house, her expensive jewelry and her expensive car) and tucks her tail to return to the hometown she swore shed never see again. Then she runs into an old classmate/friend and things heat up. What I dont understand about these books (and others) is how two people can be just good buddies Posted on Romancing the Book blog Reviewed by~Marissa Review Copy Provided by~the Publisher I Want Candy is one of those “going home” books. You know, girl goes through a rough patch (like losing her business, her house, her expensive jewelry and her expensive car) and tucks her tail to return to the hometown she swore she’d never see again. Then she runs into an old classmate/friend and things heat up. What I don’t understand about these books (and others) is how two people can be just good buddies and in one fell swoop decide they love each other. Perhaps because it’s never happened to me… *sigh* Yes, there are a few old classmates I wouldn’t mind running into and find that we should have gotten better acquainted in high school, but I have my doubts as to the reality of one kiss being a deciding factor as to any relationship. That aside, I Want Candy is an enjoyable read. It is what I call a light read. There is no heavy mystery to solve, no bad-guy to run from (or chase), no horrifying childhood trauma from which to recover. Well, there is one childhood trauma but it is dealt with smoothly and without over-dramafying. (Yes, that’s a word. I just made it up.) The scene is built up during the book so it does not come as a blow, and it does not weigh you down with sadness or grief. In fact, it’s over with fairly quickly and the author gets on with the real story – bringing Candy and Turner together for a happy ending. I appreciate Susan Donovan’s writing and can always depend on her for a nice, even, romantic read. Her writing flows and is untarnished by heavy, harrowing plots. Not that there is anything wrong with those (I read them all the time) but when I want to read a nice HEA, I know Donovan will deliver.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Wehunt

    I don't think I'd ever read Susan Donovan before...I just happened to select this book to listen to while I was walking my dogs. Likes - 1. Fairly likeable characters 2. Pretty hot sex scenes (even if they did seem a little off to me...can't really put my finger on why) 3. There was a plot...so that was good. Dislikes - 1. I don't know. Maybe I wasn't in the mood for contemporary romance, but I got bored and decided I just didn't care. 2. The writing was a little irritating to me. Or maybe it was I don't think I'd ever read Susan Donovan before...I just happened to select this book to listen to while I was walking my dogs. Likes - 1. Fairly likeable characters 2. Pretty hot sex scenes (even if they did seem a little off to me...can't really put my finger on why) 3. There was a plot...so that was good. Dislikes - 1. I don't know. Maybe I wasn't in the mood for contemporary romance, but I got bored and decided I just didn't care. 2. The writing was a little irritating to me. Or maybe it was the dialogue. And I might not have even noticed, except I listened to the book and I think you notice things like that more often with audiobooks. 3. The reader. She bugged me. And maybe thats why I'm not all that enthusiastic about the book. I think I would have enjoyed it with someone else reading.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shanon

    Standard formula predicable romance chick lit but well written and fun.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nath

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 3.5/5 (C+) Hmmmmm, it's hard to describe how I feel about I Want Candy. On one hand, there was a lot going on at the same time with some inconsistencies and questions... but at the same time, I don't know, it works LOL. I found myself continuing reading and that's something given my current reading mood. So kudos to Ms Donovan LOL. Overall, I liked both Candy and Turner's characters. Turner was just a good buy all around and while he was a widower, he wasn't too hung up on his dead wife. Yes, he 3.5/5 (C+) Hmmmmm, it's hard to describe how I feel about I Want Candy. On one hand, there was a lot going on at the same time with some inconsistencies and questions... but at the same time, I don't know, it works LOL. I found myself continuing reading and that's something given my current reading mood. So kudos to Ms Donovan LOL. Overall, I liked both Candy and Turner's characters. Turner was just a good buy all around and while he was a widower, he wasn't too hung up on his dead wife. Yes, he wanted to find out the truth behind her death for closure and J.J. and his brother thought he was a bit obsessed with it, that he should resign himself. However, his behavior didn't come across as obsessive, mainly because he had healthy fantasies about Candy, LOL, but also because there was so much going on that Ms Donovan did not focus too much attention on that aspect ^_^; As for Candy, I like that knew she was materialistic. She has difficulty giving up her previous life, but she was still a pretty good girl... and she was brave to want to pick up the broken pieces and want to start over. What bothered me though with her character is that Candy kept saying she couldn't stay in Bigler. It was okay for Cheri, but for her, being Candace Carmichael, it was not an option to stay... and that part, I didn't really get. The way Candy talked, it was as if she really had a bad past or her family had a bad reputation in Bigler and everyone would be out throwing stones at her... But it really wasn't the case. Also, there were parts where it seemed Candy was traumatized in her past, but when it came to light, in the scheme of all things, it didn't feel that bad. I know this is subjective and it varies from person to person... but I guess reading so much fiction and listening to news, there are so many horror stories out there that it made me immune and insensitive...? I just found that there were characters I've read who had worst and seemed to cope better than Candy ^_^; Once again, the romance between Candy and Turner was pretty hot and heavy. I like the chemistry between the two and I think it helps that they had an history. I liked that Turner didn't want to make Candy obliged to stay, that he wanted her to stay in Bigler not just because of him, but for herself as well. Once again though, I wished there was a bit more development... a push as to why the two of them would jump each other now besides attraction and lust. Also, Ms Donovan touched lightly on the racial aspect... I don't know how I feel about that. I'm sad that it is still a current problem in our society and good for Ms Donovan for addressing it. At the same time, I kind of have a problem with the way she did it... Because there was so much going on, Ms Donovan didn't dwell on it very long and as a result, it felt superficial and superfluous ^_^; It seems to me, if Ms Donovan really wanted to tackle this issue, she should have devoted more of the book to it. Otherwise, she should simply not have brought it up. As it is, the in-between does not do much. Also, I thought the mystery in Cheri on Top was well done... but not so much in I Want Candy. I think it again comes back to too much going on. The whole drug investigation was a good idea as another storyline, but it was muggled with the whole night clerk's - who's a part of the drug lab organization - delusion that Candy was his girlfriend. The way this story thread was resolved was a bit unrealistic and anti-climatic. One last inconsistency that bothered me was about Candy's mother, Jacinda. She did such a 180 degrees in behavior that it was hard to believe. I mean, in the beginning of the book, when Candy visits her mother to let her know what happened to the money she lent her, the reaction you get was that Jacinda didn't expect to see the money back because she knew Candy would fail... Then at the end, you find out everything that Jacinda has done for Candy. Don't mistake me, I'm glad that her mother turned out to be a better woman and Candy will probably have a better relationship with her... but it seems like a bit of bad characterization, because it's hard to believe ^_^; So it seemed like I had a lot of issues with I Want Candy and I guess I did... but as I said earlier, there was just something about this book that was compelling and made me continue reading it and at the end, I had a good time :) Once again, not the best nor the worst book, but an enjoyable one :) I have no idea if Ms Donovan plans any other books in Bigler, but I wouldn't be against it :)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Blue Ribbon Rating: 4 out of 5 Original Review Link Candace Carmichael enjoyed living the high life until the Florida real estate market crashed. Suddenly out of a job and in debt up to her ears, Candy has no choice but to return to her hometown of Bigler, North Carolina. The adjustment is anything but smooth, yet despite the constant stream of disasters theres one bright spot to Candys return; Sheriff Turner Halliday. Turner is an old friend of Candys, but the sparks that fly between them are Blue Ribbon Rating: 4 out of 5 Original Review Link Candace Carmichael enjoyed living the high life until the Florida real estate market crashed. Suddenly out of a job and in debt up to her ears, Candy has no choice but to return to her hometown of Bigler, North Carolina. The adjustment is anything but smooth, yet despite the constant stream of disasters there’s one bright spot to Candy’s return; Sheriff Turner Halliday. Turner is an old friend of Candy’s, but the sparks that fly between them are totally new. Candy would love to see the sexy sheriff out of uniform, but two things are holding her back; first, Turner’s a widower who still wears his wedding ring and second, Candy has no intention of staying in Bigler permanently. Will Candy and Turner be able to let go of their pasts and create a future – together – unlike any either had ever dreamed of? I WANT CANDY makes me say “I want more of Susan Donovan’s books!” The bright and fun sequel to CHERI ON TOP has humor and heart to spare, making it a delightful read. Candy and Turner are characters who thought they had it all together, but clearly their lives aren’t as figured out as they thought they were. It was a joy to watch them learn what they wanted out of life, whether it was the ability to move on and find love again or learning that it was okay to find a new dream when the old one failed. Ms. Donovan had me cheering for Candy and Turner to get together, but more importantly, she had me eagerly turning the pages of I WANT CANDY to see how the two protagonists developed over the course of the story. I WANT CANDY is a tasty treat from start to finish. Candy and Turner are a couple you can root for and the oftentimes zany residents of Bigler will make you chuckle. Fans of contemporary romance with a healthy dose of comedy are sure to enjoy I WANT CANDY. Note: My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here courtesy of Romance Junkies.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

    This review posted on Guilty Pleasures CREME de la CREME I Want Candy is the follow up book to Donovan's Cheri On Top. In this story we finally get the scoop on what's happening with Candy and Bigler's Hottie Sheriff Turner Halliday. Turner and Candy have been friends for their whole lives but while he's been harboring a crush for her all these years she has been completely in the dark about it. After moving to Florida with her best friend Cheri and becoming one of the most successful women in the This review posted on Guilty Pleasures CREME de la CREME I Want Candy is the follow up book to Donovan's Cheri On Top. In this story we finally get the scoop on what's happening with Candy and Bigler's Hottie Sheriff Turner Halliday. Turner and Candy have been friends for their whole lives but while he's been harboring a crush for her all these years she has been completely in the dark about it. After moving to Florida with her best friend Cheri and becoming one of the most successful women in the Florida real estate bubble Candy finds herself back in her hometown of Bigler with nothing to show for her accomplishments. The last thing she was expecting to happen was for her to fall for her life long friend, Turner. This book is suspenseful, funny, and steamy all at the same time. The relationship between Candy and Turner was something I couldn't pull myself away from so I managed to read the entire book in less than one day. With all of the twists and turns in the story I guarantee that you will not be able to put this book down. Donovan has a true talent for making her characters blunt, hilarious, and completely lovable. You will fall for Candy and Turner just as I did and I promise you won't be disappointed. This book deserved all of the 5 stars that I've given it so I hope you'll run out and grab/download to your e-reader ASAP! :) If you can't get enough of Bigler (I couldn't either) be sure to get Cheri On Top as well. You'll love that story just as much!!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I read this book in a fit of desperation as I wanted to check an audiobook out on my phone as I was talking into the gym. The bright colors and uncomplicated story lured me in and it was the closest thing to my fingers. I tapped "check out" and a week later I'd finished listening to it. It was uncomplicated and poorly written, but had entertaining bits, as well as some hot scenes! Definitely glad I didn't take time out of my life to actually read the hard copy, but listening to it at the gym or I read this book in a fit of desperation as I wanted to check an audiobook out on my phone as I was talking into the gym. The bright colors and uncomplicated story lured me in and it was the closest thing to my fingers. I tapped "check out" and a week later I'd finished listening to it. It was uncomplicated and poorly written, but had entertaining bits, as well as some hot scenes! Definitely glad I didn't take time out of my life to actually read the hard copy, but listening to it at the gym or at work helped pass the time. Not terrible, but I probably wouldn't recommend.

  12. 5 out of 5

    April

    Didn't bother finishing. Don't recommend even bothering to start.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ishabelle

    Hero: Turner Halliday Heroine: Candy Carmichael Trope/Theme: Friends-to-Lovers Safety Level:(view spoiler)[ Safe with exceptions. H and h have known each other since they were young. H was in love with h, but h had no idea. (hide spoiler)] Cliffhanger:(view spoiler)[ None (hide spoiler)] Ending:(view spoiler)[ HEA (hide spoiler)] I started this book as soon as I finished the first installment. I have to say that this has the exact vibe as the one before. I love the small town feel. I love how Ms. Hero: Turner Halliday Heroine: Candy Carmichael Trope/Theme: Friends-to-Lovers Safety Level:(view spoiler)[ Safe with exceptions. H and h have known each other since they were young. H was in love with h, but h had no idea. (hide spoiler)] Cliffhanger:(view spoiler)[ None (hide spoiler)] Ending:(view spoiler)[ HEA (hide spoiler)] I started this book as soon as I finished the first installment. I have to say that this has the exact vibe as the one before. I love the small town feel. I love how Ms. Donovan painted Bigler. It made me want to check it out and get to know its people. It made me picture out Gladys with her eccentricity, Aunt Viv with her old school ways, and the residents of the retirement community who've been both unwelcoming and friendly to the heroine. Character-wise, I can't say that I like this heroine better than Cheri. I think Candy is more materialistic and vain. I can't believe she forgot about Turner's phone call but could remember what happened that night. I think I would rather say that I like her the same way I like Cheri. They both got caught up with worldly things, but they ended up finding what really mattered when they went back to their hometown. Turner, on the other hand, is a great character. He was a good sheriff. He loved his dead wife and wanted to know the truth about her death, but he was realistic. He knew he had to move on. He's loved Candy since he was a boy, but that didn't mean he didn't also fall in love with his wife when they met. I guess that it's really just like how things are in real life. A person doesn't fall in love just once. We fall in love many times with many people. That doesn't mean we love someone less and someone else more. It just means that we love them differently and that a person's heart is big enough to love as many as he can in his lifetime. The suspense was again a but predictable, but it was still a treat to read. Even if I had a hard time connecting with the first book, I pursued it because I felt like this was a series that I would really enjoy, and I find that I am right. It's fun reading about the many secondary characters in this series. This is only my second book from this author, but I have to say, she really has the contemporary romance/chick lit formula down pat.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Barb

    Down-on-her-luck real estate agent Candace Carmichael returns to her hometown to discover a new love interest, in this new entertaining, sizzling romance from New York Times bestselling author Susan Donovan. I love books centered around small towns with quirky people, and this one fits the bill. 5 stars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Danielle Maroon

    I enjoyed listening to the narrated story. This is the first book by Donovan that I have read and I would definitely read another. I liked the story line and the romance with a little bit of thriller in it. I love stories where people return to their hometown whether they want to or not and find the piece that they are looking for.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    This book had it all: sad and sweet, tinged with regrets and new beginnings a very good romance novel. All components meshed well for a smooth story that kept my interest.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ellyn (Mrs. Darcy in my Dreams)

    Not as melodramatic as others

  18. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    it was okay, not great..the sex scenes were over done and rather ridiculous.

  19. 5 out of 5

    HK

    audiobook 8 discs. The narrator's (Arielle DeLisle) voice was pleasant. Candace Carmichael. Turner, a sheriff. Cheri, best friend of Candace. Candace is broke after her successful real estate career in Florida failed after the bubble. She has debt and came back to her home town in North Carolina (?). She met Turner when she drove without headlight on. They went to Cheri and her husband (J.J., Turner's best friend) who are all friends from school over dinner. Turner offers Candace a room in his audiobook 8 discs. The narrator's (Arielle DeLisle) voice was pleasant. Candace Carmichael. Turner, a sheriff. Cheri, best friend of Candace. Candace is broke after her successful real estate career in Florida failed after the bubble. She has debt and came back to her home town in North Carolina (?). She met Turner when she drove without headlight on. They went to Cheri and her husband (J.J., Turner's best friend) who are all friends from school over dinner. Turner offers Candace a room in his house if she needed help, and despite kissing the first time they can be friends. Something happened when they were in high school, but he says they can be friends. Candace cannot remember what Turner is referring to. Slow even on disc 2, Candy is still staying at her mother's retirement housing temporarily and gets a job working at a diner. She delivered food to the sheriff and FBI agents the first day she worked at the diner. Turner kissed her at the station's parking lot against her car. Candy saw Jerro from the retirement home, who is a son of meth lab runner Spivy, who Turner believes had something to do with his wife's death. FBI and others are after Spivy and meth traffic. Jerro is in love with Candy in his weird way, thinking she is his girl friend. Turner is hung up on his wife's death, and Candy is hung up on her failure in business and her independence and lack of self confidence. That was annoying. Candy's inner problems continued even after she admitted she loved Turner, and Turner loved her, until she got kidnapped by Jerro. Ended in a coordinated sting operation of the meth lab/group, and Jerro and his father fighting and killing each other. Candy was saved by Turner, and happily ever after with her own bakery and a baby on the way. It had funny moments, but more frustrating with Candy character. I had better impressions from author's other books, Public Displays of Attraction, Take a Chance on Me, and The Kept Woman.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mary Gramlich

    I WANT CANDY by Susan Donovan Does one have to close the door on the past to open the window on your future? The last place you want to be when your life is a complete train wreck is back home where nothing but misery surrounds you. For Candace Carmichael that is the only place she has left since everything she ever possessed, and there was allot of possessions involved are gone in the housing crisis. Candy and her friend Cheri did come home and things went well for Cheri and Candy wants that but I WANT CANDY by Susan Donovan Does one have to close the door on the past to open the window on your future? The last place you want to be when your life is a complete train wreck is back home where nothing but misery surrounds you. For Candace Carmichael that is the only place she has left since everything she ever possessed, and there was allot of possessions involved are gone in the housing crisis. Candy and her friend Cheri did come home and things went well for Cheri and Candy wants that but does not expect it. All Candy has ever known in this town is misery and defeat and right now nothing is looking much different, well nothing but Tucker Halliday. Tucker is the one thing Candy never expected to walk back into her life and her not want them to walk away. He is all in her face and hotter than a fire cracker in his sherriff uniform making Candy reconsider allot of her prior opinions about him. That man turned out really fine and while Candy saw them as friends before, now she sees a whole other Tucker she wants to investigate. Being penniless has her bouncing from one ridiculous housing situation to the next but Tucker is always there ready to give her room and board. Tucker has always made room in his life for Candy and truly believes she is the one person that can free his heart to love again. With Tucker fighting to keep the meth out of town and control his raging obsession with Candy his hands are literally full. Candy always was a delightful surprise he wanted to keep unwrapping and now that she is back in town he hopes to create a recipe for keeping her there. What Candy does know is when the future is leaving a bad taste in your mouth you need to make your own icing for the cake. Susan Donovan is incapable of writing anything else that the perfect story of love with a dash of mystery. She has proven again with this book that if your write it, every reader will want to read it over and over again.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dianne

    As the follow up to Cheri on Top, it is perfect. It has the usual steamy scenes and fun light humor that we have all come to love from the past books and this book has so much more to it too. I am also wondering if this will become a longer running series as so many characters seem to be screaming for their own books. Candy has lost it all...even her mother's nest egg in the housing crash. At one time wealthy now she is back in the tiny town of Bigler, North Carolina and sleeping in her Mother's As the follow up to Cheri on Top, it is perfect. It has the usual steamy scenes and fun light humor that we have all come to love from the past books and this book has so much more to it too. I am also wondering if this will become a longer running series as so many characters seem to be screaming for their own books. Candy has lost it all...even her mother's nest egg in the housing crash. At one time wealthy now she is back in the tiny town of Bigler, North Carolina and sleeping in her Mother's retirement home! Candy meets up with the Sheriff who she knew when she was growing up and had a crush on. Now that both he and she are older, it is more than a crush. The steam between them will take off the wallpaper in your house if you aren't careful. Of course to keep things hopping there is drug related crimes being investigated by Turner, cakes being baked by Candy, young men who have improper thoughts (really improper) about Candy,Turner's late wife and the circumstances behind her death and why he feels so much guilt, and even the fact that they are a bi-racial couple may be giving them some problem. But the biggest obstacle in their happiness will be Candy's own insecurities and the fact that she hasn't quite figured out yet to be happy with what you have. I was doing a bit of re-reading of Ms Donovan's books the last few days and found that she has grown as a writer, but she has also grown in her usage of sex in her books. While they have always been steamy, I just don't recall, nor have I found yet, that Ms Donovan using some of the cruder words in her frank sex play. Nor have I found her to have such serious back-story. One of these is refreshing, the other is a little disturbing to me, but not problematic. I just hope that Ms Donovan isn't going to take her books further and go all erotica with them!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marj

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. i was expecting this book to be funny and light hearted, instead i was surprised by the melodrama (dead ex-wife, racist dad, bankrupt heroine) and suspense (meth lab, murder, kidnapping, FBI agents) that unfolded in the small town. i like the sizzling chemistry and friendship between candy and turner, though sometimes i wanted cheri to knock some sense into candy. for someone who is supposed to be an entrepreneur who knows how to make money, she sure is kinda dumb not to realize early on that i was expecting this book to be funny and light hearted, instead i was surprised by the melodrama (dead ex-wife, racist dad, bankrupt heroine) and suspense (meth lab, murder, kidnapping, FBI agents) that unfolded in the small town. i like the sizzling chemistry and friendship between candy and turner, though sometimes i wanted cheri to knock some sense into candy. for someone who is supposed to be an entrepreneur who knows how to make money, she sure is kinda dumb not to realize early on that her baking skills is her ticket to become rich again. i did however realize that maybe because of that one fateful night, she was traumatized by the thought of baking (so okay, that's quite understandable). also, i didnt like that she is letting her pride get in the way of seeing what happiness is and what she has in front of her. and she had to be forcibly taken away before she appreciated and learned what she wanted. i like the side stories - at first i thought jacinda would be a mean bitch so im really glad she turned out to be a good mom, i like cheri and jj (though i didn't read the previous book), i felt bad for gerall (i didn't expect him to be the bad guy), i wanted to know more about reggie (turner's brother) and dante (the undercover agent) and o'connor (though seems like she will end up with tater). susan donovan's books are a hit and miss so i'm glad that this is one of her hits as i thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Zel Polev

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was just alright. Nothing stands out. It came off as just a plain recitation of Candy's story. Candy was a real-estate agent who got caught up in the market crash. Broke, she returned to her hometown to get back on her feet. In doing so, she has to deal with past issues and what she thought she left behind. One of those past issue is her stunted romance with the sheriff, Turner. Upon seeing him again, she jumps right in and plants a kiss. Turner, who harbored feelings for her since This book was just alright. Nothing stands out. It came off as just a plain recitation of Candy's story. Candy was a real-estate agent who got caught up in the market crash. Broke, she returned to her hometown to get back on her feet. In doing so, she has to deal with past issues and what she thought she left behind. One of those past issue is her stunted romance with the sheriff, Turner. Upon seeing him again, she jumps right in and plants a kiss. Turner, who harbored feelings for her since they were young, has to deal with moving on from his dead wife. This book was just mediocre for me. It wasn't too cooky zany funny. It wasn't too dramatic. Although the book could have certainly gone either way considering the subject matter at hand. It was just mediocre and light. On top of the romance, are drug dealers, a delusional stalker, senior citizens, and racist townspeople. My favourite scene for this book...hmmm...nothing really stands out. I guess the most memorable is the beating she took from her father after being asked out by Turner. I suppose living under that kind of abuse really brings out a bland nature, the better to blend in the background with. I guess that is how I found the main characters, just bland and no drama. I almost prefer to read a book about Jacintha and the cantankerous Lorraine.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I really enjoyed this story. After I was disappointed by the first book in this series I was a little leery of picking this story up but Susan Donovan is on my Must Buy list so I purchased this anyway. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this book. Candy lost everything when the real estate bubble burst in Florida and came crawling back to her home town in North Carolina with sixteen dollars in her pocket. Tucker grew up with Candy and even though he lost his wife four years ago in a I really enjoyed this story. After I was disappointed by the first book in this series I was a little leery of picking this story up but Susan Donovan is on my Must Buy list so I purchased this anyway. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this book. Candy lost everything when the real estate bubble burst in Florida and came crawling back to her home town in North Carolina with sixteen dollars in her pocket. Tucker grew up with Candy and even though he lost his wife four years ago in a car accident and is now serving as the town sheriff, he's open to exploring the feelings that Candy was stirring in him. Especially since these feelings have been simmering since they were kids. I really loved how open Candy and Tucker were to their emotions and how open they were to communicating those feelings. So many romances have their hero and heroine hint around at feelings, or play coy, and miss out on time they could spend together. Also something not normally in the romances that I read is the fact that they were an interracial couple and part of the conflict was exploring their romance in a small town that still holds some prejudice in the older generation. Besides that, some great mystery and suspense provided by a case Tucker was working on in conjunction with the FBI. Overall I really enjoyed this story and it proved why Susan Donovan was on my Must But list!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sadie

    I keep thinking I'm going to fall in love with another one of Ms. Donovan's books. HE LOVES LUCY is one of my few 5-stars and a reread for me. But, it just hasn't happened. I WANT CANDY was another book I desperately wanted to love, but just couldn't seem to. The characters fell flat for me, the romance was insta-romance with the excuse of "OH! I just didn't realize I was in love with you 10-years ago in high school." I will say this: I like reading about a widower with a wife who was a good woman I keep thinking I'm going to fall in love with another one of Ms. Donovan's books. HE LOVES LUCY is one of my few 5-stars and a reread for me. But, it just hasn't happened. I WANT CANDY was another book I desperately wanted to love, but just couldn't seem to. The characters fell flat for me, the romance was insta-romance with the excuse of "OH! I just didn't realize I was in love with you 10-years ago in high school." I will say this: I like reading about a widower with a wife who was a good woman and who he missed. She did a nice balance of missing her and getting over that grief. But, if I could tell her one thing, it would be this: Ms. Donovan, a hero doesn't have to use X-rated words (especially in an otherwise light feeling book) to be a hero. I found his language grating. If this was a hot, dark sexual book, okay. Sure. But it's not. It pulls me out of the story and it left me thinking, you need to learn how to use grown up words my friend and stop talking like you’re in a high school locker room all the time. I think I've reached the one-more-book point unfortunately. IF ANYONE KNOWS ANOTHER DONOVAN BOOK THAT FEELS LIKE LUCY, PLEASE COMMENT ME!!!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Another fun trip to Bigler NC. I really liked both Candy and Turner. Candy came home to try to get back on her feet after she and Cheri lost everything in Florida. She hates being there, and can't wait until she gets enough money to leave again. That is, until she meets up with Turner again. They have been friends since they were kids, but suddenly she's seeing him in a whole new way. Turner has been stuck emotionally in the four years since his wife died, unable or unwilling to get involved Another fun trip to Bigler NC. I really liked both Candy and Turner. Candy came home to try to get back on her feet after she and Cheri lost everything in Florida. She hates being there, and can't wait until she gets enough money to leave again. That is, until she meets up with Turner again. They have been friends since they were kids, but suddenly she's seeing him in a whole new way. Turner has been stuck emotionally in the four years since his wife died, unable or unwilling to get involved with someone else. Suddenly he can't think of anything except spending a whole lot more time with Candy. But he has a drug investigation on his hands that is escalating quickly, and it looks like Candy could be caught in the middle. I loved watching Candy as she slowly got back into small town living, though she was fighting it all the way. Everyone in town could see what was happening, and was routing for it, but Candy was running scared. Turner knew he was falling hard, and realized that he was finally ready to start living again. I loved spending more time with the quirky characters of Bigler - I hope there will be more.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Bet Lantaff

    I haven't gotten far into the book, but this is one that I recommend reading fairly soon after finishing Cheri On Top. I waited too long and can't remember some of the previous story. But so far it is a pretty good story. Update after finishing: 3.5 Stars ~ As the story went along, I began remembering the story from Cheri On Top. This story of Candy and Turner is a bit of a racial story but it really doesn't seem to be the real situation to the whole story. And that's good, because we have enough I haven't gotten far into the book, but this is one that I recommend reading fairly soon after finishing Cheri On Top. I waited too long and can't remember some of the previous story. But so far it is a pretty good story. Update after finishing: 3.5 Stars ~ As the story went along, I began remembering the story from Cheri On Top. This story of Candy and Turner is a bit of a racial story but it really doesn't seem to be the real situation to the whole story. And that's good, because we have enough prejudices in the world than to bring it into storylines. Ms Donovan makes the problem part of the background and the real problem is brought to the front where it should be. I'm not going to mention what the real problem is because that would spoil it. Candy and Turner have hot chemistry and the returning characters of Cheri and JJ plus some new characters help to build secondary storylines. I have an idea of who might have their story next, but I don't want to spoil the anticipation for any new readers. I'll just say that patches can be very sexy.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Connie

    I really really enjoyed reading I Want Candy. I anxiously awaited its release and I was not disappointed. I really felt more of an emotional connection with Candy and Turner that I did with the characters from the first book in the series Cheri on Top. Candi is back in her hometown Bigler, North Carolina after striking it rich and then losing it all in the real estate market. Turner has been widowed for four years and hasn't really thought about another woman since losing his beloved wife, but I really really enjoyed reading I Want Candy. I anxiously awaited its release and I was not disappointed. I really felt more of an emotional connection with Candy and Turner that I did with the characters from the first book in the series Cheri on Top. Candi is back in her hometown Bigler, North Carolina after striking it rich and then losing it all in the real estate market. Turner has been widowed for four years and hasn't really thought about another woman since losing his beloved wife, but he has had feeling for Candy since they were teenagers. Both the hero and heroine have emotional baggage that they have to overcome, but the author makes sure that it is not too drawn out. Overall it was really just a sweet love story with some comedy, and some pretty hot love scenes along the way. I have to admit I was kind of surprised by some of the love scenes, I thought it was a little much, but not too over the top. It looks like there will be more books coming in this series, I can't wait.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Fuller

    I wanted to like this book a lot more. I loved the romantic concept: childhood friends of different races who fall in love as adults. Loved the hero for the most part--a sheriff with swagger who can diffuse a tense situation (including raised eyebrows about him being with a white woman) with a few wise words. I didn't like his bedroom talk, which seemed out of character for him and jarring. The writing overall was smooth and I enjoy humor in my books. What killed it for me was that the plot and I wanted to like this book a lot more. I loved the romantic concept: childhood friends of different races who fall in love as adults. Loved the hero for the most part--a sheriff with swagger who can diffuse a tense situation (including raised eyebrows about him being with a white woman) with a few wise words. I didn't like his bedroom talk, which seemed out of character for him and jarring. The writing overall was smooth and I enjoy humor in my books. What killed it for me was that the plot and tone was all over the place. What I thought was a sassy contemporary romance was ALSO a suspense, new adult family angst, and raunchy language that belonged in an erotica book. The combination didn't work for me but I'll give the author props for trying something different.

  30. 4 out of 5

    willaful

    I probably wouldn't have started this if I'd realized it was yet another small town sheriff/returning home town girl in trouble stories, so I'm glad I didn't. This brought something new to the table -- not the suspense element, though that was well done, but a more realistic look at some of the downsides of a small town. It's not a super heavy story, but the white heroine and partially black hero do have to face some racism, while a ring of meth labs and an abused child turned stalker provide I probably wouldn't have started this if I'd realized it was yet another small town sheriff/returning home town girl in trouble stories, so I'm glad I didn't. This brought something new to the table -- not the suspense element, though that was well done, but a more realistic look at some of the downsides of a small town. It's not a super heavy story, but the white heroine and partially black hero do have to face some racism, while a ring of meth labs and an abused child turned stalker provide suspense. Sheriff Turner is deliciously devoted, and Candy has an interesting story arc, though her self-discovery is rather conveniently helped along by the threat of losing everything she's newly found in her home town. A really good, hot romance, well read.

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