Review: Dancing naked in Dixie by Lauren Clark

3:39 PM

Title: Dancing Naked in Dixie

Author: Lauren Clark
Publisher: Monterey Press
Publication date: May 21, 2012
# Of Pages: 280 paperback
How I got the copy: From author in exchange for an honest review.


Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired. 

With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she's offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage. 

Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia's story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage?

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

þ   Southern Setting (small town)
þ   Fun, interesting, and memorable characters
þ    Fans of Hart of Dixie will enjoy

 One of the hardest things to do as a writer is make the reader care about the main character within the first few pages.  Lauren Clark does a fantastic job of doing this in Dancing Naked in Dixie.  Julia is quirky, a little spastic (or accident prone lol), struggling with ADHD, and has family problems that really make you care about her right off the bat.  Her job is to travel and write about her experiences on vacations.  For some reason I have such a fascination with the south and how people seem to be nicer and take the time to get to know each other.  So I was really excited when Julia heads south right away for her next assignment.  She's reluctant to go, but after awhile she sees it's not so bad.  

Really all the characters are so much fun.  I've only been to Georgia and Florida so I have no idea if Lauren Clark's characters are accurate, but I hope they are because that is how I've always pictured life down there.  Drinking sweet tea, calling people sugar, and being close with everyone one in the neighborhood.  I guess I've always liked this idea because I only know about 5 neighbors on my street and like the idea of a small town.  Although Julia finds that a small town means everyone also knows your business.  

If you like the show Hart of Dixie on CW you'd definitely enjoy this book.  It has a similar concept, where a New Yorker goes south for work and doesn't fit in right away.  There's also a hottie who is off limits, a territorial girlfriend, and a main character who gets herself into all sorts of accidents.  Despite the similarities it's different enough that I found it unpredictable and exciting.

The subplot is that there is a problem with the town's annual Pilgrimage and Julie wants to help save it.  There was so much going on in this story that for once I really didn't know where the story was going, but was pleasantly surprised.  I just wished there had been just a little more romance.  I've been craving romance in books lately, not sure why.  

Definitely a great summer read.  Take it to the beach or on your vacation down south this summer!       
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Lauren Clark

Bells jingle above my head as I push open the glass door.  A blast of air conditioning hits me full-force.

"Hey!  How are ya, sugar?" A gum-snapping woman of about fifty wages at me wildly from behind the counter.  "Hot one already.  WTVY says it's gonna be dang-near 80 today.  Can you believe that?  Sakes alive, it's December."

I stop in my tracks.  There are only three of us in the convenience store, and she certainly isn't talking to the half-asleep, scruffy, read-haired, hasn't-bathed-in-two-weeks looking man in the corner.  The clerk follows my eyes.  

"Don't pay stump no mind.  He's harmless.  Just drunk."
-Dancing Naked in Dixie

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