ARC review: The Sweetheart Sham by Danielle Ellison

The Sweetheart Sham (Southern Charmed #1) by Danielle Ellison
Publication Date: December 4, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen: Crush


Giveaway: pampering goodies, coffee mug, erasers, sunglasses, and a copy of Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit by Jaye Robin Brown


In a small town like Culler, South Carolina, you guard your secrets like you guard your cobbler recipe: with your life. Georgia Ann Monroe knows a thing or two about secrets: she’s been guarding the truth that her best friend Will is gay for years now. But what happens when a little white lie to protect him gets her into a fake relationship…and then the boy of her dreams shows up?

Enter Beau Montgomery: Georgie’s first love, hotter than ever, and much too much of a southern gentleman to ever pursue someone else’s girl. There’s no way to come clean to Beau while still protecting Will. But bless their hearts, they live in Culler—where secrets always have a way of revealing themselves.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a hilarious “fakeship,” a scorching-hot impossible relationship, and a heartwarming best-friendship that will make you want to call your best friend right here, right now.


In the small town of Culler, South Carolina, anything that makes you stand out from the crowd can be enough to ruin your life.  When Georgia Ann’s best friend Will starts dating another boy, he knows that he needs to do something to deflect suspicion, so he proposes that the two of them pretend to date.  Georgie’s more than happy to oblige, but when her longtime crush Beau returns to town after disappearing for two years, she starts to regret her decision.

Honestly, I just love Entangled Teen books.  There’s something about them that’s always so cute and heartwarming.  I don’t think I’ve ever finished one of their books in anything less than a stellar mood.

Georgia Ann was such a strong character who just wanted to help everybody, even at the expense of her own desires.  Despite her crazy summer, she never goes back on her promise to help her mother plan the wedding of the century.  She never goes back on her promise to keep Will’s secret.  But she also doesn’t just blindly forgive people who’ve wronged her – which is a great message to see in a YA novel!

Beau was also great, a respectful, responsible gentleman who would never even consider breaking up a relationship, not even for a girl he’s pined after for years.  He had his own issues to work through when it came to his family and I thought that they were handled really realistically and believably.

And can we talk about Will for a second?  What a guy.  I simultaneously want to adopt Will and be his best friend.  One tiny thing that bothered me was Georgia Ann constantly pressuring Will to come out – he should do that in his own time, when he’s ready, and certainly not just because it’s convenient for his friend.  I guess there would have been very little conflict in the book if not for that, but it did rub me the wrong way.

This is one of those books that dropped me right into the setting.  By the middle of the first page, the voice in my head was reading this book with a southern accent!  The author did a great job of setting the scene and creating the perfect ambiance for the story.

This was my first book by Danielle Ellison, but I will happily keep an eye out for more from her.

Final rating: ★★★★☆


Danielle Ellison is a nomad, always on the lookout for an adventure and the next story. In addition to writing, she’s the founder and coordinator of the NoVa TEEN Book Festival. When she’s not busy with books, she’s probably watching her favorite shows, drinking coffee, or fighting her nomadic urges. She is newly settled in Oklahoma (for now) with her cat, Simon, but you can always find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites.



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