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The Sweet Gum Tree - Katherine Allred First, a caveat: A fellow Goodreadsian recommended this book, and I decided to give it a try even though I’m not a fan of the romance genre. If I were, I would have said Allred’s The Sweet Gum Tree merited four stars. I think those who like the genre would enjoy this book.

Allred draws the reader in with her easy writing style, and her characters are likeable and believable. The beginning of the book, in which Nick and Alix are children, was very well done and she keeps tension going nicely throughout the tale, although I guessed the explanation to one of the major unknowns.

However, she lost me about the time the kids hit puberty and the hormones started raging, but I forged doggedly on. Books with high estrogen content make me cringe, and heaving bosoms and smoldering eyes just aren’t my thing. And the love scene near the end of the book was so over the top that it made me cackle. I was reminded of a silly movie series called Naked Gun; in one episode, a character starts reading aloud from a blue novel, the section in question having to do with purple-headed warriors and quivering mounds of love pudding. You get the idea.

Editing errors included missing words and misspellings, but the most annoying errors were introduced during text conversion, I believe. There were quite a few instances of an empty box that preceded words or partial words; for example, [box]avourite. Even Microsoft Word’s mindless spelling checker could have caught that one, although these probably occurred post–Word document. Therefore, I advise readers not to purchase the paperback version.

If you like romances, read The Sweet Gum Tree. If you’re like me and you just finished Allred’s book, go read something raw and edgy to clear your mental palate, like The Postman Always Rings Twice.