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Sun-drenched beaches, designer-label clothes, drop-dead-gorgeous boy-toysall paid for with a series of high-risk real estate deals. That's the lifestyle Cherise Newberry and her BFF Candy enjoy after leaving rural North Carolina for Tampauntil the market tanks and they lose everything. Cheri is surviving on Ramen Noodles and temp jobs when she gets a call from home to come Sun-drenched beaches, designer-label clothes, drop-dead-gorgeous boy-toys…all paid for with a series of high-risk real estate deals. That's the lifestyle Cherise Newberry and her BFF Candy enjoy after leaving rural North Carolina for Tampa―until the market tanks and they lose everything. Cheri is surviving on Ramen Noodles and temp jobs when she gets a call from home to come back and run the family's small-town newspaper. Just one catch: She'll become the boss of her high school crush―and former brother-in-law―who might have the power to crush her all over again… But Cheri is surprised to see how "bad boy" J.J. DeCourcy has grown into the hard-working and principled managing editor of The Bigler Bugle. Still, according to Cheri's bitter sister, he's not to be trusted. If Cheri's going to co-exist at the with this sexier-than-ever man from her past, she needs to stay professional―and keep her distance ―even though he sets her on fire. When they're handed the biggest news story in the town's history, Cheri must trust J.J., even it means putting her life in danger.…and her heart on the line.


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Sun-drenched beaches, designer-label clothes, drop-dead-gorgeous boy-toysall paid for with a series of high-risk real estate deals. That's the lifestyle Cherise Newberry and her BFF Candy enjoy after leaving rural North Carolina for Tampauntil the market tanks and they lose everything. Cheri is surviving on Ramen Noodles and temp jobs when she gets a call from home to come Sun-drenched beaches, designer-label clothes, drop-dead-gorgeous boy-toys…all paid for with a series of high-risk real estate deals. That's the lifestyle Cherise Newberry and her BFF Candy enjoy after leaving rural North Carolina for Tampa―until the market tanks and they lose everything. Cheri is surviving on Ramen Noodles and temp jobs when she gets a call from home to come back and run the family's small-town newspaper. Just one catch: She'll become the boss of her high school crush―and former brother-in-law―who might have the power to crush her all over again… But Cheri is surprised to see how "bad boy" J.J. DeCourcy has grown into the hard-working and principled managing editor of The Bigler Bugle. Still, according to Cheri's bitter sister, he's not to be trusted. If Cheri's going to co-exist at the with this sexier-than-ever man from her past, she needs to stay professional―and keep her distance ―even though he sets her on fire. When they're handed the biggest news story in the town's history, Cheri must trust J.J., even it means putting her life in danger.…and her heart on the line.

30 review for Cheri on Top

  1. 5 out of 5

    Splage

    I never really felt any connections between characters, forgiveness was to easy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Really fun book. I loved seeing Cheri as she returned to the hills of North Carolina. She had left to make her mark on the world, then that mark got erased when the real estate market crashed. Now she's back and running the family newspaper. I loved the way she tried to keep JJ at a distance, but the attraction and feelings of the past were just too strong. Then, as a local murder mystery heats up, they have to work together to find out what is going on. I liked JJ a lot. He obviously cared for Really fun book. I loved seeing Cheri as she returned to the hills of North Carolina. She had left to make her mark on the world, then that mark got erased when the real estate market crashed. Now she's back and running the family newspaper. I loved the way she tried to keep JJ at a distance, but the attraction and feelings of the past were just too strong. Then, as a local murder mystery heats up, they have to work together to find out what is going on. I liked JJ a lot. He obviously cared for Cheri, and I loved the way he kept helping her. I also loved how well they worked together to solve the mystery. I wished that Cheri had been up front about her financial situation from the beginning, but it did make for some fun at the end. There were a lot of unique characters, and they all added something to the story. I'm looking forward to seeing them again in the next book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Daniela

    SD is a much loved author and auto buy...loved all her backlists. That said, I was disappointed with this one. Something did not click with me. I think there was not enough character deveopement for me to believe that h/h were falling in love. I think it was due to the subplot, which was a good story even if a little "seen it coming". The sister character was much too mean for me to believe that she would get her own story if that is what SD plans. However I still plan to read the next one, I SD is a much loved author and auto buy...loved all her backlists. That said, I was disappointed with this one. Something did not click with me. I think there was not enough character deveopement for me to believe that h/h were falling in love. I think it was due to the subplot, which was a good story even if a little "seen it coming". The sister character was much too mean for me to believe that she would get her own story if that is what SD plans. However I still plan to read the next one, I Want Candy. I have a feeling it will be better. Well, now that I finished the book, I still feel it was not SD's best. I still have hopes for the next one.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    Susan Donovan,who was once my favorite contemporary romance author, has gotten into a rut and can't seem to get out. She now writes books with such unlikeable characters that I never care any more what happens to them. Cheri on Top was part humorous contemporary, part depressing murder mystery, and part ugly family drama. The mix didn't work for me, and Cheri came off as selfish, shallow, and childish. If Ms Donovan is planning to write a book with Tanyalee (Taffy) as the heroine, she's sunk. Susan Donovan,who was once my favorite contemporary romance author, has gotten into a rut and can't seem to get out. She now writes books with such unlikeable characters that I never care any more what happens to them. Cheri on Top was part humorous contemporary, part depressing murder mystery, and part ugly family drama. The mix didn't work for me, and Cheri came off as selfish, shallow, and childish. If Ms Donovan is planning to write a book with Tanyalee (Taffy) as the heroine, she's sunk. Donovan made Tanyalee so incredibly mean, manipulative, and broken that no amount of rehabs or personal epiphanies will convince me she's changed. You can't make a person that vindictive and then expect to pull off having her as a sympathetic heroine in another book. I gave up on the "Dog Walker" trilogy after the first book, but had high hopes for this new series. I might try Candy's story (from the library) but have no interest in the third book if "Taffy" is the lead.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Logophile (Heather)

    I read this book because my beloved was opining about contemporary romance novels and I dismissed his claims on the grounds he had never read one. He insists the phrase "talking out your ass" was used. I have no recollection of that. Anyway, in light of a challenge issued we both undertook to read a romance novel and this one made itself available. Mr. Logo read it quicker than just about any book I've ever seen him read. He even stayed up after midnight to finish it, which is unheard of for the I read this book because my beloved was opining about contemporary romance novels and I dismissed his claims on the grounds he had never read one. He insists the phrase "talking out your ass" was used. I have no recollection of that. Anyway, in light of a challenge issued we both undertook to read a romance novel and this one made itself available. Mr. Logo read it quicker than just about any book I've ever seen him read. He even stayed up after midnight to finish it, which is unheard of for the early bird I married. So you have to give due credit for that. It took me a little longer to read it. I have called this kind of book brain candy in the past and I think as brain candy goes, this one fits the bill pretty well. It's sweet, quick, requires little of the reader, and offers some fun titillation.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Anita

    Was a cute read. I loved the squirrel parts. Cheri returns home to help run the family business - a local newspaper. Finds that the financial situation at the paper is very bad. JJ is the sexy guy that she loved and then lost. They have to work together at the paper. Aunt Vivi and Gladys are some entertaining side characters. I can't wait to read Candy's store. Wish it went a little more into Cheri's sister - Tanyalee. The ending could have been a little more drawn out. And y'all was used a Was a cute read. I loved the squirrel parts. Cheri returns home to help run the family business - a local newspaper. Finds that the financial situation at the paper is very bad. JJ is the sexy guy that she loved and then lost. They have to work together at the paper. Aunt Vivi and Gladys are some entertaining side characters. I can't wait to read Candy's store. Wish it went a little more into Cheri's sister - Tanyalee. The ending could have been a little more drawn out. And y'all was used a little too much..... But overall - good read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Season

    Really cute story. I don't know if I like how short of a time it spanned, thought it wouldn't really make sense in real like, but that is why they call it fiction. Overall, it was an enjoyable read. JJ & Cheri make a pretty cute couple.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Proffitt

    Cliche-ridden and manipulative, this book could reasonably serve as the textbook for a course of things romance writers should not do. It's like someone took a list of ingredients for a romance book but lost the recipe.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    Was a little skeptical picking this up...as I have been leaning away from chick lit. However, I gave this one a try and I'm glad I did. It's a hoot with a little dark family history, a 40 year old mystery and some other weird stuff that we all have in our families and towns.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Katie(babs)

    Susan Donovan is well known for writing quirky and sexy contemporary romance. Her latest, Cheri on Top is one of these with loopy characters, a steamy love story and a pretty good murder mystery. Theres also a pregnant attack squirrel that interrupts the hero and heroine anytime they want some sexy times with one another. For this alone I have to give Susan major kudos because who would think to write in a territorial squirrel in such a way? I also enjoyed the way Susan showed the importance of a Susan Donovan is well known for writing quirky and sexy contemporary romance. Her latest, Cheri on Top is one of these with loopy characters, a steamy love story and a pretty good murder mystery. There’s also a pregnant attack squirrel that interrupts the hero and heroine anytime they want some sexy times with one another. For this alone I have to give Susan major kudos because who would think to write in a territorial squirrel in such a way? I also enjoyed the way Susan showed the importance of a close knit community and the importance of family. Cheri on Top is also very sweet and one book that had me smiling the majority of the time as I read. Cherise “Cheri” Newberry and her best friend, Candy are dead broke. They once were worth millions from their real estate projects but then when the economy crashed, they took a major hit and are reduced to eating ramen noodles and hiding from bill collectors. Cheri gets a call from her grandfather. He wants her to come back home and be in charge of the Bigler Bugle, her hometown newspaper. The Bugle is on its last leg and Cheri maybe it’s only hope. Cheri has no desire to move back home, especially with J.J. DeCroucy working as a reporter for the Bugle. Cheri and J.J. have a tumultuous history together. They were once teen sweethearts. Cheri wanted to see the world while J.J. liked the small town life. Then to make things worth. J.J. ends up sleeping with Cheri’s sister, Tanyalee, where she ends up pregnant and J.J. and she get married. Cheri feels beyond betrayed and has never forgiven J.J. for what he did. If she goes back home, she’ll definitely see J.J., who she has never gotten over. J.J. may have the scoop that could save the Bugle from going under. A 1959 Chevy Impala is found at the bottom of the Paw Paw Lake, which could finally solve the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Barbara Jean Smoot from forty years ago. When J.J. finds out Cheri has come back, he’s both shocked and pleased. J.J. has never gotten over Cheri. He and Tanyalee have been divorced for years and she’s now engaged to one of the richest men in Bigler. Perhaps Cheri can forgive him and they can work on being in a relationship again. Cheri wants J.J. but she can’t get past what he did, even when he explains why and how. He really wants to make it up to her. Cheri not only has the stress of keeping the Bugle afloat but keeping her massive debt a secret. She lives in shame and if anyone ever finds out, she wouldn’t be able to live it down. But since Tanyalee blames Cheri for all her problems, and the death of their parents when they were children, she wants revenge against Cheri. Plus someone doesn’t want the Smoot case solved and will do whatever they can to make certain this doesn’t happen even if it means murder. Cheri on Top is a good time read. Cheri and J.J. have great chemistry, and even though he did the worst thing possible by sleeping with Tanyalee, you can’t help but feel sorry for the guy. Tanyalee is a master manipulator who has a great deal of self-esteem issues. She’s very one-dimensional and really doesn’t bring anything to the story, but enables Cheri and J.J. to get together. Cheri has a good head on her shoulders and she doesn’t fell straight into J.J.’s arms right away. I also loved her relationship with her grandfather and aunt. And of course there’s the crazy squirrel who has claimed the house Cheri lives in. The un-named squirrel (I really wanted Cheri to give the creature a name) refuses to leave and shows up at any time to make her displeasure known at the humans who have taken over her nest. This is a pretty fast read and one that gave me a few nice hours of enjoyment. If you’re a Susan Donovan fan or are in the mood for some light and fluffy reading, check out Cheri on Top.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Blue Ribbon Rating: 4 out of 5 Original Review Link Cherise Newberry and her best friend Candy Carmichael were living the high life in Tampa, thanks to a series of high-risk real estate deals. But when the Florida housing market crashes, Cherise and Candy find themselves flat-broke with creditors proverbially banging at the door. The one spot of hope comes in the form of a phone call from Cherises grandfather. He wants her to return to their small hometown in North Carolina to run his newspaper. Blue Ribbon Rating: 4 out of 5 Original Review Link Cherise Newberry and her best friend Candy Carmichael were living the high life in Tampa, thanks to a series of high-risk real estate deals. But when the Florida housing market crashes, Cherise and Candy find themselves flat-broke with creditors proverbially banging at the door. The one spot of hope comes in the form of a phone call from Cherise’s grandfather. He wants her to return to their small hometown in North Carolina to run his newspaper. Cherise doesn’t want to do it. How can she leave Tampa for the hometown she swore she’d never return to, where everyone insists on calling her Cheri? And how can she take a job where she’ll be the boss of J.J. DeCourcy, the man who broke her heart, then married and divorced her sister? Cherise finds that you can’t always get what you want – especially when your account balance is less than zero. But sometimes, as the song says, “you get what you need,” and what Cheri needs might just be J.J. DeCourcy. Author Susan Donovan’s signature writing style sparkles in the delightful CHERI ON TOP. CHERI ON TOP has life and energy to spare, making it a joyful book to read. At the beginning of the book, Cheri’s life is a series of disasters, some humorous, some not so. Her reticence to return home is understandable, given the life she left behind in North Carolina and the life she once lived in Florida. I felt sorry for Cheri at first, but I loved watching her pick herself up and make the most of what she’s got. I also adored watching Cheri find herself once more. Though I won’t give any spoilers, part of her development as a character comes with having to face J.J. again. J.J. is a hero who’ll have readers wishing he could show up on their doorstep. He isn’t, however, perfect. He’s made mistakes in the past which contributed to the number of reasons Cheri and he were kept apart. Chief of these reasons being Cheri’s sister, Tanyalee, a sibling I wouldn’t wish on anyone. She throws wrenches into Cheri and J.J.’s reunion, but luckily for our protagonists, Cheri and J.J. have undeniable chemistry. Ms. Donovan made it easy for me to root for Cheri and J.J.’s romance and the love story in CHERI ON TOP makes me smile just to think about it. A supporting cast of characters, including the funniest – if not only – guard squirrel I’ve ever encountered, help make CHERI ON TOP a memorable read. Ms. Donovan became an instant auto-buy author for me a few years ago when I picked up and read HE LOVES LUCY. Cheri and J.J.’s story is a perfect example of why Ms. Donovan continues to stay on my auto-buy list. CHERI ON TOP is filled with warmth, humor and romance, making it a captivating, charming read. I finished CHERI ON TOP a well-satisfied reader, and I can’t wait to read Candy’s story, I WANT CANDY. Note: My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here courtesy of Romance Junkies.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Karielle at Books à la Mode

    Cheri on Top by Susan Donovan Release Date: August 30th, 2011 Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Macmillan) Page Count: 308 Source: ARC from Carolyn at Romance Novel News SHE'S GOT EVERYTHING SHE WANTS Sun-drenched beaches, designer-label clothes, drop-dead-gorgeous boy-toys... all paid for with a series of high-risk real estate deals. Thats the lifestyle Cherise Newberry and her BFF Candy enjoy after leaving rural North Carolina for Tampauntil the market tanks and they lose everything. Cheri is surviving Cheri on Top by Susan Donovan Release Date: August 30th, 2011 Publisher: St. Martin's Press (Macmillan) Page Count: 308 Source: ARC from Carolyn at Romance Novel News SHE'S GOT EVERYTHING SHE WANTS Sun-drenched beaches, designer-label clothes, drop-dead-gorgeous boy-toys... all paid for with a series of high-risk real estate deals. That’s the lifestyle Cherise Newberry and her BFF Candy enjoy after leaving rural North Carolina for Tampa—until the market tanks and they lose everything. Cheri is surviving on Ramen Noodles and temp jobs when she gets a call from home to come back and run the family’s small-town newspaper. Just one catch: She’ll become the boss of her high school crush—and former brother-in-law—who might have the power to crush her all over again... BUT HE'S WHAT SHE NEEDS But Cheri is surprised to see how “bad boy” J.J. DeCourcy has grown into the hard-working and principled managing editor of The Bigler Bugle. Still, according to Cheri’s bitter sister, he’s not to be trusted. If Cheri’s going to co-exist at the with this sexier-than-ever man from her past, she needs to stay professional -- and keep her distance -- even though he sets her on fire. When they’re handed the biggest news story in the town’s history, Cheri must trust J.J., even it means putting her life in danger... and her heart on the line. What Stephanie Thinks: I'm normally a fan of contemporary romances, especially the ones with twisted plots: once-shy, past-heartbroken heroine kicks back into town with intentions of leaving a bruise and a seemingly unstoppable ferocity in her heart. Of course her childhood heartthrob is going to see her and think "Wow, I missed out...". Of course. Because essentially, that's really all that happens. I wish there could have been more plot, more structure and depth, to this story, but there certainly isn't. While Donovan does a great job of describing JJ as the ultimate sexy hero (drool drool), and while Cheri herself is pretty likable of a character, their so-called "romance" really doesn't do anything for me. I hesitate to even call this one a romance. It mostly evolves around a long-term dispute over Cheri's family's newspaper business, The Bigler Bugle. Someone's been snatching funds from it, which has slowly been leading to its decline over the years. Maybe this book could have made for a good sexy mystery, but considering a) the perpetrator is revealed at the very beginning, and b) the romance isn't sexy in the least, I can't find myself thinking it too special. Stephanie Loves: "'I laughed so hard once, I fell out of the boat.' 'I think the twelve-pack of Bud Light probably had something to do with that, Cheri.'" Radical Rating: 6 hearts-Satisfying for a first read, but I'm not going back.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nath

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 3.5/5 (C+) Well, I thought that Cheri on Top was not the best book I've read, but not the worst either. I think one of the reasons I felt that way was the characters. At best, I could say my feelings towards them were neutral. I think one of difficulty is the situation both found themselves in. On one hand, you have Cheri who appears to be very materialistic, proud and to a certain extent, selfish. I understand that Cheri has attained such high and to drop so low, well you don't want everyone to 3.5/5 (C+) Well, I thought that Cheri on Top was not the best book I've read, but not the worst either. I think one of the reasons I felt that way was the characters. At best, I could say my feelings towards them were neutral. I think one of difficulty is the situation both found themselves in. On one hand, you have Cheri who appears to be very materialistic, proud and to a certain extent, selfish. I understand that Cheri has attained such high and to drop so low, well you don't want everyone to know... and that's understandable. However, I got annoyed with the front she put, the whole "Oh, my grandfather begged me to come back" and so on. I also don't understand why she didn't confide in her grandfather - he's the kind who cares and is concerned for her well-being. Another thing that bugged me is the lack of family sense... Tanyalee and Cheri have a bad relationship and given the circumstances, that's okay. Her great-aunt Viv is not the easiest person to live with and that's fine too... But still, her great-aunt Viv and her grandfather are getting older... Isn't Cheri concerned for them? Then, on the other hand, you have J.J. Everyone makes mistake, but J.J.' s was big and a bit hard to overlook. Confessing your love to Cheri and being interrupted by a phone call from her sister announcing she's pregnant and you're the father? Ouch. The whole fact that 1) he slept with someone else and 2) Cheri's sister... Even if Tanyalee instigated it and all, still ouch. I do admit though that mistake aside, J.J. turned out to be a good guy. However, sometimes, first impressions are hard to overcome ^_^; The romance between the two is as you'd expect. Basically, Cheri and J.J. still have feelings for each other and once in close proximity, despite their past, they have difficulty keeping each other at arm's length. Actually, they have difficulty keeping their hands off each other LOL. So there was plenty of sexual tension and the chemistry was there. I liked that they worked things out, especially concerning their past. That was the big obstacle to their relationship... although I kind if wished they'd also talk more about the present. What they wanted now. I'd have to say, if it was for the characters and the romance only, this book wouldn't have scored high points with me... but surprisingly, the mystery was pretty interesting :) Ms Donovan did a good job with it as well as integrating it to the romance. Plus, there was some very funny parts - pregnant squirrel comes to mind :) And that made me enjoy the book more. In the end, I found Cheri on Top was a quirky read and had a good time.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ishabelle

    Hero: J.J. DeCourcy Heroine: Cherise Newberry Trope/Theme: 2nd Chance Romance Safety Level: (view spoiler)[Not safe. H and h were together when they were younger. They broke up when h and bff left town. H got h's sister pregnant after a one night affair and ended up marrying her. H and sister got divorced when they lost the baby because the sister was caught trying to get pregnant by someone else, so she could trick the H into staying. Nothing happened between H and sister the whole time they were Hero: J.J. DeCourcy Heroine: Cherise Newberry Trope/Theme: 2nd Chance Romance Safety Level: (view spoiler)[Not safe. H and h were together when they were younger. They broke up when h and bff left town. H got h's sister pregnant after a one night affair and ended up marrying her. H and sister got divorced when they lost the baby because the sister was caught trying to get pregnant by someone else, so she could trick the H into staying. Nothing happened between H and sister the whole time they were married. (hide spoiler)] Cliffhanger: (view spoiler)[None (hide spoiler)] Ending: (view spoiler)[HEA (hide spoiler)] This is my first book from Susan Donovan. Yes, you can shoot me now, especially if you've been a long-standing fan of her. It's just that even if I love contemporary romance, chick lit has not been at the top of my list. I'm going to give you another chance to torch me because what I'm going to say next won't be easy. I have to be honest and say that it took a while for me to connect with the characters. Yes, the heroine was a positive, driven character. But she was also shallow and a bit materialistic. The hostility between the heroine and her sister is just very deep-rooted and nasty. It's hard to imagine how the author can move it from there into a much better place. The hero was your typical bad-boy turned good guy. He wasn't really as bad as the heroine believed him to be. Still, he wasn't easy to connect to because the main drama was focused on the heroine's life. I wish there was more about the hero's back story that was included in the book. Maybe it would have made it easier for me as a reader to love him and root for him. The subplot, which was a mystery/suspense, was a but predictable. However, it was still a good distraction from the fact the the main love story was simple and could be done in half the book's total page number. However, I do like the way Ms. Donovan got every character interconnected at one point or another, so it really gave the neat little package and small town vibe. If you're a fan of Ms. Donovan, I hope you don't get me wrong for my criticisms. I liked this book. I really enjoyed it. I fell in love with Bigler and all the weird and special people who live in it. So while Cheri and J.J. won't be making it to my "best" list, I still can see myself remembering them for a long time.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    OMG! Again Susan Donovan wites another amazing story! For some reason her books get better and better. She writes these boooks with so much emotion and your feeling what the characters feel. I was dying throughout the whole book and Cheri was the reason. Cheri is the best character ever! She is something. She lost it all and still stayed somewhat positive and optimistic, she is a strong witty character who gives as good as she gets. I dont even know how else to explain her because she is just so OMG! Again Susan Donovan wites another amazing story! For some reason her books get better and better. She writes these boooks with so much emotion and your feeling what the characters feel. I was dying throughout the whole book and Cheri was the reason. Cheri is the best character ever! She is something. She lost it all and still stayed somewhat positive and optimistic, she is a strong witty character who gives as good as she gets. I dont even know how else to explain her because she is just so awesome. Then there is J.J who breaks my heart at every turn of the page. He is truly someone different and i love him. I wish I was Cheri in this book. He again is just an amazing character who makes one mistake and it ruins his future for a little while, he lost everything but in a different way he lost Cheri and then all of a sudden she is back. This whole story is hilarious and keeps you laughing crying and screaming what a ho the sister is! This is amazingly wirtten and I recommend it to you all, if you havent read romance or dont know what to think pick up this book and get addicted! Look for I Want Candy in December 2011

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Im a really big fan of Susan Donovan and her contemporary romance books. When I first discovered her a few years back I glommed up her back list as quick as I could find her books. Now she included on my Must Buy list anytime there is a new book out. With that said, I was actually a little disappointed with Cheri on Top. It is unfortunately a little forgettable for me compared to her other novels. There was a great premise, but it just didnt hit with me. Cherise was living the high life in Tampa I’m a really big fan of Susan Donovan and her contemporary romance books. When I first discovered her a few years back I glommed up her back list as quick as I could find her books. Now she included on my Must Buy list anytime there is a new book out. With that said, I was actually a little disappointed with Cheri on Top. It is unfortunately a little forgettable for me compared to her other novels. There was a great premise, but it just didn’t hit with me. Cherise was living the high life in Tampa or at least until the market crashed. So instead of high end real estate, she’s now living on Ramen Noodles. When she gets a call to come back home to run her grandfather’s local newspaper she eager for the opportunity to work, except for having to come back home and face everything she’s left behind. JJ is the managing editor of the newspaper and Cheri’s ex-brother-in-law. And unfortunately it’s JJ that makes Cheri’s heart beat faster. This one may have been a miss for me but Susan Donovan is still on my Must Buy list so I’ll still be picking up whatever comes next.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    I thoroughly enjoyed Cheri on Top. It has all the elements in books that I love. Rural small town setting. Quirky characters within that town (think Tater Joe and Artemis (a squirrel LOL). Cheri was sweet and fiesty, smart and determined. J.J. was just plain sweet. Cheri's family was crazy and I can relate. LOL. Although the mystery was pretty much a foregone conclusion as to "whodunit", it still kept me engaged and wanting to read more, just as much as the romance aspect of the book. And Susan I thoroughly enjoyed Cheri on Top. It has all the elements in books that I love. Rural small town setting. Quirky characters within that town (think Tater Joe and Artemis (a squirrel LOL). Cheri was sweet and fiesty, smart and determined. J.J. was just plain sweet. Cheri's family was crazy and I can relate. LOL. Although the mystery was pretty much a foregone conclusion as to "whodunit", it still kept me engaged and wanting to read more, just as much as the romance aspect of the book. And Susan did something else in romance books that I love. Once she got the characters together, she kept them that way. No misunderstanding 50 pages from the end of the book that you have to endure just to get the HEA. The characters continuously developed their relationship, and aside from a couple pages at the end when a secret was revealed, they worked together to solve the mystery with no relationship drama. So it was a lighthearted, yet emotional, fun romantic mystery. Susan Donovan is an auto-buy for me and this book did not disappoint.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Connie N.

    What a cute book! I would have rated this 4.5 if I could, but I had such a feel-good feeling after I finished that I rounded it up to a 5-star rating. I particularly liked the heroine Cheri who goes home to NC at the request of her grandfather to take over as publisher of the family newspaper. She has hated the small-town atmosphere and moved to Florida to get away from it all years ago. She and her friend Candy (also from the same small town) were very successful real-estate wheelers and What a cute book! I would have rated this 4.5 if I could, but I had such a feel-good feeling after I finished that I rounded it up to a 5-star rating. I particularly liked the heroine Cheri who goes home to NC at the request of her grandfather to take over as publisher of the family newspaper. She has hated the small-town atmosphere and moved to Florida to get away from it all years ago. She and her friend Candy (also from the same small town) were very successful real-estate wheelers and dealers, but they lost everything in the housing market crash. Cheri is smart, funny, knowledgeable, but with a very loving and caring heart. Our hero is also pleasant, although we don't get to know him quite as well. There are many eccentric minor characters such as Grandfather Garland, Aunt Viv, Gladys from the paper, Sheriff Turner, and best friend Candy. Not so nice are sister Tanyalee and townsman Wim. I really look forward to reading more of this promising series.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tisha

    This book is for, at least, ages 18+. Language isn't filtered and there are sexual scenes in the book. Overall, I loved the book. I picked it out from the dollar store and wasn't expecting much, but turned out to be a good read. However, I think there could of been more character development in some of the character's than a mere reminiscing of the character's and their life. I think it would made things better and would of set the plot up more; dead characters and the main ones. I also noticed This book is for, at least, ages 18+. Language isn't filtered and there are sexual scenes in the book. Overall, I loved the book. I picked it out from the dollar store and wasn't expecting much, but turned out to be a good read. However, I think there could of been more character development in some of the character's than a mere reminiscing of the character's and their life. I think it would made things better and would of set the plot up more; dead characters and the main ones. I also noticed errors in grammar and spelling but probably more so to do with the ghost writer/reviser than the author. I should add this story was set up for her #2 "I Want Candy." which is about the same characters and surroundings. I'm already wanting the book and looking forward to getting my hands on it! If your looking for a juicy, sexy, and funny book to read, this book would be a good choice if your into girly books. I wouldn't say this is a man's read, but a good book nonetheless.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chris Bails

    Great book. First book by this author and will not be my last. Loved it. Can't wait for I Love Candy. This is a book about Cherise, whose business has failed in is going to have to file for bankruptcy with her friend Candy. They tanked in the real estate business. She get a call from her grandfather that wants her to take over the family business, head of a Newspaper. She needs it because she needs the money, but does not want it because he ex works there. This is a great story about finding Great book. First book by this author and will not be my last. Loved it. Can't wait for I Love Candy. This is a book about Cherise, whose business has failed in is going to have to file for bankruptcy with her friend Candy. They tanked in the real estate business. She get a call from her grandfather that wants her to take over the family business, head of a Newspaper. She needs it because she needs the money, but does not want it because he ex works there. This is a great story about finding herself and finding that she still has feelings for her ex. It is also about reconnecting with her old life and realizing that it was not as bad as she thought. She uncovers some secrets in the little town that some people do not want her to know. A must read if you love romance with a little mystery.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rosi

    Cheri is from a small town and moved to Florida during the height of real estate business. She made a lot of money, purchased lavish homes, bought coveted cars, draped herself in expensive clothing and accessories, dined at the finest restaurants. She was happy with life and living the lifestyle with her best friend until the market tumbled. Now, she eats Top Ramen and works for a temp agency. He granddaddy gives her a way out by giving her the coveted title of Chief Editor at her family's small Cheri is from a small town and moved to Florida during the height of real estate business. She made a lot of money, purchased lavish homes, bought coveted cars, draped herself in expensive clothing and accessories, dined at the finest restaurants. She was happy with life and living the lifestyle with her best friend until the market tumbled. Now, she eats Top Ramen and works for a temp agency. He granddaddy gives her a way out by giving her the coveted title of Chief Editor at her family's small town newspaper business. She reluctantly accepts but now deals with being the boss of her childhood love and ex-brother in law, JJ. He never stopped loving her and refuses to let her go. Together, they uncover the truth behind a cold-case murder, the truth behind their estrangement, and they figure out a way to love each other once again.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    Working my way through my trashy romance shelves. In this story, Cheri (now known as Cherise) returns to her hometown when her grandfather asks her to take over as publisher of the family owned newspaper. Allegedly unbeknownst to the family, Cheri, a former forensic bookkeeper, lost millions in property investment when the economy crashed. Although the people of her hometown believe that she's rich, she knows that she's a failure and can't admit her losses to her family or her friends. She also Working my way through my trashy romance shelves. In this story, Cheri (now known as Cherise) returns to her hometown when her grandfather asks her to take over as publisher of the family owned newspaper. Allegedly unbeknownst to the family, Cheri, a former forensic bookkeeper, lost millions in property investment when the economy crashed. Although the people of her hometown believe that she's rich, she knows that she's a failure and can't admit her losses to her family or her friends. She also returns to a broken family, an age-old murder mystery, and a lost romance. I generally liked this book. The characters were well-written and the family dynamics reminded me that sometimes the "fun" can be found in dysfunctional.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ada

    This book was highly disappointing to me. After reading the excerpt on the back of the novel, I was quite excited to get my hands on it. Instead, I felt a huge disconnect to all the characters, the town, the storyline. I barely managed to finish and the only reason I did was because I had DNFs. The saving grace for me and the only reason it's getting 2 stars instead of 1 is because of the lone character that brought any bit of amusement in the book, which was Artemis, the rabid squirrel/pregnant This book was highly disappointing to me. After reading the excerpt on the back of the novel, I was quite excited to get my hands on it. Instead, I felt a huge disconnect to all the characters, the town, the storyline. I barely managed to finish and the only reason I did was because I had DNFs. The saving grace for me and the only reason it's getting 2 stars instead of 1 is because of the lone character that brought any bit of amusement in the book, which was Artemis, the rabid squirrel/pregnant protector of our heroine. That, IMO, was the only thing worth salvaging. I am going to try to read the next book, I Want Candy, with the hopes that it does get better.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Demko

    Reading this book reminded me that Susan Donovan does not write typical romance books. Her books are so much more than typical! Cheri on top is about a woman who is bankrupt and down on her luck. Her family calls and begs her to come home. They give her an offer that she can't refuse and she goes home. She is named publisher of her family's paper. A decades old mystery is unfolding in front of their eyes and she gets tangled up in figuring it out. It is really easy to get lost in the intrigue and Reading this book reminded me that Susan Donovan does not write typical romance books. Her books are so much more than typical! Cheri on top is about a woman who is bankrupt and down on her luck. Her family calls and begs her to come home. They give her an offer that she can't refuse and she goes home. She is named publisher of her family's paper. A decades old mystery is unfolding in front of their eyes and she gets tangled up in figuring it out. It is really easy to get lost in the intrigue and mystery in this book. You can almost forget that you're reading a romance, almost! The romance has many ups and downs and is wonderfully written. Susan Donovan's books are a must read for everyone who enjoys a good clean romance!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Diane ~Firefly~

    Cheri gets an offer to go back to her hometown and run the failing family paper, which she only considers because she is currently in deep debt after losing her shirt and more in the Florida real estate market. Once home she has to deal with a sister who hates her, an ex who is running hot and cold and she doesn't trust, her overly involved grandfather and great-aunt, a huge story as the body of Barbara Jean is found after be missing for decades and an attack squirrel at the lake house she is Cheri gets an offer to go back to her hometown and run the failing family paper, which she only considers because she is currently in deep debt after losing her shirt and more in the Florida real estate market. Once home she has to deal with a sister who hates her, an ex who is running hot and cold and she doesn't trust, her overly involved grandfather and great-aunt, a huge story as the body of Barbara Jean is found after be missing for decades and an attack squirrel at the lake house she is staying in.

  26. 4 out of 5

    May

    While this book reminded me more of the early Susan Donovan novels I know and adore, it just didn't quite do anything for me. Set in a small southern town, Cheri returns to try and run her granddad's paper that is struggling and reconnects with her first love - a man who once impregnated her sister. get out the banjos. It was kind of cute, lot of good characters... I just didn't especially love it or hate it. It just... was. full review to come at www.smexybooks.com

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Kincaid

    Susan Donovan just gets better and better! Full of snappy dialogue, believable conflict and down-home charm, this book is a winner. I really loved how the characters made a journey, not just together, but individually as well, and ended up stronger, better versions of themselves. I loved every word of this book, and am anxiously awaiting the release of I Want Candy.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dee Haddrill

    It's been such a long time since I read a book by Susan Donovan, and I wasn't disappointed. As usual, she writes with great humour, steamy love scenes and sweet romances. The side story of the years old murder was handled really well and I'm looking forward to her next book with Candy and Turner :)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lesley

    Meh. I almost didn't finish this book, ended up skimming the last half. The peripheral characters were more interesting than the main ones, who to me were shallow and one-dimensional. The sister of the heroine was such an awful, nasty character that I can't fathom how anyone would want to read a book about her...but apparently that's #3 in this series. No thanks- this was enough for me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Genrelove

    This was okay, but not really my thing. I knew from the get-go who the murderer was, and the romance never revved my engine for some reason. Childhood friends that grow into sweethearts that have a big falling out and then get back together? Yawn. It just seemed like all the excitement happened a long time ago.

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