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Cheri on Top (Bigler, North Carolina #1)
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Cheri on Top

(Bigler, North Carolina #1)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  957 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
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 co ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 316 pages
Published August 30th 2011 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
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May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned-paperback
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 Wa ...more
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. Do
Logophile (Heather)
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Feb 13, 2011 rated it liked it
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 litt ...more
Apr 22, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Jacob Proffitt
Feb 07, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, steamy
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.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Was a little skeptical picking this 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.
Mar 14, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jul 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Karielle at Books à la Mode
Aug 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: blog
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

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 survivi
Sep 04, 2011 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hero: J.J. DeCourcy
Heroine: Cherise Newberry
Trope/Theme: 2nd Chance Romance
Safety Level: (view spoiler)
Dec 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 19, 2011 rated it liked it
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 Tam
Nov 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
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 dealer ...more
Dec 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Chris Bails
Oct 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 her
Apr 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
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 ...more
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Brenda Demko
Sep 17, 2011 marked it as to-read
Shelves: wishlist
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
Aug 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
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 ...more
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 st ...more
Jan 13, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.
Kimberly Kincaid
Dec 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dee Haddrill
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 :)
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
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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SUSAN DONOVAN's novels have won accolades for being witty, sexy, and entertaining. A former newspaper reporter with journalism degrees from Northwestern University, Susan is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author whose novels have been translated into dozens of languages. Susan is a two-time RITA Award finalist, and her novel TAKE A CHANCE ON ME was named Best Contemporary Romance of 20 ...more

Other books in the series

Bigler, North Carolina (3 books)
  • I Want Candy (Bigler, North Carolina #2)
  • Stealing Taffy (Bigler, North Carolina #3)