Review: The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred

Posted December 14, 2014 by Francesca in Reviews / 7 Comments

I received this book for free from Purchased in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Review: The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred
The Sweet Gum Tree
by Katherine Allred

5 Stars


Released: May 12, 2005
Published by Ellora's Cave
Pages: 314
Format: eBook

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“This book will break your heart sooooo good!” ~ Under the Covers

Let’s address the elephant in the room first…THE COVER.  I’ve had this book recommended many times, and I’ve ignored those recommendations because the cover did absolutely nothing for me.  In fact, it repelled me.  I really can’t say exactly why I eventually picked it up.  It helped that it was on sale for $0.99 so I figured “well what the hell just buy it”.  Then I found myself at home alone on a Saturday and without any motivation to move from my bed so I cracked it open.  What followed was a reading marathon because I couldn’t tear my eyes away from this book until I finished it.  I was reading in bed, I was reading in the bathroom, I took a bath instead of shower so I didn’t have to stop for as long to wash myself, I was reading while cooking.  You get the picture.

This is the story of Alix and Nick.  Their budding friendship and love grows stronger through the years and the obstacles.  And believe me, life threw enough at these two to crumble a lesser person.  The author does a wonderful job at painting the perfect picture.  Letting you grow with the characters, feel the emotions they are feeling every step of the way.  It felt more like watching a movie than reading a book.  It was that real!

utc-top-pickAt the core, it’s a second chance romance.  Cue my happy feelings for that!  But it’s probably one of the deepest and darkest ones I’ve read.  Alix comes from a wealthy family, Nick is from the wrong side of town.  Their friendship starts when they are just kids and Alix takes Nick under her wing and protects him.  From there, you will go on a 26 year ride with them.  The ups and the downs.  The love and the heartbreak.  And there are just some things it’s hard to come back from.

I confess I’m usually not a fan of using miscommunication for a plot.  So it really boggles my mind and goes to show how much I was involved in this book that when things could’ve been resolved with just opening up your heart to one another, they didn’t.   Instead they drag on and continue to ruin lives.


THE SWEET GUM TREE is a riveting, gut-wrenching and emotional read that will touch every fiber of your heart.  It left me both sobbing with hurt and smiling from joy.  I couldn’t ask for a more perfect book!  And when you pick this up, expect tears.  Lots and lots of snotty, chest-hurting tears.  Followed at times by the “can’t hold back a smile of happiness” tears.  This book will break your heart sooooo good!  Katherine Allred has a new fan in me!

Favorite Quotes:

Waaaaaay to many to list them all, but here are some.

“People who felt got hurt.  Hadn’t I learned that the hard way?”

“He always was someone. Because the core of the sweet gum tree never changes. Like Nick, the deep red wood stays true to its nature. Strong, and steady, and pure.”

“No one should have to go through life with only half a heart”


About Katherine Allred

Katherine Allred was born in Arkansas and spent her formative years there learning to love books at her grandfather's knee. When she was five, her mother remarried and moved them to Michigan, where they stayed for the next ten years. At age fifteen, the entire family moved back home to Arkansas, and she's been there ever since, except for brief stints in other countries and states while her hubby was in the army.

After receiving a BS in journalism from Arkansas State University, Katherine began her writing in earnest. To date, she's had seven books published, with number eight being released in April, 2009, and number nine just completed.

A member of Romance Writers of America, Katherine has achieved many awards for her novels, including the 2006 EPPIE award, winning the PASIC Book of Your Heart contest in 2002, and having a novel named Best Book of the Year by Romance Reviews Today in 2005. She currently writes for Eos, the science fiction imprint of Harper Collins Publishing.


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Blogger/Reviewer at Under the Covers Book Blog
I’m a 30 something sun lover living in the Big Apple (read New York).I’m a book and coffee addict and lover of all things elephants.

I get easily distracted by pictures of sexy guys and have tons of book boyfriends.I keep all my alpha males chained to my basement and guard them fiercely.*Back off bitches*I like to see Jason Momoa as a lot of those boyfriends, because ….. mmmmmmm JASON.MOMOA!

I’m a part time graphic designer (yes, everything you see on UTC has been done by me), run my husband's business from home and on a good day I’m a self appointed superwoman (she who can do it all).I love blogging with my girls and I couldn’t do it any other way!My first love is everything paranormal, but in the past few years I’ve re-learned to love contemporary romance.Every once in a while I like to mix things up with a historical romance, a steampunk or an LGBT book.Because I need variety to avoid book slumps.I don’t always need an HEA although I prefer one, and I love authors that can rip my heart out and make me ugly cry.
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Thanks for the great review Francesca

Under the Covers Book Blog
Under the Covers Book Blog

Thanks Timitra!

Stacy (StacyHgg)
Stacy (StacyHgg)

Great Review! I’ve had this one on my TBR forever!!! It IS highly recommended AND already on my iPad so I have no idea what’s taking me so long to get to it, LOL!
But I think it’s next.
I completely agree about the miscommunication in plots. That drives me insane, and not in a good way! So I’m glad this one didn’t annoy you, I may feel the same 🙂

Under the Covers Book Blog
Under the Covers Book Blog

Thanks Stacy!
I hope you feel the same when you read it. I think I was just sooooo involved in the story that it felt more like living it instead of reading it.

Amy R
Amy R

Thanks for the review, I have this on my TBR pile. I might have to add this to a #ROLLBACKWEEK read.

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