Scott Porter, Jaime King

At first glance, Jaime King's character Lemon Breeland on Hart of Dixie seems like the perfect Southern woman — with a side of attitude. But King says there's a world of hurt inside her.

"You find out that Lemon's mother left her when she was 16 years old, so she has a really big hole there," King tells TVGuide.com. "This huge desire to be perfect, have people like her and to be the perfect woman comes from her thinking that maybe it's something she did that caused her mom to leave."

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In the series premiere, Lemon meets new-girl-in-town Zoe Hart (Rachel Bilson) and is anything but nice to her. Not only does Zoe have a flirtation with Lemon's fiancé, George (Scott Porter), but Zoe inherits half of the town's medical practice co-owned by Lemon's father. "The fact that she's up in Rachel's face is because she's trying to protect her father ... in the South, family always comes first," King adds.

Although there's opportunity for the two strong women to come together, King says it won't happen anytime soon. "The reason why they fight so much is because they're so similar. They're both stuck in their ways and they both think they're right. We're shooting Episode 9 and we just had one line of a breakthrough and then immediately we close it back off," she says.

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Besides the tension between Lemon and Zoe, there's heightened emotional tension between Lemon and the town mayor, Lavon (Cress Williams). As the season progresses, viewers will learn that Lemon and Lavon once had an affair. 

"They're not having an affair anymore, [but] it was during a very vulnerable time when she thought her relationship with George was going to be done. As soon as he came back and said, 'I want to make this work,' she said, 'OK.' But you see she's walking the plank," King says before adding that Lavon may, in fact, be Lemon's true love.

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"When you see Lemon and Lavon together, you see the real Lemon, her vulnerability is all there. With George she has a mask on; she tries to be this perfect woman. I think she truly loves George, but I think she's in love with Lavon," King says. But don't expect Lemon to drop George (leaving room for him and Zoe to get together) any time soon. "Lavon means risk. Everything is very planned out in her life and he's not part of the plan. But he won't let go and when you love someone, if they say I love you, I'm not letting go, you melt like butter."

While the series is complete with its love triangles and small-town drama, King adds that there's lots of humor. On Monday's episode, Zoe tries to win the town over by riding on the mayor's float for the Founder's Day Parade and things don't go as planned. "It's funny to watch Rachel's character try and be nice when she so doesn't know how to do that!" King says.

Hart of Dixie airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW.