Reviewed by Jess
AUTHOR: Shannon M. Harris
PUBLISHER: Sapphire Books
LENGTH: 314 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 14, 2018
Briley Anderson hasn’t been in a serious relationship for the past two years. The pain of her last breakup has made her weary of giving her heart away again. She spends her days ﬂipping houses and her down-time baking treats for her neighbors. Falling in love wasn’t in her plans, but then again, neither was her next-door neighbor.
Leah Daniels is a divorced mother of two and a grandmother at the age of forty-nine. Love was the last thing she was looking for, especially with a woman sixteen years her junior. All she was hoping for was a quiet neighborhood to raise her fifteen-year old son. What she hadn’t expected was the unavoidable draw she felt toward Briley.
Through laughter, heartache, love, and fear it’s up to Briley and Leah to ﬁgure out if what they’ve created is strong enough to make a relationship last and if taking the chance on love is really worth the risk.
If you’re looking for a perfectly feel-good, fluffy romance that will satisfy your sweet tooth, this is definitely the book for you.
In this contemporary romance, the conflict is light and the characters live in a dream-like suburban world where neighbors are unfailingly supportive, everyone is greeted with a kiss on the cheek, and a basket of homemade muffins is a perfectly normal gift for a friend on a weekday morning, just because.
For the first three-fourths of the book, I was almost growing bored, because everything was too perfect. The writing is great—Harris really seems to understand that her readers are well-read, geeky, funny girls who seek real women rather than romantic stereotypes—but if you’re looking for a high-tension plot, you won’t find it. Even the climax of the book doesn’t provide much conflict in the end. This isn’t necessarily a failing, but it does make the book go on for just a bit too long.
I love how there’s a lack of archetype characters in this story. Leah is older than Briley, but she’s also fun-loving and dorky. Briley’s sister Kat is the snarky older sibling, but she also shows her softer, vulnerable side when needed. And the child characters seem like actual kids rather than precocious stock characters. Though this world is definitely written with rose-colored glasses, it feels very real and cozy, like a friendly suburb you’d be happy to get stuck in. And it’s funny—watching Briley fall all over herself to impress Leah made me laugh every time.
This is definitely a read for those who prefer romance to erotica. There are copious amounts of snuggling, bubble baths, and nicknames rather than sex scenes, but it works for these characters. So when Harris does bring the heat, it scorches!
With low-stakes drama, fun supporting characters, and plenty of baked goods, this is a romance you can devour on a cozy afternoon spent inside with a cup of cocoa. Just don’t go in too hungry, because you’ll find yourself craving turtle cupcakes and apple turnovers at two in the morning.