on August 1st 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Ready or not…love will find a way
Single dad Hogan Guthrie is getting his life back on track, and working as the "barbecue master" at a local diner is just a temporary detour. He and restaurant owner Violet Shaw constantly butt heads…until one night they end up mingling other parts instead. Hogan thought he had the recipe for happiness all figured out. But loyal, carefree Violet is daring him to trust his impulses…and see just how sweet small-town living—and loving—can be.
Nathan Hawley traded his SWAT team credentials for a sheriff's badge, but a gorgeous new neighbor is shaking up his orderly life. Nathan has a hunch there's more to Brooklin Sweet than meets the eye—but given her caution about getting involved, he has his work cut out for him. Still, there's something about the elusive beauty Nathan can't walk away from—and helping her come to terms with her past might pave the way to the future they both secretly long for.
~~Reviewed by Amy~~
I got hooked on Lori Foster over 15 years ago with her Visitation series and quickly devoured everything of hers I could find. She writes such fun, sexy, flirty, epic contemporary romance. I’m always anxious for her next book. This second book in her Guthrie Brothers series did not disappoint. Like the first in the series, you get not one, but two wonderful romances. This one was definitely Worth the Wait!
Hogan Guthrie’s life had been turned upside down a year ago. His wife had cheated on him and he’d lost his job. It had been miserable. So Hogan and his teen son, Colt, had moved to Clearbrook to be near family. Hogan had spent the last year a little bitter and plenty wild. For the past month, he’d been an accountant by day and the Barbecue Master by night and on the weekends, working at Screwy Louie’s diner. He liked his work at the diner. He was territorial about his ribs and a little territorial about Violet Shaw, the owner of the diner. Violet was a sexy, blue-eyed, redhead with a southern drawl. Something about her sweet and sassy personality made Hogan’s mouth water. But Hogan wasn’t ready for anything serious after his cheating, lying ex. Plus, he had his son to consider. Still, that didn’t stop him from wanting Violet.
Hogan had tempted Violet from the first moment she met him. He was the sexiest man she’d ever known. She liked him, as a friend and an employee, and she was starting to rely on him. Though it was awfully tempting, adding intimacy to the situation would just screw up the dynamics. Violet tried to resist, but the more they worked together, the more sexual their banter became, and Violet was finding the attraction harder to fight.
Nathan Hawley’s life had been pretty orderly since coming to Clearbrook. An ex Swat team member, he was now Clearbrook’s sheriff, with the occasional performance with his band, Drunken Monkeys. But something about his beautiful new neighbor intrigued him. Everything about her turned him on, even her obstinate and secretive attitude. Brooklin Sweet had liked her new start being alone. That way there was no one to judge her, whisper about her, or threaten her. But her sexy neighbor’s pursuit was hard to ignore. The more remote she acted, the more he dug in. Nathan couldn’t deny how he felt about Brooklin, whatever her secrets or past. Brooklin liked Nathan too, but would he still want her when he found out the truth? Nathan’s persistence was wearing her down and he knew it. That’s what scared her. But before these four can work everything out, danger comes to Clearbrook, and by pure accident, they’re all drawn in.
Like book 1 in this series, the characters are compelling, believable, and likeable. I felt for their struggles. Hogan was a reformed runaround after events with his ex-wife had shredded his ego. His old life still plagued him. He couldn’t deny the chemistry between him and Violet, but he wasn’t sure what he wanted. He knew he wanted Violet but she was not a one night kind of girl. Violet turned him on, he admired her, and they had fun together. They both shared a strong work ethic and they both cared about how Hogan’s son Colt would be affected by any decisions they made. Violet was good for Hogan’s frame of mind and ego. Hogan was good for Violet, helping her to learn she didn’t have to carry every responsibility alone.
I enjoyed Nathan’s pursuit of Brooklin. Brooklin tried to resist his charms but he just wouldn’t quit. I liked that she cut to the core of things and didn’t cower. I admired that Nathan wouldn’t snoop but let Brooklin know he was there and ready to help. His belief in her was what Brooklin needed. And the fact she trusted him was what turned Nathan on. All four of these characters were strong on their own, but with the other by their side, they were even better.
I also enjoyed catching up with old friends from book 1 in this series. Lexie and Sullivan, Honor and Jason were there to lend support to their friends, making Clearbrook seem more like home for all of them. There’s an excellent mix of emotion and humor in this book as well. The relationship and conversations between Hogan and Colt had me tearing up several times. They were starting over together, and respected and considered each other’s feelings. The humorous tidbits from the local gossip column added some fun to the story as well. And I’m still dying to know what Hogan’s secret sauce is! If you’re hungry for a steamy summer read, this will more than satisfy your appetite. But you’ll probably be left with a strange craving for ribs. This review is also available on the Buried Under Romance book blog.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.