Release date: September 28, 2021
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Genre: Contemporary Romance
June Wu always has it all together—only now, she’s in over her head. Her family’s inn desperately needs guests, her mother’s medical debts are piling up, and the surly, if sexy, stranger next door is driving away the customers she has left! When he asks for June’s help, though, she can’t say no. After all, his new bar could be just what the upcoming Pumpkin Festival needs to bring in more tourists. But with the fierce attraction between them, will working together be playing with fire?
Ex-soldier Clay Hawthorne prefers being on his own. He’s moved to Blue Cedar Falls for one reason—to carry out his best friend’s dream of opening a bar in the hometown he’ll now never return to. But the town’s business association is trying to stop Clay’s progress. June soon becomes his biggest supporter, and while their partnership is supposed to be only temporary, for the first time Clay wants something permanent—with June. Can two total opposites really learn to meet each other in the middle?
This was a such a strong start to a new series, seriously the potential is great! Don’t let the cute little cover fool you either, yes it’s a cutesy little romance set in a small town but there’s so much more than that. While the town was described beautifully it isn’t portrayed in a way that makes it seem like the totally perfect place to live. Not everyone is welcoming and many residents are resistant to change, especially when the change comes in the form of a new bar coming to town. It doesn’t help that the new bar owner is an outsider either. There was a great balance between light and heavy here as well, Clay is a veteran dealing with issues from serving the country and June’s mom is dealing with some health issues so you have characters that are flawed and struggling and the author did such a good job of exploring their issues. Also an Asian American lead character and LBGTQ+ made the representation here awesome! This was also really sexy too, see what I mean, don’t let the pretty cover fool you this one has depth! Katy Tang and Zachary Webber we’re both A plus narrators and their voices exactly matched what I had in my head, amazing!
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.