Thursday, March 18, 2021

Isn't It Romantic?

Act Your Age, Eve Brown

Talia Hibbert
Series: The Brown Sisters, #3
Age/Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Avon
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
In Act Your Age, Eve Brown the flightiest Brown sister crashes into the life of an uptight B&B owner and has him falling hard—literally.

Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It's time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she's not entirely sure how…

Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right.

Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.
After Eve's parents confront her about her most recent failure and her uncertain future, she flees and finds herself at Castell Cottage with its grumpy owner Jacob.  After an unfortunate accident, Eve stays on to help Jacob with the B&B. There, she discovers many things about herself including her passion for food and grumpy B&B owners.  

This was bittersweet for me. I absolutely adored getting to know Eve and Jacob, but I am sad that this is the last Brown Sisters book. This entire series has be a rock-solid hit for me, and as with the other books, the strength of this installment is Hibbert's talent for crafting fantastic characters and her knack for smart and witty dialog. 

I won't disagree with you if you concluded Eve was a hot-mess-princess when you first met her, but I was so taken with her effervescent personality, it didn't matter to me. Like iron fillings to a magnet, I could not resist her pull. Not only would she say things that made me smile, she would do things that showed her kindness and big heart. The Brown family was quite wonderful, but they sort of determined who Eve was, and she lived up to their vision of her. Once she was away from them, Eve was free to explore things that were not expected of her. She also did so under the watchful eye of one very demanding man. 

Jacob had extremely high standards for himself and others. However, he was also fair and acknowledged a job well done. I felt like his demanding nature drove Eve to be her best. With Jacob, Eve found something she was good at and passionate about. She wasn't trying to achieve what other people thought she should, but rather, was working towards something she found on her own. I found myself very proud of her and what she accomplished at the B&B.

Jacob and Eve were quite a match. They actually seemed like a mismatch at first, but the more time they spent together, it was easy to see how well they complimented each other. They quickly picked up on each other's needs and found a comfort in one another that they hadn't found with others. I loved Eve, but it was especially important to me, that Jacob get his HEA. He was on the spectrum and treated terribly by his parents. He often felt as though he was too intense and scared people away. But he didn't scare Eve. She embraced all of him, just as he embraced all of her. My heart is getting all warm just thinking about them together. Really, they were so lovely. 

Overall: This was a wonderful farewell to a family I have grown to love. Eve and Jacob were two of the most tenderhearted people, and I was so happy the universe brought them together. 


Make It Sweet

Kristen Callihan
Age/Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Montlake
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Goodreads
From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Callihan comes a charming, emotional romance about redefining dreams and discovering unlikely love along the way.

Life for Emma isn’t good. The world knows her as Princess Anya on Dark Castle, but then her character gets the axe—literally. The cherry on top is finding her boyfriend in bed with another woman. She needs a break, and sanctuary comes in the form of Rosemont, a gorgeous estate in California promising rest and relaxation.

Then she meets the owner’s equally gorgeous grandson, ex–hockey player and current recluse Lucian Osmond, and she sees her own pain and yearning reflected in his eyes.

He’s charming when he wants to be but also secretive and gruff, with protective walls as thick as Emma’s own. Despite a growing attraction, they avoid each other.

But then there’s an impromptu nighttime skinny-dip, and Lucian’s luscious homemade tarts and cream cakes start arriving at Emma’s door, tempting her to taste life again…

In trying to stay apart, they only grow closer—and their broken pieces just might fit together and make them whole.
Both Emma and Luc were enjoying great success, when their careers suddenly came to a screeching halt. A bit lost and licking their wounds, they sought refuge at Rosemont, Luc's grandmother's estate. While there, they hoped to find their next opportunity, and maybe they could find it together. 

I am utter trash for broken people healing together, and it was so beautiful watching Luc and Emma do so. Callihan never fails to write a great romance, and this one had some many elements that worked for me. 

The couple was very easy to love and root for. They had incredible chemistry, the banter was fantastic, and there were these tender moments they shared that melted my heart. I really did adore both Emma and Luc, but I felt so much more invested in Luc's future. The stakes were a bit higher for him, and he was being forced to abandon the only life he knew. My heart ached for him, but it was great to see him channel that energy into something quite wonderful - baking!

I warn you now, do NOT read this on an empty stomach. Cooking, baking, and eating were present on many pages in this book, and the food descriptions were vivid and mouthwatering. The thought of this big, strong hockey player creating delicate desserts simply delighted me. When I found why Luc started baking, he appealed to me even more.  

You usually hear me complaining about slow burn romances, but the pacing on this one worked well for me. I feel like it was a combination of the food, the supporting characters, and the personal issues Luc and Emma were dealing with that helped me be patient as I awaited for the romance to ignite. There were lots of antics and fun events that fleshed this out for me as well. 

They might not have had any say in what happened to them career-wise, but Luc and Emma were able to choose each other. That choice turned out to be one of the best choices they could have made.


**ARCs received in exchange for honest reviews.

Favorite baked goods?
Let us know in the comments!

39 comments:

  1. Both of these books sound fantastic! I love a good slow burn romance and the baking aspect makes it even better. I am definitely going to have to make meeting the Brown sisters a priority as well!

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    1. I am so weird with slow burns, but both of these actually worked for me. Yes! You must meet the Brown Sisters.

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  2. Luc and Emma sound like great characters and even better together! I like the idea that they help each other through rough times.

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    1. It was sometimes bumpy, but they were a great pair

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  3. I loved Eve so much. She was such a fun character. I'm also dying to listen to all of the songs on that playlist she was always listening to!

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    1. I was not familiar with all the music she was listening to

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  4. okay...it's time for breakfast. :-)
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert - so much food in that book

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  5. I reviewed Make It Sweet today, too! I totally agree with the don't read on an empty stomach thing. It made me so hungry! It was such a sweet romance, though. I loved it. Great reviews.

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    1. It was sweet, and I thought the side characters were so great too

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  6. I'm listening to Eve's book right now and I'm LOVING it. It's probably my favorite of the batch (so far) and closer to Hibbert's earlier books that made me love her writing so much.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. You know, I loved them all. I felt like each pairing was so special, and Hibbert writes characters I cannot help but fall in love with.

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  7. I haven't read the previous two books in The Brown Sisters series, but I have this one! I was under the impression you could read them out of order, so let me know if I'm mistaken! I definitely want to read this series the right way, since everyone else seems to love it.

    Make It Sweet is new to me, but I just added it to my TBR!

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

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    1. These are stand-alones, but the characters from the other books make appearances.

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  8. I'm not much of a sweets person, so my favorite baked goods tend to be savory breads. Still, I'm a sucker for a good slice of cheesecake!

    I got a copy of the second Brown book, but didn't read the first, so it has been waiting. I've heard only great things about the entire series.

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    1. You don't need to read the Brown Sisters books in order. They are stand-alones.

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  9. It's been a long time since I've read anything by Kristen Callihan but Make It Sweet has been on my radar since I first read the synopsis. Luc and Emma sound so good together. And the food... I feel like I should only read this after a big meal. LOL

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    1. I really enjoyed it. The food was incredible, but so was the journey.

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  10. I’m looking forward to reading the Brown Sisters, there is so much love for this series!

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    1. All three were really special. I hope you get a chance to "meet" them

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  11. I am currently reading get a life chloe brown and am absolutely loving it. I am so glad to know the last one is also fantastic. Although ending a series is definitely bittersweet! Like you said with the second book, I am also trash for broken people healing together. All of my favourite ship couples embody that perfectly.

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    1. So glad to hear you are enjoying it! The Brown Sisters was a strong series for me. Hibbert just writes incredible characters.

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  12. I'm not big on romance books, but the Brown sisters series just sounds so fun! I might have to try it out.

    I'm trying to lose weight, so I can't even THINK about baked goods right now!

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    1. The Brown Sisters are all wonderful! Good luck resisting the baked goods

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  13. It's always tough to say goodbye to a beloved series.

    "There, she discovers many things about herself including her passion for food and grumpy B&B owners."

    Sounds fun. :)

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    1. All the Brown Sisters book were so much fun. Hibbert has a great sense of humor

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  14. God help me when a man can cook! I'm instant putty! Glad you loved both reads. Btw, the tear jerker was Meet Me in Paradise by Libby Hubscher. And yes, it was ugly sobbing, snotty crying, lol! 5 star read for me.

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    1. I wanted to read that. Thanks for the heads up!

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  15. I just sent Eve Brown off to Lisa @ Lisa Loves Literature for a giveaway. Looks like she has a great read ahead of her!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  16. I just got a copy of Get a Life Chloe Brown and can't wait to read it! And the second book really sounds good too. I do love a book that makes me hungry! Great reviews!
    Lisa Loves Literature

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    1. Nicole actually mentioned that she was sending a copy off to you. I hope you love it!

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  17. Ohhh boys who can bake are my weakness! And Luc sounds like someone that I could fall so hard for! Thanks for putting this book on my radar, it sounds like one I need to read!
    Jen @ Star-Crossed Book Blog

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    1. Luc was a prickly and then amazing hero. He was dealing with a LOT, and I loved that his escape was baking dainty desserts.

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  18. I have my eye on both of these so it's great to know they were hits! :)

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    1. I hope you get a chance to read them. Have you read any of the Brown Sisters books? If you have, you will love Eve's book.

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