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  • Second chance romance for brewer and ER doctor

    Boyd McNaughton is the oldest of four sons. The three eldest: Boyd, Cade and Patrick, own and run Foghorn Brewery and are in the process of opening a tap house to showcase their brews. Boyd is the brewer, Cade will run the tap house and Patrick does the marketing. Boyd is also the father of a 13 year old son, Mason, born of a short-lived college romance. Boyd is the primary care-giver and he balances his work with bringing up a son with aplomb, he just doesn't have time for a relationship. Dr Ella Walters moved to the small city of Petaluma, California from San Francisco two years ago after a relationship went terribly wrong (fair warning, we don't find out exactly what went wrong for quite a long time - at page 126 I made a rather exasperated comment asking what had happened). Naturally reserved, her family are, at best snobs and at worst vicious sociopaths, distant and her recent romantic failure has caused her to shrink further into her shell of work, work, work. She doesn't believe in love and isn't looking for someone. After a disagreement with Patrick over the latest brew results in Boyd cutting his hand on a keggle and needs a trip to the ER where he meets Ella. Although the sparks are there aplenty it is really Mason and Ella who hit it off as Ella gives him advice about the girl he likes at school. What I liked about this book. I liked Ella and I liked Mason, I liked Patrick and Cade and West (the fourth brother who is a movie star), most of the time I liked Boyd. I liked the way in which a working dad was portrayed and I liked the tentative romance as it blossomed between two thirty-somethings who had been burned by love before. So what didn't I like? At some point in the books I have read by Racy Ewens the characters just seem to get stuck in a loop of denial or self-doubt which goes too far, the point at which I start using more profanities and exclamation marks than are strictly necessary. Luckily Boyd only did this once, page 233 if you are interested, but I did feel he needed to pull his big girl pants up. But, as always, what I really didn't like was Ella's 'friend' Bri, her gentle teasing was more like a sledge-hammer, she overstepped the bounds of friendship and was a bit of a bully. Also the way in which the group of women friends talk is completely unnatural (in my opinion), I mean who asks their friend if they have told a man that they love him, particularly if that friend is in denial/ hasn't realised it herself? Despite my loathing of all things Bri, this series is like catnip for me and I am gagging for Cade's story - is it with Bri, please tell me no?

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  • Romantic second chance love story.

    Tracy Ewens, ‘Brew: a love story’. As an Hidden Gem ARC reader I received this book for free. And promised an honest review. Here it is. English isn’t my first language. Sorry for errors. Main characters: - Boyd McNaughton (37). Living in a small city, Petaluma (CA). With his brothers, Patrick and Cade, he just started the Foghorn Brewery. He has a son, Mason, who is 13 years old. The mother of his son, Claire, left him when Mason was a 6 month old baby. Boyd being a single dad, did a good job to raise his son with love. - Ella Walters (36). Doctor in Petaluma. Settled in this little city near Sonora after a bad break up with her colleague/boyfriend and hating the stress of her work in the trauma center San Francisco General. Boyd and Ella meet when Boyd cut his hand while preparing the brewery for the grand opening. It’s a difficult start of their acquaintance. Boyd is ill-tempered because of his painful wound and Ella’s very tired and has little patience after a shift of 24 hours. Their second meeting (to remove the stitches) goes better. Boyd’s son Mason (13) is with him; Ella and his son have a click when Ella gives him a sound advice how to treat a girl he has a crush on. The author, Tracy Owens, describes with feeling how - with ups and downs - Boyd and Ella’s relationship develops. Both have negative experiences with relations in their past and hesitations to commit in a permanent relationship. Mason is a successful go-between. Sometimes this reader didn’t quite understand Boyd’s doubts: one moment he doesn’t dare to say ‘I love you’ when his feelings are very clear and - while there’s hardly a chance in the situation - shortly thereafter he asks Ella to marry him. We just keep it up: I’m a man, so I’ve too little sense of romantic complications. But all in all, for me, ‘Brew’ was a charming, well written book.

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