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  • Last Stand, Texas Romance

    Off the Market by Audrey Wick is the second Hutchinson brother’s story. If you read book one, then you will have met Cole Hutchinson. BBQ pit master. If not then that is okay, this reads well as a stand-alone. Still the first book On the Market is very enjoyable too. I appreciated the different personalities of Cole and Quinn in this story. It reminded me of some couples I actually know. So the characters are realistic. They are also likable, though Cole came across just as silly as Hutch did at the beginning of his story. Another visit to Last Stand, Texas with the library more as the focus in a friends to love story. Sit back and enjoy the scenery, the people and their everyday lives. An ARC of the book was given to me by the publisher through Net Galley which I voluntarily chose to read and reviewed. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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  • A quick, enjoyable read

    This was a sweet read about romance, politics, and BBQ in a small town. I enjoyed the look at the concerns of two brothers trying to make a go of their family BBQ restaurant and the ideas they come up to add to the bottom line. When one idea takes the younger brother, Cole over to the library and he’s able to help the programs director there, Quinn, rescue a summer reading program from disaster, the romance enters the plot. Quinn is facing the animosity from the city manager for her position at the library. Cole wants to help preserve her job and so we get a little peek into what drives small-town politics in this little Texas town. This was a quick read but the characters were likable and you’ll be pulling for both of them. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book that I received from Netgalley; however, the opinions are my own and I did not receive any compensation for my review.

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  • Small Town Life

    Loved this sweet, romantic story about small town life. The author truly captured the real lives of those who own their own business, those that serve in government and have the power to manipulate the lives of others, but mostly those who serve people by working in libraries... they are unsung heroines! I received an arc from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Opposites Attract!

    Opposites attract in this sweet Texas romance that will leave you smiling, and craving BBQ too! Good thing we get some delightful comfort food recipes to try out at the end of the novel. “The jock. The bookworm. Opposite interests. Opposite personalities. Opposite means of interacting.” Quinn’s memories of Cole from high school aren’t necessarily negative, but rather of a man who simply ran in different circles. While she could certainly appreciate his charm and good looks, she acknowledged the two would never have anything in common. When their paths cross again years later, Quinn is shocked to see the former jock run to her rescue in her moment of need. As the summer progresses these two former acquaintances grow closer than either ever thought possible, and Quinn discovers that Cole Hutchinson has matured into a caring man who no longer craves the spotlight of fleeting attention. Cole too realizes that this woman is making him want things he’s never desired before, and as she starts to share herself and her love of books with him, he admits to himself that Quinn is a woman he can’t let get away. It was enchanting to see these two nurture their feelings for each other, and especially to see how Quinn’s initial surface-level opinions of this man from high school could change so vastly. Something we don’t really explore though is what Cole thought of Quinn back in the day. He’s certainly smitten with this somewhat shy librarian now, but what about back then? Did he see her as a quiet bookworm? Someone cute, but perhaps beyond his league intellectually? Did he even notice her at all? Even though I loved their tale of romance from start to finish, a further exploration of their history could have been an interesting addition! The first book in this series really highlighted the tense, yet lovable relationship between the Hutchinson brothers, both of whom are fighting to make their family BBQ joint a success. While this sequel certainly continues on with that theme, we also see the town of Last Stand come to the forefront as a character in its own right. The delightful townsfolk gather together to support and protect their own, yet in this second book we also see the flip side of that small town atmosphere in the shape of city council members who are rooting for Quinn to fail. They see the local library as a non-revenue generating entity that isn’t worth sinking money into. As Quinn encounters a few hurdles at the start of the summer with her reading program aimed at the children of Last Stand, we see Cole come to her aid in more ways than one as their feelings for each other start to deepen. When Quinn has to make her case in front of city council for their support of her position, you can’t help but feel a hint of Leslie Knope in Parks and Recreation, standing up for what’s right in her small town. This of course means we must also encounter a villain in the shape of a city planner whose advances Quinn once rebuked, and therefore he’s out for revenge against her. As the story progresses we see Quinn start to become increasingly concerned about all the obstacles and malice being thrown her way by the city council, and wonders if there will be a place for her much longer in this small Texas town. While our concern for Quinn continues to grow, and we hold our breath in anticipation wondering if she’ll end the summer on a high note, this intriguing story line does sort of fizzle out a bit by the end. There are some questions which aren’t fully answered, and the character who has grown into our villain exits the story rather abruptly. A more fleshed out culmination of these events would have resulted in a smashing success of a read!

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