Series: Honey Hill #1
Release Date: January 18th, 2022
Honeybees, history, and small-town charm are what Honey Hill, North Carolina, is all about. Its mayor, Lunden Pierce, will stop at nothing to protect the town’s historical landmarks and distinctive character. She’s Honey Hill’s greatest champion.
But everything changes when Lunden’s childhood sweetheart, Quade Cannon, returns to town. Though Quade has fond memories of his summers in Honey Hill, he has no use for the historic inn he’s inherited—or the honeybees living in its yard. His plan is to sell the inn and reap the rewards.
For Lunden, though, the threat to Honey Hill’s history means war. Determined to change Quade’s mind, she immerses him in the town’s charm and its honeybee culture. But while he’s falling for Honey Hill, he falls for Lunden, too—and the feeling is mutual. As their summer romance heats up, Lunden has a choice to make: the town she loves or the man who threatens to change it.
Something So Sweet was a great introduction to Joy Avery’s stories and her writing, because this story was fun, but it was also emotional and it had all of the things that I like about small town romances.
Lunden Pierce and Quade Cannon spent summers as kids together, falling in love and crossing a lot of lines together. As each other’s first everything, the love was strong between the two of them. But then after the first time they sleep together, Quade vanishes without a trace and nobody knows what happened to him. His aunt, Ms. Shugga, might be Lunden’s favourite person, but even Ms. Shugga doesn’t have the answers Lunden wants. Fast forward 23 years later, Ms. Shugga has passed and left her beautiful Inn to Quade bringing him back to town. The same town where Lunden is now the mayor and being watched by everyone. For Lunden and Quade, this reunion isn’t exactly how they saw things in their lives turning out, but it is what they have to deal with.
I really enjoyed Lunden and Quade’s relationship, I loved how quickly and easily Zachary (Lunden’s son) takes to Quade and how the two boys connect on so many levels. This book was a lot slower than I expected it to be—with all the town politics and events getting in the way of the romance—but I also liked seeing how this small town functioned. It’s not often that the heroine is the mayor of the small town in contemporary romances, so to see how Lunden handles the pressures of an important job while also keeping her heart intact and being mother of the year was definitely a treat.
Both the characters are really interesting too, much older than characters we often meet in contemporary romances. They’ve got a whole lot of their lives experienced without each other, so after all this time to have the chance to connect and make something of their romance was a really nice change of pace. I loved the nosy townsfolk—which is always a fun part of small town romances—and I liked that the older women were shameless in their perusal of Quade and bossing him around too.
I’m a big fan of sexual tension and pining, but I really feel like we spent too much time with town shenanigans before enjoying the romance, by which time I was starting to fade a little. However, I am going to keep reading because I am very curious about what comes next!
Thanks to Joy Avery, NetGalley and Montlake for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.