Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Release Day Review: Hearts and Hazelnuts by Kris T. Bethke

Title: Hearts and Hazelnuts
Author: Kris T. Bethke
Release Date: Novembre 29, 2017
Category: Contemporary, States of Love
Pages: 103

Mechanic Jordan Hart is down on his luck, so he gladly accepts a temporary job servicing tractors at a hazelnut farm in Newberg, Oregon. He doesn’t expect to be attracted to his boss, Beckett Shaw. Still working on embracing his bisexuality, he’s reluctant to start anything, but Beckett’s gentle coaxing convinces Jordan to take a risk.
Beckett has vowed not to get involved with anyone until he can restore the Shaw Farms name as a leader in hazelnuts. But there’s no denying his interest in the shy mechanic who shows up at his door. Just as they begin to find a balance, outside forces threaten to tear them apart. Job opportunities force Jordan out of the Portland area he loves so much. But when danger comes too close to Beckett, Jordan must decide if he can follow his heart to the Willamette Valley… and straight back to Beckett.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

Kris T. Bethke's Hearts and Hazelnuts is part of Dreamspinner Press' States of Love line.  Things are not going well in Jordan's life.  He had a great job as a mechanic that he enjoyed but then the garage was closed due to his employer stealing.  He's had to move in with his brother and can't find a full-time job.  He doesn't want to leave his brother and the town he loves, but if he can't find a job, he'll have to go elsewhere.  His brother sends him on a job to a hazelnut farm to fix a piece of their equipment.  Jordan is attracted to his new boss Beckett, but he keeps that to himself and doesn't take any chances.  Beckett has only recently taken over the hazelnut farm, something he's been waiting to do for years, and things keep going wrong.  He quickly makes an offer to hire Jordan to take care of upkeep on the farm machinery.  Eventually, both men decide to take advantage of their attraction and time together without commitments.

I always think novellas are difficult because you need to fit a whole romance in just a few pages, and I especially think that when you're taking a story of two strangers meeting and finding love.  This author did a fantastic job with this story!  It never felt rushed, it didn't feel like a novella and though it may have had instalove, it never felt like there was.  The characters were likable.  This was a story of two men focused on their careers and future finding unexpected love.  And, as with life, those men have to decide what's best for them and their future.  I felt like these characters and this story were just real.  There wasn't unnecessary drama, though there was a little and I found it believable and nothing over the top.  Something I didn't expect, but enjoyed, was the information shared about harvesting hazelnuts.  I've never given any thought to the farming of any type of nut, so it was interesting to learn about it.

I highly recommend this novella!  It was a quick, but enjoyable read  It had beautiful descriptions of Oregon, a sweet love story, and just showed how enjoyable a well-written novella can be done!

Rating:  4 stars!

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