Book #60: French Roast by Ava Miles

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Small-town biz wiz Jill Hale has been in love with her childhood best friend Brian McConnell for as long as she can remember. A falling out led to years of estrangement, but when Brian returns to Dare Valley after trying to make it big as a chef in New York City, Jill’s determined to make amends. She’s convinced that starting a restaurant together will be the perfect win-win situation, allowing her and Brian to work together and play together. After a series of missteps sliced and diced Brian’s career in the Big Apple, he came home to regroup and find himself. He’s convinced that reestablishing his connection with Jill, the girl who got away, will put his life back on track. And when she approaches him with her plan for going into business together, he’s certain it’s the one way he can have it all-his dream job and his dream girl. Jill and Brian are falling for each other all over again when Brian’s ex sashays into town, intent on sabotaging their reunion. Add in a mysterious investor who’s determined to get Jill on board with his project, and the bond between the couple is tested to the limit. Will their second chance at love implode, or will they find their own recipe for a happy ending?

French Roast by Ava Miles is the second book to the Dare Valley series. It is set a few months after the events of the first book and follows Jill’s story with Brian.

I bought the audiobook since I listened to the first book. The narrator is still Em Eldridge and she is still doing a great job. It helps that it is the same narrator. The voices I was used to in the first book are the same in this one. It makes getting into the world easier.

As for the story, I honestly didn’t care for it. I do like Jill and I do like Brian. I also like that the book is centered on food, which is a great thing to be centered on. However, the overall story and the main conflict doesn’t seem that big of a deal.

What I did like was that though the main conflict is a past love, there are some other things going on. There is a new big man in town ready to set up a casino, Mack. Now he seems like a fun character. I did like his part in the book. The other thing, that’s technically tied to the main conflict, is that Jill’s self confidence problems are addressed.

I found a kindred spirit in Jill during those times. Sure, they are irrational and at times she seems to be more immature, but they were valid emotions that even I have felt at some point. I liked that.

All in all, the book wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t as good as the first, but that isn’t going to stop me from trying out the third book.

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