Publisher: Bold Strokes Book
Publication Date: 14 March 2017
Rating: 4/5. Stars
Diversity: LGBT character, PoC
TW: drug abuse, character death (in the past)
Summary: Kip Kensington owes four hundred hours of community service for a joyride gone wrong. Jordan Rice has no time for younger women with trouble written all over them no matter how sexy they might be, even if she is in desperate need of more hands—and more funds—to keep her community garden project alive. Kip’s past follows her into Jordan’s carefully constructed, and safe, world, disrupting Jordan’s orderly life and threatening to uncover all the secrets she’d locked away: secrets she guarded as closely as her heart. Together they discover the only way to build a future is to make peace with the past.
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
When I picked up this book I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I definitely was not disappointed.
This story features an age gap (not the creepy kind though, they really fit well together and their age difference is discussed without dismissing problems that could come from such relationships) and it’s set mostly in a community garden in the middle of Manhattan. I’m not a big gardener, but I found the talk about it interesting instead of boring. It could have easily become too much of course, but I think it was nicely balanced. But hey, maybe that’s just cause I could really relate to Jordan as a city-dweller who also misses the countryside. All in all Radclyffes love of the environment and gardening really shone through and it was lovely to read.
There is a scene in the beginning of the book that borders on Sexual Assault and feels super creepy, which I really disliked so be warned that it’s there. There’s also talk about death, suicide, loss and drug abuse all throughout the book, even though it doesn’t go into a lot of detail.
One thing that bothered me was the kind of dragged out conflict in the beginning. I felt like it was just used to build up some more tension between the characters, even though they have enough other things going on. One thing I did love though was that as soon as the story really got rolling, it never got boring and it was lovely to read. Especially the end was gorgeous. However, I was a bit annoyed by the fact that many things that were talked about in the novel were never realized until it ended (the greenhouse for example of the booth at the fresh market). I would have loved to see their happiness at having achieved that after they struggled so much to get it done, but other than that the ending was really nice.
Now it’s time for the most important part of the book: the characters! They were really well written and give the book an incredible depth that I loved. Both of the women have experienced traumatic things in their life and lost loved ones. The reveals were written so heart wrenchingly that my heart really broke for those two characters. But also side characters like Tya were great. I really loved Tya. (She should have gotten some more screen time tbh)
Another thing that was wonderful was the amazing chemistry between Jordan and Kip. At times it was sizzling and at others just truly heartbreaking, but you could tell that they had great chemistry. I also loved that it wasn’t Insta Love and that instead their relationship slowly developed from Who are you over distrust to a wonderful friendship and then ended with love. They are definitely a couple you can’t help but root for. But also separate from the relationship their interactions (f.e. at work) were great and I truly enjoyed it a lot.
All in all this book definitely doesn’t really let you set it down with all the mysteries that are hiding in Kip’s and Jordan’s past, but when you have two main characters that are so great you really don’t want to set it down. It takes a while to get into though since the beginning feels dragged out, but the ending is just amazing.