Her Purrfect Match
by Robyn Neeley
Release Date: May 12, 2020
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Book #1 in the Purrfect Pairs series
Number of pages: 203
Source: ARC from publisher
Contemporary Romance M/F
Read 5/3/20 to 5/4/20
Ad exec Cassie Wilkerson is on the fast track to a Manhattan corner office when she’s suddenly called to quaint Honey Springs, California. She hasn’t visited the town since she was 16, but her aunt has passed away and inexplicably left Cassie her honeybee farm, her matchmaking cat, Belle, and the job of acting mayor.
But Cassie’s quick trip to sort this out turns into a three-week stay. This fish-out-of-water needs the help of the farm’s foreman and her former crush, Nick Porter, to win over the locals. With a few nudges from Belle, old feelings rekindle, and her former fast-paced life no longer seems quite as attractive as a second chance in Honey Springs.
Then Cassie discovers Nick’s been quietly crafting honey-based skin care items, which could be an ideal new product line for one of her big-city clients. But when Nick realizes she’s been making big plans behind his back, he thinks he’ll never be good enough for ambitious Cassie. Can she prove that a future with him in it is all she really needs?
This is only the second book I’ve read by this author. While I enjoyed the story, it didn’t quite reach the same status as the first book I read in my mind.
The first thing I realized was the story was going to follow the Hallmark movie formula. You know the one – big city, stressed out woman is forced to go to a small town and realizes the big city isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Personally, I love those Hallmark movies. And, to be quite honest, in this high stress time I was almost relieved I knew the formula for this book so I could just relax and enjoy.
Surprisingly, although Cassie does have a high stress job in New York and not much of a life outside of work, her job wasn’t portrayed as the enemy. And, in many ways, the small California town she goes to isn’t as slow-paced and syrupy sweet as expected. In fact, that ended up a bit of a problem for me. Some of the residents were downright mean to Cassie. Of course there needs to be conflict, but sometimes I felt as though everyone in Honey Springs was extremely selfish. They expected this woman to drop her entire life to spend 3 weeks there with no regard to what she was leaving behind. What if she was a teacher? Would they expect her to leave her classroom full of kids for that long? What if what they were asking of her (or, more accurately, guilting her into) caused her to lose her job, her home, or any other number of things? Now, if this issue had been addressed by any of the townspeople maybe I wouldn’t have felt so hostile toward them. But truly, I didn’t see the allure of the town at all.
Nick and Cassie have a romantic history from their teen years. A brief but intense relationship. Both believing the other to be “the one” at the time, about 15 years ago. As often happens with your first love, they were not in charge of their own fate since they were still underage. Cassie’s mom moved them out of town and back across the country. Nick, being the person in town who has the most reason to resent Cassie, is the only kind face in the crowd. I enjoyed their friendship and looked forward to their interactions. The how and why of the end of their teen romance is a bit muddled, but the reader gets the gist of what happened. The problem is, I didn’t feel the intensity. Yes, they are sweet together. But that pull? The chemistry? Not really there.
On top being miffed at the town and wanting more of a connection between the hero and heroine, there were quite a few continuity issues. I’ve said it here before, I’m a stickler for continuity and often notice it flubs where others don’t. It’s the way my brain works. In this book, while there were more than I would expect, they didn’t impact the story. My issue with such things is that it takes me out of the story, which is annoying.
I’m sure I’ll give this author another try. I didn’t love this book, but I also didn’t dislike it either. It worked as an escape, and that’s what I want from my reading. Plus, I’m curious as to how the next story will shake out. Despite my disgruntlement with most of the town, a few characters started growing on me by the end.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**