The Beautiful Things Shoppe (Seasons of New Hope) – ARC review

The Beautiful Things Shoppe
by Philip William Stover
Release Date: January 26, 2021
Publisher:  Carina Press
Book #2 in the Seasons of New Hope series
Number of pages:  304
Kindle Edition
Source: ARC from Netgalley & Carina Press
Contemporary Romance M/M
Rating: R
Read 1/9/21 to 1/10/21

Their collections may clash but their hearts are a perfect match.

Moving to eclectic New Hope, Pennsylvania, and running The Beautiful Things Shoppe is a dream come true for elegant and reserved fine arts dealer Prescott J. Henderson. He never agreed to share the space with Danny Roman, an easygoing extrovert who collects retro toys and colorful knickknacks.

And yet here they are, trapped together in the quaint shop as they scramble to open in time for New Hope’s charming Winter Festival.

Danny has spent years leading with his heart instead of his head. The Beautiful Things Shoppe is his chance to ground himself and build something permanent and joyful. The last thing he needs is an uptight snob who doesn’t appreciate his whimsy occupying half his shop.

It’s only when two of New Hope’s historic landmarks—each as different as Danny and Prescott—are threatened that a tentative alliance forms. And with it, the first blush of romance. Suddenly, running The Beautiful Things Shoppe together doesn’t seem so bad…until Danny’s secret threatens to ruin it all.

Okay, I feel the need to start this review with something that may not mean anything to many people. But for those that know, you know. I was ridiculously exhilarated that there is mention of paczki in this book. OMG, I love paczki! And I almost never talk to anyone outside of Michigan that know what the heck that even is. To be fair, I haven’t been to the east coast. But I have lived in California and visited Washington, so I know paczki are not a thing in those places. It really did my part Polish, southeast Michigan heart good to read about a favorite treat of mine.

On to the actual story now! One of the things that drew me to this book was the cover. Seriously, it’s gorgeous! And the description in the book of the exterior of the store only made me love it more. I want to go to New Hope just to sit outside this shop under the awning. The author really brings the shop to life and makes me feel as if it’s another character in this story. On that note, I also somewhat feel the town itself (not the citizens of the town, but the actual town) is another character.

Danny and Prescott are both wonderful people. They seem so different, but they’re much more alike than first meets the eye. Overall, I felt more of a connection to Prescott. His insecurities, especially when talking to others, were so well written and really had me feeling his discomfort. On the other hand, I found myself drawn to Danny’s open personality. Just as Prescott was. There is a comforting presence about Danny, even more than his friendliness, that made me love him. It also is what made me expect more from him. I’m just not a fan of secrets. Although, he had a good reason (in the beginning) to keep his secret.

It was fun to have Prescott and Danny be instant enemies. And even more fun to watch them try to fight their attraction until it’s no longer possible. The elders in their town seem to know what they’re doing when throwing people together over and over. Everyone can see the chemistry Danny and Prescott have, and the reader can feel it coming off the pages.

While I really enjoyed the first book in this series, The Hideaway Inn, this book can definitely be read as a standalone. But, if you have read the first book, there are plenty of sightings of old favorite characters from that story. I’m becoming quite the fan of this author and will continue to look for more of his stories.

4.5 stars

**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely**

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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