Patty: We picked this one up because it was dirt cheap but still had nothing but 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon. Glowing reviews. Long-winded reviews. Reviews peppered with lots of exclamation points. You could hear the collective sigh from readers/reviewers who waxed poetic using words like “emotion” and “amazing” and “wonderful”.
Patty: Summer is an ambitious twenty-something year old who works at one of those glossy Cosmo-like magazines. She’s worked her way up to an editing position and though she’s comfortable with the world of makeup and fashion, she prefers to write human interest stories. She tries to include a good, solid piece about something other than the standard fluff in every issue. She’s basically the demon spawn of Elle from Legally Blonde and the chick from The Devil Wears Prada.
Katie: Carter Pierce is a veteran struggling with PTSD while working his family’s organic farming operation in upstate New York. He’s got some brothers and a mom who’s a bit of a nut. From the description, I pictured John Krasinski from the Michael Bay penis – I MEANT BENGHAZI, I SWEAR – movie.
Summer has come to Carter’s farm to do a human interest story on organic farming. They take one look at each other and fall in instant lust/love. I mean, LOOK AT THOSE ABS. I’ll rub up against that anytime, dirt and all.
Katie: This book is shockingly well crafted for something self-published. When I tell you the spelling and grammar are perfect, I’m not kidding. The author obviously used an extremely detailed outline when putting together her novel, and the research into organic farming was evident as well. Do they have a write a romance novel for dummies?
The sex scenes were decent – after the first 50 pages, I was afraid it was going to be one of those wholesome romances you find on the bottom shelf at Walmart or at a Lifeway bookstore. I was pleasantly surprised when it turned out to be better than that. I mean, it’s no OUTLANDER, but what is?
Patty: It was crisp and clean (and by that I mean technique-wise; as Katy stated, this was not one of those repressed, G-rated Liberty University recommended Top Picks). Kudos to the author on that. The storyline was ironed out and meticulously produced. No plot holes, no imbalance, nothing out of order.
Katie: It is so perfect, it’s bland. It checks every single romance trope off like the author has a list. It’s just boring. And infuriating – as a single person, I’m deeply offended by its implication that the only path to happiness is marriage. Grrr… Did I forget to mention that the small town the farm is near had a kooky group of aging hippies that matchmakes for everyone?
Patty: It was all just so… lovely. Like an infomercial about Pleasantville sponsored by the Association for a Forthright and Tolerant America.
There was no drama, no angst, no mystery, no legitimate obstacles, no ANYTHING EVEN REMOTELY INTERESTING. Every character was honest and earnest with shiny hair and great table manners.
Even towards the end, when the incredibly implausible secret referenced in the title was let out of the bag, it was so… uninspired. And I swear, anything that even slightly resembled actual conflict was essentially resolved by hugging it out.
The main issue we have is that it’s not a bad book. At all. There is nothing wrong with a story that does not offend and where everyone actually behaves in a civilized manner. I think we’re just jaded because of all of the Alphacock we’ve had to review. (I should really get points for not saying “swallow”)
Katie: If your mom asks for a romance recommendation, this is a completely safe choice. I think that says it all really. Patty?
Patty: Depends on your mom’s age. The book was way too progressive (remember all of the not-so-subtle references to legalizing weed?) and the sex scenes weren’t exactly PG. This is a good “Intro to Romance” book, maybe.
Katie: Hmmm… True that, although all the pot references would go right over my mom’s head. Anyway, it’s fine. Nothing of interest to note about it really, other than that it’s completely inoffensive.