by Lauren Accardo
Forever Adirondacks - Book 2
Release Date: September 28, 2021
Reviewed by PJ
Falling for your best friend might be a recipe for disaster, but this small-town baker can't help jumping from her pie pan into the fire.
Mila Bailey has always had a special talent for creating unique, show-stopping pies. But until her great-aunt leaves her the entry fee to the Pine Ridge Spring Bake-Off, she's only ever shared them with friends and family. Thrust into the spotlight, Mila is determined to prove to everyone—but mostly herself—that she has what it takes to compete with top-level bakers. There's only one flaw in her plan: The not-so-half-baked feelings she's starting to develop for her best friend, Jared Kirkland.
Jared has always believed in Mila's gifts, but lately he's struggling not to fantasize about sampling more than just the spoon from the batter. No matter how much he tries to tell himself that Mila is not for him—his dreams have always reached beyond Pine Ridge—he can't deny this new spark between them.
Mila embodies Pine Ridge, and Jared wants to break free. How can either of them move on knowing the loves of their lives have been right under their noses all along?
This second book in Accardo's Forever Adirondacks series is a sweet and sexy, friends-to-lovers story with a feel-good, happy ending and a satisfying amount of emotional depth.
I've been curious about Jared since meeting him in book one, Wild Love (his brother's story). and enjoyed exploring his character in depth in Sweet Love. He's still commitment averse, still eager to put his small hometown in his rearview, and ready to make a name for himself in the big city. It was fun to watch him fall for his best friend but he sure does struggle with what that relationship could possibly mean for his future. The author gives him unexpected layers that are slowly unveiled over the course of the book, revealing the impact of his childhood on the adult man and the reasons behind his determination to leave. It made me like him more and refrain a bit from wanting to whack him during his clueless moments. I also liked that his brother was the one to open his eyes to a few facts when Jared has been the one to perform that service for Sam in book one.
Mina is someone I immediately wanted to be friends with...and not only for her delicious pies. I really connected with this character and was cheering her on from start to finish. I wanted her to chase her dream and do well at it. It hurt my heart when she didn't get the support and encouragement from her family that she deserved. She and Jared have great chemistry, a shared history, and the potential for a wonderful life together. I loved how he supported her dreams but wondered if they could find a way to be together when her roots were deeply planted in Pine Ridge and he couldn't wait to leave. I was so happy that Mina found her strength, her confidence, and finally fought for her dreams. I found myself almost as excited about the outcome of the cooking contest as the romance (almost) but to discover how both of them turned out, you'll need to read the book.
Lauren Accardo will be returning to Pine Ridge on January 25, 2022 for the third book in the series: Bold Love. This one features Denny Torres, an intriguing new character introduced in Sweet Love. I'm eager to catch up with everyone in Pine Ridge and find out what's in store for Denny. If you enjoy small-town romances with humor, sizzle, emotional depth, and feel-good, happy endings, give these books a try.
Birthday Giveaway #22:
One person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, September 24 will receive one book from PJ's home collection.
*Must be 18
*Void where prohibited