Hearts and Hazelnuts, by Kris T. Bethke
Series: States of Love
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 29, 2017
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
Mechanic Jordan Hart is down on his luck, so he gladly accepts a temporary job servicing tractors at a hazelnut farm in Newberg, Oregon. He doesn’t expect to be attracted to his boss, Beckett Shaw. Still working on embracing his bisexuality, he’s reluctant to start anything, but Beckett’s gentle coaxing convinces Jordan to take a risk.
Beckett has vowed not to get involved with anyone until he can restore the Shaw Farms name as a leader in hazelnuts. But there’s no denying his interest in the shy mechanic who shows up at his door. Just as they begin to find a balance, outside forces threaten to tear them apart. Job opportunities force Jordan out of the Portland area he loves so much. But when danger comes too close to Beckett, Jordan must decide if he can follow his heart to the Willamette Valley… and straight back to Beckett.
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
The thing that really made me not like this book as much is that we didn’t really get to know the characters outside their relationship with each other. I wanted to see them before and after they got together, but I feel like we barely got to know them at all outside of their professions. I understand Beckett is worried about his Hazelnut farm and Jordan is worried about being unemployed, but I wanted to know more about them outside of that. Since we don’t really get to know these two characters, I didn’t really want to root for them nor did I find their romance compelling.
The drama in the book was just okay. When reading books like this, you don’t want a lot of depressing angst, but both the drama with Jordan’s unemployment and the farm were just boring. Probably because Jordan finally gets a job and then stuff happens that I can’t say without spoiling you, but it undermines the importance of him getting a job. So you sit through an entire book of him wanting something that later becomes irrelevant.
I think the entire book would have been so much more interesting for me if it was just from Beckett’s point of view and it was just about the farm. I found that so much more interesting than anything that came from us sitting through Jordan’s POV chapters. It just suffered so much from the split POV and the split stories. This book was 100 pages and I just feel like it lost focus and made everything fizzle out.
Sometimes books can seem boring but end up a nice relaxing read that I end up getting into, but sadly this book did not pull me in like I thought it was going to.
Kris T. Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long. An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project. Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time. A classic muscle car will always turn her head and weekend naps are one of her greatest guilty pleasures. She lives in a converted attic with an aquarium full of tropical fish and the voices in her head. She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.