Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Bliss and the Art of Forever by Alison Kent

Title: Bliss and the Art of Forever 
Author: Alison Kent
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Hope Springs #4
Main Characters: Callum and Brooklyn
Release Date: January 2015
Publisher: Montlake
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Now that she’s committed to leaving Hope Springs, she’s falling for the wrong man…but he just might give her all the right reasons to stay.
Two years after her husband’s death, kindergarten teacher Brooklyn Harvey is leaving Hope Springs for her in-laws’ vineyard in Italy—with no plans of coming back. That is, until she meets a disarmingly sexy biker-turned-chocolatier. He might be the man of her dreams, but he’s also the father of one of her students; as such, he’s strictly off-limits.
Callum Drake knows a good thing when he sees one, and he doesn’t want to let Brooklyn get away, even if his rival for her affection is the ghost of her dead husband. He’ll do whatever it takes to win her over, including making chocolates concocted just for her—chocolates that evoke memories of their time together. But can he create a second love bright enough to pull her, and her heart, out of living in the past?
My Review:
This book was really good. It was so much more than I expected it to be and I love that when it happens with a book. 

First thing you need to know about the hero...he's a badass biker who makes and breathes chocolates for a living and has changed his entire life for the sake of his 5 yo daughter. Seriously, how can you not love this guy? Callum is everything that could be awesome with an alpha male. He's entirely devoted to Addy and his whole world revolves around making sure that she's safe and cared for the way she deserves. He also owns a chocolate shop where he creates artisanal chocolates with only the best ingredients. Some of the most incredible scenes in this book are the ones where he's translating life events that he wants to memorialize into a chocolate. Seriously, my heart just melted a little bit more every time he did that. It was such a gorgeous way to show the heroine how much events in the book meant to him.

Then there's the heroine. She's a kindergarten teacher who no longer has ties to this small town after he husband, who was a firefighter, was killed on the job. It's been two years and she's planned a trip to Italy to visit his family and spread his ashes. She truly doesn't plan to come back. Not exactly the time to start up a new romance. 

The story takes place over several months with a slow build up of the romance. For both these characters, they know that Brooklyn is leaving so to get involved is just going to hurt both of them. They know that, but they still can't resist. 

It's a beautiful story set in the Hill Country of Texas (being a TX girl, I loved that ...I know it's set in Hope Springs, but I kept imagining Callum's shop in Fredericksburg...LOVE). The story is beautiful and evocative. The circumstances are heartbreaking, but still hopeful. And the characters...I loved Callum, Brooklyn, and Addy. I loved the dynamics between the three of them. The conflict with Callum's controlling mother. Brooklyn's friendships in the town...all of those things set up for a great story that I loved every bit of. 

And BONUS!! There are recipes throughout the book. I plan to buy a print copy of this one when it comes available in April entirely for that reason...and also, this would be a great one to re-read again.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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