Clean Read Romance · Clean Wholesome Romance · Contemporary Clean Read

As Easy as Cherry Pie (2020)

About the Book

Book:  As Easy as Cherry Pie

SeriesJustin Harbor #2

Author: Bell Renshaw

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: August 4, 2020

Maggie Petten has perfected the perfect pie—at least that’s what everyone who tastes her confections says. After years of hard work and thousands of pounds of sugar and flour, she’s presented with an opportunity to see her business grow. One that might just be too much for her tiny shop to handle.

Fletcher Knight can’t say no to those in need. When his father died, he found himself not only in charge of the family’s contracting business but also his younger brother. Certain he was prepared for the challenge, Fletcher learns the hard way that his kindness might be his weakness. After a few financial hits, the family business and his life are close to ruin, but once again, he finds it impossible to resist Maggie Petten.

Maggie isn’t in a position to be picky, but is she ready to work with Fletcher? After all, he was her worst (and best) first date experience a year ago, but his silence since then speaks volumes. Can she risk a few weeks of discomfort working with the man who might still own a slice of her heart if it gets her closer to her dream? Or is it safer to let the dream go?

When the project begins, discomfort is only the beginning. Things turn from awkward to disastrous leaving Maggie and Fletcher questioning their working relationship and more. As they work to overcome the difficulties and setbacks life and business throws at them, they begin to realize their differences make them a great team and together their success may cross from professional to personal.

Journey back to the small, coastal town of Justin Harbor, Oregon and let the warm, salty air surround you as this couple trips and stumbles into love.

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My Thoughts

In several reviews I’ve seen for As Easy as Cherry Pie by Bell Renshaw, I’ve noticed one repeated sentiment — if you are a fan of Hallmark then you will love As Easy as Cherry Pie — and I absolutely agree. This novel has all the signature features of a solid, wholesome Hallmark tale. There is a sweet, engaging plot set in a cozy, tight-knit community. There’s a highly intelligent, very talented, big-hearted heroine and a handsome, compassionate, heart-of-gold hero. And, of course, there is a memorable cast of secondary characters that add, in their own unique ways, that extra charm always found in good Hallmark flicks.

Unfortunately, while I did appreciate As Easy as Cherry Pie, I do have to admit that I struggled a bit. First, I am not a fan of Hallmark story lines. I know, I know, that’s crazy to admit but it’s true. I find Hallmark formulaic and I often get bored. My true issue with this story, however, is the relationship between Maggie and Fletcher. For most of the story, Maggie and Fletcher are so awkward with one another that the tension becomes uncomfortable. I never truly felt passion or real chemistry from either one of them. Both characters internally recognize that they like one another, but it never seems to play out in the story. There’s just too much miscommunication or no communication between the two, immature missteps that don’t make sense for a 28 and 31 year old to make, and odd fights between the two that made their love story feel less like a love story and more like a couple forcing the issue. I’m so disappointed that I didn’t love this story as I have loved every other novel/novella that Ms. Renshaw has written. I just needed Maggie and Fletcher’s relationship to have a little less conflict and a little more zing.

Please don’t let my struggles with Maggie and Fletcher’s relationship keep you from enjoying this novel, especially if you are a fan of Bell Renshaw’s stories. As I stated above, As Easy as Cherry Pie is definitely a home run for Hallmark fans. If you love a good Hallmark story then As Easy as Cherry Pie is the novel for you.

I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from the author, Bell Renshaw, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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