Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Review for Sweet Haven by Shirlee McCoy - 3 out of 5


In Benevolence, Washington, the Lamont family's irresistible handmade chocolates are a cherished tradition--and always a reason to celebrate. And now they're giving the three Lamont sisters, one by one, delicious chances to start again, make a change, and have their sweetest dreams come true...

Neighbors who care, a peaceful routine--accountant Adeline Lamont is glad some things about her beloved hometown never change. But when her grandfather is injured, she has to run the family store, Chocolate Haven, and make its legendary fudge. Trouble is, she can't get the recipe right to save her life--or Chocolate Haven. And she doesn't need her ornery new tenant, Sinclair Jefferson, stirring up the pot with his help--and daring Addie to taste her wild side…

Once Sinclair gets his hapless brother back on track, he's leaving Benevolence for good this time. He's made his life far away from his irresponsible family and their scandals. Trouble is, he can't quite stay away from Addie's optimism, enticing plus-size curves, and kindness to those who need it most. But they don't seem to have a thing in common--except that Addie's passion for chocolate, and for Benevolence, is just as contagious as Sinclair's passion for her. Maybe small-town life has its charms after all…


I enjoyed this book. I thought it was sweet and there are some cute moments, and I enjoyed the small town characters. I did hope there would be more development between the main characters, Adeline and Sinclair, in the romance department because I felt it was sort of glossed over, and I wasn't satisfied with the ending; I felt I needed more of a conclusion about their relationship.

Adeline is a do-gooder, even at the expense of herself and her own comfort. She is happy with living in the small town of Benevolence, and even though her mother may think otherwise, she is happy with how her life is. Adeline had some heartbreak in her life, so she is weary of entering into a new relationship, and is content to be on her own. Adeline is filling in for her grandfather at his chocolate shop because he is in the hospital after having a bad fall. She is starting to feel overwhelmed by all the orders she needs to bake for the shop, and is having trouble perfecting the shop's famous fudge recipe, and she has a problem with asking for help, so her life is in a bit of a crazy spot. Adeline has to run the shop, take care of her really rambunctious puppy, be part of a wedding where she has to wear an ugly dress, deal with some mysterious circumstances, deal with her mom's expectations, and her growing attraction to Sinclair. I liked that Adeline is content with her life, and I like that she is a sweetheart.

Sinclair is in his hometown of Benevolence to help his brother fix up his childhood home for his brother's pregnant wife. Sinclair dislikes being in Benevolence because he thinks everyone thinks of his family as a charity case, so he wants to get out of there as soon as possible, so he doesn't have to deal with the preconceived notions he thinks the town people are thinking. Sinclair moves into Adeline's grandfather's apartment above the chocolate shop while he is in town, and when he meets Adeline he feels an attraction towards her, and wants to get to know her better, but with everything going on in her life, it is difficult. I loved that Sinclair is a nice guy, who doesn't play games, and knows what he wants and goes for it.

Adeline is attracted to Sinclair, but she doesn't want to start anything with him since he is leaving town soon, and she doesn't want to get hurt, so she pushes him away often. Sinclair's feelings are growing for Adeline, but he doesn't know if he should continue to pursue her when she keeps being standoffish with him. I did enjoy the scenes between Adeline and Sinclair, but I wanted more. There were too many other things going on in the story, and I feel Adeline and Sinclair's relationship wasn't fully fleshed out. The romance is pretty tame; there isn't any sex scenes, which I didn't mind so much, but I wanted more scenes with just Adeline and Sinclair. I wanted to see them connecting on a larger level. I did like them together, and I thought Sinclair was really sweet with Adeline.

Even though I felt there was bit too much emphasis on the side characters, I did like them all, and I am looking forward to reading the next books in the series. It looks like they are going to be about Adeline's sisters, so that will be fun to read. This book is wholesome, at times funny, and also was heartfelt. I enjoyed Sweet Haven, and I'm glad I read it!

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