Review: Flipped!

cover-flippedTitle: Flipped!
Author: Inés Saint
Series: Spinning Hills #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel
Available: May 26th


Filled with storybook architecture and rich with history, the town of Spinning Hills, Ohio, has seen better days. Now the Amador brothers are determined to restore the neglected community to its former glory. But it takes more than a hammer and nails to make a house a home…
Perfumer Holly Bell has a nose for scents and a head for dreams. A former military brat who longs to put down roots in Spinning Hills, she’s been saving for years to buy a certain ramshackle Craftsman for herself and her young daughter. For once in her life, everything’s going according to plan—until a real estate flipper steals the house out from under her! She can’t afford to outbid him—but she can’t seem to stop thinking about him either…
Dan Amador isn’t back in Spinning Hills to stay. Checking on his brothers and renovating one house in the family tradition will be plenty until it’s time to move on. Yet what seemed easy turns out to be anything but, especially when it comes to the gorgeous single mom who lives next door. Before he knows it, Dan seems to be creating the house of her dreams. He doesn’t believe in the kind of fairy tale ending Holly longs for—but he can’t deny that her stubborn optimism has found its way into his heart…

Source: ARC from Lyrical Press (Kensington Books) via NetGalley

I’m a little torn about this book. On the one hand there were parts of it that I really enjoyed: Holly, her daughter Ella, her grandmother, Dan’s brothers, the other fun friends and family members in town; the renovation of the house; Holly’s business; Spinning Hills itself. And then, on the other hand there’s Dan, who has more than a few jerkish moments. I don’t care if he had his reasons in his emotionally stunted childhood, his superior (and incorrect) snap judgements made him look and sound like an ass.

More on that later. Let me first talk about those good things. And there are many. This is a lovely small town romance of the type I thoroughly enjoy. Holly is a warm heroine with a gorgeous little girl and a successful business. She’s had her troubles in the past, but she’s on the right track now and her next goal is to by the house of her (and Ella’s) dreams. Except she gets gazumped. But instead of turning bitter over it (I might have) she instead tries to help out, because Holly’s a good person and tries not to waste energy on things she can’t change. I liked her a lot.

The story itself is full of humour from the opening scene, right up to the end. I loved the three women running the bakery. There’s a magical one, a pious one and a sceptical one, they rarely agree on anything, but they’re kind and fun and dole out invaluable advice whether people want it or not. Then there are Dan’s younger brothers, Sam and Johnny, who are funny and supportive and tease in the way that only family can. I loved getting to know both of them and cannot wait to read their books.

Which brings me back to Dan. Eh. He waltzes in to the story so certain that he is right and Holly is wrong. He doesn’t care that owning the house was her dream, he just assumes she’s a terrible mother and that her business is an empty indulgence. He also mocks her expertise, and although he does come around on these things throughout the story, I never really feel like he genuinely apologises. It’s just that Holly chooses to be the better person and forgive him, even when he doesn’t really deserve it. I hate a hero who undermines the heroine or doesn’t believe in her. He’s so scathing of her hopes and dreams for the house at first that it made a very bad impression on me.

For the most part, however, he does improve. He’ll never be a favourite hero of mine, but he’s tolerable by the end. Sure, he makes another huge judgemental mistake, but the ending is almost cute enough to make up for it. The rest of the characters, the setting of Spinning Hills and Holly definitely do. In all this is cute and warm and funny and everything I could expect from a small town romance, though the hero in this case wasn’t for me. It might also have been nice to have seen a little more of the work on the house, but what I did read I enjoyed. I definitely want to return to Spinnning Hills soon – even if this book did leave me singing Toto’s Africa

Flipped! is out May 26th!
Visit Inés Saint for more details.


1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Review: Needs A Little TLC | Book Gannet Reviews

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