Title: The Strawberry Hearts Diner
Author: Carolyn Brown
Series: – –
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Available: 18th July
Being broke, unemployed, and stranded back in the tiny town of Pick, Texas, was not part of Jancy Wilson’s plan. Yet here she is, watching her car literally go up in smoke—along with her last-ditch hope of staying with her cousin in Louisiana. When Jancy spies a Help Wanted sign hanging in the window of the quaint Strawberry Hearts Diner, the memories of the two years she spent there as a teenager—and the lure of the diner’s beloved strawberry tarts—are enough to draw her in and plant her feet…but only temporarily.
Raised by parents who refused to settle anywhere for long, Jancy has never known what it is to have roots. Now that Jancy’s swept up by the warmth and character of this quirky little community—and by the pull of an old crush—it’s beginning to feel like home. She’s making friends and even discovering the sweetness of falling in love. But when the town is threatened, Jancy knows it will take more than its legendary tarts to save it. Can she fight for this little Texas town—knowing she might not stay forever?
Source: ARC from Montlake Romance via NetGalley
Carolyn Brown is an author who excels at writing warm, strong, believable female relationships – and this book is no different. Jancy is someone who has been on the outside her whole life, but she yearns for the kind of connection that fills the small town of Pick, Texas – and the Strawberry Hearts Diner itself – with warmth and charm. She’s a woman who has been through a lot in her short life, but she’s still strong and steadfast and maybe, just maybe, it’s finally time for things to go her way.
I liked Jancy. I liked Pick. I liked the diner. I loved strawberry tart maker and advice dispenser extraordinaire, Nettie. I liked the other co-owner of the diner, Vicki, and her daughter, Emily, who becomes a great friend to Jancy. I liked the men who love each of them. I liked a whole lot about this book.
But nothing happens. It’s not unusual in a romance story to read the first few chapters and know how it will all end, but in this case you could read the first few chapters and skip straight to the end without missing a single thing. There is potential for things to happen, but nothing really has any effect on what’s going on and I never felt at any point that a grand HEA was under threat, meaning that all that really happens in this book is the passing of time.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you want a sweet read filled with nice people and a warm community, this delivers that in spades. There’s a bit of romance, a lot of friendship and plenty of general loveliness, complete with yummy strawberry tarts. But the pace is slow and without any kind of real conflict or action it didn’t hold my attention as well as it might have – I was too distracted waiting for something to actually happen.
The Strawberry Hearts Diner is out July 18th.
Visit Carolyn Brown for more details.