Kimberly Reviews: Hearts and Hazelnuts by Kris T. Bethke

Title: Hearts and Hazelnuts

Author: Kris T. Bethke

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages: 103

Characters: Jordan, Beckett

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Contemporary

Kisses: 3 

Blurb:

Mechanic Jordan Hart is down on his luck, so he gladly accepts a temporary job servicing tractors at a hazelnut farm in Newberg, Oregon. He doesn’t expect to be attracted to his boss, Beckett Shaw. Still working on embracing his bisexuality, he’s reluctant to start anything, but Beckett’s gentle coaxing convinces Jordan to take a risk.

Beckett has vowed not to get involved with anyone until he can restore the Shaw Farms name as a leader in hazelnuts. But there’s no denying his interest in the shy mechanic who shows up at his door. Just as they begin to find a balance, outside forces threaten to tear them apart. Job opportunities force Jordan out of the Portland area he loves so much. But when danger comes too close to Beckett, Jordan must decide if he can follow his heart to the Willamette Valley… and straight back to Beckett.

Review:

With Hearts and Hazelnuts, we get another entry into the States of Love series – this time set in Oregon. The story centers around Jordan and Beckett’s emerging relationship, while also balancing a threat to Beckett’s farm, a few side characters whose stories are mostly heard rather than seen, and a promise that everything will work out in the end.

The two main characters, Jordan and Beckett, had their relevant backstories fleshed out enough to support the story and allow us to root for their eventual success. We got the typical “both are interested, but don’t know the other is as well” teases before they embarked on their mutual passion, along with some hints that there was more going on in their histories than we got a look at. I’m curious to know more about Jordan’s relationship with his parents, as well as Beckett’s relationship with his dad. There felt like there was much more to say on both those fronts, but perhaps that’s best left for another visit back to these characters and their future together.

Jordan’s brother, John, and the farmhand Cory were two more characters that I wanted to know a bit more about, but we only got glimpses of them. To be honest, when the explanation of who had been helping competitor Homer Gagnon harass and vandalize Beckett’s farm, I was fully expecting it to be Cory’s estranged boyfriend instead of bringing in a whole new character. But maybe that would have been a bit too neat and tidy for the story. In the end, we did get a solid explanation of why it happened, how all the characters fit together, and a promise of a bright future for them all as they worked together and remained close to one another.

If you’re looking for a story that gives you a bit of mystery, some quiet wondering if the two characters will work out, and a promise that there is more in store for Jordan and Beckett, then Hearts and Hazelnuts is for you. I still hope that we can revisit these two again sometime soon, because I want to know what else they’re getting up to on the hazelnut farm!

Reviewed By: Kimberly

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Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love by Kris T. Bethke


Title: Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love
Author: Kris T. Bethke
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 62
Characters: Ben Winters, Zack Anderson
POV: 1st
Sub-Genre: May/December, Romance
Kisses: 4.5




Blurb:

As it often does, the bad news comes in the middle of the night.

When attorney Ben Winters’s close friend takes a bad spill and ends up in the hospital, he flies across the country to be there for her. His instant attraction to her brother takes him by surprise. Wanting Zack Anderson is easy; actually having him is a bad idea. While the two connect over concern for Zack’s sister, there are many reasons to fight the attraction brewing between them. Things heat up as Ben’s friend begins to show improvement, but the reasons not to get involved with the younger man remain the same—long distance relationships never work, and Ben doesn’t do one-night stands. But there’s one powerful reason to give in: Ben has never wanted anyone more.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Daily Dose package “Never Too Late.”

Review:

Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love is the first book I’ve read by Kris T. Bethke and it definitely won’t be my last! I really loved the way Ms. Bethke seems to really connect with her characters and I loved her smooth and easy storytelling ability.

One of the great things about this book was the characters themselves. Both heroes-and Zack’s sister- really lived and breathed off of the written page. Also, I enjoyed the banter these characters had together. I honestly believed they truly liked one another and because of it, they were easy to like too.

The chemistry between Ben and Zack is a strong one. Zack is fifteen years younger than Ben. He’s a teacher and Ben is a lawyer. Even though they are different in many ways, they seemed to bring out the best in each other. I also liked how Zack was able to bring the zest of living back into Ben’s life. It was really great to see these two men fall in love. They made sense together and they were an easy couple to root for.

Because it is a short story, there is a love at first sight element to the story. I love the insta-love element (I believe in it myself, so I enjoy it) and thought the author still did a great job at making these two men fall believably for one another.

Don’t Wanna Lose Your Love is a lovely romance with two likeable heroes that live and breathe off of the written page. Between the well-written romance and the likable heroes it would be a perfect, quick read on a rainy day.

Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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