- File Size: 1259 KB
- Print Length: 289 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1651344604
- Publication Date: August 1, 2019
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07VP1R2FS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,229 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$14.95|
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Coming Up Roses: Inspired by Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice (Bennet Brothers Book 1) Kindle Edition
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“‘I’m yours,’ I said against her lips before taking them. Forever was written in that kiss.”
Staci Hart is new to me. This is only the second book from her that I have read, the first being Well-Suited, the fourth book of her Red Lipstick Coalition series. With that book, I appreciated her story and loved the characters, but there was something missing for me. Part of it was its voice. It lacked some level of flow for me. However, in the end, I realized how much I appreciated and respected Hart’s storytelling.
When I read the blurb for Hart’s newest book, Coming Up Roses, I was drawn to three things: the enemies-to-lovers trope (LOVE IT!), a playboy-level, seemingly irresponsible hero, and an “inspired by Jane Austen” level story. I was all in after reading those qualities. Add to that a beautiful cover, and this book had to be mine.
And Coming Up Roses did not disappoint in the least. To begin, the voice of this book changed from Well-Suited. From the outset, the words and sentiments on the page flowed, so much so that I could not put this book down. In fact, I read it from front to back in one sitting. It captured me, clobbered me over the head with its humor and sweet story.
It is a bit deceiving in the realm of enemies-to-lovers. There are two main characters, Tess and Luke. Tess sees Luke as an enemy due to a moment in their past. From the outset, Luke recognizes Tess’s virtues, and he’s puzzled by her animosity towards him. As far as he’s concerned, he has never affronted her. We, the readers, know the issue, but Luke is clueless. This story isn’t like a true enemies-to-lovers story wherein the hero and heroine both hold disdain for each other. In this case, it is very one-sided, and it makes for some good story-telling as the “playboy” learns Tess’s truth. It also offers some sweet sensitive moments.
Hart has constructed Luke to be more than just a playboy. This is seemingly so at first glance, but Luke is much more layered in his development. Yes, he loves women, and he connects with them in the way that most men like. However, he is sensitive, thoughtful, caring, and sacrificial. We see this from the start in that he leaves California to come home to care for his family’s business. While there is more to the decision, it still shows that he is more than just a playboy out to bed women. He cares deeply for those he loves. Luke, very quickly in the story, moves from being a lothario to emotionally intelligent. I loved his evolution, and as a reader, fell deeply in love with Hart’s rendering of him.
“He was kind and giving to measures of absolute certainty. He sacrificed himself for others, even when it cost him dearly. He shouldered responsibility for things that were not his to be responsible for. He was steady and sure in ways I never thought he could be, in ways that had brought Wendy across the country strictly to seek safety in him…Even now, even having endured what she’d put him through, I believe he would try to help her, do what he could to ensure her security. And if I gave him the chance, he would do the same for me. More, if I let him. I wanted to let him. And I wanted to give him everything he had given to me.”
Conversely, Tess is your typical cerebral heroine. She thinks before she acts. Her head rules her heart, and she can be annoying to the reader because her internal struggle keeps her away from the hero. However, Tess is any woman who has ever feared jumping first, thinking later. While she is more cerebral than some heroines, her chest holds a deep and caring heart. In fact, she chooses the happiness and care of others over her own. Through Tess, Hart shows her readers the necessity for self-care and living one’s life, not just simply existing in it. Much like reading Luke’s evolution, there is something deeply satisfying in Tess’s changes.
Together, Luke and Tess make a whole. He pushes her towards adventure and spontaneity, while Tess grounds Luke more than even his family. It’s this wholeness that makes this story a beautiful read. There is some angst in the book, but really Luke and Tess’s story is more beautiful than destructive. As they work together to make the flower shop successful, I looked forward to each new change. In each new change, their relationship moved from the physical to the emotional and there inlaid the beauty of the story.
“We went up like a torch in a twist, a tangle of arms, our bodies locked and seeking the other. There was no space — the flame had devoured the distance, the air, her and me. Consumed.”
I think Staci Hart won me over even more with Coming Up Roses, the first in a new series. From the other family members who made me laugh out loud and love them for the ways they loved each other to Tess and Luke’s coupling, this book brought a light to my day. Having read some heavy, angsty romances lately, Staci Hart’s newest book breathed fresh air into my day and my heart.
“But looking at my parents, looking at what I had with Tess, I realized love was more than that. It was equality. Respect. Trust.”
The h is nursing a pathetic grudge because the H forgot that he kissed her when he was piss drunk. Why on earth would she want him anyway? He was screwing her best friend for years! And they all work together in one happy little Petri dish.
The ex, who didn't see that coming?! Another eww moment that he had unprotected sex with her knowing that she was screwing multiple other men.
The author seriously screwed up with this book.
Luke Bennet has returned home along with his siblings to help his mom resurrect their family business, Longbourne. It's a floral shop that has been in the family for generations, but with businesses changing with the times, how can a mom and pop shop survive it? That's where the Bennet brothers (and one sister) come in. Along with Tess and Ivy, this crew of characters is going to turn this floral shop on it's head and within that time a romance is going to bloom between two characters that have a bit of history.
Tess and Luke were complete opposites and I liked seeing them compliment one another. The carefree and wild Luke that can't be tied down and Tess who likes steady and plans. How could their attraction possibly work? Tess has ambition, but she has responsibilities she holds high. One of those being her father. And boy does her father give some sound advice for someone that had a life completely altered by life.
"Be wild. Because life is lived in the moments you don't see coming. Not in the comfort of predictability but in the thrill of the unknown."
This book had the feels but was also very visual. I could see the floral shop and the changes that were being made. It was colorful and full of life. It added to the story so vividly that I couldn't help but love the setting about as much as the characters. It brought everything to life and tied all the tidbits together. The floral shop was at the center of everyone's life and I loved that. It completed the book. But the characters were also so strong and unique in their own ways. We got to see them grow during the story. We got the wild and free. The predictability. The responsibility. The family. It was a full out family romance that I devoured quickly. And Luke? Man is that guy swoon worthy? Just when you think he is flighty and perhaps a player, he is so much more! He is an ALL IN type of guy and I'm here for it.
For a heartwarming romance that would be a perfect beach read, I would recommend this for your summer reading. It's a well paced and fleshed out story that leaves you feeling good. Told in dual POV from Tess and Luke, this is one for Hart addicts as well as new readers. And don't forget to check out the chapter titles. They always make me laugh and are spot on for their corresponding chapters. Enjoy this 4.5 star book!
Top international reviews
Der Plot mag an sich nichts außergewöhnliches sein, Staci Hart schafft es aber immer auch altbekannte Geschichten modern und frisch zu schreiben. Das ist auch dieses Mal gelungen. Die Autorin bringt eine Menge an Witz und Charme in die Geschichte rein, die so zu etwas besonderem wird und unterhaltsam ist. Allerdings muss ich sagen, dass ich ein wenig mit den Hauptcharakteren gehadert habe, weil ich sie nicht so sehr ins Herz geschlossen habe, wie erhofft.
Mehr als drei Sterne gebe ich dem Buch aus folgendem Grund nicht: Auch wenn mir die Geschichte an sich gut gefallen hat, so habe ich doch auch mit ihr kämpfen müssen. Irgendetwas am Schreibstil der Autorin hat dazu geführt, dass ich in keinen guten Lesefluss gekommen bin. Ich kann es mir nicht so richtig erklären, da ich dieses Problem mit anderen Büchern der Autorin nicht hatte. Ich kann daher nur empfehlen, vor dem Kauf auf jeden Fall einen Textauszug zu lesen.