- File Size: 2861 KB
- Print Length: 245 pages
- Publication Date: October 19, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01MCW7C0D
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,673 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Must Like Spinach Kindle Edition
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“Must Like Spinach” is a conventional romance in some ways…it follows the m/m rules nicely. But, while the romance between Jonathan and Tyler is at the core of the narrative, it really is a story about the choices one makes along the path of life that determine one’s future happiness.
Jonathan Fournier is a twenty-something hotshot at a cutthroat NYC financial office, in fact a glorified intern fighting for a top position. He’s good at what he does, but he has just messed up in a big way by letting his heart get in the way of his business brain. He gets sent off to Seattle for a second chance, far enough away that nobody in the business world will have heard of his screw-up. Jon is determined to redeem himself in memory of his mother, who sacrificed everything to make a life for him.
However, once he starts apartment-hunting in Seattle, Jon finds himself drawn not to the hard-headed business that happens in the skyscrapers of the city on Puget Sound, but on the oddball, nature-filled life that goes on in the forgotten places, where cozy neighborhoods still flourish as they did before Seattle went high-tech. For all Jon’s skill at analyzing the foibles and weaknesses of a corporation, it is the gardens of his happy childhood he keeps remembering as he settles into his temporary home.
One of those gardens is owned by a quirky old lady named Peggy, and her tenant Tyler Waitt. At first, Peggy and Tyler seem like the antithesis of what Jon wants in life. Gradually, however, Jon begins to understand the little world they inhabit with the same careful observation he brings to the corporate workplace. As Jon learns how Peggy and Tyler fit into their Seattle, he begins to question everything he thinks he knows.
Riley brings a richness to the characters, both the MCs and the secondary players, that makes them jump off the page. Because it’s all from Jon’s viewpoint, the reader only knows what Jon knows, and thus we experience the gradual reveals in the various characters’ personalities just as he does. This is what makes the book so much fun to read. There are no cardboard people here, and as Jon discovers their motifs and emotions, his own outlook changes.
This is not a new story; there is a certain classic structure that guides the entire premise of the book—the young careerist who begins to question the rightness of what he’s doing. But Riley doesn’t keep it simple. She probes, and helps the reader discover that the path to happiness depends on the person walking it.
Jonathan Fournier has been sent to Seattle to lick his wounds and regroup after making a horrible mistake at his high profile corporate job as a consultant. He knows he's on thin ice and needs to make the best out of the next three months but a part of him is so happy to escape New York City ... especially when he sees an ad for a place to rent that just so happens to have the most intriguing looking garden. He's long buried his love of digging in the dirt and watching things grow but from the first moment he sees the wild garden at Peggy's not so appealing apartment for rent, he feels a pull that he just can't ignore. Too bad there's another tenant there that just rubs Jonathan the wrong way. A few misunderstandings and Tyler and Jon have definitely gotten off to the wrong foot. It doesn't take too long, and with a bit of meddling from the supremely lovable Peggy, for Jon and Tyler to realize they're both dealing with a bit of judging a book by the cover.
There is much to love in Must Like Spinach. It's gorgeously written, with a pace that flows effortlessly. A cast of characters that are well developed and so likable. A love story that is sweet and tender and oh so very romantic. This isn't a book filled with steamy love scenes, but there's an intimacy present that is full of passion and deep connection. Jonathan's growth is so fulfilling to watch and the way Con Riley weaves gardening references into her prose is just beautiful. Tyler, though not quite as fleshed out as Jonathan is delightful. He's strong and sweet and sexy. These two together were really just fabulous. The story within the story that takes place at Hallquist Acquisitions took me a bit to get into and too see the purpose of, but once I did, it fits so well.
I really, really enjoyed Must Like Spinach. Everything about it was like a breath of fresh air. This is a story about finding your place, your passion, and yourself. Make sure you pick this one up people, you don't want to miss it!
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~See the full review originally posted on BackPorchReader[dot]com 10-28–2016.
~Rating: 4.Read more