Author ~ Con Riley
Published ~ 21st October 2016
Genre ~ Contemporary M/M Romance
Jon’s future in New York seems bright. He’s on the corporate fast track as an executive problem solver, but somehow he can’t help feeling hollow. Yearning for a life spent outdoors makes no sense if he wants to flourish in this city, nor does losing his cool with clients when they make bad decisions. Only leaving the East Coast behind for three months can save his business reputation.
His exile in Seattle has unexpected upsides. Jon’s rented home has a garden where his true passions blossom. It’s overgrown yet idyllic—perfect if he didn’t have to share it with another tenant. Tyler might be as cute as hell, and their landlady adores him, but Jon can’t let himself fall for someone who seems lazy.
Three months could be enough time to see Tyler clearly, but choosing which to nurture long-term—love or a business career—might take Jon longer than one summer.
I loved this book. It is a contemporary slow burn romance and sweet as anything. Jonathon (Jon) is a hot shot business problem solver who messes up with a client and so is sent away from New York to Seattle to lay low for a while. Looking at accommodation, he stumbles across an advert with a photo of a sweet old lady and a hot looking guy in a garden with the strap line Must Like Spinach. He is drawn because of the garden, a love of his from childhood that he’s not had much time or space to indulge due to his studying and job. Upon arrival he finds the property dilapidated but finds it difficult to refuse Peggy, the elderly owner and is more convinced to accept the apartment when the hot looking guy from the photo, Tyler turns up. Jon is immediately convinced he is the reason for the rundown, messy state of the place and jumps to the conclusion Tyler is lazy and trying to rip off an old lady. Here is the crux of this story. It is about getting wrong first impressions and jumping to conclusions without all of the facts. It is a theme that carries throughout the book.
The job Jon is assigned at Hallquist Holdings in Seattle involves him studying two teams of people and trying to work out what is not working and reporting back to Stan Hallquist the owner. We get to see a lot of the members of the teams and I felt these characters were extremely well written and are an integral part of the narrative. Again, it is all about first impressions and jumping to wrong conclusions and the realisation that you shouldn’t take things at face value. The three main characters of the story though are what keep you reading. Tyler is just adorable from the get go and becomes even more endearing when you discover what he’s been though and how he is dealing with the fallout . I love him so hard, he is the sweetest, most caring guy and his interactions with Peggy are beyond adorable. Peggy is a lovely elderly lady who loves pottering in her garden but is lonely since her husband died and loves having her lodgers around. Jon is more complicated, torn between being this hot shot businessman and yearning to change his life and do more of his first love, gardening.
The romance between Jon and Tyler is slow burn and fraught with a lot of misunderstandings, mainly born from Jon’s wrong assumptions about Tyler. When he discovers what Tyler is really like, they fall for each other and it is beautiful. Their romance and the way their relationship develops, along with their love for Peggy and her well being, are for me, the reason this book is so good. The ending has such an awwwww moment, when your heart melts and you turn to goo that I reread it a couple of times because it was so lovely. I highly recommend this book if you want a sweet old dear, the most caring guy on earth and someone who sees the error of their ways and changes their life around. Jon and Tyler’s relationship with each other and with Peggy and the lovely ending are what elevates this from a 4* comforting read, to a 4.5* I know I will read again & again for the warm, happy fuzzies you are left with.
Connect with Con Riley
Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that makes them live and breathe.
When not people watching, or wrangling her own boy band of teen sons, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don't disturb her—she’s probably thinking up new plots.
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