A Match Made on Main Street
Briar Creek, Book #2
By Olivia Miles
Author’s Website: http://www.oliviamilesbooks.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra
This kitchen isn’t big enough for both of them…
If there’s anything Anna Madison knows, it’s how to turn life’s lemons into a lemonade cocktail served in a vintage glass. So when her beloved Briar Creek café burns down, she sees it as an opportunity to start fresh. But the only kitchen available to her is in the diner down the street—owned by her sinfully sexy ex.
If Anna thinks she can take over his greasy-spoon kitchen with her high-end cuisine, Mark Hastings is about to set her straight fast. Their breakup is his biggest regret—not that he’ll ever admit it to her. Nope, he’d rather show her exactly what she’s been missing. With desire set on a high simmer, their menu is about to get a whole lot spicier…
A lovely novel about the power of second chances. I was quickly taken in by the story and succumbed to sleepless nights while I finished the book. Immediately this reader was sympathetic to Anna as her café burns down just after she has taken on more debt to help her sister expand the bookstore next door. What else could go wrong? In order to supply the morning goodies for the bookstore, Anna must accept help from her ex (Mark Hastings) by way of sharing his commercial kitchen (a suggestion put forth by Mark’s Aunt Rosemary). It has been eight long years since they have been involved (and by the way…both Anna and Mark NEVER let anyone in the family know they were involved).
As money is tight (waiting for insurance money to rebuild is not a quick process) an opportunity arises to enter a cooking contest (this idea set in motion by Aunt Rosemary of course…so are we getting the idea that Aunt Rosemary has other plans for these two???). The only logical choice is for Mark and Anna to work together to wow the judges and hopefully win $100,000. As to be expected, working together with one’s gorgeous ex is not easy. Especially when no one in the family knows you are exes. But they do manage to work together (and yes, hot and sexy sparks are present). They manage to enter the contest and…. (you didn’t think I would tell you the results did you???). I must say though, I definitely got hungry as a result of their practicing and run-throughs of their menu as well as Anna making all the morning goodies for the bookstore. This story also made me wish I had a bigger kitchen to bake my own goodies!
With sparks abounding, Mark has regrets about his breaking Anna’s heart all those years ago. The question is, can each of them forget about the past and create a present and maybe even a future? It is rough going and at one point, Anna is going on blind dates set up by Rosemary. Now those dates are a hoot. I really got the sense that Rosemary had a secret agenda (and yes…of course she does).
How did the two manage living in the small same town without communicating…:
“They’d coexisted in virtual silence for years, but Briar Creek was small, and people talked. If you didn’t want gossip-and neither of them did-then you had to go along with the flow, keep up pretenses. Attend Mark’s annual bash.”
Mark on Anna:
“I kept thinking one day you’d come around, start liking me again.”
And Anna’s thoughts re: Mark:
“His mouth tipped into that slow, easy grin and her heart skipped a beat. Damn him. He had no right. No right at all to be digging this up, to resurrect something they’d once had.”
Needless to say, there are roadblocks on the path to finding each other again, if they can manage this. There is the predictable ex-girlfriend, lack of confidence that Mark has matured or that Anna has worked past being scared of being happy. And meddling relatives certainly played a significant role! Rosemary is such a hoot.
As well, the secondary storylines were very engaging and certainly set the stage for further titles in this series. This, coupled with the various other secrets (which were unexpected but definitely added depth to the story), produced a very enjoyable second book in the Briar Creek series. I cannot wait for book #3., thank you Olivia Miles for creating this engaging book as well as engaging series. 🙂 I look forward to your next title.