Title: Hearts and Hazelnuts (States of Love)
Author: Kris T. Bethke
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 29th 2017
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary
Page Count: 103 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
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.
States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.
One of the most difficult things about a novella is for there to be enough of a story condensed into the few amount of pages we have without losing the romance or pacing.
Kris T. Bethke pulls it off here well. The romance between mechanic Jordan and farmer Beckett is told in a dual POV, doesn’t move at a break-neck pace, and progresses naturally. They are attracted to one another, act on it, then build their relationship from that point. There’s no insta-love in how their relationship plays out.
This is a States of Love romance so the location plays heavily into the story, and Bethke uses it well to create both a backdrop and a bit a drama for the story.
If you’re in the mood for a low angst, sweet romance, with some sexy times and a HEA you should check it out.