Just for Nice

Title: Just for Nice (States of Love series)
Author: H.M. Shepherd
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: February 9, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 55
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5


Nick Caratelli flees the city in an attempt to escape a broken relationship and a career he never wanted. He plans to set up a bed-and-breakfast in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country—despite the fact he has no experience in renovating the old building. Luckily his handsome neighbor Sam approaches him with a curious proposal: he’ll help with the restoration in exchange for Nick babysitting his niece.

As they work to have the bed-and-breakfast open for business by summer’s end, their lives become interwoven without them even trying. Before he knows it, Nick is recovering from his loss and taking his place in the unconventional family that seems determined to form. But for Nick and Sam to be together in all the ways they desire, they’ll have to realize all the arguments against romance exist only in their heads….

Neighbors Nick and Sam meet when handyman Sam barters with Nick for babysitting services for his niece Emma, in exchange for Sam helping Nick remodel his house for a bed-and-breakfast. Over the course of this short novella, the two men fall into a relationship and start to build a life together.

At only 55 pages, this novella feels much too short and there is little character development of the two main characters. There is much more “tell” than “show” and it’s difficult to sense much chemistry or sexual sizzle between Nick and Sam. While the story is framed by the work being done on the bed-and-breakfast, once it opens there are few details about the business and although this book is in the Dreamspinner “States of Love” series, there are only a few minor details about Pennsylvania-Dutch culture. Ultimately, this story just did not work for me (although I wish this novella was expanded in order to provide more details and story development) and I give it 3 stars.

State of Love series

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Galley copy of Just for Nice provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas

I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend.

My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh … not in my wheelhouse, but I’m a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre.

Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more.

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