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.
One of the first things Hearts and Hazelnuts (States of Love) by Kris T. Bethke does is make you want to head out and visit the Willamette Valley of Oregon as it’s a virtual love letter to that portion, in fact all of the state. Lushly described, the scenery and locations alone are a draw for this sweet romance novella. Then you add to it a slow burn love story and the fascinating element of hazelnut farming, and Dreamspinner Press’ States of Love and Kris T. Bethke have come up with another winner.
For 109 pages, the author did a lovely job of letting Jordan and Beckett build a relationship through working together rather than a sort of “instant impact/love” you often find in the shorter stories. The attraction is there but each man has other responsibilities and issues in their lives they also need to concentrate on…a very realistic element I appreciated. Told from both men’s perspectives, we get to see the stress they are under as well as the hopes they have for each other and the future.
There is a minor drama/suspense angle here that I thought was resolved far too quickly but again this is a novella not a novel so there’s a constraint as far as words allowed. That aside, I thought Hearts and Hazelnuts was a lovely, heartwarming romance by Kris T. Bethke. It certainly made me want a cup of hazelnut coffee and more. If you love contemporary romance, check out Hearts and Hazelnuts (States of Love) by Kris T. Bethke. I definitely recommend it.
Cover art by Brooke Albrecht is not only beautiful and eye catching but perfect for the story. Love it.
ebook, 103 pages
Expected publication: November 29th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
SeriesStates of Love