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Review – A Fine Romance by Christ Barth

A Fine RomancePublisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: Out Now
How I got this book: NetGalley

They say you form your first impression of someone within thirty seconds of meeting them. Or, in Mira Parrish’s case, within thirty minutes of not meeting them, when said person is supposed to pick you up from the airport and never shows. This is not a perfect start to her new life. Her friend Ivy is depending on her to run a new romance store, and Mira can’t afford to let her down.

Sam Lyons should probably apologize. But every time he sees Mira–which is often, since his family owns the bakery next to her shop–he can’t resist antagonizing her. There’s something about the sexy, straight-laced woman that drives him crazy. He can’t get involved, though. He has too much baggage to be any good in a serious relationship.

Despite his teasing attitude, Mira finds Sam too sweet to resist. (His hot body may be a factor.) But if there’s going to be anything permanent between them, they’ll need to let go of their pasts and look to the future…
*Blurb from Goodreads*

After reading Barth’s first book, I was super excited to read the second. I absolutely adored the series concept and was so excited to read more about Sam and Mira. Although I really enjoyed the story, there was something special missing that the first book had, and this one didn’t.

Mira’s introduction to Chicago isn’t a good one, and it’s partially Sam’s fault. When her best friend Ivy asked her to come run the store of her dreams, Mira’s so excited for the new opportunity. The only downside is having to work next-door to Sam. However, Mira is so attracted to the man that she can’t seem to stop thinking about him regardless of the stress that comes with opening her new store.

Sam lives and breathes for two things: the family bakery and taking care of his mother. He has his own dreams of expansion and can’t seem to find the time to make them a realit. Add in the relationship developing with Mira, and Sam’s life is a chaotic mess. But if either wants their relationship to move forward, they will have to find a way to let go of the past, together.

I really wanted to enjoy this book, however, there was something magical that was just missing. I really liked both Sam and Mira as characters but their relationship was somewhat lackluster. Usually I enjoy romances that are very easy and drama free, however Sam and Mira seemed to fall in love a little too easily. Maybe they just didn’t spend enough time together on the page for me to really believe in their connection. Whatever it was, I found it hard to really fall in love with them as a couple.

That being said, I did enjoy them both as individual characters. I adored Mira, she was sweet and funny and loving and sarcastic. While she was still dealing with some issues with her parents, stemming from some archaic family traditions, she also had a solid head on her shoulders. She didn’t hold a grudge against Sam, despite the fact that he let her down time and again, and she desperately wanted to help him achieve his dreams.

I really liked Sam in the first book in the series, but the more we got to know about him, the more I developed a love-hate outlook toward him. On one hand, I loved the fact that he was fairly straight forward with Mira. He knew what he wanted out of a relationship, and he wasn’t afraid to ask for it. He opened up to her and relied on her. Then again, he was so totally stuck in a rut in regards to taking care of his mother that he put everything else on the back burner.  He let it interfere with his own plans and dreams, and I wanted to smack the crap out of him for it.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was the secondary cast of characters. I can’t wait to find out more about Gib, and I loved the way he and Ben were so protective of Mira. The friendship with Ivy and Mira was wonderful to see as well. I love when my romance books touch a little bit on the friendships of the heroine and her girlfriends.

All in all I liked the book, but thought that there was a little something missing in the romance department. The spark that made the first book so wonderful was not there for me, and my enjoyed lacked a little because of it. While I would have liked more page time for the developing romance between Sam and Mira, I am still looking forward to the next book in the series.
I give A Fine Romance a B-

By MinnChica

MinnChica can usually be found with her nose in a book (or nook), and can ALWAYS find a few minutes to read: stuck at a red light, sitting in the doctors office, on her lunch break. She's so addicted to reading that her family frequently threatens to host an intervention. Currently MinnChica is devouring every romance book she can get her hands on, especially ones that feature 'friends to lovers' stories. Some of her favorite authors currently are Ilona Andrews, Jill Myles, Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh and Susan Mallery.

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