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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Forking Around by Erin Nicholas (review)

Contemporary Small Town Cinderella Story – 5 Stars!

Forking Around is the second book in the Hot Cakes series by Erin Nicholas, and let me say...this is a WINNER. If you haven’t read Erin Nicholas before, you’re missing out on SO many levels! The residents of the rural town of Appleby, Iowa have stolen my heart with their hilarious, stubborn, laugh-out-loud personalities. I love romance and comedy - together and separately - but when they come together just right...well, then it’s just the BEST. Along with that balance, I really, really need my characters to be believable so I can love them and relate to them and keep them in my mind forever!

So yes...I love LOVED this book, and devoured (see what I did there?) it in one sitting because I wasn’t able to find a point that I felt I could stop and survive waiting to see what happens next! Jane is an Appleby native, and far more invested in the lives of her friends and coworkers than she’d ever like to admit. She wants to keep her life compartmentalized and her job mindless and easy; there’s not a lot of time for fun among her many responsibilities. Dax is a brilliant entrepreneur and one of the new owners of the town’s main employer, the Hot Cakes factory (and thus, one of Jane’s new bosses). Their meet-cute over cake pops is as adorable as it is hilarious: that first scene had me absolutely hooked (or maybe forked?)! Dax’s usual party tricks don’t work on Jane - not that she’s not tempted! - although she slowly begins to see that making time for fun in her life may not be such a bad thing.

I’m a big fan of Jane’s independence and drive to make her way through life despite the curve balls that continue to come her way. Dax is truly her ideal match, and the slow burn as she learned to accept and ultimately fall in love with his generous and chivalrous nature was exceptionally well planned. I enjoyed gleaning those story tidbits as we went along, really getting to know Dax beyond that “fun guy” first impression. He’s a larger than life personality – both impulsive and genius, but with a true heart of gold and desire to make things better for the people around him. It’s just that sometimes the execution needs a little more finesse...

Those moments when Jane realizes that with the right partner, independence doesn’t mean holding yourself apart; that she can let her guard down enough to rely on someone without the fear that she’ll be left hanging...those are everything! You won’t e disappointed with all the feels – from lust to friendship to a HEA, you get them ALL. Lastly – if you’ve read book 1 (Sugarcoated), you’ll be thrilled to see details of the continuation of those friendships and relationships seamlessly woven into Forking Around.

I voluntarily received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review, but I would have happily bought this outstanding book. I’m thrilled beyond words that we have more sticky sweet Hot Cakes goodness coming our way, and I can’t wait to see the remaining bachelors meet their matches!

My general rating rationale:

3 – Perfectly fine story, perhaps some minor editorial errors. Entertaining. Typically with this rating I feel like there could have been MORE – be it believably/relatability, character development, internal dialogue, explanations or depth, richness to the overall storyline, etc. May lose a bit of engagement here and there but always finish reading.
4 – A very good book. Engaging, with well-developed characters, a great plot, relatable scenarios; keeps you invested to the last page. Would recommend to reader friends.
5 – Can’t say enough amazing things, loved the characters, fabulously detailed plot, a quick hook, intense investment in both story and characters (including supporting characters) throughout the book. Will tell anyone who will listen that they should read it (if they won’t listen, I’ll be louder).

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