When I read a romance novel, I want there to be substance. I don't need a whole lot (I like romances because they're light and entertaining) but I do need an engaging story. I normally turn to romance queen Nora Roberts when I want a fix but I think I have a new author to check out. I really enjoyed reading Country Heaven by Ava Miles. And, bonus, this book is part of a series so there are so many more of her novels for me to read! Yay!
Here's the synopsis:
When famous-and infamous-country singer Rye Crenshaw saunters into the diner where she cooks, Tory Simmons is certain she's got him pegged. He's a bad boy who indulges himself in all things, women included. But while she couldn't care less about country music or arrogant men, Rye makes her an offer she can't refuse when he asks her to be his private chef on his multi-city concert tour. The job is the answer to all her prayers: it will clear out her debt and finance the fresh start she desperately needs. Rye is certain his sassy new cook is the last woman who'd ever tempt him, but spending time with the wholesome girl next door will do wonders for his damaged public image, whether she likes being forced into the spotlight or not. Her food also happens to be the best he's ever eaten, both comforting and seductive. But spending time with Tory on the road shows him a new side to her-one that's as impossible to resist as her food. And when an emergency in his family whisks him home, he does the one thing he's never risked: he lets a woman into his heart... Soon the emotions Rye faked for the tabloids become all too real, but will the country heaven he's found in Tory's arms survive in the real world?Technically, Country Heaven is part of Miles' Dare River series. I didn't realize that when I requested the book from NetGalley and when I did realize it I was kind of annoyed. I'm a "read the series in order" kind of girl, after all. But, this book can stand alone. Which is probably why it's not linked to the series on Goodreads. So, my thought is, if you really like the sound of this one, read it, and if you like it (and I think you will), go back to the beginning and read Nora Roberts Land. That's my plan!
I really liked the country music angle in this book. I'm, happily, finding that country is showing up in books slightly more often than it used to and I love that. Country music is becoming a bit more mainstream and I think that's now being mirrored in books. If you're not a country fan like me (even Tory isn't a country fan!) don't let that stop you from reading the book. Yes, Rye is a mega star in country music but it's not like you actually have to listen to his music (but how cool would that be?).
Speaking of Rye, he was totally swoon-worthy. I could totally see how Tory would immediately find his face and body attractive but was turned off by his personality. The way he was acting, and it really was acting, was so off putting and it was great to see Tory call him on it. The fact that there wasn't an immediate emotional attraction made this romance more realistic. Tory doesn't really start falling for Rye until she sees the real man when they're visiting his family. I really liked how their romance and Rye's personal journey grew at the same sort of pace. I'm really happy with the happily ever after in this book!
Like I said, this romance novel had something more going on than just the romance. While Tory had some things to sort out in her life, I liked reading about Rye's life more. He had such a crazy background with his family drama and it was interesting to read about how he fixed the relationships with his family. I despised his mom and I applaud Tory for how she handled herself when they were visiting. If the family story hadn't been part of the overall novel, I definitely would not have liked it as much.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Country Heaven. Ava Miles wrote the type of romance novel I love to read and I cannot wait to check out some of her others. If you're a romance fan, check out her books! And if you already knew about them...why didn't you tell me sooner?
Happy reading :)
*An eARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*