I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Author: Alys Murray
Publish Date: June 16, 2020
Series: Full Bloom Farm #2
This book is perfect for those that like: Second Chance Romances, Swoony Candy-Making Scenes, and Grand Gestures.
You might not like this book if you aren’t into: Lying Liars Who Lie, Small Towns Who Don’t Forgive, or Sisters Who Can’t Read a Room.
From Goodreads: It’s been eight long years since May Anderson’s high school sweetheart Tom Riley drove down Main Street in his truck, leaving Hillsboro—and May—in his rearview mirror. Now he’s back and, try as they might, the pair can’t avoid each other.
As Hillsboro prepares to host the prestigious North West Food and Wine Festival, Tom and May are reluctantly called in to plan the big event. Tom needs May’s help to repair his bad-boy reputation and, with the whole town counting on them, May and Tom need to learn to trust each other again.
May is determined to protect her heart, but a lot has changed since high school. She can’t help but notice how the skinny boy she used to know is now a man who perfectly fills out his button-down, and Tom can’t seem to tear his gaze away from May’s sweet smile. It’s clear old feelings are surfacing again, but there is a secret keeping them apart and, until they find the courage to face it, their second chance summer will be only that…
I fell in love with the entire Anderson Family in Magnolia Sisters, but if I’m honest, it was May that intrigued me the most. All of her actions just screamed I HAVE A REALLY GOOD BACKSTORY, so I was especially eager for this second installment of the Full Bloom Farm Series, Sweet Pea Summer as this story was focused on May. I may or may not have also been super excited for this book because it was going to be the “Persuasion” book in the series. PERSUASION, y’all.
“I am half agony, half hope…”
Y’ALLLLL…but I digress.
Returning to the town of Hillsboro and its people was like coming home to visit family and friends. They aren’t perfect by any means, but they are all there for each other. Well, almost everyone. But for the most part, the residents of Hillsboro love one another and it was delightful to spend time in that world, even for a little bit. We also get more sister (and honorary sister Annie) time, which is always a bonus, more insight into Mr. and Mrs. Anderson, and of course watching May and Tom find one another again. So many parallels to Anne and Captain Wentworth. ::sigh::
But for me, what trumped everything else, was watching May overcome her lack of self-worth and her fear of the unknown to trust herself. To find her faith in herself and then by extension her relationship with Tom was lovely and heartbreaking and desperate and just, well, perfection. Honestly, reading through May’s journey was like holding a mirror up to myself, which I both loved and hated because I wanted to message Alys Murray and demand HOW she peered into my head and stole my secret thoughts and HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME FEEL THESE EMOTIONS. GAH.
Which all of that to say I LOVED THIS BOOK.
And, to make my heart clench even more, the THIRD book in the series, Wildflower Promises is due out this August! And a little birdie told me this one would be Emma-inspired. Mr. Knightley, y’all. I DIE.