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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Heartwood (Speakeasy Taproom #2) by J.H. Croix

A Review by Wendy 

3.5 Coming To Terms Stars
* * * 1/2

 Spoiler Free

One of the best things, in my opinion about reading romance, is when real-life experiences and lessons are highlighted and used in a way to show the reader, these hurdles are not just yours, they can be addressed and overcome. J.H. Croix tackles this concept and treats it with a careful hand.

Belle was on the fast track.
She excelled at school being that overachiever on steroids. She entered college with an energy that was off the charts. She juggled so many things and still had time to be that fun party girl. She was on her way to having this career in law, doing the first steps of intense work with a firm, learning the ropes while still in law school, and then it all came apart. Belle had to come to terms with a lot of things and with the help of others, she realized the strain she had been under and why she crashed.

Now she is in a different place, coping and seeing what elements in her life work, what to stay away from, and hoping for a fresh start. She discovered being a chef was her actual calling and is starting as one at the new Speakeasy. Belle is excited to have this opportunity and when she arrives for her first day she never thought she would run into a blast from her college past.

Ty has been at the Speakeasy working as one of the front managers. It was a transition for him not to be "living his dream" as a hockey star. He had a very promising future when he was injured. He healed but never to the place that would allow him to play up to snuff. It was something he had to accept and carry on. He hated the company his father ran, had no desire to be part of it, and happily landed in his current place in life. For Ty, being at the Speakeasy was a good thing.

When Ty and Belle cross paths once again, Belle is nervous. She knows Ty must still think of her as the way she was back in college. They had terrific chemistry and would hook up without any drama. But Belle isn't that person anymore and at some point, she will need to figure out how to deal with Ty now.

Heartwood takes the reader through these journeys, Ty being who he is for Belle, Belle learning to open up, risk sharing her past, and seeing what happens between them once they trust one another. 



USA Today Bestselling Author J. H. Croix lives in a small town in the historical farmlands of Maine with her husband and two spoiled dogs. Croix writes steamy contemporary romance with strong independent women and rugged alpha men who aren't afraid to show some emotion. Her love for quirky small-towns and the characters that inhabit them shines through in her writing. Take a walk on the wild side of romance with her bestselling novels!

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