Sweet to the max

Pretty as a Peach by Juliette Poe

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I was fortunate enough to win an ARC of Juliette Poe’s upcoming release Pretty as a Peach which is out March 15. Because of that win, I’ve been binge reading the first three books in the series, so I’d be all caught up to date and I have to say I’m so very glad I did! Knowing that it is Colt’s then at a HEA, I was glad to know all the backstory from his three other sibling who have all found their loves.

Initially, this book could’ve been a lot like Lowe and Mely’s story in Stubborn as a Mule, with the two leads in conflict over something important to them both – in this case, a grant for their respective farms. Darby is new to Whynot and to farming, taking up the operations manager position at Jake’s newly purchased Farrington Farms to grow her peach trees for her doctorate’s thesis. The grant application process is an vital part of her thesis and the money could definitely come in handy. While Colt is desperate for the grant so he can work on saving his family farm and expand into a new area that will hopefully become financially viable and profitable.

However, the grant business is resolved fairly quickly and Darby’s main reason for moving to Whynot with her seven year old daughter Linnie takes centre stage – that reason being escaping from her controlling ex-husband Mitch. Darby is hesitant to act on her obvious attraction to Colt, fearing it may be “too soon” after her separation. And Colt feels the same. But their chemistry is too potent to ignore and so the two embark on the slow process (emphasis on SLOW) of getting to know one another through dating and introducing Darby to life in Whynot.

For me, Pretty as a Peach is missing some of the vital features that made the previous three books a 4.5/5 heart rating for me. First up, the “sexiness” I would expect from a series titled “Sex and Sweet Tea” is sorely lacking – Colt and Darby don’t share a kiss until well over halfway into the story. Secondly, there’s no additional POVs from Paps (my favourite Whynot stalwart) or from any other Whynot character – and this was something I came to love in this series as it gave the stories that something different and original which made them stand out. And finally, the storyline in Colt and Darby’s story is a tad predictable, lacks the conflict and drama of the other books (which provides something to keep me hooked and wanting to know if the characters will get their HEA) and where there was the potential for some relationship issues, it happened so late into the story that everything was resolved rather quickly and neatly.

In saying that, I’ll definitely be keen to read Larkin’s story (the final book in the series) as the introduction of “Jax Teller lookalike” (ie biker) Locke has me equal parts fascinated and hoping for a bit more sexiness with this hot new guy on the scene.

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nicandbooks rating ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Amazon/Goodreads rating⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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