Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Sweetheart List by Jill Shalvis
Narrator: Andi Arndt
Series: Sunrise Cove #4
Published by HarperAudio, William Morrow on June 13, 2023
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Life Fiction
Length: 9 hours, 8 minutes
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
When Harper Shaw’s life falls apart, she knows it’s time for a change. She removes everything that doesn’t spark joy—from her soul-sucking job to eating kale to making lists—and sets off for the last place she was happy, Lake Tahoe (who wouldn’t feel good there, right?) to fulfill her dream of opening her own bakery.
With her Sugar Pine Bakery in between a tavern, owned by sexy, grumpy Bodie Campbell, and a bookstore, run by her new BFF, she feels a peace she’s never experienced since…well, forever.. Then she meets Ivy, a teenage runaway, who barrels into her heart. She sees a lot of herself in Ivy and takes her under her wing, but the teenager has secrets…
I was more than ready to continue with the Sunrise Cove series; the books are completely standalones. The setting is inspiring and beautiful. Harper comes to town, where she was last happy as a child with her mother, to open a bakery and start fresh. Ivy is a runaway teen who comes to town for other reasons.
They arrive at nearly the same time and are treated to food and kindness by Bodie who runs the local tavern. He also turns out to be one of Harper’s landlords along with his brothers. Harper has been used and taken for granted by her so called fiancé. She and her father have not been close since her mother died. She doesn’t need to give her heart to be stomped on again and choses to be independent. Bodie was recently injured on the job and is now retiring back in his home town. His work was always dangerous so he never developed relationships that might be used against him.
Ivy, at 16, has really never known care or comfort from her single mom, who has just left on a one month honeymoon with her fourth husband. She left Ivy with someone who is less than concerned about her when she says she’s going to stay with a friends instead.
Harper gets her business set up and slowly becomes friends with the bookstore manager next door. The owner is the grandma of the manager and wants to bake and becomes one of Harper’s employees, along with Ivy, who needs money of her own, although Harper took her in to her spare bedroom. Harper also has an adorable rescue dog.
Of course, Harper, Bodie and Ivy make a found family with some surprising twists. Bodie’s family is a delight. His mother and brothers have had their own problems but they welcome Harper and Ivy, who have not had this much care. I always enjoy the heart and humor from this author. And who doesn’t love a bakery and bookstore as places to spend time?
Andi Arndt is a favorite narrator and this is her first series with this author. She has just the right tone for the type of woman Harper is, strong and yet vulnerable. The men’s voices are a bit husky and delicious. The emotions make the whole performance better. I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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