The Belle and the Beard by Kate Canterbary is now live!
Jasper-Anne Cleary’s guide to salvaging your life when you find yourself publicly humiliated, out of work, and unemployable at 35—not to mention newly single:
1. Run away. Seriously, there’s no shame in disappearing. Go to that rustic old cottage your aunt left you. Look out for the colony of bats and the leaky roof. Oh, and the barrel-chested neighbor with shoulders like the broad side of a barn. Definitely look out for him.
2. Stop wallowing and stay busy. It doesn’t matter whether you know how to bake or fix things around the house. Do it anyway. Dust off your southern hospitality and feed that burly, bearded neighbor some pecan pie.
3. Meet new people. Chat up the grumpy man-bear, pretend to be his girlfriend when his mother puts you two on the spot, agree to go as his date to a big family party. Don’t worry—it’s only temporary.
4. Cry it out. Screwing up your life entitles you to wine, broody-moody music, and uninterrupted sobbing.
5. Get over it all by getting under someone. Count on your fake boyfriend to deliver some very real action between the sheets.
6. Move on. The disappearing act, the cottage, the faux beau—none of it can last forever.
Linden Santillian’s guide to surviving the invasion when a hell-in-heels campaign strategist moves in next door:
1. Do not engage. There is no good reason you should chop her wood, haul her boxes, or pick her apples.
2. Do not accept gifts, especially not the homemade ones. Disconnect the doorbell, toss your phone over a bridge, hide in the basement if you must, but do not eat her pie.
3. Do not introduce her to your friends and family. They’ll favor her over you and never let you forget it.
4. Do not intervene when she’s crying on the back porch. Ignore every desire to fix the entire world for her. By no means should you take her into your arms and memorize her peach-sweet curves.
5. Do not take her to bed, even if it’s just to get her out of your system.
6. Do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with her.
If you read a lot like I do, then you come across many good books. Books that you willingly give 5 stars to. Then one comes along that blows all of them out of the water and you wonder how can you give this book more than 5 stars, or even do it justice when writing a reviews. That’s this book for me. I knew I’d love this book and these characters, because this author is amazing. I just wasn’t prepared to fall this in love with them. Both Linden and Jasper have skyrocketed to land on my very short, elite, all-time favorite characters list. This book is about a grumpy, arborist who likes to spend time alone, and a tenacious political strategist who oozes so much southern charm that you aren’t sure if she just praised you or insulted you. As different as these two sound, they couldn’t be more perfect for each other.
Linden is a burly, lumberjack type, that is so grumpy and growly that you think there is nothing soft or tender about him. But once Jasper gets under his skin, his sweet, kind soul emerges. It’s so true that the hardest shells have the ooey-gooiest centers. Don’t let this fool you though…he is still all alpha male. He is also so sexy and swoony, and oh so dirty. I can’t get enough of him.
I’ll be honest, when I know an author is going have a southern character, especially one that’s from Georgia, I get a little anxious about how she will be portrayed. I feel this even from authors that I have FULL faith in. I must say that this author got it ALL right with this character. She got all the southern parts right with none of the stereotypes. There were many parts to Jasper’s story that I could relate to. Jasper is both a powerhouse and a lost soul. She is strong, smart, and tenacious, but also vulnerable and struggling to put the pieces of her life back together. I want to both be kick ass like her and kick some ass for her.
As with any book from this author, this is an intelligent book. You will come out of it feeling much smarter than you did going in. The banter between these two is amazing. There are parts of this story that are funny, as well as parts that will have you in tears. If that wasn’t enough the chemistry and sexual tension between these two is off the charts! This book is definitely one of my favorites, not only from this author but overall.
I cannot recommend this book or this author enough. Do yourself a favor and read every single Kate Canterbary book. You will not regret it.
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USA Today Bestseller Kate Canterbary writes smart, steamy contemporary romances loaded with heat, heart, and happy ever afters. Kate lives on the New England coast with her husband and daughter.
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