Add Romance And Mix by Shannon M Harris is a sweet small-town romance that I couldn’t believe I found. At first, I was drawn to the cover and the exhilaration at finding another story that used baking as a romantic instrument.
Briley Anderson hasn’t had a serious relationship for a while. Instead she spends her time flipping houses and baking treats for all of her neighbors. Well, almost all of her neighbors. Leah Daniels is new to the neighborhood and brings out Briley’s competitive nature, as well as her worst attributes. While Leah believes Briley doesn’t like her, she soon discovers that it’s just the opposite. Briley is extremely attracted to her.
With the help of her sister, Kat, Briley sets out to win Leah’s heart in spite of her protests. Through laughter, love, geekiness, and baked goods, Briley and Leah will need to figure out if they’ve created a lasting relationship and if the risk is worth the ultimate reward.
Harris does a good job of giving the characters little touches that make them very attractive. In addition, she puts the reader as ease in knowing right away that all the characters are loving, charming, and very candid.
Briley is a woman in her mid-thirties who loves her family, loves to flip houses, and loves to bake. She’s very kind to everyone, has a big heart and a beautiful soul. Even when I read about her early treatment of Leah, I didn’t blame Briley for her reaction at all. In fact, I actually snickered at Briley’s telling of her first run-in with Leah because I understand how that first brush with someone your attracted to can inadvertently bring out the rougher side of yourself.
With Leah, Harris provides a more mature woman. She is fifteen years older than Briley and has lived a fulfilling life. It’s this living aspect that makes her reluctant to become involved with Briley, despite Briley’s attempts to convince Leah that age is just a number. Although she has apprehensive to progress her relationship with Briley, Leah is a kind and wonderful woman that has a lot of the same interests as Briley. It’s a great way to give them common ground to bond, to build their friendship, and to ultimately fall in love.
The Writing Style
While this story is written in third person, it’s entirely told from Briley’s perspective. We get Briley’s feelings on certain situations as they pertain to Leah. We see her anxiety over dating a woman who comes with a family, especially after a personal crisis transpires in Leah’s family. But it doesn’t hinder Briley in her pursuit of Leah. In fact, it is a catalyst for what I believe is a very important aspect of the story: open and honest communication. Briley shares her fears with Leah, and she speaks from the heart about while she may be frightened, she does not plan to leave because the situation has changed. I commend Harris for taking this blatantly honest approach. It a very refreshing, open dialog that leaves no doubt the depth of Briley’s love for Leah.
I love the fandom aspect Harris applies to this story. From comic books to toys, and even cosplay, Harris gives each of the main characters an interest in the geeky parts of life. It’s so endearing because it gives everyone a common interest and gives them a mutual activity they can bond over and enjoy together.
This is more of a personal taste for me, but I wish Harris had given more balance and had Leah’s perspective. I especially would’ve liked to have seen this as Leah transitions from wanting to just be friends with Briley to wanting a romantic relationship. That type of view is always great for a sweet romance because it makes me want to keep reading as I see the change happen more and more until the official acknowledgement of wanting the romance as well as the friendship.
With all that’s going on in the world, sometimes you just need a romantic, not overly complicated story that gives you all the warm feels, and Harris delivers on point. And the best part? There is more to come! So please check out this lovely small-town romance and get to know Briley, Leah and everyone in the lovely town of Garriety.
Excerpt from Add Romance And Mix by Shannon M Harris
Like a prisoner being dragged to the gallows, Briley followed behind Kat. The walk to Leah’s house felt like the longest of her life. She paused at the steps and admired the flowers that lined the path and surrounded the porch. Leah really did have a knack for growing them. She would ask her for pointers.
When the door opened, Briley turned slowly and watched as Leah stepped out dressed in a pair of black tailored trousers, a short sleeve pink polo, and a pair of black Wonder Woman socks. Briley’s heart skipped a beat. Could this woman be any more perfect?
“It’s a beautiful evening.” Leah leaned against the railing and looked from one to the other.
All Briley could do was gape, as all words had fled. Leah looked tiny up close. Why did Leah have to look effortlessly amazing? Even if Briley could regain the use of speech, she knew what ever came out of her mouth would be utter gibberish. How, after only a few words from Leah, could she get tongue-tied? “I…” Panic seized her chest and Kat rescued her.
“It is.” Kat climbed the stairs.
Briley didn’t know where the bout of courage had come from, but she shot up the steps, and thrust the basket into Leah’s arms. “Look.” She reached up and fiddled with her glasses. Kat nodded at her encouragingly. “I am sorry, I’ve been such an asshole to you. I think, maybe, I’ve let my competitive nature get the best of me and I have never given you a chance. It’s not like me at all.” She then pinched at her cardigan. “Please accept this basket with my apologies.”
“Apology accepted.” Leah looked down at the contents of the basket before raising her head and arching her brown, a small teasing smile appearing.
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Bits and Bobs
- ISBN number: 9781948232067
- Publisher: Sapphire Books Publishing
Shannon M Harris Online
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