In the span of one week, New York advertising executive Lauren Montgomery loses her job, inherits an inn from an uncle she barely knew, and moves to England. Taking it all in stride, she throws herself into revamping the inn. It’s not how she saw her career unfolding, but she sees it as an opportunity to kickstart her own advertising agency. All she has to do is turn the little inn and its attached pub into a money maker and sell it for a killing.
Gin distiller Camden Crawley is very attached to the Rose and Crown. Her grandparents and parents got engaged there. She’s quite skeptical when she meets the new owner, a confident American who she fears is going to turn the inn into a trendy bed and breakfast with an overpriced bar that will negatively impact the local community.
The two women come to an uneasy compromise. Cam will help Lauren with the renovations, thus having some influence in keeping the Rose and Crown from becoming too gentrified, and Lauren will help Cam promote her new line of gin.
This sounds like a winning compromise for the two women, but the very mutual attraction that develops between Cam and Lauren wasn’t part of the plan. Can Lauren and Cam keep things strictly business or is their partnership destined to become something much more?
Lauren and Cam have chemistry to spare. From their first meeting there’s no doubt these two women aren’t going to be able to avoid the attraction simmering between them.
Lauren is just, wow. She is everything that is wonderful about femme main characters. The power suits, designer dresses, and high heels are a heady combination. All it takes is a flip of her hair and a glimpse of her full, glossy lips to turn heads. Even better, she’s not too proud to put on a pair of perfectly fitting jeans to refinish some wood floors. I love her confidence. She doesn’t anticipate meeting anyone like Cam. Cam’s physical appearance is one thing; Cam’s thinly veiled disdain is something else altogether. Lauren knows how to enlist Cam’s support in the remodel, but she’s not sure how to address the feelings she’s developing for her. I loved watching her navigate the situation. Affairs of the heart aren’t as easy to handle as a tricky business negotiation.
Cam is prickly on the outside, but a softy on the inside. She’s got that casual, brooding butch thing going on and Lauren can’t help noticing. Cam doesn’t like Lauren one bit when they first meet. Well, she likes Lauren’s long legs and a few of her other alluring attributes, but Lauren represents something Cam dislikes – change. It’s interesting to watch Cam skeptically allow Lauren to help her promote her new line of gin. As Cam allows Lauren to remake her image, it’s impossible for her ignore what’s developing between them. Cam knows heartbreak. She’s determined to keep Lauren at arm’s length, but once they tumble into bed, all bets are off. The best thing about this book is watching Cam come to terms with her feelings for Lauren.
The Writing Style
Rey creates the world of Netherfield Green with so many details I feel like I’ve stayed at the inn and relaxed in the pub. She brings the cast of side characters to life, so Lauren and Cam’s story doesn’t feel like it exists in a vacuum. I got to see both women excelling at what they do, and that goes a long way with me. It’s one thing to tell readers the characters are good at what they do, but Rey shows them in action. I think highly capable women are sexy, and Lauren and Cam don’t disappoint. The dialogue is sharp and reflects the characters’ changing attitudes towards each other. As the story progresses, Lauren and Cam’s cool facades begin to slip away. They begin to flirt and share inside jokes. I loved it. It’s worth noting that Rey writes some steamy sex scenes. Let me rephrase that – some VERY steamy sex scenes.
It’s always a bonus for me when I get to learn something new from the romance I’m reading. I don’t know a thing about craft cocktails, but now I have a rough understanding about how they are carefully concocted with subtle combinations of ingredients to bring out different flavors. Cam is like a chemistry professor in the care she puts into making the perfect gin cocktail. I wouldn’t drink one, but they sure sound intriguing.
Not a one.
I so enjoyed reading The Inn at Netherfield Green. If there’s one thing I can count on from Rey, it’s that I’m going to meet two women who are a perfect butch/femme pair. Lauren and Cam are certainly dynamic. I could’ve watched them dance around their mutual attraction for an additional 50 pages. God loves the romance formula. Some main characters think they can keep “things” casual, but readers know that won’t be the case. I still get wrapped up in the will they/won’t they even though I know I’m guaranteed a happily ever after. Give yourself a treat and check out this satisfying romance.
Excerpt from The Inn at Netherfield Green by Aurora Rey
Lauren studied Cam out of the corner of her eye, trying not to be obvious about it. Even after learning Cam was related to Jane and Kitty, seeing her at the vet’s office caught her by surprise. The flash of attraction hadn’t been a surprise, but it threw her nonetheless. Everything about this experience seemed to be throwing her off. Being off-balance was a foreign feeling for her and not in a good way.
She just needed to shake it off and take charge. Once she had her bearings, she could start making decisions and making things happen. Whether that involved Cam or not shouldn’t be at the forefront of her mind. She’d worked through distractions before. This time would be no different.
Since Cam hadn’t uttered a word since they’d started walking, she decided to venture conversation. “So, did you grow up here?”
Cam glanced at her, then down at Tilly, who loped happily between them. “I did.”
“What is your favorite thing about living here now, as an adult?”
The look on Cam’s face told Lauren it was the last question in the world she expected. “The people, I’d say. It’s a small community, close-knit. People take care of each other.”
“I’ve never lived anywhere like that.” The words were out of Lauren’s mouth before she realized it. She was supposed to be getting personal details, not giving them.
“Have you always been in New York City, then?”
Lauren figured she already knew the answer, but decided to ask anyway. “How do you know I’m from New York?”
Cam gave her a knowing smile. “Surely you’re not surprised to be the topic of conversation.”
Lauren chuckled, not as bothered by the idea as she might have expected. “I suppose not. And yes, I have always lived in the city.”
“You’re in for quite the culture shock, I’d say.”
“I venture out to the country now and then.” She thought about the place in the Catskills that had given her ideas about revamping the inn. It was in the middle of nowhere. Not her speed for any length of time, but it had been rather charming.
“Right.” She nodded and looked unimpressed. Why did Cam seem to have such indifference for her already?
They walked in silence for a bit. Lauren weighed her options. She could steer clear of Cam moving forward, focus her attention on people who seemed likely to be her allies. People like Charlotte and Mrs. Lucas. Or she could try to win Cam over. Having Cam and her distillery in her corner could be quite advantageous. And she did love a challenge.
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 978-1635554458
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Aurora Rey Online
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