A Little Bit of Spice by Georgia Beers takes us into the world of craft brewing with this 2015 release. You might want to have some good local beer on hand when you’re reading this fun, sweet romance (my favourite craft beer from Calgary? Blacksmith from Village Brewery).
Kendall Foster gets an unpleasant blast from her past at a volleyball game when her old tormenter Andrea Blake has some choice words about the refereeing calls she’s making. To make matters worse, the next day Kendall walks into a business meeting with the new beer buyer at a desirable grocery store chain, only to learn Andrea is that buyer. After unintentionally humiliating Andrea so that the room full of beer distributors learn how little she actually knows about beer, they strike up a deal: Kendall will use her knowledge as the marketing and sales rep for her family’s craft beer business and teach Andrea everything she needs to know to succeed in that role.
Andrea is focused on getting her own store to manage and Kendall just wants to grow the business, but they can’t seem to ignore their attraction. Who says there can’t be room for a little fun in life?
Kendall is fun and sweet, with a good head on her shoulders and a great relationship with her family. She’s far nicer than Andrea, but her people-pleasing ways are an asset rather than a hindrance. She’s fun to read as a romantic partner, but I particularly love reading her interactions with her best friend Liz, because it’s such a positive representation of female friendship.
Andrea isn’t particularly likeable at the beginning, but readers should quickly warm to her as she relaxes more and more while she and Kendall get to know each other.
The Writing Style
This is very well-written, and a great example of why Georgia Beers is a favourite in contemporary lesbian romance. Also, she’s clearly stepped up her game when it comes to writing sex scenes, because that first scene is possibly the hottest she’s ever written, and that phone sex one isn’t far behind it.
Relationship representation! Whether it’s between the two leads, the friendships, good family relationships, or bad family relationships, they all feel authentic.
I also like that it addresses the realities of being a successful woman in the workplace.
I don’t love the major conflict point, but that type of thing never sits particularly well with me.
Also, all the beer talk made me constantly want to go get one.
If you’ve never read a book by Georgia Beers, this is a great place to start. If you’re already a fan, then this isn’t one to be missed.
Excerpt from A Little Bit of Spice by Georgia Beers
Andrea turned to look at Kendall, and just that simple movement sent Kendall’s arousal into overdrive again. “I don’t know about you,” Kendall said with a shake of her head. “But I could use a drink.”
Kendall led the way to the unfinished tasting room, which held a large bar-like counter, several taps, a smattering of glasses, and two refrigerators. Kendall headed behind the counter and when Andrea moved to follow, she stopped her.
“No.” With a finger, she gestured to the other side of the counter. “You go over there. Just…stay over there. On the other side of this very large piece of wood. That will be between us.”
The half-grin she gave Andrea must have been just sexy enough because Andrea smiled and said softly, “Yes, ma’am.”
Kendall grabbed a couple of glasses, pulled the tap, and filled them. “Okay. This is our new Yellow House Peach Wheat. It’s perfect for the impending summer season. It’s brewed with—”
“Kendall.” Kendall stuttered to a stop, her gaze on the beer. After a moment, she looked up. “What?”
Andrea quirked up one corner of her mouth as she reached across and took one of the glasses. “Nothing. I just wanted to say your name.”
What the hell was happening here? Kendall should just ask the question out loud. Ask Andrea directly. But she couldn’t. For some reason, the words just wouldn’t come out of her mouth. Instead, she held up her glass and quirked one eyebrow expectantly. Andrea touched their glasses together and sipped, watching her over the rim. Kendall didn’t look away. The tension was delicious.
“This is good,” Andrea commented, not looking away.
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Bits and Bobs
ISBN number: 9780989989596
Publisher: Brisk Press