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Flirting with Love (Love in Bloom, #18; The…
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Flirting with Love (Love in Bloom, #18; The Bradens, #10)

by Melissa Foster

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Elisabeth has always dreamed of making a life in Trusty, the small town where she her aunt ran a pie business, raised a few animals, and made their time together almost magical. So when her aunt passes away and leaves everything to her, she doesn't hesitate to pack up her life and move. Except the town isn't nearly as welcoming as she remembers, and no one seems all that interested in her pet pampering and bakery idea. In fact, their reception of her is downright frosty — with the exception of the handsome veterinarian who lives one property over.

The Verdict: Elisabeth may be my favorite character yet. She's perpetually hopeful and sees nearly everything as an opportunity, giving the less than friendly people of Trusty the benefit of the doubt despite their reluctance to accept her. Her love for animals had her running a pet pampering and bakery business back in L.A., but no one in Trusty seems to have any interest in her setting up shop in their town. She goes full steam ahead anyway, confident enough in her worth that she offers her services for free just to get their attention. And along the way, she gets the attention of Ross Braden.

Ross knows better than to date a woman in Trusty. With the way the town gossips, everyone would know his business in a matter of seconds, and if the relationship didn't work out, he'd have even more gossip and discomfort to deal with. But Elisabeth is so friendly and unassuming, with a good -hearted quirkiness that he can't seem to get her off his mind once he's met her. From the way she dotes on his dogs to her worry about a runt piglet to her lying in a field at night while singing to a lost cow, she's everything good he's ever looked for in a woman.

Their romance is incredibly sweet and seems to bloom before either of them really know what they've gotten themselves into. While the rest of the town assumes she's shown up for no other reason than to sell of her late aunt's property, he quickly sees her for the genuinely good person she is. Between her determination to smile in the face of the town's attitude and his sticking by her side, things start to turn around for her.

The genuine friendship between Ross and Elisabeth is wonderful to see, and when the rest of the Braden clan swoops in and adores her as well, all the fun of the previous books in the series is revisited. Of course, it wouldn't be a romance without a little adversity, so when someone from Elisabeth's past shows up to reclaim her, things get a little messy. But both Ross and Elizabeth aren't the type of people to brood silently, and while the angst certainly gets turned up a notch, the way they handle it is just perfect for their characters.

The chemistry between them is pretty damned incredible as well, but when it comes down to it, I think it's just Elisabeth that won me over. I'm not sure I've met a character like her before who didn't become some sort of oddball caricature by the end of the book. Elisabeth's eccentricities, however, were simply an extension of her caring nature, not some dramatic attempt to write a too-ideal free spirit, and it made her both believable and relatable. So yeah, I have a new favorite Bradens book…well, at least until I get my hands on the next one, right?

***FicCentral received this book from Tasty Book Tours for free in exchange for an honest review. Even so, we're far too opinionated to let a freebie influence our thoughts or the contents of the reviews we post here. ( )
  ysar | Jul 8, 2015 |
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"Elisabeth Nash has spent years dreaming of returning to the small town of Trusty, Colorado, where she spent summers with her favorite aunt. When she inherits her aunt's farmette, she closes her Los Angeles pet bakery and pampering business, sure that life in Trusty will be as peaceful and as welcoming as she remembers. But being an outsider in the close-knit town proves to be very different from the happy summers she remembers from her childhood -- and falling for Trusty's hot, wealthy, and sinfully irresistible veterinarian, Ross Braden, sends the rumor mill into a frenzy" --… (more)

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