Series: Lovelight #2
Published by Berkley Romance on April 18, 2022
I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Evelyn St. James isn’t the kind of woman you forget.
Beckett Porter certainly hasn’t. One incredible weekend in Maine, and he’s officially a man distracted. He’s not unfamiliar with hot and heavy flings. He knows how it goes. But Evie wove some sort of magic over him during their tumble in the sheets. He can’t stop thinking about her laugh. Her hand pressed flat against his chest. Her smiling mouth at his neck.
Also, her eyes. And her legs.
So when she suddenly appears on his farm as part of a social media contest, he is … confused. He had no idea that the sweet and sexy woman he met at a bar is actually a global phenomenon: social media influencer Evelyn St. James. When she disappears again, Beckett resolves to finally forget her and move on.
But Evelyn St. James has a problem.
Feeling disconnected from her work and increasingly unhappy, she’s trying to find her way back to something real. She returns to the last place she was happy, Lovelight Farms and the tiny town of Inglewild.
It has absolutely nothing to do with the hot farmer she spent two incredible nights with.
Nothing at all.
In The Weeds is a sweet and steamy second-chance romance about finding your happiness. It features a grumpy farmer, a no-nonsense social media influencer, a small town of busybodies, and four very cute kittens. In The Weeds is a standalone romance and is part of the Lovelight series.
I am loving this little tree farm and its occupants.
When social media influencer Evelyn St James came to see Lovelight Farms, she was amazed by how much she loved the happy little tree farm but more shocking is coming face to face with the gorgeous man she had a one night stand with–okay, two night stand–when she was up in Maine meeting yet another amazing small business who needed to be introduced to the public.
Beckett Porter is in charge of the trees and manages the farm. Evelyn isn’t one for one night stands–yeah, yeah, two nights–but coming face to face with Beckett again throws her off her game since she would happily start again where they left off. Except as always, Evelyn is on a tight schedule and it quickly becomes time to leave the adorable town of Inglewild and Lovelight Farms and move on to the next business that needs her help.
Evie doesn’t know what is happening with her. She used to thrive on the constant travel and always meeting new people and being the one to find these little gems hiding in obscurity. But the constant travel is starting to wear on her. As her media presence and her audience grew, Evie sought help with scheduling and paying for all the travel by working with a media consulting firm. They brought in sponsors and took on the task of picking the next business that Evie would feature, but she is realizing that their big sponsor focus isn’t what she had in mind when she first started.
Evie needs a break and time to figure out what she wants to do going forward but where can she go for some peace and quiet so she can think about her future? Then she remembers the last place she felt happy–Lovelight Farms–and books a plane ticket to Maryland. Only thing is that Evie’s spotlight on Lovelight Farms has backfired and now it is such a popular place to visit that Evie can’t get a room in the local B&B or even at the shore town half hour away. Everything is booked.
Evie is disheartened. She is also pretty tired from all her traveling, when she bumps into Beckett in town. Beckett hesitates but still invites Evie to stay in one of his guest rooms until she can figure out what she wants to do. Beckett’s house feels as welcoming and comfortable as the man himself and Evie is surprised how quickly she feels at home and carves out a routine between herself and Beckett. She is also welcomed by the whole town who are happy to include Evie while she is working through what she wants to do next.
The more time she spends in Inglewild, the more Evie feels like she is being welcomed home. She can only hope that Beckett feels the same way since he is as much the reason she wants to stay–permanently– as the town itself.
How can you not love this great big, grumpy mountain of a man? Beckett hates people but loves animals. So do we! You know you lost your heart to him when he immediately adopted the mother and kittens in Lovelight Farm. Beckett offered himself up to his little sister to practice her tattoo art with no complaint. This big man allows himself to be pushed around by all his little sisters simply because he loves them so much. How could you not fall for Beckett?
Evie is a bundle of energy that we can easily see needs to recharge and she is quickly adopted by the town. They help her recharge simply by asking her to help out, whether it is helping with a website or simply hanging a sign in the town square. In helping the others, Evie is given a break from deciding her own life as well as giving her a feeling of connection to this lovely town.
Evie shows us that sometimes attaining our dreams has drawbacks. She worked hard on her media presence trying to shine a light on wonderful, small businesses that people would love if only the word spread about them. As her account grew more popular, it became a beast she could no longer control and she asked for help from a media company and they brought in sponsors to help make the traveling easier. They also took her dream and turned it into something she no longer enjoyed. How many people seek out that kind of media exposure never realizing the hard truth that public exposure has many drawbacks? They want to live the dream of being an influencer, but there is always a downside to that kind of fame. Here Evie no longer enjoyed what her social media account had become and didn’t know what to do to save it and herself from this path she was being dragged down.
As we learn from their initial meeting, Beckett and Evie were drawn to each other from their initial meeting. Reserved Beckett never thought twice about approaching Evie and spending time with her. We absolutely see this draw when Evie returns to Lovelight Farms and moves into Beckett’s house. They are like two planets that one can’t resist the pull toward the other. It is all a matter of whether they are willing to risk the heartbreak if Evie needs to move on for her career.
I am loving this series and all these characters and I am so excited that I found my way to Lovelight Farms.
A light musical ring interrupts my thoughts, and I glance over my shoulder at the table. Evelyn’s laptop is propped open at the corner, a spiral notebook just beneath. My eyes shift down the hall and back again, the ring cutting off abruptly.
It begins again a moment later.
I know she doesn’t have her phone. It’s still at the bottom of the pond, likely making a fine home with one of the boat oars Luka dropped in two summers ago. I take a step closer and squint at the screen. A tiny box in the corner tells me Josie is calling. I’ve heard her name before from Evelyn, a friendly affection in her voice.
My hand hovers over the trackpad, and I tap answer before I can talk myself out of it. I’ll take a message, hang up, and make us some damn pancakes.
A woman’s face instantly appears on the screen. Short black hair. A Metallica sweatshirt. Wide brown eyes that blink and then grow wider.
“Holy shit,” said at tinny voice from the speaker.
My reflection appears in the top left side of the screen, arm braced against the edge of the table and hand still hovering over the keyboard. I am…not wearing a shirt. Pretty sure you can see Evie’s scratch marks across my chest. I push up off the table and stand there like an idiot, hesitantly waving the spatula in greeting.
Did not know this was a video call.
Socked feet shuffle down the hallway. Evie appears in the entrance to the kitchen wearing one of my flannels, half buttoned and barely skimming her thighs. She has her knit–I exhale a shaky breath and grab the back of the chair–she has her cable knit socks pulled to her knees. I’m torn between the desire to burn those fucking things and have her wear nothing but those, her knees hugging my ears and her hands in my hair.
“Hey,” she mumbles, scooting her way over to me and brushing a brief kiss to the underside of my jaw. Her arms curls around my waist, and she hugs me tight. It’s the sort of easy affection I’ve been craving from her, and I can’t appreciate it because I’m frozen in front of the camera, staring like a deer in headlights over Evie’s head. If the kitchen floor could swallow me whole, that would be great.
I knew I shouldn’t have answered the fucking call.
“My, my, my. Look what we have here.”
Evie jumps, face snapping toward the computer. My hands grip her hips in silent apology.
“I didn’t know it was a video call,” I whisper, just for her.
Evie blinks. The woman on screen stares wordlessly at us both and then steeples her fingers together. She taps them lightly, looking like a movie villain. A slow grin starts at the edge of her mouth until her whole face looks fit to burst with unrestrained glee.
“So many things are beginning to make sense,” she says with a weird aristocratic accent. Evie sighs and pats once at my chest, tipping her head back to look up at me. She has a faint blush on her cheeks, but she has a smile too. Her eyes trail down my torso and land on the thin scratches on my side. The flush on her cheeks trips a shade darker.
“Why don’t you go put a shirt on?”
“No need to on my account,” comes the voice from the screen.
“I’m gonna go put a shirt on,” I agree. I place the spatula on the table and make a quick exit, retreating to the safety of my bedroom.