Bookit 22.3 : On the Honey Side by Staci Hart

TitleOn The Honey Side
Author:
 Staci Hart
Published: February 24, 2022 (My copy was issued as an ARC)
Final grade: 4/5

Honestly, I meant for this to come out back in February, but things got in the way of that. I received this novel as an ARC back in mid February but the book itself was released for public availability on February 24th.

This book was an enjoyable read. It was the second book in the series, but I had not read the first book when I read this novel, so that may affect my review. The main character in this book is Daisy (as this series is the Blum Sisters), but you get chapters in both her and Keaton’s POV. Both characters have backstories that build up to them being together. One aspect that surprised me (in a good way) was that the characters are shown as having previous loves and those loves not being shown in a bad light. Too many romances lately have to show the ex as being a horrible person to show that the main couple in the story are right and each other’s “true” love. In this novel, its different. Both Daisy and Keaton had love before, and neither of the past relationships are shown to be horrible relationships.

Another interesting aspect of this story (and perhaps the series) is that it covers an interesting side plot of a town dealing with an homeless population. There is a sense that to get the full backstory of all the events of town, its best to read the previous book, but there is enough information that this novel can be read on its own. Its not an usual side plot.

I have read Staci Hart before (Bet the Farm) and I like her style of writing. The banter between her characters is always fun, and she veers away from too many tropes and clichés. Genre fiction in general is full of them, but its always nice to see when its twisted in a different way, or there is a balance. Hart’s books have a good balance.

The only issue I found with On the Honey Side was the background of the villain of the piece. This is however the second book in the series of three, so perhaps to understand more I need to read the first book (Which I plan on doing shortly). The third book comes out later this year.

Bookit 21.2 : Bet The Farm

Title: Bet The Farm
Author: Staci Hart
Published: February 23rd 202
1 – ARC (via Kindle)
Final grade: 4/5

So I know that on my bookit page, this is actually 7th down the line, but since I promised to post it today, I’m moving it up a little bit before the others. I’m going to preface this review by stating that I received this book through an ARC program, and therefore got access to it before it was available for purchase.

This was a cute read. I was intrigued to find out the main character deals with design- in particular social media and media marketing – which gave me something in common with the leading female character, Olivia. She comes home from New York to help run a farm after her grandfather passes away. This book did well with the idea of grief and trauma and how it effects our decision making and how we see things. Particularly in the leading male character, Jake. Jake holds the farm dear to his heart, having been the ‘adopted’ son of Olivia’s grandfather, Frank. The two of them both have strong reasons to want the farm to succeed, but their differing ideas of what that means cause them to butt heads…and hit walls they put up against one another.

Despite the sad start to the book, there is a good deal of happy and fuzzie scenes, featuring all kinds of baby animals, feisty goats, a cow with particular ideas about where she lives, and two puppies with some rock history names. There are also a few background characters that I can see being developed more in the future if Ms. Hart decides to continue this into a series (which it appears she will, as the book list mentions one coming later this year).

She also did a good job in not making me hate any particular character – or if I do, its not for long. I enjoyed reading it, and was quite happy with how she took some troupes and made it unique to her novel. The only issues I really had was the formatting of the e-book which had random drop caps in the middle of the chapter, and not always for a scene change. But that is a minor problem. Overall the book was a good read, and I am glad I got the chance.

Most of my other thoughts on the novel are a bit spoilery so I’ll end it there. If you like second chance romance (or enemies to lovers), and troubled main characters whose affection for one another helps them both heal in a way, I think you will enjoy this novel.

Also my favorite pun of the book?

Credits:

Images were given to me for use in review by Staci Hart/ her publishing agent