I’m always excited to read Valerie Comer’s work because she creates realistic characters with backstories that don’t feel made up or glossed over. This is nitty-gritty life happening inside of a book, and yet it’s not depressing or too much to handle because Comer knows how to inject hope into her tales.
Sprouts is Book 1 in the Garden Grown Romance series, and it was preceded by an introductory novella that appeared in Romance Grows in Arcadia Valley. I love the setting for these stories and the fact that the other authors in Romance Grows are writing within the same setting, and using businesses and characters from each other’s stories.
It was great to get back to Arcadia Valley and get to know Evelyn, her daughter Maisie, and Ben, the man running the charity that Evelyn and Maisie want to help with the produce from a community garden. At first it doesn’t look like any of them will become friends, but eventually that changes and the result was a book I couldn’t put down. (Okay, I read an ebook, but seriously, I couldn’t stop flicking to the next page… It was one of those nights where I didn’t stop at the end of my allotted reading-to-wind-down time and just kept going till the book was done!)
Single mom Evelyn Felton takes on a third part-time job managing a greenhouse and garden project for Grace Fellowship. Formerly homeless, she’s thrilled to offer truckloads of fresh produce to the Arcadia Valley food bank.
If only Ben Kujak weren’t running Corinna’s Cupboard singlehandedly, he’d be delighted to be on the receiving end. But Evelyn and her dynamo daughter, Maisie, won’t take no for an answer, even if it means restructuring Ben’s charity.
Soon Ben finds himself wishing they’d transform his personal life, too, but can true love sprout when their pasts collide with the present?