Filipino bakery that just so happens to be neighboring a bookstore. A bookstore that is run by tattooed hottie Max Boyson. It is impossible not to have a crush on the mysterious bookseller, especially when he comes into the bakery daily for a pastry with a side of flirting.
When their landlord informs them of the massive renovation to the building they share, Joelle imagines the forced proximity will be the perfect opening chapter to their happily ever after. I mean, who hasn’t daydreamed of feeding their sexy bookish neighbor bibingka and pandesal while discussing Jane Austen? Reality, though, is a different thing. Max’s sweet demeanor quickly changes and Joelle’s crush dissolves into something akin to annoyance. Not only does Max snaps at her in front of customers, but he dries his sweaty gym clothes in her oven and routinely helps himself to the yummy pastries in her display case without asking.
Yet the spark between the two doesn’t go away. In fact, the tension beings to grow and the small space they are forced to share beings to feel a bit too small. And when they discover the real reason for the renovation, they’ll have to put their business and feelings for each other to the test.
A bookseller and a baker that are next-door and fall in love…. what could go wrong? First and foremost, I did like this book and I liked the authors writing. I loved Joelle’s family dynamic and overall I loved her as a character. Max though… I struggled with him. I understood he had a lot of family issues and I was sympathetic to that but he wasn’t the kindest more than once.
I love a good friends to lovers and I love a good enemies to lovers, but this one gave me whiplash. Friends to enemies to friends to enemies to friends and finally- lovers. I'm so happy that by the end, this one left a smile on my face. Max truly did grow on me by the end! Sarah Echavrre Smith's writing is fantastic and this is one I know a lot of readers will love.
Sarah Echavarre Smith is a copywriter turned author who wants to make the world a lovelier place, one kissing story at a time. Her love of romance began when she was eight and she discovered her auntie's stash of romance novels. She's been hooked ever since. When she's not writing, you can find her hiking, eating chocolate, and perfecting her lumpia recipe. She lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband and her adorable cat, Salem.