How to Charm a Beekeeper's Heart
by Candice Patterson
Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: White Rose Publishing; 1 edition (October 28, 2016)
Genre: Christian, Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0
Weddings are the last thing beekeeper Huck Anderson wants to be associated with, considering his past. So when he inherits a building occupied by a bridal boutique, he aims to evict the failing business and open a sporting goods store. That is until his tenant ends up being Arianne Winters, a woman he's indebted to from a mistake made years ago. When a life-threatening injury derails Huck entirely, Arianne offers a compromise to keep her boutique and her life out of bankruptcy—she'll aid in his lengthy recovery if he'll allow her to remain in his building. But nursing her adversary proves challenging when her adolescent crush resurfaces. Amidst a battle-of-wills, their lives intertwine in unexpected ways, providing opportunity to overcome their pasts and start anew. Will this confirmed bachelor consider holy-matrimony, or will Huck's choices sting them a second time?
This is a sweet, second chance romance. I loved the bee facts shared at the end of each chapter in tips and quotes.
Arianne was the brain in high school who helped Huck, the jock, get through his tests. She’d always had a bit of a crush on him but suffered a heart blow when he stood her up for prom. She moved on to a safer, saner romance in college, married and had a daughter. Sadly, her husband walked out before the child was three. Arianne has been struggling to make a living at her bridal boutique while raising Emma and taking care of her 25-year-old sister who can’t seem to find herself… or a job.
Huck inherits a building from his uncle and determines he will evict the bridal shop tenant and open a sporting goods store. That plan isn’t so easy when he learns that the tenant is the girl he wronged in high school. Huck has secrets and issues from his past that have made him a loner. He doesn’t do “relationship” although he is willing to spend a few weeks with a woman who isn’t looking for any long-term romance. Huck wants to get away from Arianne as quickly as he can. This plan doesn’t work either when he suffers a serious accident and Arianne steps forward to take care of him during his rehabilitation in exchange for allowing her time to move the bridal shop.
Huck finds himself enjoying the company of Arianne and adorable Emma. He is even willing to share his bee farming with them. Even though he is willing to encourage Arianne to pursue her dreams, he doesn’t think he is worthy of her love. Arianne continues to struggle with her business and her sister. She isn’t sure she can handle the pain of an unrequited love and she doesn’t want to risk hurting Emma with another man who would most likely abandon them. Still, she might not be able to keep her heart from falling for the man she has always fantasized about.
I really enjoyed these struggling characters and watching as they wrestled with their past pains and lost dreams. Ms. Patterson does a nice job showing their growth and allowing the romance to grow, even through their fears. Emma adds a precocious and sweet character.
The writing is nicely handled with nice descriptions, smooth delivery, and easy flow. I really enjoyed how Arianne’s strong faith, and Emma’s child’s faith, are shared, by little graces and even in flaws, so that Huck begins to long for an unconditional love he has never known. The story is engaging and the characters’ journeys are believable and heartwarming. I recommend this to readers who enjoy inspirational, small town style, second chance romance.
I received this from NetGalley and it qualifies for my NetGalley Challenge.