Published by Entangled: Indulgence on July 14th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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Brewing up trouble one pint at a time.Enemies ...After years away, Miranda Sweet returns to Salvation, Virginia to save her family's brewery, but her fate is in the hands of her lover-turned-enemy, Logan. What's a girl to do when the only person who can help her is the man who betrayed her?Lovers ...Logan Martin can't believe his luck when the woman who smashed his heart to smithereens walks into his bank asking for his help. What she doesn't know is that he needs the land her brewery is on--and he'll do whatever it takes to get it.An Irresistible Combination ...Their wager becomes a battle between their attraction and their determination to win. But it's in each other's arms that they realize there might be more at stake now than their bet. With the town against the Sweet Salvation Brewery's success, Logan has to choose between what's expected of him and what he really wants...
Miranda Sweet has returned to Salvation, Virginia for the first time in more than a decade. She and her two sisters (they’re triplets) have been left the family brewery by their recently passed-away uncle, and it’s a wreck. She comes back into town planning to get the brewery back up and running, making it profitable for the first time in years. She wants to use the renovation of the brewery to leverage a promotion at work, a promotion she has worked her ass off to get for the last several years. She’s not going to let her terrible boss get in her way, she’s not going to let the unenthusiastic brewery staff and crew get in her way, and she is certainly not going to let Logan Martin get in her way. The Martins and the Sweets have a long-standing rivalry in Salvation, with the Sweets on the wrong side of it. Miranda and Logan had a relationship in high school that ended badly, and Miranda and both of her sisters left town and never looked back.
West Virginia had the Hatfields and the McCoys, Shakespeare had the Capulets and the Montagues. Salvation had the Martins and the Sweets.
But now Miranda is back. She and Logan are pitted against each other in the battle over the brewery. Miranda needs the brewery up and running so she can get her promotion, Logan needs it to fail so he can get the land and build an industrial park he thinks will revitalize the town. They end up making a bet in front of most of the population of Salvation, so neither of them will back down.
Every time I read a Fool’s Gold or Lucky Harbor book, I decide I’m going to quit my job and move to a tiny town somewhere on a coast. Then I read a book like this and I remember the other side of small-town living. Everyone in your business, and not in a fun, matchmaking “I’ve got the perfect guy for you” kind of way, but in a “we never forget any of your mistakes and we’ll judge you forever” kind of way. I do not want to live in Salvation, but that’s because Avery Flynn did such a good job of making me see the town and its inhabitants. I could feel the judging looks Miranda was getting as she went anywhere in the town, hear the whispers behind her, and it made me cringe.
I didn’t think I was going to like Logan very much in the beginning. I like a good enemies-to-lovers story, but I like it more when it’s “I don’t like you, you don’t like me, but we keep running into each other and somehow all that animosity is turning into something else” and less the characters going out of their way to sabotage and injure the other party in order to gain something. Which is what Logan was doing to start with. But I also really like second chance romances, and this one had that, too. Logan wasn’t being a dick just for the sake of being a dick. He genuinely thought his plan was better for the town and would bring Salvation out of its current downturn. This industrial park will be the first thing he’s done completely on his own; the first thing he’s done without being under his father’s thumb. He’s willing to do anything he has to in order for that to happen. And he’s obviously still hurt from Miranda’s leaving so long ago without a word. He never got over it and when she blows into town with her plans for the brewery, it upsets his apple cart. He can see everything he’s been working for going down in flames before he even gets it started and he’s not about to let that happen, especially from someone who’s not even going to stick around and be a part of the town he’s trying to save.
Miranda tried so hard to get past the crap she dealt with growing up. She pushed herself all through college, then in her career, and she wants this promotion so much. She wants to prove to all of the residents in Salvation, but maybe a little more to the Martins, that her name doesn’t define who she is. That she can and did make something of herself, that being a Sweet from Salvation doesn’t automatically make her a tramp, or a crazy person, or someone not worth the time to get to know them. And eventually, she realizes that she needs to come to terms with her family’s history herself before she can expect anyone else to.
The history between Logan and Miranda was heart-breaking. Logan’s family has always been town royalty, while Miranda’s has been the town outcasts. They took each other’s virginity, but when their relationship was discovered, Miranda was all but run out of town for ruining Logan’s virtue while he was pitied for being hoodwinked by the town tramp. Standard slut-shaming. And Logan, a typical teenager, was dealing with the fallout from the scandal in his own family and wrapped up in his own stuff and didn’t defend her at all. And now that she’s back, they’re learning to relate to each other as the adults they are and not the kids they were. The chemistry between them hasn’t changed, just aged like a good wine. There was no way they’d be able to keep their hands off of each other, and they didn’t bother to fight their impulses too hard. Just long enough to be fun.
This book was a great start to what seems like a fun new series from Avery Flynn. If you’re looking for a great, quick read, especially if you’re a sucker for the small-town romances, this is definitely one you’ll want to check out.