Published May 2020 by The Wild Rose Press
About the Book:
Tandy Blakemore spends her days running her New England ice cream parlor, single-parenting her teenage son, and trying to keep her head above financial water. No easy feat when the shop's machinery is aging and her son is thinking about college. Tandy hasn't had a day off in a decade and wonders if she'll ever be able to live a worry-free life.
Engineer Deacon Withers is on an enforced vacation in the tiny seaside town of Beacher's Cove. Overworked, stressed, and lonely, he walks into Tandy's shop for a midday ice cream cone and gets embroiled in helping her fix a broken piece of equipment.
Can the budding friendship that follows lead to something everlasting?
The Wild Rose Press has a fun new series of novellas out this summer called "One Scoop or Two" - Ice Cream Themed romances! Full disclosure that I also write for this publisher and know that the call went out last fall. All are fun, beachy books set in fun, ocean or lake settings and center around ice cream shops. Peggy Jaeger writes a lot of romance for the Wild Rose Press, and answered the call with this sweet New England romance.
The setting is the small seaside town of Beacher's Cove, New Hampshire, and Vanilla with a Twist is the name of the ice cream shop along the boardwalk. Single mom Tandy Blakemore owns the shop and devises the delicious sounding ice cream flavors. She grew up on a farm in the area, and her parent's dairy supplies the fresh dairy products that help make her ice cream special. Summer tourists crowd the shop every day, keeping her way too busy to even think about any kind of social life beyond keeping her shop afloat and being able to afford a better life for her teenage son.
CEO Deacon Withers is on an enforced vacation from the company he built from the ground up. He's also been too busy for a social life, and when he strolls into the little ice cream shop his world view starts to change. An engineer by trade, his work days have become filled with paperwork and presentations - he misses getting his hands dirty with machinery. Tandy's near-antique compressors challenge the puzzle solving side of his brain, and he finds himself drawn into Tandy's world. Helping fix compressors. Bringing lunch to share on the back deck. Having a different flavor combination of her delicious ice cream every day. A lifestyle as intriguing to him as the woman who creates those delectable treats.
This is a slow moving, sweet romance with lots of heart and emotion but not a lick of heat (it might melt all the ice cream, lol.) A fun summer read as you get a great feel for the New Hampshire boardwalk scene along the shore, and characters you can believe in and root for - a staple of Ms. Jaeger's books. She specializes in strong women like Tandy, with opinions and goals and dreams...a woman you'd like to have as a friend. And for the hours you spend reading, you're immersed in her world.
I'll admit I read this back over Memorial Day weekend and am just getting to getting my reviews written after taking most of the summer off - I actually went to the beach twice so far this summer, and to the family lake house four times... which might be a record for me in the last five years since the kids got older and I started working full time again. I kind of related to both character's workaholic lifestyles, and their revelations about taking time to enjoy life hit home for me. Which doesn't excuse the tardiness of this (or posting any) review, or my ignoring this blog for so many weeks. But it goes with the story's theme so I'm sticking with that as my excuse.
As summer winds down and we're all looking for a good book to curl up in the beach chair with for a few last days soaking up rays, I recommend this story, and optimistically this series of ice cream books by various authors. At $3.99 for Kindle, they're priced cheaper than any real ice cream cones you can get in the beachfront shops around here. So why not indulge? Fewer calories and lots of satisfaction.
Grab your copy on AMAZON