I’m hooked on this series from the start
This is book 2 in the Swizzle Stick Romance series which features three cousins from a big Italian family: Julia, Vanessa, and Amelia Martini. Despite the three cousins being different in age and personalities, they are close like a group of friends or sisters. Julia, the protagonist of book one, is the owner of Martini’s, the bar she inherited from her family and the usual meeting place for the three of them.
Vanessa Martini has strict rules about dating, especially no parents of her second-grade students. Grace Chapman has recently divorced and is trying to manage her new life with her seven-year-old son Oliver, a demanding job, a complicated relationship with her ex-husband, and her parents’ disapproval of her separation. She doesn’t need her son’s teacher’s judgment about her parenting skills and Oliver’s behaviour. It doesn’t matter that Ms. Martini is super hot and they keep meeting in the most unexpected places. They won’t definitely fall for each other…
I’m hooked on this series from the start, I like the main premise of the lesbian cousins, a big Italian family, and a welcoming bar as the background. Each one of the Martini’s women is likable and I can’t wait for the last installment which will feature Amelia, the oldest and most guarded of the cousins.
This book tells the story of Vanessa, an elementary school teacher who finds love in the most unexpected circumstances. I liked the idea of a teacher/student’s parent relationship, I don’t recall having read another book about it. Apparently, it’s not legally forbidden but it’s frowned upon, which doesn’t stop Vanessa and Grace from feeling the force of their mutual attraction and, at the same time, having hesitations to act on their feelings. Their meet-cute is a bit tense and antagonistic which made perfect sense considering the situation, so there isn’t an instant attraction between them. That’s why I thought that the first kiss scene felt a bit forced and unrealistic, even with alcohol involved. But I haven’t heard other people complain about it so take this comment with a pinch of salt.
Apart from that minor complaint, I really enjoyed the story, it’s sweet and hot at the same time. Ms. Beers builds the sexual tension really well and the intimate scenes are hot, as it’s usual in her books. Even though the reader can guess where the conflict is heading to, I thought it was written well and made sense in the context of the story.
The audiobook version is narrated by AJ Ferrarro. I really enjoyed her performance of Maggie Cummings’s Bay West Social series but I wasn’t completely convinced about her choice of voices for the main characters in this book. I know it’s a matter of personal taste, she’s a good performer but personally, my dislike of the voices didn’t allow me to enjoy the story as much. 4 stars.
Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins