Love & Joy ~ Review

Love & Joy
Holidays in Hallbrook #8
By Elsie Davis

He said it was just a birthday kiss but when her high school crush kisses her on her thirtieth birthday it seems like something more to Zoe. And her nine-year-old son Scott is less than thrilled especially after his dad dumped them. Zoe knows the kiss means nothing to Blake Peterson who left Hallbrook and the family business behind years ago. And she knows he's probably on his way out of town again just a matter of days.

Zoe has been hoping that she will soon be promoted to manager of Peterson's Ice Creamery, after all, she's already been doing most of the work of a manager already. But Old Man Peterson has other plans - the manager position will be filled by whoever comes up with the best remodel plan for the Creamery. Unfortunately, Zoe knows exactly what is going to happen especially since she is competing for the job she not only wants but needs against Blake Peterson.

But when Blake starts working in the Creamery to get a feel for the place, he and Zoe start to see something more to one another. But misunderstandings could stand in the way of love. But when misunderstandings lead to feelings of betrayal can anything fix what has been broken?

Love and Joy is a sweet read. Apparently, this is the eighth book in the Holidays in Hallbrook series, but this was my first introduction to both the series and the author. But in no way did I feel as if I was missing something vital to the series but not reading the previous books. This book can easily be read as a standalone title and one can definitely connect with the characters and enjoy the story.  I wouldn't say this is a meet-cute book but maybe a remeet-cute book as Zoe and Blake have a bit of a history between them thanks to Sarah - Zoe's BFF and Blake's sister.                                                                                     
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.                

About the Book:
Let the battle begin…

A thirtieth birthday is a landmark, but Zoe is crushed when everyone - including her nine-year-old son - seems to forget it. Of course, she has no idea about the surprise party, or the even more surprising birthday kiss from her best friend’s brother and secret high school crush, Blake Peterson.

Zoe doesn’t have time to dwell on it, though. She’s worked hard to rebuild her life after a divorce, and she fully expects the promotion dangled in front of her. Her boss has other ideas, however: A contest to renovate Peterson’s Ice Creamery, and may the best man--or woman--win.  What’s worse, her competition is none other than Blake himself, Old Man Peterson’s grandson.

Blake’s ready to join the family business, but his grandfather says he has to prove himself first. Now, he has to work side-by-side with the beautiful Zoe, and the two butt heads right away. It’s a battle between Zoe’s nostalgic style and Blake’s beliefs that high-tech modernization is crucial to the bottom line of a company.

They’re both stubbornly sure that they’re right, but the more time they spend together, the more difficult it is to deny there’s something growing between them that has nothing to do with business. Can these two put their differences aside long enough to discover what’s really important?

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~ Blooming with Books