Review: Just for Nice (States of Love) by H.M. Shepherd

Nick Caratelli flees the city in an attempt to escape a broken relationship and a career he never wanted. He plans to set up a bed-and-breakfast in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country—despite the fact he has no experience in renovating the old building. Luckily his handsome neighbor Sam approaches him with a curious proposal: he’ll help with the restoration in exchange for Nick babysitting his niece.

As they work to have the bed-and-breakfast open for business by summer’s end, their lives become interwoven without them even trying. Before he knows it, Nick is recovering from his loss and taking his place in the unconventional family that seems determined to form. But for Nick and Sam to be together in all the ways they desire, they’ll have to realize all the arguments against romance exist only in their heads….

Not too bad for a debut novel...

As per the blurb, Nick is getting over a bad break up and has decided to quit law and open up a bed and breakfast. He realizes too late that he’s a bit in over his head and really doesn’t have the knowledge to do what needs to be done. Perhaps fortuitously, Nick’s neighbor Sam, is in need of a babysitter for his niece and offers his handyman services in exchange. Attraction and feelings inevitably develop because of course they will!

I’m going to assume that the States of Love series has a word limit on how long a story can be and that the author was perhaps stymied by this. I wanted things more fleshed out. I wanted everything from Nick’s sexuality, to Sam’s past, and even the niece’s age, to be revealed with better timing and explanation than what I got. I felt like I was in the dark for three quarters of this book and just when things were finally coming together, a few months pass by in a flash, and we’re told the ending, rather than shown. To be honest, approximately 100 pages is just not enough to properly do a story justice most of the time, and though I absolutely adored the premise, this fell short for me.

Again, I liked what I got. Points go towards the very likeable MC’s and the hot sweetness when Nick and Sam acted on their attraction. I’m just really greedy, and I wanted more.

Thank you to the author/publisher for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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