Description: Florist Ivy Birch fantasizes about the day a man will surprise her with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Especially if that man happens to be Brett Hastings. One stolen kiss at her best friend's wedding and Ivy can't get the sexy ER doctor out of her head. In the small town of Briar Creek, you can't avoid anyone for very long. Not that Brett has been trying to avoid Ivy. He just can't afford to let anything distract him from his work - not again. So when a hospital fundraiser throws them together, love is the last thing on his mind. But with her quick wit and sweet laugh, soon the one woman he's tried to keep at arm's length is capturing his heart...
Genre: Romance - Contemporary
Why I Picked This Book: I've read a few books in this series and have really enjoyed them all.
My Impression: When I start an Olivia Miles book I know I'm not getting a simple story and this newest addition to the Briar Creek series is no exception. There are complications, histories, secrets, and all kinds of matchmaking mothers!
Ivy and Brett are complicated people with more than their share of baggage and neither really want to be in a serious committed relationship despite the fact that they are seriously attracted to each other. There are a lot of side characters involved as well who have their own hang ups which adds so much to the small town feel but never crosses over into confusing. We see Ivy's relationship with her brother, her brother's fiance, and a number of friends all of whom she's known practically since birth and I really enjoyed seeing that side to her. In the same way you could feel the distance Brett kept from his family, friends and home town. He has his own demons caused by his father abandoning him and struggles with it regularly. He really really doesn't want to be attracted to Ivy despite the fact that he really really is. I think because of this distance it took me awhile to warm up to Brett but as the book went on I did come to understand him more and was able to root for a happy ending. Ivy keeps her distance with her friends by keeping a very large secret which in some ways didn't make sense to me but I could see her side of things. I did think she needed to take up yoga or something to help her deal with her attraction to Brett! For awhile I didn't see how either would deal with their baggage enough to have a healthy relationship but I was very pleased with how it turned out!
Briar Creek is full of interesting characters that feel like real people. They have their damage but they also have their successes. Often in small town books a lot of side characters mean I'm going to be confused and distracted from the main couple but that was not the case in this book. If anything the side characters made it easier for me to engage with Ivy and Brett. There are a number of characters that we've met in previous books but if you're new to the series have no fear. I haven't read all of the books and it's been awhile since I read the last one but I had problem keeping track of who was who and all that.
Overall, this is an entertaining book with characters who I liked even if they drove me crazy sometimes! This isn't a fluffy light romance but it doesn't go over into too angst-y either. A great pick for when you're in the mood for contemporary but want a little more heart and grit.
Would I Recommend this Book?: If you like contemporary romances I think you would enjoy this book and the series overall.