"Taking control over her life was important to her. I let go of what I wanted so she could fly. Sure, this was Green Valley, Tennessee, and not some big fancy city, but independence was independence no matter where you were. Willa needed to see she could make it on her own. I could wait. For her, I would wait forever. Sure, there were a lot of other women in the world, but none of them were her."
Carpentry and Cocktails is written by author Nora Everly and is book 5 in the Green Valley Library series. Set in Green Valley, Tennessee, this is the second book by the author in this series, and is part of the Spring 2020 Smartypants Romance Launch.
Willa Hill is not long back in Green Valley after quite a few years away. Her marriage to the no-good Tommy is over and she is free to return to the town she once loved and called home. But coming back brings it's own challenges, number one - facing her family who she hasn't seen for years, especially the scrutiny and feelings of disappointment she knows her mother will bestow upon her. However, Green Valley definitely has it's positives, namely Willa's best friend Sabrina and the man who has caught her eye, Everett Monroe. Everett is one of the Monroe boys, a well-established family of Green Valley, and a family of 4 brothers, with 3 of them all working in their family construction business. Everett is slowly renovating his old house, and Willa is his new tenant. Everett, also a self-confessed nerd, is a gamer and is opening a new gaming store in town. His life should be crazy busy, but he can't help but be distracted by the blonde waitress who has taken over his thoughts. Love and chemistry certainly finds these two, but is Willa ready to take this next leap of faith, when she has been burnt by love in the past? Nora Everly has created a delightfully addictive read with Carpentry and Cocktails, one that will hook you in with the obvious attratction and the will they, won't they flirtations of Everett and Willa. Newly-divorced Willa is finding her feet and independence after relying on her ex-husband for far too long and I feel this is a huge part of the story, a coming of age for Willa where she realises her true worth. Having the love of her friend Sabrina, her sisters and indeed aunt and cousin all help with Willa's journey to independence, as does the support and confidence Everett offers Willa along the way. I love how Everett steps back when needed, but he knows that Willa is the one for him and is willing to wait for her to be ready. A real surprise and highlight of this book is the Hill sisters! Gracie nearly steals the limelight with her modern take on life as a 16 year old, her no holds barred attitude bringing me many laughs and smiles throughout the story, and older sisters Sadie and Clara bring their own dimensions and dynamic to the mix. I'm sure there is a story or two to be told here ... Carpentry and Cocktails is a definite 5 star read from me, with it's romance and banter, flirtations and chemisrty, Willa and Everett bring the perfect blend of sweet and swoony romance and steamy attraction for their readers to delight in. Add in some familiar Green Valley characters, a dash of drama and good old Southern charm and you have Carpentry and Coctails, a book that readers of contemporary romance will enjoy and love! It can be read as a standalone, I however liked knowing the backstory and am an avid Smartypants Romance reader! I thank the author for the early copy of this book I received. This is an honest review and the opinions are my own.