Saturday, July 27, 2019


Starli Cameron gave up her career plans to be a concert pianist to marry the man of her dreams. He turned out to be a nightmare. When he dies in a car accident, Starli takes the insurance money and builds a successful and upscale restaurant: Apple Blossoms in rural West Virginia. Threats from someone determined to ruin her life and the suspicious romantic advances from her new chef force Starli to search her heart and finally turn to God for real healing. Sir Joel Peterman-Blair, top notch chef from England, is roped by his uncle, into filling in as head Chef at Apple Blossoms. Joel, with his sanguine-personality, has always laughed and flirted his way through life. But now, confronted with and attracted to the most beautiful woman he’s ever met, Joel has to prove his sincerity and depth of character to his icy-cold employer. Can his love for God and for this woman reach out far enough to rescue her from her own mistrust and bitterness? Will he learn that life is not all play? And can they both work together to find the source of threats that seem to be coming from Starli’s past?

Besides being a member and active participant of many writing groups, Carole Brown enjoys mentoring beginning writers. An author of ten books, she loves to weave suspense and tough topics into her books, along with a touch of romance and whimsy, and is always on the lookout for outstanding titles and catchy ideas. She and her husband reside in SE Ohio but have ministered and counseled nationally and internationally. Together, they enjoy their grandsons, traveling, gardening, good food, the simple life, and did she mention their grandsons?

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I really enjoyed this clean romance/mystery book. The author has become a favorite of mine because she writes stories that are easy to relate to  and has wonderful biblical truths scattered throughout. Her characters are always charismatic and fun to get to know.

The title is so perfect for this charming story. Starli is very driven and is determined to make her restaurant a success. I loved the name of the restaurant which is called Apple Blossoms. It is a charming place that has become very popular. The atmosphere is trendy and overall the food has been good.  Starli suddenly finds herself in need of a top notch chef. I wonder who will walk in the door to become the chef that everybody raves about?

The bright star in this story is the dashing Sir Joel Peterman-Blair. He has come all the way from England to become Starli's chef and save the day. The banter between them is hysterical. Starli instantly is all business like around him which he finds charming. The man is a breath of fresh air and easy on the eyes. I loved how Starli kept trying to hide her true feelings about Joel. The main reason she doesn't want to get involved with him or any man is because she doesn't trust them.  She had a horrible marriage that was both physically and emotionally abusive. People wonder why she never turned her husband in, but who would believe her? Her husband was a police officer and well liked. When he is killed in an accident, she can finally breathe a little. It doesn't take long for her ex- brother-in-law to start stalking her. He is a bully and blames Starli for his brothers death. It can't be fun having to look over your shoulder constantly.

The mystery in the story is good and kept me guessing who was behind sabotaging the restaurant. The obvious choice would be the ex-brother-in-law, but maybe he has someone else doing his dirty work? Joel is all about keeping Starli safe while trying to find out who is trying to destroy her livelihood. Reading hoe their relationship develops is the icing on the cake.  It is a great book that really focuses on trust and letting go of past hurts. I can't wait for the author's next book.

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.