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Love in a Nutshell

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Kate Appleton needs a job. Her husband has left her, she’s been fired as a magazine editor, and she only wants to go to her parents’ summer house, The Nutshell, in Keene’s Harbor, Michigan, and make a Bed and Breakfast inn. Matt Culhane needs a spy in his brewery for a saboteur, and Kate is new in town. But Kate despises beer and nobody trusts her.


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Kate Appleton needs a job. Her husband has left her, she’s been fired as a magazine editor, and she only wants to go to her parents’ summer house, The Nutshell, in Keene’s Harbor, Michigan, and make a Bed and Breakfast inn. Matt Culhane needs a spy in his brewery for a saboteur, and Kate is new in town. But Kate despises beer and nobody trusts her.

30 review for Love in a Nutshell

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Ok, admittedly, I haven't read many of Evanovich's books, but I'd heard that she was funny. This wasn't funny. Like, not even a little bit! This was a total cornball mystery/romance that relied on hokey shit to keep the plot (loosely using that word) going. Every single dried up, goofy, overused trope was effectively rolled up into one dumbass story. They even threw in a 3 legged dog to show that Matt was a good guy. Oh my! If he rescued a hound that was missing a limb, he must be a GOOD GUY! Righ Ok, admittedly, I haven't read many of Evanovich's books, but I'd heard that she was funny. This wasn't funny. Like, not even a little bit! This was a total cornball mystery/romance that relied on hokey shit to keep the plot (loosely using that word) going. Every single dried up, goofy, overused trope was effectively rolled up into one dumbass story. They even threw in a 3 legged dog to show that Matt was a good guy. Oh my! If he rescued a hound that was missing a limb, he must be a GOOD GUY! Right? Riiiiight?! Ok, so Kate (recently divorced & jobless) moves into her family's summer home in {generic tourist town} and tries to start over. The family home is called The Nutshell. Get it? Love in a Nutshell! Not only is Kate unemployed and unlucky in love, her ex-husband got custody of her beloved poodle in the divorce settlement. Because the amputee hound just wasn't enough dog for this book. And the poodle thing is pounded into the story over and over and over again. Boo-hoo! I miss Stella! Wah! I miss my dog! Just...enough already! It's a dog. Seriously! And, yes, I get that dogs are people too. *rolls eyes* But once we finally get to meet Stella, I couldn't reconcile why the fuck Kate wasn't absolutely thrilled to get rid of her. There was quite literally nothing even remotely lovable about the damn dog. She was just a giant pain in the ass that growled and...growled more. The love part of this felt like it was some weird PG teen movie shit. If there was a ridiculous reason for them to almost kiss...but NOT!...it was stuffed into the story. Over and over and over and over these two did their little will-they-won't-they dance. At one point, she was even living at his house (b/c DANGER!), and they didn't even get it on. Even though, by that point, they had both admitted to reallyreallyreally liking each other. But the Growling Poodle stopped them. Because it's not like you could have tossed her in the bathroom and shut the door or anything. If a dog growls...sexytimes are OVER! By the halfway point I had given up on liking the romance, so I decided to focus my energy on liking the mystery. But the 'mystery' was so ridiculous that I had a hard time keeping my eyeballs from rolling out of my head. Someone is sabotaging Matt's brewery! Which is why he hires Kate. You know, in the hopes that this new girl will hear or see something that will point to the culprit. No. Really. I'm serious. It starts out as small stuff, but quickly escalates! OhMyGod! How will they ever figure out who is setting fire to his dumpster, or leaving the cooler doors open?! It's impossible! Not even Columbo could solve this mystery! Unless... Maybe, just maybe, Matt could install a camera system in his brewery? Because that would have solved the problem within the first 5 pages. Just sayin'. And I know what you're thinking. Well, maybe he can't afford a camera system, Anne? He's going to pay Kate $20,000 to find the saboteur. $20,000! He can afford a few cameras. Bottom line, I thought this is the opposite of well-thought out, funny, and romantic. I listened to the audiobook, and the woman who read the story did a good job, though. So...there's that.

  2. 4 out of 5

    DJ =^^=

    WARNING for audiobook readers: Janet Evanovich uses the same narrator that she used with the Stephanie Plum series. My only complaint about the narrator is that the character voice sound just the same. A few times I caught myself saying that's Stephanie, Joe Morelli or Ranger's voice. WARNING for audiobook readers: Janet Evanovich uses the same narrator that she used with the Stephanie Plum series. My only complaint about the narrator is that the character voice sound just the same. A few times I caught myself saying that's Stephanie, Joe Morelli or Ranger's voice.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Barbara ★

    I really love these quirky romances by Janet Evanovich and assorted co-writers. They are cute with hottie guys, ditzy (but hilarious) heroines and screwy circumstances. Who could ask for more in a funny romance. Kate Appleton has returned to her childhood vacation home with the hopes of renovating the cottage into a Bed and Breakfast. Unfortunately her parents have allowed the mortgage to go into arrears (is that the correct term?) and now someone has purchased the property and is trying to evict I really love these quirky romances by Janet Evanovich and assorted co-writers. They are cute with hottie guys, ditzy (but hilarious) heroines and screwy circumstances. Who could ask for more in a funny romance. Kate Appleton has returned to her childhood vacation home with the hopes of renovating the cottage into a Bed and Breakfast. Unfortunately her parents have allowed the mortgage to go into arrears (is that the correct term?) and now someone has purchased the property and is trying to evict her so they can build a restaurant on the site. Kate is practically destitute and unemployed when she coerces Matt Culhane at the local microbrewery into a job. The pay sucks but the potential payoff is huge. Kate likes Matt alot but has sworn off men until she gets her life back in order after her divorce. Yeah like that's gonna happen. :) Everyone in town loves Matt Culhane except for the mysterious person sabotaging his business. Matt hires Kate as a corporate spy to infiltrate his business and find the saboteur with a bonus if she pulls it off in a certain time frame. Of course, Matt is instantly taken with Kate and her quirky personality. This is a fun romp with lots of laughs and a slow courtship that is just plain fun to experience.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mackenzie

    Song for summary: Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen This was a slow read for me. The characters were quirky and unique; while the plot was a different take on a small town romance. Although I felt a lack of chemistry between the characters, and the humour seemed a little forced at times; overall this was a highly imaginative love story.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This was an ok book that was a quick light read but nothing that I would highly recommend. I have been a big fan of Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, but it was hard to tell how much of this was her work and how much was Dorien Kelly's work. The plot had holes in it. After a divorce, the heroine Kate Appleton moves back to a small town in Michigan where her family has a summer home. Kate plans of fixing the home up and opening a bread and breakfast. Problem is there is a huge mortgage on the home This was an ok book that was a quick light read but nothing that I would highly recommend. I have been a big fan of Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, but it was hard to tell how much of this was her work and how much was Dorien Kelly's work. The plot had holes in it. After a divorce, the heroine Kate Appleton moves back to a small town in Michigan where her family has a summer home. Kate plans of fixing the home up and opening a bread and breakfast. Problem is there is a huge mortgage on the home and it needs major repairs. The repairs I can understand ... but the mortgage. Her family has owned this home since she was a child and 30 years later there is still a mortgage. Yet her parents and siblings all seem to be very wealthy. Also, Matt Culhane, her love interest has a micro brewery / pub restaurant that is being sabotaged all the time and he can't seem to get to the bottom of it. Hello? this is the 21st century where we are surrounded by security cameras everywhere. They are also a lot of very affordable security systems that he could install himself. Instead he is willing to offer Kate $20,000 dollars if she can figure out who the culprit is behind the sabotage efforts. I did like the dog aspect to the story. Both have their own dogs ... Matt has a 3 legged hound and Kate has a pampered toy poodle. This had the potential of being a much better story that what it was.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sean Logan

    It's a bit discouraging when an author becomes so formulaic that the publisher holds them to a certain word or page count, and then 9/10ths into the book the writer realizes they had better start wrapping things up. "Love in a Nutshell" is one of these books. Janet Evanovich has perfected the light-romantic-mystery formula with her Stephanie Plum series; however, she may want to look at other authors' techniques for writing and concluding a stand alone book. "Love in a Nutshell" is a fun book, ni It's a bit discouraging when an author becomes so formulaic that the publisher holds them to a certain word or page count, and then 9/10ths into the book the writer realizes they had better start wrapping things up. "Love in a Nutshell" is one of these books. Janet Evanovich has perfected the light-romantic-mystery formula with her Stephanie Plum series; however, she may want to look at other authors' techniques for writing and concluding a stand alone book. "Love in a Nutshell" is a fun book, nicely laid out, and one that flows easily. The characters, while limited by the length of the book are likeable, if a bit shallow, and you find yourself pulling for them. The problem is that most character realizations are instantaneous because there isn't enough "book" to have these emotions come out naturally. By the near end you the reader quickly realize that nothing has yet happened - so instead of a carefully plotted out ending we are stuck with a rapid fire series of concluding acts.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Duchess Nicole

    This was a sweet, lighthearted, nothing special contemporary romance. I think Evanovich has made such a name for herself with her humor and the crazy antics of her characters that I've come to expect it from her non-Plum titles. Sometimes she delivers, but not in this case. The funniest part about this book was the way that Kate forces Matt in to hiring her at the beginning of the book. Matt is a stand up guy who was the wild boy of Keene's Harbor in his younger days. He's come home and is now n This was a sweet, lighthearted, nothing special contemporary romance. I think Evanovich has made such a name for herself with her humor and the crazy antics of her characters that I've come to expect it from her non-Plum titles. Sometimes she delivers, but not in this case. The funniest part about this book was the way that Kate forces Matt in to hiring her at the beginning of the book. Matt is a stand up guy who was the wild boy of Keene's Harbor in his younger days. He's come home and is now not only running a successful brewery and restaurant in his old hometown, but bailing out failing businesses with substantial loans and buying the loans of homes in danger of foreclosure. He's a good guy. Kate is a bit on the frazzled side, what with being newly divorced, newly fired, and newly homeless. When Matt hires Kate to find the person intent on sabotaging his business, this slow burning romance begins. There was an element of mystery and suspense which comes to a head toward the end, but I felt like it was such a secondary plotline as to almost be unnecessary. This would have benefitted from just being a plain ole romance. One thing I loved about the book was the role of Matt and Kate's pets and how important they are in their lives. I'm an animal lover myself, and Evanovich always shows her animal loving side, especially in her stand alones. I listened to the audio of this. The narrator did a good job, though I didn't really like her voice for Matt. But she barked when the dogs barked, which was the second most hilarious part of the book. Overall, if you're expecting an Evanovich book, this isn't it. This is a bit more serious, with a few quirky side characters maybe. Overall, easily forgettable but a good palatte cleanser between angsty or intense reads.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kjen

    ****2.5 stars**** I know, not my usual fare. I have this need to read everything that Evanovich writes because she penned Ranger Manoso's character. Since then, she hasn't used him properly, but still I read?.... Anyway, this was a quick, ok read for me, I guess. I figured out early on who the bad guy was. Also, it is really, really obvious that Evanovich is having a hard time with sexual tension between the leads and will throw in any even remotely possible twist to stave off a love/sex scene. ****2.5 stars**** I know, not my usual fare. I have this need to read everything that Evanovich writes because she penned Ranger Manoso's character. Since then, she hasn't used him properly, but still I read?.... Anyway, this was a quick, ok read for me, I guess. I figured out early on who the bad guy was. Also, it is really, really obvious that Evanovich is having a hard time with sexual tension between the leads and will throw in any even remotely possible twist to stave off a love/sex scene.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Hicks

    This was a really fun book. Easy to read and predictable but such a cute storyline with great characters. I hope the author writes more books with these same characters. After reading a couple of books with serious subject matters, it's nice to read some mindless fluff. I really enjoyed this book. It was extremely entertaining. This was a really fun book. Easy to read and predictable but such a cute storyline with great characters. I hope the author writes more books with these same characters. After reading a couple of books with serious subject matters, it's nice to read some mindless fluff. I really enjoyed this book. It was extremely entertaining.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Redfern

    This was a nice light romance from the team of Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly. For readers used to the craziness of Ms. Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, this might seem a little tame, but it is an enjoyable read. The two main characters are normal everyday people who find that they need help from each other to get their lives back on track. It is refreshing to read a book that is just plain fun to read. Kate is divorced and trying to keep her family home so she can start a new life and career This was a nice light romance from the team of Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly. For readers used to the craziness of Ms. Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, this might seem a little tame, but it is an enjoyable read. The two main characters are normal everyday people who find that they need help from each other to get their lives back on track. It is refreshing to read a book that is just plain fun to read. Kate is divorced and trying to keep her family home so she can start a new life and career. Matt is focused on keeping his career successful and not interested in a relationship. He comes off as a genuinely nice guy, trying to help other business owners and not a cut throat kind of guy. The reason why someone is trying to ruin his business is not immediately obvious. The story unfolds at an easy pace with just enough activity to keep the reader interested. Kate also seems fairly normal, not a walking catastrophe, who finds herself attracted to her boss even though she knows it is not a good idea. There are supporting characters that are interesting but the main focus stays on Matt and Kate. This is a great book to just sit in a comfy chair with it, drink a nice glass of wine (or hot chocolate), and spend a few hours enjoying a story that will make you feel good at the end.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    This book is awful in a stellar way. The plot is like every Janet Evanovich only less funny, sexy, or thrilling. The writing is pretty cheesy, and I have proof: "She looked up from the cross word puzzle she was doing. "What's a four-letter word for idiot? She asked. "Matt." "Really. Throw me a word." "Dolt." She frowned down at the puzzle, then smiled up at him. "That fits." And it fit him, too. Since when had he not grabbed for what he wanted? "Can you call and reschedule tomorrow's meetings un This book is awful in a stellar way. The plot is like every Janet Evanovich only less funny, sexy, or thrilling. The writing is pretty cheesy, and I have proof: "She looked up from the cross word puzzle she was doing. "What's a four-letter word for idiot? She asked. "Matt." "Really. Throw me a word." "Dolt." She frowned down at the puzzle, then smiled up at him. "That fits." And it fit him, too. Since when had he not grabbed for what he wanted? "Can you call and reschedule tomorrow's meetings until next week?" he asked. Ginger snorted. "Right. Business. Blond unfinished business, maybe?" "Yeah, another four-letter word, and it means happiness," Matt said. He'd let Ginger guess on her own,because he wanted to get home and grab love. Unfortunately the writing caries a weak plot, and the romantic tension isn't that well done either. Strangely, I would still say I enjoyed reading the book to a degree, but the only reason I will ever pick it up again is to mark it up like that^.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Kate moves into her family's old summer home when she gets divorced and loses her job with the plan to renovate it and turn it into a bed and breakfast. Only the mortgage was sold and she has to come up with the money to pay the loan in four months. She goes to work for Matt at a local microbrewery as a floater, but she is really a spy for him trying to find out who has been sabatoging his business. I was really disappointed in this book. I read the book all in one night and can't say that I was Kate moves into her family's old summer home when she gets divorced and loses her job with the plan to renovate it and turn it into a bed and breakfast. Only the mortgage was sold and she has to come up with the money to pay the loan in four months. She goes to work for Matt at a local microbrewery as a floater, but she is really a spy for him trying to find out who has been sabatoging his business. I was really disappointed in this book. I read the book all in one night and can't say that I was overly entertained by it. It was just kinda dull. I think that some of the stuff was meant to be zany and crazy, like the stuff that was happening to the remodel on the house and some of the characters, but none of it really came off that way. I was expecting it to be a much more humorous, interesting book and was rather disappointed.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Well. I finished it. Despite a lot of reasons that I shouldn't have: dialogue that didn't gel, characters that were not fully drawn, and a terribly done romance. Why then did I finish it? I wanted it to get better. And it went so fast that it was over before I knew it. Fair warning. Well. I finished it. Despite a lot of reasons that I shouldn't have: dialogue that didn't gel, characters that were not fully drawn, and a terribly done romance. Why then did I finish it? I wanted it to get better. And it went so fast that it was over before I knew it. Fair warning.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bec Sachse

    You lost me at the word 'crapola' (or maybe even before that). On a positive note I did actually finish the book. On the negative side, it was like going to see a rom-com and leaving completely unsatisfied - you only just kept watching because the lead guy was eye candy. You lost me at the word 'crapola' (or maybe even before that). On a positive note I did actually finish the book. On the negative side, it was like going to see a rom-com and leaving completely unsatisfied - you only just kept watching because the lead guy was eye candy.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Kate Appleton just wants a chance to restart her life. Her husband divorced her, taking her beloved poodle with him, and much of her self-confidence. Movie to Keene’s Harbor, and remodeling her family’s old summer cottage, The Nutshell, into a bed and breakfast is the new start she is hoping for; until she loses her job, and she discovers that the Nutshell needs more than just a touch of paint. In a fit of temper, Kate storms in to Matt Cuhane’s office and demands a job, because she blames hi Kate Appleton just wants a chance to restart her life. Her husband divorced her, taking her beloved poodle with him, and much of her self-confidence. Movie to Keene’s Harbor, and remodeling her family’s old summer cottage, The Nutshell, into a bed and breakfast is the new start she is hoping for; until she loses her job, and she discovers that the Nutshell needs more than just a touch of paint. In a fit of temper, Kate storms in to Matt Cuhane’s office and demands a job, because she blames him for her unemployment. Matt agrees to take her on as a spy, to find out who is trying to sabotage his business, but as she gets to know more about Matt and the tiny town, she can’t help falling in love. Someone however, isn’t happy with Matt, and now with Kate. Sometimes, old friends are the best. Janet Evanovich books are priceless, and this has to be one of my new favorites. Reading her books is like getting together with old friends. It is comfortable, safe, and best yet good for some laughs. In all honesty, I haven’t felt much like reading lately. There has been a lot on my mind and even more going on in my life. I knew that if I wanted a book to hold my attention, it would have to be one that would have humor, and a light hearted side. Love In a Nutshell is just that. Even better, it was on audio. As with all Evanovich books you really must expect the characters to be somewhat quirky. Kate is loveable, and determined. She wants to make a life for herself and avoid future complications. Matt is strong willed, and a savvy businessman with a wonderfully large family, and a notorious history in Keene’s Harbor. Even when we go outside the main characters, we find interesting and well developed supporting characters. I loved Junior, the clueless handyman, and especially Lizzie, Matt’s police officer sister. You could easily imagine the people in this novel walking off the page, and living in this little town. The mystery was satisfying, but I think the developing relationship between Matt and Kate is really what keeps the reader hooked. It is definitely much more romance than mystery, but I have to admit, I love my mysteries and romance together—it is a combination that works well for me. The audiobook is produced by Macmillan Audio and read by Lorelei King. When I mentioned old friends being the best, one of those old friends would be listening to a novel read by Lorelei King. King is a stupendous narrator, and does a fantastic job narrating many of the Evanovich’s books including this one. She is a practiced narrator, and does a wonderful job with all of the voices. This story was well suited to audio format. You can easily kick back and listen to this story. I usually listen to audiobooks in my car, but when I got to my destination, I found myself loathing to leave the vehicle. I even started taking the audiobook in with me. It is sound effect free, which tends to be my preference when listing to audiobooks, and the production is free of technical flaws. Overall, this book was a lot of fun, and a great book to read whether you are listening to it, or reading a printed copy. Janet Evanovich and Dorian Kelly make a wonderful team, and I hope to read more books from both of them in the future.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tonya

    I loved it. I can't wait to get the next one..but I have a few I need to read first. I loved it. I can't wait to get the next one..but I have a few I need to read first.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Karin

    This is not Evanovich's best work, but it is an amusing romance/mystery set around Thanksgiving (I found it shelved as Thanksgiving somewhere). The only time she has co-authored something I found funny were the books she wrote with Lee Goldberg--once she started co-writing them with her son they weren't as funny and the series died--she and Goldberg made a great team for that type of book (O'Hare and Fox). But then, her books are usually 3 star likes for me and I am getting tired of Stephanie Pl This is not Evanovich's best work, but it is an amusing romance/mystery set around Thanksgiving (I found it shelved as Thanksgiving somewhere). The only time she has co-authored something I found funny were the books she wrote with Lee Goldberg--once she started co-writing them with her son they weren't as funny and the series died--she and Goldberg made a great team for that type of book (O'Hare and Fox). But then, her books are usually 3 star likes for me and I am getting tired of Stephanie Plum because I am so sick of the love triangle. I hate extended love triangles and they turn me off a series most of the time. Kate, divorced only a year before and missing her dog, hopes to turn her family's summer home in Michigan into a bed and breakfast, but it is a money vacuum and so she boldly makes her way into a local microbrewery and demands a job, which she gets. Yes, it is instant attraction between the two, and there is trouble afoot, which is why she is hired--to be a spy even as she works as a floater. I will say no more, there is a blurb.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jasmine

    Really cute and simple mystery for those looking for an easy beach read. The romance is a bit rushed but the hilarity of the overall story definitely makes up for it. I was in love with Matt and his very chill attitude from the start. I especially loved when he talked about his dog Chuck's "different barks" signaling different needs--a man who loves animals melts my heart every time! Really cute and simple mystery for those looking for an easy beach read. The romance is a bit rushed but the hilarity of the overall story definitely makes up for it. I was in love with Matt and his very chill attitude from the start. I especially loved when he talked about his dog Chuck's "different barks" signaling different needs--a man who loves animals melts my heart every time!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lena Hurzook

    I listened to this audiobook. A cute love story with a mystery thrown in.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Annmarie

    2.5-3 stars for what it is, a fluffy, chick lit/romance read with a bit of mystery to it and not a lot of depth. It's like drinking Mountain Dew. Why did I read this? because the reviews were good and it sounded like a good beach-read type book. LJ: "Sassy dialog, laugh-out-loud humor, vastly appealing characters, and an intriguing setting make this fast-paced, suspenseful romance one to imbibe." Bah. Not so much, LJ. It's ok. It's close to that, but a few notches below achieving it. Fast read, 2.5-3 stars for what it is, a fluffy, chick lit/romance read with a bit of mystery to it and not a lot of depth. It's like drinking Mountain Dew. Why did I read this? because the reviews were good and it sounded like a good beach-read type book. LJ: "Sassy dialog, laugh-out-loud humor, vastly appealing characters, and an intriguing setting make this fast-paced, suspenseful romance one to imbibe." Bah. Not so much, LJ. It's ok. It's close to that, but a few notches below achieving it. Fast read, eighth grade level, wholesome, good for the folk who prefer to avoid bad language and sexy-time; also good for chick lit romance fans. Heroine moves into her parents' summer lake house, a rambling falling down thing in Michigan, to renovate it into a b&b after she gets a divorce & loses her magazine editor job & is broke. Her parents are behind on their mortgage (despite the fact that they seem to be wealthy, all the heroine's siblings are wealthy, and they've owned the 2nd house for 30 years, so ???) and want her to let the private investor who has bought the mortgage to take it instead. Heroine needs a job so marches into local brewery and gets one from the hot owner, who likes her sass & asks her to work undercover and spy to find out who is sabotaging his brewery. She'll be paid minimum wage and get a $20,000 bonus if she finds the saboteur. Hot brewery guy and heroine fall in love and find the saboteur amidst a bit of danger and nice family relationships. Irritating factors: Evanovich seems to think minimum wage is $10 an hour. No. Not even here in liberal Oregon. It's $7.40 in Michigan. When you're broke, you know the difference between $7.40 & $10 per hour, trust me. Also, hot brewery guy, smart enough to invest in other breweries and to have a booming successful business, yet too stupid to think of buying security cameras. No interesting house renovation details at all, just a few "ooh sewage overflow" type mishaps. And finally, the hero has a tough three legged rescue hound dog, while the heroine misses her dog terribly which turns out to be a fussy mini poodle who appears to be the alpha in the human-heroine relationship, and then also alpha over the hero. Ugh. And these people need to seriously read some dog training books.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lorrea - WhatChaReadin'?

    Kate Appleton is at a point in her life where things couldn't possibly be worse. She is currently living in Keene's Harbor in Michigan in an attempt to fix up her parent's summer home into a Bed and Breakfast before the new mortgage holder takes over. Matt Culhane is at a point in his life where things couldn't be better. His Depot Brewery and restaurant is doing great and he has plans for more businesses in the very near future. He does have one small problem, though. Someone seems to be after Kate Appleton is at a point in her life where things couldn't possibly be worse. She is currently living in Keene's Harbor in Michigan in an attempt to fix up her parent's summer home into a Bed and Breakfast before the new mortgage holder takes over. Matt Culhane is at a point in his life where things couldn't be better. His Depot Brewery and restaurant is doing great and he has plans for more businesses in the very near future. He does have one small problem, though. Someone seems to be after him. After being fired from her job Kate starts working for Matt as a "floater" and spy. It's her job to find the saboteur in the establishment as well as help out where she is needed. What will happen between them during this time? I didn't dive into this book the way I thought I would when I got this book from the library. Trying to continue my Janet Evanovich challenge this was the next book I picked up. I started with the Stephanie Plum series, but I am waiting for Three to Get Deadly to become available. Mostly this was a cute story that held my interest at certain parts. About half way through, the excitement picked up and helped to carry me to the end. I like Kate's character and she seemed like someone I would be friends with. The same with Matt. He is not your typical guy, he is a true gentleman that genuinely care for those around him. He's the kind of guy every woman wants. This was not one of my favorites, but I am not giving up on my challenge. The next book I'm going to read for the Challenge is The Husband List which is also co-authored by Dorien Kelly. I got this from the library at the same time as this book. I'm going to take a small break from JE for a while though and switch to something different.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    This book was just meh. It wasn't great and it wasn't horrible. It fell to just "ok" Maybe its me getting over the whole romance genre. Who knows. It wasn't a thick book by any means so realistically I should have been able to finish in a day maybe two. Well I kept setting it down. I liked the characters for the most part but I felt like the book was lacking something. Just not sure what. I am a HUGE fan of Janet Evanovich books. Her Stephanie Plum series is one of my faves. This book almost fel This book was just meh. It wasn't great and it wasn't horrible. It fell to just "ok" Maybe its me getting over the whole romance genre. Who knows. It wasn't a thick book by any means so realistically I should have been able to finish in a day maybe two. Well I kept setting it down. I liked the characters for the most part but I felt like the book was lacking something. Just not sure what. I am a HUGE fan of Janet Evanovich books. Her Stephanie Plum series is one of my faves. This book almost felt forced. Like maybe there was a deadline and lets hurry up and get a book out kind of forced. She worked with another author so maybe that's why it felt "different" Here is the Summary: Kate Appleton needs a job. Her husband has left her, she’s been fired from her position as a magazine editor, and the only place she wants to go is to her parents’ summer house, The Nutshell, in Keene’s Harbor, Michigan. Kate’s plan is to turn The Nutshell into a Bed and Breakfast. Problem is, she needs cash, and the only job she can land is less than savory. Matt Culhane wants Kate to spy on his brewery employees. Someone has been sabotaging his company, and Kate is just new enough in town that she can insert herself into Culhane’s business and snoop around for him. If Kate finds the culprit, Matt will pay her a $20,000 bonus. Needless to say, Kate is highly motivated. But several problems present themselves. Kate despises beer. No one seems to trust her. And she is falling hard for her boss. Can these two smoke out a saboteur, save Kate’s family home, and keep a killer from closing in…all while resisting their undeniable attraction to one another? Filled with humor, heart, and loveable characters, Love in a Nutshell is delicious fun.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christi Snow

    My Review: If you are looking for a light, fluffy romantic read with a dash of suspense and mystery thrown in, this is a good book for you. This book was very entertaining and fun. I loved the brewery setting and I enjoyed Kate and Matt. There isn't anything too deep in this book...not even the romance. Honestly, I can think of only a handful of kisses throughout the entire book. Although saying that, I have to admit that I never did figure out who the bad guy was until it was revealed in the boo My Review: If you are looking for a light, fluffy romantic read with a dash of suspense and mystery thrown in, this is a good book for you. This book was very entertaining and fun. I loved the brewery setting and I enjoyed Kate and Matt. There isn't anything too deep in this book...not even the romance. Honestly, I can think of only a handful of kisses throughout the entire book. Although saying that, I have to admit that I never did figure out who the bad guy was until it was revealed in the book. I had NO CLUE, so the mystery/suspense story line is really well written...although even that was not particularly riveting. So why didn't this get an A rating from me? Honestly, it was too light and fluffy. There were moments in the story line which could have been brilliant, but the authors just didn't take that extra step to make the characters three dimensional and real people. They kept it all light and fluffy. There would be a moment where the character started to feel real and emotionally-vested and then within a paragraph or two, they went back to the happy-go-lucky 2 dimensional character that they started out to be. The story line was all there for a phenomenal contemporary read. It just fell a bit flat in the follow-through. Regardless of that though, it was entertaining and an easy read. I'd just say to wait until it comes out in paperback before buying (this book is not worth the hardback price)...or go check it out at the library (which is where I am donating my copy.) Do I regret reading it? Absolutely not. Will I read it again? Absolutely not. Overall, this was a "meh" book for me.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sandra Strange

    This book, unfortunately, is not worth the time. Some of the dialogue and descriptions were clever, and that's about all the positive I can say about this book. The novel seemed slow, with little real plot. The "mystery" was poorly developed, and the adventure/jeopardy didn't draw the reader into the story because the particular scenes were either slighted over or (toward the end) the reader doesn't really identify with the characters enough to care about their danger. The story feels very much This book, unfortunately, is not worth the time. Some of the dialogue and descriptions were clever, and that's about all the positive I can say about this book. The novel seemed slow, with little real plot. The "mystery" was poorly developed, and the adventure/jeopardy didn't draw the reader into the story because the particular scenes were either slighted over or (toward the end) the reader doesn't really identify with the characters enough to care about their danger. The story feels very much like the typical stereotypical romance novel, though Evanovich is more noted for her mysteries. The novel features many of the romance novel conventions: the normal stereotypical characters and dialogue, including typical romance descriptions with lots of adjectives to "develop" the beautiful, but plucky, heroine and good looking, rich, strong hero, contrasting with a few of the side characters. (Some of the most interesting are introduced, then hardly play any part except serve as possible "suspects"). The novel also includes other typical romance characteristics, with predictable relationship developments, with the obligatory explicit sex scenes that appear 2/3 of the way through the novel (easy to skip, but there's no other redeeming value to the novel, so readers may as well skip the whole book): the "mystery" seems kind of stitched on. The authors even include not one, but two quirky, but lovable dogs to put into jeopardy along with the protagonists--again very predictably. The novel was slow and with very little substance either as a mystery or as a romance. The reader keeps waiting for something arresting to happen--and this novel really never delivers.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Thenia

    Light and fluffy story about Kate Appleton, a woman desperate for a job if she wants to keep her family's summer house, and Matt, the owner of a brewery who hires her to find who is sabotaging his business. It turns out that it was (view spoiler)[Matt's good friend, or someone Matt believed to be a good friend, and erstwhile investor, who having fallen to difficult times decides to sabotage Matt's business so that his can get more customers, instead of accepting Matt's offer of help (hide spoiler Light and fluffy story about Kate Appleton, a woman desperate for a job if she wants to keep her family's summer house, and Matt, the owner of a brewery who hires her to find who is sabotaging his business. It turns out that it was (view spoiler)[Matt's good friend, or someone Matt believed to be a good friend, and erstwhile investor, who having fallen to difficult times decides to sabotage Matt's business so that his can get more customers, instead of accepting Matt's offer of help (hide spoiler)] . The mystery was clever but not too hard to figure out, the romance pretty straightforward and without much angst, and the whole vibe of the story was light and fun, making it an enjoyable, quick read. The series continues with The Husband List, the story of one of Matt's ancestors, set in 1894.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Well, this one started off strongly, reminding me of how Jennifer Crusie at her best can fill a story with detail that really shapes the character and plot (Faking It--lots of info on art and art dealing and preservation, etc). . . So this one started with lots of restaurant and home brew info, but then suddenly, about 1/3 in, got very thin--random plot events (her house was infested by bees and it only merits a casual one line mention?), baseless adoration (they're suddenly in love with each ot Well, this one started off strongly, reminding me of how Jennifer Crusie at her best can fill a story with detail that really shapes the character and plot (Faking It--lots of info on art and art dealing and preservation, etc). . . So this one started with lots of restaurant and home brew info, but then suddenly, about 1/3 in, got very thin--random plot events (her house was infested by bees and it only merits a casual one line mention?), baseless adoration (they're suddenly in love with each other for what reason?), unrealistic dialogue (guy who goes on for pages about his feelings and wanting to discuss the state of their relationship. . . REALLY?), and, again, a random dog plot-line (suddenly she's longing for her poodle, after 4 chapters of no mention of it). So. . . I'm sticking with "It was okay". . .

  27. 5 out of 5

    Vickie

    I love Janet Evanovich and this book, Love In a Nutshell, was just what I needed...a quick rom-com for the weekend. After losing her job, Kate Appleton moves back to her childhood home and wants to update and convert it to a B&B. However, she needs a job in order to pay for all that needs to be done. Matt Culhane is the former local bad boy who is now the darling of the town with his highly successful brewery. Kate talks her way into being offered a job from Matt and then the fun begins. Yes, li I love Janet Evanovich and this book, Love In a Nutshell, was just what I needed...a quick rom-com for the weekend. After losing her job, Kate Appleton moves back to her childhood home and wants to update and convert it to a B&B. However, she needs a job in order to pay for all that needs to be done. Matt Culhane is the former local bad boy who is now the darling of the town with his highly successful brewery. Kate talks her way into being offered a job from Matt and then the fun begins. Yes, light hearted fun with some mystery thrown in as well as good intentioned family members. Is it high literature? No, but it fit perfectly into my reading expectations for the weekend. Go Cards! L1C4!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Toni Aliskowitz

    A sweet, silly, corny-wonderful read. People that bash this story are really looking for something else to read in my opinion. It's just some good, simple, clean fun. I use books of this sort as palate cleansers when I've finished something heavy or life is just too stressful. I love the Hallmarkesque quality of these silly mystery/romances. A sweet, silly, corny-wonderful read. People that bash this story are really looking for something else to read in my opinion. It's just some good, simple, clean fun. I use books of this sort as palate cleansers when I've finished something heavy or life is just too stressful. I love the Hallmarkesque quality of these silly mystery/romances.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Caro

    This was good. I liked the characters and the story line. But overall this wasn't really a page-turner. This would be more for passing time and/or nothing else to read or do. It wasn't all that exciting but I liked the overall concept of the book. Good Luck! This was good. I liked the characters and the story line. But overall this wasn't really a page-turner. This would be more for passing time and/or nothing else to read or do. It wasn't all that exciting but I liked the overall concept of the book. Good Luck!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Norma

    Quick short fun summer read. I enjoyed the characters but thought it ended abruptly! I may try another Janet Evanovich book

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