Smooth: A Love Story - Tracy Ewens
My Review - 4 Stars
The moment Patrick and Aspen first interacted in Brew (read my review), I wanted their story. I knew there had to be some kind of chemistry between them and I was excited to see how it would play out in Smooth. (You don't need to read Brew first but you should definitely read it at some point.)
It was pretty evident Patrick had more interest in Aspen than she did in him. She's just a kickass lady living her life and she has no time for shenanigans. Come to find out, Patrick has been interested in Aspen since the day he first saw her in junior high but he's never believed he had a shot with her. Cue swooning.
They might have continued on as nothing more than coworkers until a business trip reveals Patrick's extreme fear of flying and Aspen starts to see him in a new light.
This is a slow burn romance. There are false starts and they both have hangups. Aspen doesn't want to be dependent on any man after witnessing the disaster of her mom's love life. Patrick doesn't want to fail at anything and this singlemindedness has him latching onto an albatross at work, as well as not wanting to take a chance on Aspen and being rejected.
I loved how good they are at their jobs and how Patrick wants to get married. I adored Aspen's friendship with Vienna, Bri, Sistine, and Ella. Female friendship is so important and I appreciate the way Ewen centers it in her novels.
Patrick and Aspen work so well together at work but initially neither are sure about starting a relationship. But Patrick has a harder time shutting down his feelings for Aspen and she finds herself thinking more and more about him too. There are mishaps and miscommunications along the way as they each figure out what the other person means to them.
I was here for it. For every longing glance, every question of what might be, every remembrance of the other person's best qualities.
These two know each other so well and I was certain they were right for each other. Of course, there are bumps along the way. I don't want to spoil anything but there is a situation that develops that brought me to literal tears. At another point, I wanted to kill Patrick.
But this is a love story and so we do get a happily ever after the tears and heartbreak. It was super satisfying, as was the epilogue.
I came to care about these characters so much. The way Ewens developed them and allowed them to grow was just fantastic. They were fully realized people, the sort I'd be friends with and I only wish I could walk down to the Tap House after work one day.
This is the last book listed out for this series but I really, really need the author to write a story about Sistine and Cade so I'm hoping that's on the horizon.
If only life came with a guarantee.
Patrick McNaughton wants more. More people drinking Foghorn’s beer, more money to push their brewery past the competition, and more cooperation from his brothers, who have no sense of urgency. He’s all about conquering one challenge on his way to the next, so long as there’s a remote chance of winning. That’s why Aspen Pane sits in the office down the hall, oblivious to his attraction. Patrick has always wanted more with her, but he never was one to risk it all.
Aspen Pane has more than enough. As business manager for Foghorn, she keeps the brewery in the black and lives up to the nickname the McNaughton brothers gave her—Wonder Woman. She’s worked hard her whole life for the money she now has in the bank, the small house she calls home, and time with her friends. So, even though it seems everyone close to her, including her brother, is inconveniently falling in love, Aspen sticks with her to-do list. Because love risks everything and she doesn’t do that for anyone.
After an unexpected flight and an eccentric venture capitalist thrust them into a battle of wits and lies even they’re not sure they can win, Patrick and Aspen must learn the difference between making a connection and making money. They may need to face their fears and risk it all in the name of finding a new work-love balance.
Note: Each Love Story is a standalone. There are some shared characters throughout the books (siblings, friends, etc.) Closely related books are often distinguishable by the similar covers. The book order so far is as follows:
-Brew (my review)
Buy The Book Here:
Disclosure: I received an advance review copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Affiliate links included in this post.