Author: Sarah Krisch
Source: Author offered ARC in exchange for an honest review
Summary: A failed actress, twenty-something Julia McCarthy begins writing a fictionalized blog as a form of self-therapy. Based on her carefree summers at her grandparents' farm, she never expects her little experiment to garner a viral following, but it does. Boy, does it ever.
Now, with thousands of loyal blog followers, and a syndication deal with the Chicago Herald, Julia is approached by GreenTV to adapt her blog into a TV show. The producers see her as a "Rachel Ray on the Prairie-type". She sees herself as a fraud.
In Julia's fictional world, she's successful. She can pay her bills on time. Heck, she even has a fictional gorgeous husband and charming little boy. Ready to realize her dreams, Julia returns to her grandparents' farm to shoot the TV pilot.
Brad Taylor is definitely not her type: he’s rugged, sensible, and oh-so smug about learning that Julia’s blog is a farce. As the manager of her grandparent’s farm, Brad doesn’t have time to deal with whimsical women who don’t even know how to cook.
Julia can't allow her attraction to Brad to distract her, not when her dreams are about to come true. But are these truly her dreams, her good life?
Review: Three Lip Bites
Although I ended up having a couple of problems. But here's a quick gist of the characters.
Julia McCarthy is a out of work actress living in Chicago who just happened to find success writing a blog called The Good Life about her time spent at her grandparents farm in Harmony Grove. The blog became a hit and she was offered her own show based on her blog, a Martha Stewart meets Rachael Ray type of program. The only problem is that they want to film in Harmony Grove, the town she based her blog on, but no one from Harmony Grove knows that she has or blog are successful. She basically lied on her blog that she had a husband and child and worked a farm. But to her defense, she used the blog as an outlet for her acting career and didn't expect to get caught up in this grand lie.
Brad Taylor is ex-military and hardworking man who works on Julia's grandparents' farm. He likes the simple things in life and keeps to himself. He really wants to stay in Harmony Grove and make a life on the farm. Julia's grandparents, Guy and Trudy, are pseudo parents to him and he has trusted dog name Goose. When he hears of Julia's plan to film on the farm; he's very skeptical of her motives and if she's as genuine as her blog makes her out to be.
I really was getting into the plot of this story because it's near and dear to my heart: city girl/country boy fall in love with a little chaos ensuing. But I kept getting tripped up on the too formal dialogue and the older sounding narrative of thirtysomething characters. It almost felt like this story was set in a different time frame and not present day. In fact without the whole blog and tv thing, I think this story would have worked well set in say the 50s or 60s. Now granted, the whole book didn't sound this way, it was relaxed at times and flowed well. But when the sex scene came between Julia and Brad I was like this...
Also it wasn't touched on much that Julia and Brad were in love with each other as kids, or in heavy like or whatever you want to call it. I would have loved to hear them talk about it more, share feelings more, share memories. Give it more substance to the budding love affair.
Also when Madi said that Brad felt guilty for kissing Julia because of her fake husband, I REALLY wanted to see more into that. That, like many other things, vanished.
And then all the stuff with the filming of the pilot seemed put on the backburner. The whole reason she was there--the lies she told-- were so easily forgiven by Brad as well. He figured out she was a sham, pretty much, and was like no biggie, let's kiss. It's like he was so mad at her for the whole book and after he found out she wasn't married, all forgiven.
After that point it was wrapped in a pretty bow and labeled HEA.
I wanted more. I felt the author could have given us more and didn't and I'm left scratching my head why. This plot and these characters have so much potential, it seems wasted that Ms. Kirsch didn't delve into it more.
She likes to write fun, fast-paced stories of romance which explore the deeper aspects of what makes people tick.
Sarah has three rambunctious boys who keep her on her toes, but she wouldn't have it any other way. They have taught her more than she ever thought possible about Godzilla, frog-catching, and the best way to track escaped pet snakes in her home.