Genres: Comedy Romance, Contemporary Romance
Published by Zebra Shout
Released on September 25, 2018
Recently I discovered a fun style of romance that pairs magical realism with contemporary romance so I have been on the hunt for more books that lean that way. If it’s small town setting, more than a dash of humor, and family and friends as additional elements? I was tingling with excitement to try a new to me author and series.
Don’t Touch My Petunia is the second in The Holloway Girls series featuring a pair of cousins living in a Washington State small island town practicing their brand of magic. I didn’t pick up book one that is Emma’s story- though I want to- and I had no trouble diving into Juliette’s story.
Juliette runs the town flower shop with dreams of someday owning it. Her plant magic makes her affinity to plants strong. In fact, she does so much better with plants than she does with people. This is never more obvious when her unrequited high school crush arrives back in town after serving in the military. Logan wanted to see the world away from his small town and now he’s ready to settle. He takes up the job of remodeling his uncle’s flower shop and dealing with the odd and prickly Juliette who treats him like an invader and has her own decided ways that clash with what his uncle wants and with his own.
When I said, Juliette was not good with people, that seems to be the running theme through much of this story. She keeps so much to herself even from her cousin and friends about her hopes and dreams and her desires, but even worse, she won’t acknowledge some things even to herself for the longest time. She stumbles and bumbles her way around Logan who quietly waits for her to find her way. There was a cute quality to the overall story caused by the lovely and well drawn town, her hilarious friends, and her sweet cousin.
And, then there is Logan who was totally swoony. I even rooted for Juliette to get past her issues. See, she loves to hate on Logan for being that eighteen year old guy who didn’t suddenly drop his whole life for the awkward fourteen year old girl who suddenly comes onto him. Thirteen years later and she blames that and doesn’t see that her constant prickliness and refusal to give Logan a chance at friendship and more is seated in her need to protect herself from the pain of abandonment that came from her own family past and not Logan.
I felt Juliette carried on her denial on well past the sell by date and it soured the story for me. She lies to others, to Logan, and to herself. It’s sad. Then she has this big dream around the shop, but she never actually talks to her cousin or the owner, Romeo, about it. She just assumes that it will drop in her lap or something when Romeo is done with his business.
So, I liked it and the part I was most anticipating was there and just perfect. Juliette and Emma’s magic, their friends, and the town was fun. Even the romance hero, but the heroine was iffy and disappointed me a bit. Still, I can easily recommend the book to contemporary romance fans and I look forward to going back for Emma’s story and proceeding with the next book in the series.
COYER Winter #30