Review: The Strawberry Hearts Diner by Carolyn Brown

Review: The Strawberry Hearts Diner by Carolyn BrownThe Strawberry Hearts Diner by Carolyn Brown

Narrator: Brittany Pressley
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Western Romance
Published by Montlake Romance on July 18, 2017
Pages: 8 hours 28 min
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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Being broke, unemployed, and stranded back in the tiny town of Pick, Texas, was not part of Jancy Wilson’s plan. Yet here she is, watching her car literally go up in smoke—along with her last-ditch hope of staying with her cousin in Louisiana. When Jancy spies a Help Wanted sign hanging in the window of the quaint Strawberry Hearts Diner, the memories of the two years she spent there as a teenager—and the lure of the diner’s beloved strawberry tarts—are enough to draw her in and plant her feet…but only temporarily.

Raised by parents who refused to settle anywhere for long, Jancy has never known what it is to have roots. Now that Jancy’s swept up by the warmth and character of this quirky little community—and by the pull of an old crush—it’s beginning to feel like home. She’s making friends and even discovering the sweetness of falling in love. But when the town is threatened, Jancy knows it will take more than its legendary tarts to save it. Can she fight for this little Texas town—knowing she might not stay forever?

The Delight

A life-weary woman breaks down in a small town she meant to pass on through, a help wanted sign brings her to a special diner that may just feed her soul.  Another Texas small town story with a bit a humor and a whole lot of country-loving heart to enough.


First of all, word of caution, do not read this one while hungry.  The strawberry tarts and down home cooking at the diner will have you salivating.  It sure did me.

This is a gently-paced character-driven plot that focuses on the lives of four women.  Jancy is the new arrival and joins three generations of women- Nettie, Vickie, and Emily- who live in Pick, TX a very small town and run an old diner that is famous for its strawberry tarts.  The story focuses on Jancy finding home and love in man forms, Emily starting out with love and family, Vickie as Emily’s mom learning to let Emily live her life her own way, and old Nettie with her home-grown wisdom guiding them all.  The focus is split between the women’s relationships with each other, a small town fight against a developer, and also a bit of summer romancing for them as well.

There were a few slow spots, but I was never bored as I loved the tone and pace for this particular story.  It did rush the end a little after the slow development, but I definitely got a satisfying swoony ending out of it.

I’ve read many of the author’s books, but this was my first time getting one in audio format.  I enjoyed Brittany Pressley as the narrator and thought she was a good match for the book.  She got her twang going for all the characters.  It was fun listening to her feisty dialogues particularly from Nettie and I thought she did the flirty and gossipy tones of others well.  Her male voices were a gruff, but I didn’t dislike them.  She definitely made it a fun story to listen to.

All in all, this was another deeply satisfying contemporary small town western story from the author with a nice balance of women’s fiction and romance in the strong friendships and romancing of the story.

My thanks to Brilliance Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.



Romance Roundabout #184 CR
New Release #97
Audio #44
Books N Tunes #29 – Shenandoah’s I Want to Be Loved Like That


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • I’ve not tried any of her’s from Montlake but I need to fix that because the reviews all sound amazing.

    • Oh yes! Well worth it, Angela. I still have several of those published under Montlake to read and looking forward to them.

  • I will definitely be making sure that I have some strawberry tarts to eat when I pick this one up, but boy that cover already has me wanting to go bake some up. I like that the author puts in some solid friendships in too. I always love seeing that. Great review hun, this book sounds amazing.

    And I love the song pick you have for this one. Such a wonderful song.

    • Haha! Yes! I felt I had to warn folks that this one is a foodie one. 🙂

      I enjoy the friendships, too, rather than romance isolated.
      She makes it easy to pick tunes because she mentions so much music in her stories.

  • Debbie Haupt

    Hi Sophia Rose I love the title, the cover and of course your fantastic review! on my list!

    • No regrets! And I already gave in and ate my fill of strawberries after reading it, Debbie. LOL

  • Sounds like this one has a nice cozy tinge.

  • Jennifer Estep is one that will make me hungry, so I completely understand how that can happen. I’ve listened to Brittany Pressley before. I really like her. Glad you enjoyed this book.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • Oh really? I have not read her books yet. Good to know that I’ll need to keep my snacks close by. LOL

  • Oh yay. I skipped over this one but will have to go back to it. I’ve not seen that narrator yet. I’ll keep an eye out 🙂

    • So hard to fit them all in and figure out which to snag. I think I’m on auto-‘review’ with her books LOL

      And yes, another narrator that is worth a go, I think. 🙂

  • RO

    I wouldn’t listen to this, but it’s definitely going in the pile. Love Carolyn Brown! Hugs…

    • Heartwarming and fun and worth it, Ro! 🙂