Janet Evanovich’s books are one of my guilty pleasures. I’ve been known to sit down and read an entire Stephanie Plum book in one sitting. Every once and a while, I come across one of the romance novels that she’s co-written with someone else, and I’ll pick it up in the price is right. I recently acquired Love in a Nutshell by Evanovich and Dorien Kelly from the bargain bin at my local Walmart. It was only $3.95, so I happily purchased it. And I’m glad I did.
Love in a Nutshell is a goofy spin on a romance novel, but it doesn’t become overly silly as many of the Stephanie Plum novels. There are definitely some chuckles and some cringe-worthy moments (the female protagonist in any good goofy, chick-lit novel must have at least one or two embarrassing moments per book). The book stars Kate Applebottom, a woman who is a bit down on her luck. She’s recently divorced, lost her home, her wealth, and her dog. She moves to Keene’s Harbor, Michagan where she hopes to tidy up her parents’ summer home and turn it into a Bed and Breakfast. In order to make money, she goes to work for Matt Culhane, a local businessman and owner of a microbrewery. He hires her to find out who’s been sabotaging his company. Of course, they’re both attractive people and almost instantly fall for each other.
One scene from this novel that I can completely relate to is when Kate goes on a taste-testing spree of some of Matt’s finely-crafted beers. Unfortunately, she realizes too late that she’s very allergic to beer. I can empathize, because I too am allergic to beer (and like they speculate in the book, it’s most likely due to the hops). This one strange quirk brought me even closer to the character of Kate.
Love in a Nutshell is a typical love-story. Everything ends all happily ever after, like you know it should, but it’s the ride along the way that makes it fun.