Reviewed by Ami
Title: Must Like Spinach
Author: Con Riley
Genre: MM Contemporary
Publisher: Con Riley
Release Date: October 21, 2016
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Jon’s future in New York seems bright. He’s on the corporate fast track as an executive problem solver, but somehow he can’t help feeling hollow. Yearning for a life spent outdoors makes no sense if he wants to flourish in this city, nor does losing his cool with clients when they make bad decisions. Only leaving the East Coast behind for three months can save his business reputation.
His exile in Seattle has unexpected upsides. Jon’s rented home has a garden where his true passions blossom. It’s overgrown yet idyllic—perfect if he didn’t have to share it with another tenant. Tyler might be as cute as hell, and their landlady adores him, but Jon can’t let himself fall for someone who seems lazy.
Three months could be enough time to see Tyler clearly, but choosing which to nurture long-term—love or a business career—might take Jon longer than one summer.
2br – Central Seattle Apt – Cheap, but must like spinach!
Full disclosure, I haven’t read any of Con Riley’s stories for the past four years. I wasn’t happy with her first debut series, and decided to leave it at book #2. Never really interested to pick up her latter ones. Until I saw the title for this. Must Like Spinach. An interesting catchy title for an MM romance or what? I was immediately intrigued and then requested the ARC.
I’m glad that I did.
This book starts with Jon being reprimanded for confronting his client by being sent-off from New York all the way to Seattle. Jon must prove himself to his boss that he is still worthy of his job. He needs to make an analysis on what is going wrong with a company called, Hallquist Holdings. At first, things look so perfectly clear for him, but Jon realizes that there are things going on below the surface the longer he stays.
In the meantime, Jon rents a place from a lovely old lady, Peggy, because he thinks that her other tenant, Tyler, is leeching off her. Plus Peggy has a beautiful garden, which reminds Jon of his mother and his childhood.
One joy from reading, in my perspective, is when the story surprises you, takes you to somewhere you don’t expect when you open that first page. This is what Must Like Spinach gave me. A wondrous journey where Jon (and in that sense, so did I) discovered that sometimes what you see is not all that you get; that people can still surprise you with good intention.
Because Jon then finds out who Tyler really is and why he tells Peggy that she should just sell her place. Jon also learns that the man he deems as the root of the problems at Hallquist Holdings has a lot more to offer, and that his boss might be hiding a reason that is not at all like Jon expects.
This book was just LOVELY for me – from Riley’s writing (sentences like this: Want unspools inside like a kite string, lifting his spirits steadily skyward before he’s even made it airside), to the romance (slow burn, low steam, but with beautiful connection), to the slow uncovering of what has been going on at Hallquist Holdings (I got choked up during the revelation). I thought the love declaration was grand, and the ending perfect.
My only nitpicky complaint would have to do with the plot about Tyler’s ex. I thought it wasn’t fully resolved. I guess I wanted to draw blood and for Danny to pay for what he did.
I guess I must bring back Con Riley to my author-to-watch list for next time 🙂
Overall Impression: I really liked it!
*I received a copy of this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review.*