What a Tangled Web – Melissa Brayden

Rating: 5 out of 5.
It was lovely to return to Tangle Valley for Madison’s story. I enjoyed this just as much as the previous two instalments, but in a very different way. This instalment felt quieter than the previous two books in the series, perhaps because the characters themselves are quieter than the previous couples, but perhaps also because it was written during the pandemic.

Madison is the head vintner at Tangle Valley. she’s the only single one amongst her group of friends, but isn’t particularly looking for love. Madison is more concerned with her grapes, the wine, data, logic and the opportunity to use her savings for a worthwhile local investment.

Clementine is the manager at the Biscuit, known throughout the town for her cooking and her pleasant ways behind the counter. An avid book lover she’s constantly aware of her past in the town, for the most part keeping herself to herself outside of work.

I really enjoyed the premise of the plot in this one. I could easily see this happening in real life and felt it fitted with both characters really well. I really liked both of them, I’ve enjoyed Madison in past books, some of her previous behaviour in Two to Tangle aside, but it was really nice getting to know Clementine more. I also liked that Madison doesn’t shy away from her actions in Two to Tangle.

I was a little disappointed with the conflict, in that it involves lack of communication, however it doesn’t stem from miscommunication, rather from outside influences and whilst I felt that I could have predicted them much earlier in the book, the conflict felt like something that would have happened between these characters. I also appreciated that it came much earlier than the often found 90% conflict point and therefore Madison and Clementine had time to grow both individually and back together in an organic way that was very much in keeping with the rest of the book.

The additional storyline background story about Clementine was done really well and I also liked the way the Biddies were depicted in this compared to Two to Tangle.

As with most books that include animals, I have to give Clementine’s cat Toast a mention. I love the idea of him running around the kitchen chasing oranges!

I’m sad this series is coming to an end but I’m looking forward to seeing what Brayden has coming up next as she’s become one of my favourite authors. If you liked the other two books in this series you’ll enjoy this one, and if you haven’t read any of the series yet I’d recommend starting at Tangled.

I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Two to Tangle – Melissa Brayden

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Wow.

I could just leave that here with a five star rating and it would adequately explain how I felt when I finished this – but I’ll find some more words to try and do this book justice.

I loved it. I wasn’t sure Brayden could beat Joey and Becca and their story, but when I started to see reviews mentioning that this was even better, I had high hopes and Brayden definitely lived up to them.

Gabriella is the chef at Tangle Valley Vineyard, working away in Jolene her food truck, whilst the new restaurant Joey has planned is being built. She’s getting a reputation for her food throughout the town – and one of the best parts of this book is Brayden’s descriptions of Gabriella’s cooking. She’s happy with her food and her new life in Oregon and isn’t really out there looking for someone – she’s just enjoying life with her friends.

Ryan is the contractor hired by Joey to undertake converting one of the barns to the new restaurant. She has a reputation in the town for no strings attached casual relationships and has no problem finding herself company.

The relationship between the two just grabbed me from the beginning. Their passion for their respective fields plays really nicely when they have to work together. I also really enjoyed their battles on the softball field, but at the same time I also appreciated their softer quieter moments together. They have their bumps where both of their pasts drive wedges between them – but it’s clear they’re meant for each other. The inevitable break up is painful and I was really glad when it was resolved and I felt the HEA was perfect for these two.

As always, the additional characters in Brayden’s books are done really well. It was great to hear more about Joey and Becca and I thought Loretta and Bobby were really sweet. It won’t come as a surprise, but I really enjoyed how Jacks dog was written into the storyline too. Madison plays a little bit more of a part in a different way in this one and I enjoyed the sneak peek as to where her book in the series might be going.

This is going to be really hard to beat with part 3 – but I can’t wait.

I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sparks Like Ours (Seven Shores #3) – Melissa Brayden

Rating: 4 out of 5.
It was really nice to go back to reading something light-hearted and pretty fun for a change of pace. I enjoyed this one more than the second instalment in the series, even though this is pretty predictable in it’s direction. I enjoyed catching up with the Seven Shores characters and thought this did a good job of covering the other characters lives as well as the MCs.

I’ve always enjoyed Gia’s character throughout the series – so it was nice to get her part of the story. Whilst I felt the direction of the book was predictable – it was at least interesting that the love story takes place between two major rivals. You don’t need to know or understand surfing to read this – there is barely any surfing terminology and any surfing scenes are brief – it concentrates far more on the characters. Elle’s journey is also written really well.

All in all this is a nice edition to the series, with the usual minor angst in places.

Hearts Like Hers (Seven Shores #2) – Melissa Brayden

Rating: 4 out of 5.
I loved the first book in this series and I really enjoyed this one – it just didn’t quite live up to my hopes. Despite this it was still a great book that I would happily recommend to anybody else.

The friendship group in this series really make this set of books for me, the reactions and writing of Hayden, Gia and Izzy are well written, funny and enjoyable. I like Autumn, but felt disconnected from her. I much preferred Kate and the brooding, slightly damaged characterisation.

I liked the storyline, and it was interesting to have some of the plot lines such as adoption and pregnancy come into play in unexpected ways and is why I’d still give the book 4 stars.

I’m looking forward to finding the time to read the third instalment and hearing more about this group of characters, including if the HEA sticks.