Review: French Roast by Ava Miles

Posted November 18, 2013 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 3 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: French Roast by Ava MilesFrench Roast by Ava Miles
Series: Dare Valley #2
Published by CreateSpace on August 9, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher

Small-town biz wiz Jill Hale has been in love with her childhood best friend Brian McConnell for as long as she can remember. A falling out led to years of estrangement, but when Brian returns to Dare Valley after trying to make it big as a chef in New York City, Jill’s determined to make amends. She’s convinced that starting a restaurant together will be the perfect win-win situation, allowing her and Brian to work together and play together. After a series of missteps sliced and diced Brian’s career in the Big Apple, he came home to regroup and find himself. He’s convinced that reestablishing his connection with Jill, the girl who got away, will put his life back on track. And when she approaches him with her plan for going into business together, he’s certain it’s the one way he can have it all—his dream job and his dream girl. Jill and Brian are falling for each other all over again when Brian’s ex sashays into town, intent on sabotaging their reunion. Add in a mysterious investor who’s determined to get Jill on board with his project, and the bond between the couple is tested to the limit. Will their second chance at love implode, or will they find their own recipe for a happy ending?


CoverLove Well-Written sexy1 Must-Read



The set up
Jill Hale and Brian McConnell have been best friends since they were eight years old. At some point, Jill realized that her feelings went beyond friendship and imagined they’d spend the rest of their lives together. But when he decided to go to culinary school in New York without telling her until moments after graduation, he broke her heart and crushed her trust, separating them for the next eight years. Now he’s returned to Dare Valley wanting to make amends and Jill’s not having any of it.
The issues
There was more than Brian’s breach of trust that destroyed his friendship with Jill but it was the icing on the cake after having rejected the notion of their relationship becoming more than best buddies. He misses what they had and wants desperately to get it back. He’s also not being forthright about his reasons for leaving New York and when a “friend” shows up unexpectedly, Jill’s not sure she can trust him enough to commit her heart and career to Brian.
What I loved
Jill seemed a little on the immature side in the first book so I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy her story as much as her sister’s. However, she had more moxie and toughness than I gave her credit for and I became a fan quickly. Jill’s business savvy set her apart from her peers, having started her own coffee shop when she was barely out of school and managed it exceptionally. She’s a loyal friend and rather fearless in dealing with everybody. She was just as passionate in her relationship with Brian, even as he repeatedly tested her trust in him.

Brian was deliciously flawed, so well meaning but boneheaded in the choices he made over and over again. His feelings for Jill were never really in question but his fear of losing her created obstacles time and again. As much as I wanted to scream at him for some of the decisions he made, I also couldn’t help falling for the guy. And he had some serious skills in the kitchen! Do NOT read this book if you’re hungry as he’s pretty detailed about some of his French concoctions. He’s one of the sexiest chefs I can recall and was incredibly romantic.
The bottom line
This was the hottest, steamiest romance made even more delectable because of their friendship (and Brian’s culinary talents). Brian and Jill liked and knew each other so well that you just wanted it to work. Their business and personal issues were adeptly woven into the story, providing a level of realism I found extraordinary. There are some really tough moments that will try you emotionally, but I love a good cry. There’s also a secondary storyline that sets up the next book so very well and I’m dying to start it. I love this series and am glad I’ve got the next two books in the pipeline.


About Ava Miles

Ava Miles burst onto the contemporary romance scene after receiving Nora Roberts’ blessing for her use of Ms. Roberts’ name in her debut novel, NORA ROBERTS LAND, which kicked off The Dare Valley Series and brought praise from reviewers and readers alike. Much to Ava’s delight, BlogCritics says “It [NORA ROBERTS LAND] captures the best of…a Nora Roberts novel,” while USA Today’s Happily Ever After blog praises the series noting its “wonderful, idyllic setting… [and] great characters.” Ava continued The Dare Valley Series in FRENCH ROAST, which Tome Tender says “raised the entertainment bar again” and then THE GRAND OPENING, which reviewer Mary J. Gramlich says “is a continuation of love, family, and relationships.” Now, Ava releases the fourth book in the series, THE HOLIDAY SERENADE, with her recognized wit and charm, creating happy endings with humor and heart.

Born in a small town herself, Ava has created the small, Colorado town of Dare Valley and the residents who make it memorable, including the Hale family who, like Ava, are descended from a long line of journalists. Ava’s great-great grandfather won his first newspaper in a poker game in 1892 and her family has had something to do with telling stories, whether to share news or, in her case, fiction, ever since. In fact her clan is still reporting on local events more than one hundred years later at their family newspaper.

Ava is a member of the Romance Writers of America and Washington Romance Writers. She is also part of an unofficial group that regularly convenes a writing retreat at Nora Roberts’ restored Inn Boonsboro in western Maryland. Having left behind the “day job,” which took her, literally, all over the world, she now writes full-time in the peace and quiet of her northern Virginia porch-swinging-friendly community.

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3 responses to “Review: French Roast by Ava Miles

    • There’s one big event in the first book that’s tied to this story (it’s recapped here) and the family’s history is better illustrated. Aside from that, it could stand on it’s own. You know me…I prefer reading in order so it pains me to write that:)