After tanking my career in politics, I’m looking for new direction. But my GPS must be broken because it keeps leading me to a kooky librarian’s front steps.
It’s not easy, but I’m doing my best to let go of my old ambitions and embrace the simple life of slinging beer at my family’s brewery. But some powerful players from my past are determined to cause problems for my family and me.
When a chatty local librarian with the wardrobe of a third grader and the optimism of SpongeBob begins sticking her nose into my business, I want to tell her to get lost. As fate would have it, though, Sunny and her ill-tempered grandfather are my only remaining option to get free of my past for good.
It will take some convincing to get this goofy, goat-loving librarian on board with my risky plan. But if she’ll do things my way, I’ll return the favor by playing her fake boyfriend to make her true love finally take notice and fall head over heels.
But the deeper we get into this venture, the more I realize there’s nothing fake about Sunny at all. Including the way I’m beginning to feel about her.
|Series:||Love on Tap (Book 2)|
|Category / Genre(s):||Contemporary|
|Trope(s):||Road Trip Romance|
Sunny / Grumpy
|Point of View:||First Person, Present Tense, Dual Viewpoint (H & h)|
|Location:||Asheville, North Carolina, USA|
|Release Date:||6th July, 2023|
Delightful romance and shenanigans
Smooth Hoperator is the second book in Sylvie Stewart’s Love on Tap series about a family who own a brewery in a small town. We met Carter in the first book in the series, Ale’s Fair in Love and War – well, he skulked a bit in the background in that story – but this book stands completely alone so you don’t need to read that one before this one. But if you love this book – and I think you will – you’ll want to go and snap up that book right after this.
We first meet Sunny the librarian and she really lives up to her name. She’s fun, quirky, loving and loveable – and I adored her from the very first. Sylvie Stewart writes the best kind of quirky heroines as they’re also very real. They’re never caricatures but layered, likeable and oh so relatable. Sunny’s desire to love and be loved was delightful and I was cheered by her optimism rather than be annoyed by it.
If Sunny is, well, the sunshine, then Carter is definitely the grump. But I just adored him, too. He cut a mysterious figure in the first book and in this book we find out why. Although he’s going through some serious fallout from his political career, it’s still clear what kind of man Carter is. And we get to know right alongside Sunny. He’s grumpy but protective and hides a sweet side to him. It’s when he’s with Sunny – and how she brings out the best in him – where he really shines.
Sunny and Carter have great chemistry as can be evidenced from even before their first kiss. We do get some sexy moments but it’s not until the epilogue that the deed is finally done. I would have liked something to have happened earlier in the story but it actually worked out perfectly – and perfect for Sunny and Carter as a couple.
There is a lot of shenanigans going on in the story but it’s never difficult to follow. I hate a story where things get so convoluted that it’s hard to follow so thankfully that’s not this one. And although the skullduggery does involve threats, corruption, homes being broken into, cars being tampered with, etc, it’s dealt with on a level that never becomes scary or upsetting. While still treated with the reverence it deserves. But it’s all fun and games that adds to the romance and helps make the story a full one.
Sylvie Stewart is a writer I can always rely on to lift my spirits, make me laugh and bring me a romance that makes me smile. I’m loving this series and can’t wait to read the next book about Miller, which is teased in the epilogue of this book. But if you’re looking for a fun romance with a road trip, some sunny and grumpy goodness, mixed with some cloak and daggerism – then I would recommend this lovely romance to you. 5 stars.
* I received this book in exchange for my honest review *
USA Today bestselling author Sylvie Stewart is addicted to Romantic Comedy and Contemporary Romance, and she’s not looking for a cure. She hails from the great state of North Carolina, so it’s no surprise that most of her books are set in the Tar Heel state. She’s a wife to a hilarious dude and mommy to ten-year-old twin boys who tend to take after their father in every way. Sylvie often wonders if they’re actually hers, but then she remembers being a human incubator for a gazillion months. Ah, good times.
Sylvie began publishing when her kids started elementary school, and she loves sharing her stories with readers and hopefully making them laugh and swoon a bit along the way. If she’s not in her comfy green writing chair, she’s probably camping or kayaking with her family or having a glass of wine while binge-watching Hulu. Or she’s been kidnapped—so what are you doing just sitting there?!!