ARC REVIEW: Falling Sweetly (Starling Falls #2) by Aidan Willows

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Warning: if you have not yet read Book 1 of the Starling Falls series, Falling Completely, you may want to come back after you’ve read it, because this review will contain mild spoilers.

It’s been about a year since Annika Ray Abbott decided to pick up her whole life and move from London to the quaint small town of Starling Falls to run her grand-aunt’s bakery. Aunt Trudy is no longer present in body but she left some parting advise for Niki…

“Be brave, be bold, take chances, put yourself out there and stay your sweet, loving self. “

Niki has decided to follow Aunt Trudy’s advise and try to find love like her sister, Maliya, has found with Caleb Jameson. Unfortunately, Niki is looking in all the wrong places when her Mr. Right, Jacob Jameson, is sitting under her nose all along biding his time for when Niki is ready.  Unfortunately, if he waits for Niki to get a clue, he’ll be waiting a long a** time!

“Jacob Jameson, what the f*** are you waiting for?” [Jacob] frowned at her. “What are you talking about?” “With my sister. What are you waiting for?” [Liya] asked sounding both confused and exasperated. “Why haven’t you asked her out yet? Are you just going to just sit by and watch forever as she goes on date after date with these losers?”

Since Falling Completely, I’ve been eagerly awaiting Niki and Jake’s book.  Although the romance between Niki and Jake is very different than that of Liya and Caleb, I didn’t love it any less.  Niki is nothing like sassy Liya.  She’s quiet, shy and painfully insecure which sets the tone for Falling Sweetly.  Jake is so sweet and kind to not bulldoze Niki with his intentions but at times I was a bit frustrated that he wasn’t more direct and firm earlier on in the book.  But, oh boy when Jake decides he’s done with being in the friend zone…

“That was me telling you that I like you, baby. I really like you. I’ve wanted you for a long f***ing time. No more hiding from me, no more running away. We’re going out tonight on a proper date, I’m picking you up at 8. You good with that?”

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Falling Sweetly is without a doubt a slow burn romance as things don’t start to heat up between these two until at least the 60% mark, which left me wanting more of Niki and Jake and less of the family and friends around them at points.  I do think many of us will see a little bit (or a lot) of ourselves in Niki’s journey as she conquers with her self-esteem issues.

“My beautiful little baker, it’s going to be my mission to make you see yourself how I see you.” At my blank expression he continued, “Perfect, Simply perfect.”

The one constant in this series is the laugh out loud humor, which as a fan of this series I’ve come to greatly enjoy and expect from the eclectic mix of characters in Starling Falls. No word yet on who will be next to fall in love in Starling Falls but I’m looking forward to more lighthearted fun from this series!

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review.*

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