A Farm Fresh Romance #1
By: Valerie Comer
Published: August 1, 2013/ July 29, 2014 2nd edition
Publisher: GreenWords Media
After reading and reviewing the book GROUNDED by Angela Correll, the author approached me to read her book based on similar settings. See my review of GROUNDED, HERE.
RASPBERRIES AND VINEGAR, won The Word Award for Best Contemporary Romance of 2013.
Jo and her two best friends, Sierra and Claire move to a small town community in Idaho to begin their dream of an organic lifestyle. They plan to live off the earth and hope to teach their neighbors to do the same. Jo is extremely independent and passionate about her dream of sustainable living and isn't afraid to tell others about it. She receives some kick back from the locals, but doesn't expect to fall head-over-heels for one of them, her neighbor, Zach. Zach is back just to help out on the farm while he dad is recovering from Guillain-Barre Syndrome and has no intention of farming or sticking around. He wants to live the big city life and run a small animal vet clinic. When he learns what may have caused his dad's illness, he may start to wonder if his new neighbors might just be on to a new way of living. And he can't seem to get Jo out of his mind.
While reading, you will learn a lot about sustainable living, where our food comes from, and how to live in a way to reduce your resources. If anything, it will make you stop and think the next time you go to the grocery store. I was very curious about the title of the book and the drink the locals seemed to enjoy on a hot afternoon, Raspberry Vinegar. The author even includes a recipe for the beverage at the end of the book. A little bit of tart mixed with the sweet flavor of raspberries, much like the main character, Jo.
There is a quaint feel to the story and definitely a Christian message throughout the book. We are reminded to take all our worries to God and pray for Him to work in your life. You just have to be willing to follow His direction and guidance. It is also stressed to take care of the world God gave us and appreciate the land and the animals, even the mice.
Jo and Zach's relationship was complicated, immature at times, and continually frustrating, but you still were rooting for them all the way through. Even though parts of the book were predictable, there were some twists thrown in to keep you interested. I appreciated that there were road blocks along the way and not everything was easy as sometimes happens in romance novels.
Reading this will remind you of the simpler life and make you want to rush out and grow your own garden or at the very least, stop by your local farmer's market. The author has included discussion questions at the end of the book. It would make a great read for a book club or church group. If you are interested in reading more, the second book in the series, Wild Mint Tea (Farm Fresh Romance) (Volume 2)came out on March 1, 2014, and tells Claire's story.
Valerie Comer's life on a small farm in western Canada provides the seed for stories of contemporary inspirational romance. Like many of her characters, Valerie and her family grow much of their own food and are active in the local foods movement as well as their creation-care-centric church. She only hopes her creations enjoy their happily ever afters as much as she does hers, shared with her husband, adult kids, and adorable granddaughters. For more on Valerie, visit her website, http://valeriecomer.com/. You can also find her on Twitter, HERE and Facebook, HERE.
To purchase RASPBERRIES AND VINEGAR, click the photo below. It is just $.99 on Kindle right now.