The Barista’s Guide to the Perfect Steam | Valerie Pepper

#romcom #smalltownromance #forcedproximity #firefighterhero #virginheroine

Jodi Bristol knows three things for certain: bad things happen to good people; college girls order the most complicated coffee drinks; and Price Joseph will never see her as anything other than the barista who makes his vanilla oat-milk lattes.

Price has spent his entire life being known for his looks instead of his brains, and has conveniently managed to avoid any real responsibilities outside of his job as a Talladega firefighter. He even stumbled into modeling for romance covers—a fact he’s kept to himself. Now that he wants to move higher up the ranks at the fire station, he realizes his carefree living might have cost him.

When an electrical fire forces Jodi into the bed-and-breakfast Price hasn’t even opened yet, their newfound chemistry is enough to scorch everything it touches. She’s crushed on him for years. He wants to be more than a pretty face. Can they break free from their self-imposed restraints and find happiness together?

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The Barista’s Guide to The Perfect Steam is the second book in the Guided to Love small town romantic comedy series and has a (slightly) later in life main male character. There are references to the death of a brother/firefighter. If you enjoy sizzling sex scenes, small town shenanigans with nosy busybodies and a guaranteed happy ending, then you’ll love this book. Perfect for fans of Tessa Bailey, Lucy Score, and Melanie Harlow.

Now Available!

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback)

My Thoughts:

Coffee, books, and love all go hand-in-hand. And when you find that trifecta in a book? Even BETTER! This is a fun read if you love those three and created with precisely the perfect amount of steam.

Our lead female, Jodi, has faced the tragedy of losing her brother which also led to her father checking out, her mother moving out of state, and her sister leaving to chase a dream. She carries the responsibility for that, so she keeps her feelings/emotions to herself. By day, she owns a small coffee shop that is obviously a staple in town, yet she doesn’t fully see the impact or support that she has in her venture. Far too often, she puts herself last — that was something I really related to Jodi with.

Price Joseph is the middle brother and is on the path of self-discovery — as well as trying to improve his image to be taken on a more serious level. Along with his brothers, he’s in the process of opening a bed and breakfast while also trying to prove that he’s ready to start climbing the rungs of the ladder as a firefighter.

Jodi’s apartment above the coffee shop has electrical problems and she finds herself without a place to go. Price gives her a room and suddenly, he starts seeing Jodi on a whole new level. She’s been crushing on him since her preteen years and has always see him for more than a pretty face. Price doesn’t realize this and begins trying to prove himself worthy of a woman like Jodi.

My heartstrings were pulled when learning how both main characters had difficult family lives and the influence it had on how they looked at themselves. They finally get on the same page, finding a connection deeper than surface-level. But when a secret that Price has been keeping is exposed, it risks the potential to ruin his chances with Jodi. Their growth is evident throughout the book and leads to a HEA that will provide plenty of smiles!

I received a copy for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Valerie Pepper is an incurable optimist and a firm believer in the girl getting the guy, or the guy getting the girl, or the girl getting the girl, or the guy getting the guy, or basically any way it needs to happen to make a real-life happily ever after, even if it takes more than one try.

When she’s not writing, you can find her reading, hiking, listening to whatever music suits her mood, and hanging out with her family. She’s fascinated with the idea of a capsule wardrobe, but loves clothes and shoes and boots far too much to make a real go of it.

She’s currently living out her own happily ever after with her husband, kids, and dogs, and maaaaaybe too many shoes. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama, and is the recipient of the Contemporary Romance Writer’s 2021 Stiletto Award.

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