Well This Was A Treat
5 out of 5 stars
Having read the other three books in the Holiday series, I went into this expecting this to revolve around two women who met at a larger event than other women from this series. With ties to some of them somehow (at least one of them). And I was not disappointed. I also expected to enjoy the heck out of it like the other books, and I was right again. The small story as a part of the larger story works here, and each book has put a smile on my face throughout. That “meta” style story, where the women we’ve met in the other books aren’t just in the story; they are still a part of it. Even old relationships come up and are constantly mentioned (as some of the women are still working through some old and new feelings).
The Sweet Escape revolved around Eleanor and Carmen – and specifically, the earlier parts revolved around Eleanor’s crush on Carmen (who, at that point, had no idea). As the story progresses and the two women start to pay attention to the little details, it becomes apparent that these two are made for each other. I specifically enjoyed the multiple scenes of Eleanor being able to tell what specific pastry Carmen made without even trying. Each time Carmen was blown away, and each time I fell more and more in love with Eleanor.
This wasn’t a no-angst book – but at least compared to a lot of the other books I’ve read – this was pretty low angst. It also had some of the hottest spicy scenes I’ve read in a long time. Pyland always delivers on those, but because of the time of the crush – the “finally” scenes were such a payoff for both women.
Overall, the story of these two women intermixed with the story of Eleanor’s brother and her… I’ll leave the expletive out here, but… “parents” made The Sweet Escape one that I won’t forget for some time. Pyland writes stories that encompass every emotion and brings a lot of those emotions out of me when I read her stories.
Honestly, I don’t always write trigger warnings in my reviews, but I will add that there are some very triggering parents in this story. I won’t go into detail, but they are garbage human beings, and I couldn’t imagine how it felt to be Eleanor in this one.
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This is book #4 in the Holiday Series.
Eleanor Enger met someone special and thought they might have a chance at being more than friends of friends, but then Carmen McClain showed up to a weekend away with those friends with a date attached to her hip, and Ellie knew she’d lost her shot. When her little brother is kicked out of their parents’ house, Eleanor finds herself acting as parent and sorting through his problems while trying to deal with her own.
Carmen McClain just opened a bakery with her two best friends and had planned on having some one-night fun and maybe a casual relationship or two because she didn’t have time for anything serious while being so focused on the business. When her best friend’s new girlfriend came with a lot of close friends as a package, Carmen began spending more time with one of them and started thinking that casual might not be what she wanted after all.
Eleanor’s crush turned into something more, and Carmen realized she didn’t want to be just friends right around the time of her birthday, which happened to be on Halloween, while her holiday-obsessed parents are having a special birthday event for their daughter that they do every year. Watch Eleanor and Carmen fall in love over cupcakes, coffee, and a haunted house.
The Sweet Escape by Nicole Pyland
Narrator: Carolyn Eve
Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
Series: Holiday #4
Published by Self Published on October 1st 2022
Genres: LesFic/Sapphic Fiction
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Also by this author: All The Love Songs, Always More, The Show Must Go On, The Writing on the Wall
Also in this series: The Writing on the Wall, The Block Party, The Fireworks, The Misperception