Everyone hates part of their job, and I hate Luke Bennet.
Coming Up Roses, an all-new must read enemies to lovers romantic comedy from Staci Hart is available now!
Bennet Brothers, Book 1 (A spinoff of the Austens)
Everyone hates parts of their job.
Maybe it’s the paperwork. Maybe it’s the day-to-day grind. Maybe it’s that client who never knows what they want, or the guy who always cooks fish in the microwave.
But not me. I love every corner of the Longbourne Flower Shop, every flower, every petal, every stem. I love the greenhouse, and I love Mrs. Bennet, my boss. I love creating, and I love being a florist. I don’t hate anything at all.
Except for Luke Bennet.
The Bennet brothers have come home to help their mom save the flower shop, and Luke is at the helm. His smile tells a tale of lust, loose and easy. He moves with the grace of a predator, feral and wild. A thing unbridled, without rules or constraint.
When he comes home to save Longbourne, I almost can’t be mad at him.
He doesn’t remember that night I’ll never forget. That kiss, touched with whiskey and fire. It branded me like a red-hot iron. But it meant nothing to him.
Everyone hates part of their job, and I hate Luke Bennet.
Because if I don’t, I’ll fall in love with him.
4.5 ‘Let Her Be Wild’ Stars!
ARC provided by the author via Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review.
I seriously am becoming addicted to all things Staci Hart! Ever since I read her Red Lipstick Coalition series, I just fell in love with her writing and her characters. Yes, I did see that Coming Up Roses is a spin-off of another series and yes, I still haven’t read those books but I always get so giddy when a beloved author releases something new and I wanted to read it so badly. Thankfully, I did not need to read Staci’s Austenseries to enjoy reading this novel (though I will surely read those in the future!). Now, focusing on this upcoming release, let’s just say I’ve already fallen in love with these new crew of characters.
So, Coming Up Roses looks like it will be a new standalone novel in a new series by the brilliant Staci Hart. This novel releases in less than two weeks and trust me, if you are a fan of Staci’s work, you don’t want to miss it. This is an enemies-to-lovers romance (kind of) with a second-chance feel to it. Tess Monroe is loving her life and especially her job as a florist in the Bennet’s flower shop. She loves everything about it, especially the Bennet family. Well, besides one person: Luke Bennet. Luke comes back to Longbourne to save the family business and he is surprised to find a Tess that seems to hate him. Does she really? Well, read the book and find out!
He had been designed to entice and did so at his leisure. As easily as he lured you in, so easily would you be consumed.
And I had no desire to be consumed.
The first words that come to my mind when I think about Coming Up Roses are sweet and funny. The novel is extremely focused in the interactions between its couple and the Bennet family, who are obviously based on Austen’s characters. The back and forth and the strong connection between all the members in the Bennet family surely melted my heart. I love family dynamics in romance and this one was simply amazing!
Never before had I been so unsure of where I stood with a woman. And never had I been so certain of where I wanted to stand.
But now let’s focus on our main characters: Tess and Luke. This couple! GAH! Their instant connection after many years of not seeing each other surprises them both, especially Luke. Tess had a huuuuge crush on him back in the day and she is actually pissed that Luke does not remember kissing her one time during a very difficult moment. The woman definitely makes him pay! But Luke is such a good man that it takes him no time to win Tess back. The chemistry between these two was on point and I thoroughly enjoyed all their moments together.
It was as if she were composed of flowers. Roses, red and thorny, delicate and dangerous. And somehow, I’d eased my way through the brambles to lose myself in the velvety beauty of her.
So, I am rating Coming Up Roses with 4.5 STARS because Staci already has easily worked to get these characters in my heart. I loved Luke, Tess, the Bennet family, Tess’ father.. everyone! I loved the whole family and I do hope Staci writes more about them because they are a fantastic crew: loving and super hilarious! And of course her couples are so good and sweet and I want more! Highly recommend reading this one!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/ComingUpRosesSH
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2F2RTOF
I wanted to kiss Tess Monroe.
I’d wanted to kiss her the second she walked into the shop a couple days ago, wearing overalls and a Cure T-shirt. I’d wanted to kiss her as I watched her scrub the wall with her little face wrinkled up in concentration. I’d wanted to kiss her when she fell off the ladder and into my arms. And all day today while we painted the shop, I only thought about one thing.
I wanted to kiss her. And I was accustomed to getting what I wanted.
“Did you hear me?” Kash asked impatiently.
He rolled his eyes, his long body stretched out on the bottom bunk in our old room. “Man, what’s with you?”
“I’ve been scrubbing and painting the shop for two days. I’m tired.”
“Right,” he said, “and the redhead in the overall shorts has nothing to do with it.”
I leaned back in the wooden desk chair I’d taken up residence in, the hinge squeaking. “As if Tess Monroe would willingly give me the time of day.”
He shrugged. “Seems to me like she’s given you the time every hour, on the hour, for two days. What’s with her? She was different today.”
It was true. This morning, she’d walked into the shop, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to work with a smile on her face. She’d only insulted me seven times, and one of those was a backhanded compliment. My stats were down: the day before, it’d been twenty-three insults and a jab with a broom handle that I couldn’t be sure was accidental.
Not that I was counting.
“I dunno what’s gotten into her, but I’m not looking a gift horse in the mouth. I’m just taking the boon and moving on.”
“Man, she looked so cute with that bandana in her hair and paint on her nose. And her ass in those overalls…” He whistled up at my old bunk.
I fought the urge to chuck my Batman paperweight at him.
“So are you going after her or what?” Kash asked, smirking.
“I just got her to quit treating me like a dog. Pretty sure anything more is off the table.”
“Maybe I’ll go after her then. Think I’ve got a shot?”
I snorted to cover my immediate fury at the thought. “She’s a girl with standards, Kash. If I don’t have a shot, you’ve got none in hell.”
“Maybe she just needs somebody older. More mature.”
“We were born in the same year, asshole.”
“I’m just saying. Maybe she’s looking for stability. Everybody knows you’re about as stable as uranium.”
“And you’re running your mouth like you want a foot in Uranus.”
Kash laughed. “I’d love to see you try.”
I eyed him. “You don’t actually like her, do you?”
“Nah,” he said, smiling. “I just want you to admit you do.”
A sigh of concession blew out of me, the pause filled with my thoughts. “We almost kissed yesterday,” I admitted.
Kash sat up so fast, he thunked his head on the bottom bunk. “Goddammit—” He rubbed at his forehead “—Warn a guy before you go saying things like, I almost kissed Tess.”
I laughed openly at his misfortune, hoping it left a mark. “She fell off a ladder in storage, and I caught her. Topless.”
His eyes bulged, hand still pressed to his forehead. “Tess was topless in storage?”
“No, I was.”
He rolled his eyes, chucking a pillow at me. I caught it midair and chucked it right back at him.
“I’m surprised she didn’t deck you,” he said, fluffing the pillow before leaning back again.
“Me too, if I’m being honest. She hates me. Hated me. Maybe still hates me a little.”
“What’d you do to her?” he asked. At this point, the question was rhetorical—neither of us knew, no matter how many times we’d asked.
“Who knows? But I think the last couple of days have helped my case. All I had to do was show up and not fuck up.”
“Don’t worry. There’s still time,” he reassured me.
“Trust me, I’m aware. I’ve been working on the installation for her in the back, and I’m both convinced I’m going to disappoint her and that I’ll knock her socks off.”
“Or her bra. Think you can knock that off?”
“If she were anybody else, I’d guarantee it. But Tess?” I made a resigned noise.77
He watched me for a second in that way he had about him, the quiet assessment that ran under his outward charm. It was a mask— that much I knew for a fact—armor to protect his soft spots. Everyone thought he was nothing but a girl-crazy flirt, just like me. But that was just how we liked it. Let them think we were empty.
There was comfort in being underestimated. We were constantly set to impress everyone.
Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey.
From roots in Houston to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.