What a glorious homage to both Jane Austen and love!

Cherry Picked CoverCherry Picked by May Archer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just like the other books in this series, May Archer has taken a familiar trope and given it her own spin.

Here we have a brother’s best friend/best friend’s younger brother trope but with a Pride and Prejudice theme that gives it a sweet flavour packed with humour but also some truly touching moments too.

Hawk is the youngest Sunday brother, he’s the quiet one, the brother who doesn’t look like the rest, he’s quiet and loves to read and he’s been “in love” with Jack Wyatt for years.

So, it makes sense to him to ask Jack to be the one to ‘pop his cherry’ because they’re friends, they spend loads of time together, and he trusts Jack.

What he doesn’t expect is for Jack to freak out, turn him down and panic about ruining their friendship.

With a secondary plot involving the company trying to buy up and build on the environmentally sensitive mountain that nestles the Hollow, ostensibly bringing jobs and economic security to Little Pippin, the book takes its sweet time in having Hawk and Jack work through the messy situation they’ve got into.

On top of that, they’re also disagreeing on the resort plans too and things look quite hopeless for a while.

I loved the way the narrative takes its time to let Hawk and Jack work through their reciprocal feelings, Hawk is hurt and angry, Jack is terrified of the potential for heartbreak if things go wrong.

This one is less steamy than the others in the series, but it’s not lacking for that. Instead, it’s got all the emotional feels from the off.

The reader can see Jack’s as in love with Hawk as the younger man is with him, he just needs a wake-up call to let him get over himself.

With a gentle hand May spins all the threads together – a new friend who very much stirs the pot in all the right ways, a few home truths at the right time – eventually Hawk and Jack find their way back to each other and the residents of the Hollow discover a way to move forward.

Third eldest brother Reed also makes an appearance here and I’m really hoping his book is next, as he’s definitely hiding something and it may be related to the new staff at the Tavern!

#ARC kindly received from the author via Give Me Books PR, in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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