BOOK REVIEW: Heartwood (Speakeasy Taproom #2) by J.H. Croix

BOOK REVIEW: Heartwood (Speakeasy Taproom #2) by J.H. CroixHeartwood (Speakeasy Taproom)
by J.H. Croix
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


She needs a fresh start. He wants a second chance…

My new job as a chef in a small town was supposed to be my ticket to peace and quiet. I didn’t expect to run into the former hockey star who gave me the hottest nights of my life. And, oops, he’s sort-of my new boss. So much for keeping my past where it belongs.

Ty still thinks I’m the fun party girl. He has no idea how much things have changed. One thing that hasn’t changed: the spark between us. It’s hotter than the blowtorch I use on my crème brûlée.

I’m already keeping secrets, so what’s one more? Our tryst is forbidden, it’s fun, and it gets complicated as fast as you can say “check, please.” I didn’t expect to have a future with Ty. And I definitely didn’t expect to have a baby with him.

Some falls are harder than others. But it depends on who’s there to catch you...


Once again, what a winnerrrrrrr.

And talk about learning new things. I swear this entire World of True North project has been exposing me to characters that I have never read about in romances before and I LOVE seeing them represented. Ty had a pretty standard childhood with a shitty dad who cheated on his mom and has trouble with deep romantic connections because of it. Belle on the other hand discovered she has Bipolar disorder when she was deep in a manic phase in college and stole one of her professor’s cars without realizing she had done anything wrong. Because she had been on such a high before that with success in Law School, her confidence took a HUGE hit and she is constantly second guessing herself.

It was actually quite the interesting coincidence because my husband and I have been re-watching Shameless and we’re actually on the season where Ian gets diagnosed and is trying to deal with that and figure out meds and Monica makes an appearance as well. Not knowing anyone personally who deals with Bipolar disorder, seeing it affect these people differently was pretty eye-opening.

I also liked that this was a sort-of second chance romance in the sense that Belle and Ty actually had known each other in college and had hooked up several times back then. While they didn’t ever really have a “falling out” when they went their separate ways, neither one of them had forgotten each other either. That of course did kind of affect their relationship in the present in the sense that Belle was nervous that Ty would have this different view of her since he knew her back when she was on her high versus knowing her now. Ty took that all in stride and never let that change how he thought of her at all.

There are of course a few points of tension, as there almost always is in romances. While I wouldn’t say I disliked how things ended, I did weirdly feel like the characters changed a little bit with how things were executed at the end. I spent the entire book feeling like they were solidly into adulthood and then suddenly a few major things happen and they suddenly were reading like super young people fresh out of high school?? I don’t even know how to describe it other than it feeling slightly disjointed for me. Either way I liked the book overall and need moreeeee!

Huge thanks to Heart Eyes Press for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for my honest opinion

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1 Comment

  1. Megan @ Bookstacks & Golden Moms

    I haven’t heard of this one before but second-chance romances are my absolute favorite. This is a series I will definitely need to check out 🙂
    Megan @ Bookstacks & Golden Moms recently posted…Don’t Start Now by Tara September | 🎧Audiobook ReviewMy Profile

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