Cover Image: The Sweetest Thing

The Sweetest Thing

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Member Reviews

This was an easy to read book that included the high school sweethearts and enemies-to-lovers tropes. It had a strong emphasis on family connections and community. It’s big on small town vibes and if you’re into farmers’ markets, all things honey, and some quirky side characters, it might just be the sweet summer read you’re looking for. It was cute and I loved the included recipes. I found it a little slow to start, but by the final chapter I wanted more!
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The Sweetest Thing introduces us to Tansy Hill, one of the Bee Girls from Honey Hill Farm and Dane “The Viking” Knudson, who is running the family owned, Viking Honey. Dane and Tansy are sworn enemies based on things that happened when they were children and into highschool, things we learn about in the story. Both businesses are in financial difficulty, and both are counting on winning the award for the best honey and the Honey Bee Festival. Dane has come home to save the family farm and take care of his brother after his father disappears, yet still retains control of the farm and honey business. He has sunk most of his 401K into upgrades, as well as planning to expand Viking Honey into a tourist destination. Tansy and her family are not happy with the plans as any changes to the land and vegetation will endanger the bees. Throw in some secrets and misunderstandings and both families are in for some surprises that just might bring about positive change and save both businesses.

I really enjoyed The Sweetest Thing. This was a sweet, clean, family story that made me want to go to the Honey Bee Festival. I liked how "family" was such a huge part of this book. Both farms/businesses were family run and operated, at least by the end of the book. Dane and Tansy were both great characters, but for me, Dane stole the show. He was a "Thor" lookalike who had some great scenes, especially with young children. Watching Dane and Tansy become friends after being forced to work together with the Junior Beekeepers was heartwarming. Tansy's aunts were a hoot, especially as they fought over the antics of Lord Byron, Aunt Camellia's bird, who is constantly stealing things and hiding them, and her sisters are so important to her and the business. Dane's family is very different. His mother died when he was young and his father has been married several times. At present, he has left the farm while Dane struggles to save it, not really knowing what he is up against. His younger, teenage brother is struggling. He is getting into trouble and wants nothing to do with the farm or the bees, at least at the beginning. So many of the characters in the book change and grow in such positive ways that I really liked. Sasha Summers has an easy to read, comfortable writing style. The story made me feel like I was a fly, or should I say bee, in the room listening to conversations and watching the story play out. Overall, this is a romance, second chances, a family saga and a story where you learn about bees and how important they are to our world. I definitely recommend The Sweetest Thing.
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This was such an enjoyable book perfect to read for this summer. I loved the slight battle of wills between Tansey and Dane. Both of which had history but things got in the way and they are both on opposite ends and I enjoyed seeing how they interacted with one another. Then there was a bit of a troubled teen that Dane was looking after since clearly his father isn't interested in parenting him. Then theres the whole contest both of which are entering to make things a bit more complicated. There was so much going on that I was hooked. When you see how they are with eachother you can't help but root for the two. This was such a nice contemporary romance and I really enjoyed it. Highly Recommend!
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Sasha Summers’ newest book The Sweetest Thing is a delightful  journey into the Texas Hill Country and a world of love and bees and honey.  

Tansy Hill and her sisters come from a long line of beekeepers on their farm.  But their farm and livelihood and are on the line with the upcoming Honey Bee Festival and they’re putting their hopes on winning the top prize in order to stay afloat.  But her nemesis and childhood rival Dane Knudsen is also vying for the prize to help the expansion of their own honey farm, and he keeps getting in her way.  It doesn’t help that he’s a Thor look-a-like, striding around as if he’d jumped off the big screen and right into Tansy’s path.  He broke her heart years ago, and she’d never forgiven him. 

But when some past truths come to light, they have to decide if they can forgive and forget and work together, or let it destroy them. 

I’ve long been a fan of Sasha Summers, and this charming book is now my top favorite of her stories.  It was such a pleasure to immerse myself in this book, replete with a cup of tea and honey.  Although it left me craving honey chocolate fudge, honey orange cupcakes and lavender honey lemon muffins! At least there are recipes at the end of the book so I can make my own. 

The author has a way of writing so you feel what the characters feel, deep down in your own soul.  Ms. Summers writes with her whole heart, and truly believes in happy ever afters.  The characters are believable, and makes you want to be friends with them…or in the case of the witchy gossip in town, that you want to smack her!

The setting is written so well that I feel as if I were in the Texas Hill Country on a lovely farm with bees and beehives.  

I can’t wait to read the next book in the series, and be part of the Honey Acres series again.  
Thanks to NetGalley, I was able to read an advanced copy, and am happy to share my review.
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Tansy Hill and Dane Knudson are longstanding rivals. Tansy is convinced that Dane’s charming good looks hide a heart that dances with glee every time he can do something to benefit his family’s honey operation and get in the way of hers. And right now, they’re both aiming to win the best honey award at the upcoming Honey Bee Festival. Can Honey Hill win and keep the business going?

The Sweetest Thing is a treat! Sasha Summers creates a lovely small town in Honey, Texas, and she populates it with characters you can love (and love to hate). Tansy assumes the worst of Dane based on their shared past, and Dane seems to delight in allowing her to make those assumptions, even as he finds himself attracted to her. They alternate between bickering and drawing closer, back and forth, and they’re simply adorable even when they’re infuriating. (Because I did occasionally want to reach into the book and shake them and tell them to get over themselves already!) It was fun seeing them thrust together to work with the Junior Beekeepers.

In addition to the competition for the best honey award, there is also multigenerational family drama. Dane is trying to keep Viking Honey going while his father hides out after his latest failed marriage. This includes trying to keep his younger brother, Liam, on the straight and narrow. Tansy’s aunts, Camellia and Magnolia, each have a secret of their own. What happened between Camellia and Harald Knudson? Who is the red-haired woman seen with Magnolia, and why isn’t Magnolia talking? The side stories in addition to the main plot really kept things buzzing.

Dane’s brother Liam was an especially appealing character. I’m a boy mom. I know what teenage boys are like, particularly when their older brother is trying to keep them in line and they’re interested in exactly none of it. Liam was just about perfectly drawn as a young man heading for a heap of trouble, and I loved that Dane didn’t just give up on him.

I thoroughly enjoyed all of the details on beekeeping! I know very little about the care and keeping of bees, so all the information Summers included was fascinating to me. It was clear she’d done a lot of research, and if we had room, I might like to try keeping a hive or two of my own after reading the book.

A second-chance, enemies-to-lovers romance, the tension of waiting to see whether Honey Hill will survive, some surprise plot points that I didn’t see coming, and a fascinating look into the world of apiary care and management made this a solid four-star book for me. It’s a quick, engaging read, and would be perfect for road trip reading or for reading while you’re outside swinging in a hammock. The recipe for lavender-honey lemon poppyseed muffins is a tasty bonus. I can’t wait to try those out!

The Sweetest Thing is a honey of a story! Buzz on down to your local bookstore and pick up a copy. You’ll be glad you did!
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Small town romance fans will be enchanted by Sasha Summers’ heartwarming new novel, The Sweetest Thing.

Tansy Hill’s entire life revolves around honey. With the Honey Bee festival fast approaching, Tansy is determined to win the top prize and she cannot wait to show everyone that the honey from her farm is the best there is. Tansy can almost taste victory, however, there is somebody standing in the way of her dreams. Somebody who had broken her heart years and been a thorn in her side ever since – Dane “The Viking” Knudson who also happens to be one of the most good-looking man Tansy has ever clapped eyes on. Tansy would like nothing more than to make Dane pay for what he’d done to her all those years ago – and claiming the Best Honey award at the festival is just how she intends to do it. However, nobody knows better than Tansy that Dane is a very worthy opponent…

No one is going to get in the way of Dane’s plan to win the prize for Best Honey – not even Tansy Hill. Dane has big dreams for the future which he is determined to bring to fruition – and he needs to win the award in order to expand Viking Honey. Dane is not about to let Tansy swoop in and win his prize from under his nose – or their red-hot attraction which simply cannot and will not be denied!

Tansy is putting her all in order to secure first place. Winning is the only thing that will rescue her farm from the brink and she cannot let anything – or anyone – distract her from her goal. However, when old secrets come to light, Tansy finds herself forced to make an impossible decision. One that could end up putting all of her hopes and dreams in jeopardy.

Can Tansy and Dane find a way to ever be happy? Or will they just end up disappointed and heartbroken?

Sasha Summers’ The Sweetest Thing is a gorgeous romantic read that sparkles with humor, heat and heart. Tansy and Dane are two lovely characters that draw readers into the story and keep them eagerly turning the pages with their zingy banter, red-hot chemistry and heart-melting charm.

Delightful, uplifting and deliciously feel-good, Sasha Summers’ The Sweetest Thing is an enjoyable romantic read that is simply delectable.
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The premise of this book was a sweet summertime romance but in actuality it was a sweet multi family drama with some romance. The drama of trying to keep farms afloat, navigating sticky family relationships and long held family secrets coming to light are what the majority of this book is about. There was a romance between Tansy and Dane but it took me half the book to even like them together and then we only got a few moments of them here or there. The majority of their romance was a lot of telling and not showing and I really didn’t enjoy the dynamic between them for a long time. The only thing that kept me engaged in this story, before the pieces starting falling into place, was Dane’s little brother, Leif. He was so such a lovable character that you can’t help but feel for and I adored his character arc. Once Summers got into a good groove with all the moving parts of this story I found myself loving the characters and the romance. There is a lot of past history packed into this book and I am hopeful that future books in this series will be able to focus more on the romance and less on the drama of the town and families. There was a sweet little story at the end of The Sweetest Thing that featured a romance for one of Tansy’s aunts and I thought it was cute and a nice way to tie up the first book in this series.
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How sweet it is...

Tansy has an enemies to more with Dane, her nemesis. Their banter is rather immature. 
I liked the bits about the bees and the honey way more and that was solid. 
I especially enjoyed Camellia's bonus short story. Very sweet indeed.
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Thank you to the publisher, HQN Books, and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of The Sweetest Thing in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Gist
Anyone who has read one of my previous reviews of the summer romance genre, might have noticed that romance isn’t really my thing right now.

This has not changed, but I am pleasantly surprised by The Sweetest Thing.

You see, I don’t have to be a huge, or moderate, fan of romance in order give a positive review.

Let me explain.

The Details
Even though I am not totally convinced by the protagonist, I can see that the author actually cared about this story and put a lot of effort into it.

I find the protagonist a little stand-offish. I have the feeling she thinks she deserve a whole lot and doesn’t care to treat people nicer. There is a certain degree of arrogance to her that kept me from connecting with her.

And although the “love interest” isn’t really my type, I sided more with him than with her.

I don’t particularly like the enemies-to-lovers plot and some of the teasing in this story feels a little juvenile.

The writing is very good, though. I can tell that Summers cares about this story, the characters and the quality of writing she produces.

The focus on the honey bees and bringing some well-deserved attention to the fact that they are a dying species and that it would be detrimental to everyone, is very much appreciated.

Generally speaking, this gives me the feeling of an all-is-well-at-the-end type story. You know the type where everybody laughs at a light-hearted joke and then the credits roll.

The Verdict
Overall, this is a cute little romantic story with the typical Hallmark Channel feel to it.

I would recommend it.
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Back in high school Tansy Hill had been humiliated by Dane “The Viking” Knudson.  Today, they find themselves rivals in the honey and bee world.  Dane has grown into an extremely handsome man but Tansy isn’t interested.  All she cares about is saving her family’s Honey Hill Farms.  The one thing standing in her way is Dane’s family’s Viking Honey Farm.  To make matters worse, the Hills’ recipe has been stolen and she’s sure it’s Dane’s family doing the stealing.

As Tansy and Dane compete in the honey and bee world, they can’t help feeling old attractions for each other.  Old family secrets are uncovered as Tansy and Dane fight for their livelihoods. 

This is a sweet romance with realistic characters.  I really found myself caring what happened to them.  It’s a fast-paced romance with an intriguing storyline.  I hope to read more.  Perhaps the next stories will involve Tansy’s sisters.  I’m sure they have their own stories to tell.

Also included in the E-ARC was a novella titled “Like Bees to Honey”.  This is a sweet romance involving Tansy’s Aunt Camillia.  She is finding herself the object of two men’s affections.  Will she choose a love from her past or start a new romance?

I loved this insight into a character from The Sweetest Thing.  I already cared about her from the first book and this one made me care and love her even more.

Both books were quite enjoyable for me.






FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.
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Sweet as honey!

This was a delightful story of Tansy and Dane, each raised on their own family's honey farm, hating each other since a misunderstanding in high school.  Years later, they're competing at a local Honey Festival and winning the purse and business contract is essential for both, but only one farm can win.

The story goes deep into both families' history and extended family members.  I really enjoyed the secondary characters, especially another (more successful) high school romance, and there are plenty of secrets that come spilling out to keep the tension high and the families close.  

There are a few references to a certain John Cusack movie, so if you aren't familiar with Say Anything you'll want to at least read up on its cultural influence.  The writing is charming and completely captivating, and I was fully invested in the outcome right from the start.

There was a sweet bonus story at the end, showcasing a later-in-life romance, bringing an HEA to just about everyone.  Tansy and Dane are perfect together, and I thoroughly enjoyed their story.  I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
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The story of Tansy and Dane and their second chance at love is as sweet as the honey they both make. Dane and Tansy have a rivalry going that is one for the record books, revolving around who can make the best honey and come away with the coveted prize from the local Honey Bee Festival. Both of them are desperate to capture the prize money in order to keep their respective business going, and the competition is not helped by the fact that Tansy and Dane have a history together going back to high school. The book had me laughing out loud, telling the realistic characters what to do and rooting for them to overcome their differences. I enjoyed how the plot was woven around family for each of the main characters. Dane’s brother Levi was a favorite character of mine. He’s just a teen who is lost in the world of not really being understood or accepted and is very relatable. I also enjoyed reading about Tansy’s aunts who raised her, both of them with their own past that is revealed in the book, much to my delight. This is such a well-written story that I got to the end before I was ready for the story to conclude. Although it is a predictable romance, getting there was so entertaining and a lot of fun! The book is also very informative about bees and bee keeping and I was enamored with the idea of decorating the bee houses with themes. It was kind of like a Disney World for beekeepers, and I totally wanted to visit the Alice in Wonderland one even if it would mean wearing a beekeeper’s suit. This is the first book that I have read by this author and it can definitely be read as a standalone. Fans of light and humorous romance will enjoy this journey into the buzzing world of bees and honey. 
Disclaimer
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guidelines Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
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This is the promising start for a new series: small town, lots of humour, fleshed out characters, believable and sweet romances.
The author delivers a compelling and entertaining story that made me root for the characters.
It's a well researched book and I loved how detailed the parts about bees were.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Small town, family, second chances, and secrets. Add in some pretty great characters, and it's a good combination for a new series. Then, there are the bees, and honestly, the parts about the bees and honey were just as interesting to me as the romance between Tansy and Dean. The banter between these two as they try to stay enemies is great, and it didn't take long before I was invested in their HEA. There are also some secondary characters that rounded out the story very well, and I'll be interested to see more of them as the series continues. This first in the series is a good way to while away a couple of evenings and it's perfect for the summer season.
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Adorable! I don't know what else to say about this story other than that it was perfectly sweet and adorable. 

I loved the characters of Tansy and Dane, high school (almost) sweethearts who found their way back to each other. This story also deals with a lot of family issues and sibling relationships play a big part in the story and I very much enjoyed all of that as well.

A book (and new series) that must not be missed!
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I'm always so glad when an author I enjoy starts up a new series. When I saw the cover for The Sweetest Thing I just couldn't wait to give it a try. I mean, look at the great summer cover it has. Not only did I like the cover I also enjoy the small-town and family business part. 

The sweetest thing is a little busy in the beginning and I think that's due to the fact that the author is trying to get as much information about the characters and their lives out there for us. I get it and see this happen a lot with the first book in a new series. 

Once I learned who's who and everyone's part was in the story, it started taking off for me. Up first you have Tansy and Dane's story. Right away you see how much support Tansy gets from her family. They are close and stand for each other. They all have a close relationship and that's good since they all live together. 

I loved the scenes where the family talked about everything bees. And believe me, when you read this you'll feel like you're learning all they know about them too. I liked Tansy, she wanted too badly to be cold to Dane but she was such a nice person that she really couldn't be. Over and over again you'll see her helping him even when she doesn't want to. 

You'll really love Dane. He's the greatest guy that knows one knows is great. He works so hard for little credit and has a father that is such a jerk at times. He spends half his time trying to keep his little brother out of trouble and be there for him. Not that his brother is a bad kid, just sad and scared. 

I felt for Dane and all he goes through in the story. He really is put through the wringer. Not to worry, Dane has Tansy on his side even if neither of them knows it. The Sweetest Thing is a cute romance we some shocking moments within it. It's a wonderful story to enjoy your summer with.
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THE SWEETEST THING – Sasha Summers
Honey Acres, Book 2
HQN
ISBN: 978-1-335-45854-4
June 28, 2022
Contemporary Romance
 
Honey Hill Farms, Texas – Present Day
 
For the Hill family, their beehive farm is their life. This is all that Tansy has known, as well as the fierce rivalry with the neighboring beehive farm, which includes Dane Knudson, the eldest son. Dane and Tansy went to school together, and at one time, she thought she could have a romance with him, but the rivalry came between them. The Hill family is currently preparing for the upcoming Honey Bee Festival, which will award the top prize to one participant. Of course, the Hill and Knudson families are both gunning for the win. Tansy has to grit her teeth whenever they attend a fair or festival because invariably, Dane is there. He attracts the ladies who love his Viking-like looks and hair, which only irritates Tansy that much more. But beneath their rivalry is an attraction that they ignore. Until now.
 
Dane loves teasing Tansy because it always gets a rise out of her. However, is the real reason he teases her be because he wants to attract her attention? He regrets things that he’s said or done to her in the past, but he is also dealing with some nasty rumors about himself that are going around that were spread by his father’s now ex-wife. Meanwhile, Dane is trying to be the big brother to his little brother, Leif, who is being badgered by their father. Yes, Leif is acting out, but it’s because their dad is being a heel. After Dane and Tansy are forced to work together, the attraction that they’ve denied for a long time springs to life.
 
THE SWEETEST THING is a cute tale that focuses on a couple with a love-hate relationship. Tansy and Dane secretly like each other but the longtime family rivalry makes a romance/friendship nearly impossible. Add in that Dane’s father is accused of stealing a Hill family honey recipe, it’s no wonder that things are bitter between them. Dane loves to tease Tansy, knowing that it irritates her. Does he want her to keep paying attention to him? It works, but it isn’t until they are forced to be around each other that a thaw begins to occur. But they are still rivals for the first-place prize in the Honey Bee Festival. Will that stand between them?
 
Dane lost his mother years ago, which left his and Leif’s father reeling. The man has married several times since, but the worst was Kate, who is Dane’s age and also went to school with him and Tansy. She likely sabotaged any chance he might have had with Tansy. Kate has also smeared Dane’s reputation, accusing him of sleeping with her while she was married to his father. They’re now divorced, but people still don’t believe his denials because he has a bad boy reputation.
 
There are several minor characters in THE SWEETEST THING, which was a bit confusing at times as I found it hard to keep track until mid-way through. There are Tansy’s sisters and aunts, as well as Dane’s brother and father, plus several other characters who pop in and out. At times, this tale went slow as Tansy and Dane would call a truce before something would drive them apart. It was like a ping pong not knowing where they would be next in their back-and-forth romance. If you love a tale that is a bit out of the box with the bees and honey, then you will love THE SWEETEST THING. At the end of the book, there are numerous recipes that feature honey.
 
Patti Fischer
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Book: The Sweetest Thing
Author: Sasha Summers 
Rating: 2 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank the publisher, HON Books, for sending me an ARC. 

I am once again one of the few who did not enjoy a book. It wasn’t even the fact that this book was poorly done or anything like that. I just could not get into it. It was a little too wholesome and a little bit too much like a Hallmark movie for my liking. While there were secrets in the book, I just felt that this wasn’t my cup of tea when it comes to romance. The romance I tend to enjoy has a little bit less emphasis on romance and more on daily life. this book also contained a romance trope that I enjoy: enemies to lovers. 

We follow Tansy and Dante who are both beekeepers. They have known each other their whole lives and are bitter enemies. They will stop at nothing to bring the other down. This, to me, is a great set-up. Like I said in the previous paragraph, I do enjoy enemies to lovers stories. The fact that is set on a bee farm is something different. I was hooked by this setup. However, the more I read, the more I didn’t like it. The characters, I thought, were very immature and fake. I don’t know how else to put it. I know that a lot of the other romance books I read do have immature characters. However, immaturity fits them. It fits the story that those authors are trying to tell. I didn’t get that here. We have two highly successful people and, yet, they act like four-year-olds. The way they are written doesn’t make them seem human. Tansy felt like she was above everything and everyone else, while Dante just wasn’t likeable at all. I didn’t feel any kind of bond or connection with them. They were just there. 

The writing was solid, but it was missing something to give it that edge. Both of the characters are about saving their farms and homes. They much win the local honey competition to do so. Great…Great set up again…However, this urgency did not come across the page. I didn’t know why I was supposed to care. I didn’t know why the stakes were high. The emotional impact of this situation was missing. To keep your reader engaged, you have to give them a reason to care about what is going on. You have to get them invested in the story. The stakes felt cookie-cutter. Never once did I think that things were going to backfire on the characters. I knew that everything was going to work out and things were going to be fine. You have to make your readers feel worried or else the whole story is going to be lost on them. 

Again, I am one of the few who did not enjoy this book, so don’t let my review be your deciding factor on whether or not you pick this book up. 

This book comes out on June 28, 2022.
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A wonderful, sweet second chance at love story that centers around two bee keeping family's trying to save their farms/homes.  Both Tansy and Dane need to win the annual Honey Bee Festival to help with their respective goals. The bonus novella about Tansy's Aunt Camellia was just as sweet.
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If you like books where the main characters have a bit of a history, are currently enemies, and figure out they love each other - this is the book for you!  Add in a lot of information about bees and honey.   This small town has a lot of gossip and both families have secrets that eventually come out.

This is the book you should take to the pool to read and relax.  It is a simple, easy to follow story with a lot of characters ( not too many to keep track of ) that you will enjoy getting to know.  Since this is the first in the series, I am sure we will learn more about each of these characters in the coming books.  

I liked that when Dane and Tansy admitted to their attraction to each other, it stayed sweet - like their honey!
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