Opal wins the lottery and decides to buy a flower farm on a whim! She buys the farm without seeing it first (which drove me absolutely bananas!) and when she arrives, she finds out that the daughter of the woman who sold it to her is still living on the farm! Opal and the woman who lives there, Pepper, decide to live there together while Pepper tries to make enough money to buy it back from her.
💐 Pepper has an incredibly toxic mother who had abandoned her more than once. She's a super villain in the story, but adds an interesting backstory for Pepper.
💐 Opal's sisters and Pepper's friends make for great side characters. I am curious to see if Opal's sisters are going to get their own books.
💐 queer and neurodivergent rep
💐 hot and steamy! The steam was the best part of this book -- but I want the *romance* and characters to be the best part :/
💐Unfortunately, I didn't connect with these characters and this story the way I expected to! I usually love a chaotic character, and I don't feel like I always have to agree with every move a character makes, but I just found that Opal was too impulsive for me and her reactions to making mistakes felt very immature to me. I honestly felt stressed while reading her POV. She has some similarities to Lizzie Blake (from another book by this author), but the messiness just didn't win me over or charm me at all like it did in that book.
💐 I did enjoy Pepper's POV more, but it wasn't enough to make this a super enjoyable read for me. I also could not understand how these two struck a deal that kept Pepper on the farm even though Opal bought the farm already. It was so odd to me. Usually I can just "go with it" for romance reasons, but since one of Opal's issues was being walked all over by other people, I just wanted this addressed that she was doing something out of pure kindness and Pepper should have been super grateful that she was allowed to stay!
I'm sad this wasn't a big win for me because I love Mazey Eddings! Hoping I love the next book she writes much more!
This was sweet and tender, just like Mazeys books are usually. I will say, opal took a little bit to grow on me and both her and pepper took a long time to come around on the ways they were stuck on. But after reading the authors note it made a lot of sense ? Overall I really enjoyed and recommend !
this was so sweet and cringey and cheesy and wholesome. It had a lot of pop culture references and a more than a couple times i was rolling my eyes.
BUT there was also a great deal of times i was swooning over Opal and Pepper. Laughing with Diksha and Opal’s sisters and now i officially want a but shaped vase.
I adored all the characters in this store - besides Pepper’s mom & Opal’s “stalkers” IYKYK. We all need a Diksha.
This book was a DELIGHT. I loved every second of it, even the cliche and cheesy parts made it feel like this story was rational and sweet. I think this book did a great job of highlighting what neurodivergence looks like in two different people but it didn't hinder them from falling in love. Reading about Opal and Pepper's love story coming to full bloom was such a gift.
Some people will really love this book, but it missed the mark for me in a couple of ways. I loved Eddings previous books but something about this one made it only okay. There was a lot of telling instead of showing in this one, which is a huge pet peeve of mine.
A lot of the humor also felt very 2023 chronically online – in a way that I feel is going to feel very dated in just a few years. A lot of the humor and jokes just didn’t land with me because of this as it’s just not the kind of humor I enjoy in books.
I did really enjoy the ADHD and autism rep in this book and thought it was done really well! I really liked that Eddings made it clear that communication is different for neurodivergent people and we don’t all communicate the same.
I feel like a lot of people will relate to the two main characters for different reasons and enjoy them a lot throughout the story!
Overall this one was okay for me, but I think if you loved Eddings previous books that you should give this one a try!
My short review:
This book was beautiful! I really hope it finds the right audience and gets all the love it truly deserves! If you want to read a beautiful love story about two flawed people who aren’t typically shown in a romantic comedy, this is for you. I loved it.
My detailed thoughts:
I related to Pepper in a way that’s honestly scary. Both Opal and Pepper are neurodivergent but Pepper is the one that made me feel seen. She has major trust issues. She isn’t good with her words. It takes her time to process her feelings. All of that is 100% relatable to me. I loved Pepper. Some of her chapters brought me to tears because I felt so connected to her. I felt like both characters in their own individual neurodiversity were written with love and care.
The flower farm was such an amazing setting to me. Imagining the beauty and the smells. Gah, I loved it so much!
I loved that this was a beautiful love story but it also was about two people finding their own worth. They both had a lot of personal growth they needed to go through and they did it! I’m so happy for these two fictional ladies, it’s insane.
Was it a little cheesy at times? Sure. It also took me a little bit to fully be hooked but I still really like this book. 😊
Thank you so much St Martins Press and Mazey Eddings for the opportunity to read this ARC. I loved it and I’m leaving this review voluntarily.
Like all Eddings romance novels, Late Bloomer has a strong voice and great wit. Unfortunately, I didn’t love the pacing of the story or the romance. The two MCs felt a little samesies and the premise was a little too implausible that I could never fully buy into their attraction and love story.
As always, the neurodivergent representation and sapphic romance for the masses is appreciated but didn’t seem to have the typical Mazey Eddings shine.
I appreciate the advanced copy from NetGalley and the publisher!
I'm glad she is writing more Sapphic Romances for the masses. However, the story fell flat for me. This will most likely read better for me on audio like the rest of Eddings' books.
A fun, sapphic, hallmark-esque story about two neurodivergent female leads.
Opal wins the lottery after her trash friend gives her a ticket. She buys a flower farm that, well, darn, Pepper already inhabits.
A cute grumpy/sunshine story with a bit of a deeper tone due to the neurological brains of our main female leads. I appreciated it in so many ways and it was definitely adorable.
At moments though, it was a bit too cringe for me or over the top. The dialogue was a bit clunky in places and I wanted more tension from outward sources instead of them getting basically bookended at the beginning and end.
Overall, I had a great time and definitely recommend this one to anyone looking to escape into a sapphic rom-com.
The publisher gifted me an Ecopy of this book but the opinions are all my own.
First off thank you to the publisher and netgalley for allowing me to read this book!
Opal is a mess of a human being but really sweet and kind. Pepper is also kind but a bit grumpy since Opal is messing with her structure and kinda bought the farm out of nowhere. This book was very cliche and is a HEA but I didn’t really love it as much as I thought I would especially since the cover is a lot cuter than others and the description is cute too. I think it’s because I’m around Opal’s age just a year older and I pray that I’m not as much of a mess as Opal is in the beginning of the book. Or that I sound like how they talk, which I know I do and need to reevaluate how I talk lol. I think I’ll maybe reread again one day but it might be in a few months!
This book! Was it a little cheesy, filled with pop culture references, and classic tropes? Yes. Was it also so cute and so much more? Also, yes! This was an excellent sapphic romance. Opal and Pepper are the perfect “grumpy/sunshine” pairing. They were very enjoyable to read about. They are also both neurodivergent and written excellently. Eddings wrote them very believable and real but also didn’t make their neurodivergence their only personality characteristics. Super cute story and I highly recommend!
This was a breezy, fun read that doesn't take itself too seriously. The plot was a little unlikely, but it was still enjoyable.
I really love a sweet sapphic love story. Pepper and Opal are two interesting characters that are fun to read about. I did not adore this book, simply because of some cheesy moments and the lack of relationship development. I did really like the personal growth each character went through and both women’s support systems. Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publishers for this earc in exchange for an honest review.
i think this book might be a perfect case of it's not you, it's me. something to know is that i'm not a romance girly. i like my romance minimal and secondary to a non-romantic plot. this is something that i've learned fairly recently so i'm struggling to rate this one because i think, for the most part, people will very much enjoy it, it just didn't work for me.
this book starts with opal, who is kind of a doormat, working in an ice cream shop. we learn very quickly that she's not very assertive - her coworker (who just so happens to be the same girl that opal's ex boyfriend maybe, probably cheated on her with) takes advantage of her generosity by constantly requesting that opal cover her shifts. for reasons i cannot fathom, opal always allows this. this is where my rough start begins. i'm not sure i can relate or get into the mindset of a character who constantly, willfully allows herself to be taken advantage of.
anyway, her coworker/"friend" is back to her old tricks and manipulates opal into taking her saturday shift. when opal says yes, she's rewarded with lottery tickets. when she scratches them off? she realizes she's won a cool 500k. second point of contention - opal is aware of her coworker's antics. first thing she does? she stupidly tells her coworker that she's won the lottery. oof. i don't get it.
from there, we understand that people who have historically taken advantage of opal are going to chase her down - her shitty cheating ex, the "friend" - obviously all desperate to get their chunk of change. not to worry, though. opal, sight unseen, decides to dump the majority of her lottery winnings into a flower farm she's only seen photos of on facebook marketplace. seriously. this is the moment where i knew i wasn't going to have a good time. i understand that opal is meant to be a neurodivergent character, but i'm not sure how that contributes to this level of decision-making.
at the farm, opal instantly realizes there's a problem - due to a missing will and some murky inheritance laws, the farm has been sold to opal right out from under pepper by pepper's estranged mother. pepper has lived there all of her life and isn't going to go quietly.
i love the idea of a meet-cute being opal generously allowing pepper to continue to live and work on the flower farm that opal now rightfully owns, but a constant theme throughout this book is pepper, various friends of pepper's, etc. constantly asserting to opal that she has zero ownership over the farm when... legally, she does. opal is treated constantly as an malevolent, evil person for purchasing the farm when, push comes to shove, she did so legally. there was a scene where opal decided to explore the home and was told she wasn't allowed to go into pepper's grandmother's old room, kept in pristine condition. and opal? she just takes it. i found this to be infuriating.
let's talk about the spice. i love a spicy sapphic book! here, i don't think it worked. i didn't see the attraction at all between opal and pepper, they were just too contentious. when it finally happened, diminutive doormat opal metamorphosed into a dirty-talking sex goddess. i'm not a prude, but the transformation felt entirely disjointed to her established character and further took me out of the story.
anyway, i can't pretend the flower imagery within this writing wasn't viscerally pretty. i could feel the breeze under the warm loom of a spring sun, hear the flowers rustle. i just had quite a few issues with the story. most, i think, will really love this one. this one just very much wasn't for me.
I am such a fan of Mazey Eddings’s other adult works, so I thought I would also be obsessed with Late Bloomer. Unfortunately, it probably ranks at the bottom of her books for me. It was still okay, just not anything I would read again or recommend.
I feel that this book did drag on a little; at points I was definitely thinking “Get to the point!!” Everything built up to one big thing that happened so quickly and then the resolution quickly followed. I would’ve liked to see more little climaxes rather than one big huge one. Sometimes it felt like the author didn’t know where to go so she added a sex scene.
At times I was wondering if this book was YA simply due to the maturity level of the two main characters (especially Opal), but, of course, a book about two adults is not YA. They just maybe still have some growing up to do. I also found Pepper and Opal to be so similar that it was sometimes difficult to tell whose POV I was reading and I’d have to go back and check.
All that being said, it was a cute story. The cover is absolutely gorgeous. And I had a pretty fun time reading it.
Thank you so much to Netgalley, St. Martin’s Press, and Goodreads for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
3.5/5 rounded to 4
What an amazing story of thinking you know yourself only to find yourself. As someone going through a similar journey, the exploration of self is amazing from both leading characters. A budding love story that warmed my heart!
Opal (24) is a sweet little fool, and her decision-making abilities (or distinct lack thereof) made me want to hurl my kindle across the room. She buys a flower farm unseen from a stranger on Facebook, and finds her new home already occupied.
Pepper is a skeptical untrusting flower farmer that finds herself in a precarious situation after her great aunt dies. The flower farm she thought she’d inherit was sold by her mother, a human trash bag, and now she’s stuck living with Opal while she figures out how to buy her home back.
There is a lot of crying and hugging. Despite the tension between Opal and Pepper at the start, not very much actually happens.
i have not much more to say than if you fell in love with dani and jamie in the haunting of bly
manor, you will absolutely LOVE opal and pepper (plus no tragedy!)
this was such a refreshing and heartfelt romcom that was filled with the best kind of cheesy, awkward, and adorable moments you would expect. also the cover is just so gorgeous i need to go and buy the physical copy for my own bookshelf.
All hail Mazey Eddings, champion of romance. This book was gorgeous, start to finish. I'm always looking for a great Sapphic romance for my shelves, and this one hit so many marks. I loved the flower farm, I loved the characters, the plot was stunning. Eddings is solidified as an insta-buy and insta-recommend author in my books.
Thank you to NetGalley and to the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2024 and I'm so disappointed. The neurodivergent representation was honest and real, but I kept getting confused because both characters blended in with eachother. The story started off strong, the setting at the flower farm (and the cover!) simply divine, but it progressed at such a disjointed pace that I lost interest and it was a struggle to finish.
Thank you to NetGalley and St.Martin's Press for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.