Up to Scratch
Starting from Scratch by Penelope Janu
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Sapphie Brown found sanctuary in Horseshoe Hill as a troubled teen and is now the local school teacher, with dreams of buying a farmhouse. Her quiet life becomes abruptly complicated with the arrival of Matts Laaksonen, the man from a past Sapphie would have preferred to keep buried. Can she keep avoiding him - and her heart?
I'm warming up to these small town romances and the idyllic life inside them. I did enjoy Starting from Scratch, but I chose to read it before bed so I could relax and therefore found it difficult to muddle my way through unexpectedly science-heavy scenes. That aside, I found Sapphie's father to be a perfectly vile villain and I liked Matts (probably because I love Finland and could easily "hear" his accent). This was a nice, pleasant read. But maybe don't try to read it when you're tired!
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Alyce Caswell, when she isn't buried in a book or drinking her way through a giant pot of tea, is a keen writer of science fiction and romance. She has published two novels and four novellas in her space opera family saga, The Galactic Pantheon Series.