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Review: The Start of Something Good by Jennifer Probst

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An enriching story of family ties, broken hearts, and second chances from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.

When Ethan Bishop returns to the Hudson Valley, his body and spirit are a little worse for wear. As a former Special Forces paratrooper, he saw his fair share of conflict, and he came home with wounds, inside and out. At his sisters’ B & B and farm, he can keep all his pain at a safe distance. But quiet time isn’t easy when a fiery woman explodes into his life…

It’s business—not pleasure—that brings Manhattan PR agent Mia Thrush reluctantly to the farm. Tightly wound and quick tempered, Mia clashes immediately with the brooding Ethan. Everything about him is irritating—from his lean muscles and piercing blue eyes to his scent of sweat and musk.

But as the summer unfolds and temperatures rise, Ethan and Mia discover how much they have in common: their guarded histories, an uncontrollable desire, and a passion for the future that could heal two broken hearts. But will their pasts threaten their fragile chance at a brand-new future?

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My Review

The Start of Something Good is the first book in the Stay Series by Jennifer Probst. This book follows the story of Mia and Ethan. As a former Special Forces Paratrooper and bodyguard, he’s seen his fair share of pain and drama. So, when he finally makes his way home, his wounds are far deeper than people imagine. He hides out at the family farm so he won’t have to deal with people and the town he once lived in. All is going to plan until Mia blows into his life and turns everything upside down….Being in the country for the summer is the last on her mind. But when a client needs help with his teenage daughter, she has no choice but to help. Only the farm is no place for an uptight and quick tempered Mia. She butts heads with Ethan from the moment they meet. To say they don’t hit it off would be an understatement. Their disdain for one another is completely palpable and leads to a passion that neither one of them can deny…

I’m going to be totally honest with you, I didn’t really like this book in the beginning. I had a really tough time with it. I didn’t really like the characters and had a really hard time connecting with them. Mia was your total cliched city girl: snobby, stuck up and acted like she was better than everyone else. Ethan had his own share of issues and thought he had Mia pegged from the very beginning. I found him to be a bit arrogant and didn’t like his behavior towards Mia. He wouldn’t give her a chance even when she was trying to do the right thing. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes this behavior in characters works for me, but I think in order for it to work, I’ve got to find something in the beginning that makes me want to invest in them and sadly, it took a while for it to happen for me. I had a few times where I put this book down and honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to finish it, but I’m happy to say that I did finish and I’m glad that I stuck it out. The characters did end up winning me over. Once they got over themselves and stopped fighting, I saw the redeeming qualities in them that I was looking for. I felt their passion and pull and wanted to get to know them better.

I actually really liked Chloe, the girl that Mia was looking out for. She was 19 and wasn’t perfect. She made a lot of mistakes and was sent to the farm to hopefully learn from them. I enjoyed getting to know her and there was definitely more to her than what meets the eye. Don’t get me wrong, she definitely acted immature at times, but I felt like her father didn’t see her as an adult at all. He wanted to make her life fit with his agenda and it just frustrated me to no end.

Overall, I thought this book was an ok read. It was a little rough in the beginning, but won me over in the end. It is a stand-alone, enemies to lovers romance. I loved the small town feel of this story and think that there is a lot of great potential there. The old couples from the B&B were a hoot. I loved how they were up in everybody’s business and was entertained by their matchmaking skills.

Even though this book wasn’t a 100% hit for me, I’m glad that I checked it out and gave it a chance. I think this series has a lot of great potential and would open to checking out more from it in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

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