I’ve enjoyed Emma Barry’s romances since reading her histrom, Brave In Heart. I have sentimental affection for it because it was one of the first romances I reviewed on this very blog (turning TEN in May). So I was awfully glad to see another Barry romance on the horizon, except I admit approaching it with a gimlet eye: while I love Barry’s romances, I really really hate chickens. When I used to spend summers in my parents’ Greek village, stray, mangy dogs and squawking, fluttering, pea-brained, eat-anything, gag-inducing-smelly chickens were what I hated most about it (also roosters crowing at sun-rise when you’d been pickled in ouzo the night before). Like Chick Magnet‘s hero, Will Lund, I never warmed to heroine Nicole Jones’ chickens, but like Will, I liked Nicole and I liked what Barry wrought. I don’t think Chick Magnet has the wit and fun of Barry’s Political Persuasions series (once in a while, it peeked through), but I still read this in one sitting during a work-week from hell (five-hour Zoom, anyone?); and, except for an uncertain beginning, it got better and better with each page-turn. To give you a more-details picture, the publisher’s blurb:
Nicole Jones needs a fresh start. “Chick Nic” to millions of internet fans, the social media star and her flock of chickens bask in the spotlight—until she’s publicly dumped by a YouTuber for clout. She has no choice but to round up her birds and move on.
But when one of her hens has an emergency, Nic gets her first taste of her new stomping grounds—and it isn’t good. Veterinarian Will Lund is wildly attractive, yes, but he’s also surly. In fact, he comes right out and calls her a menace for parading her chickens on social media.
As neighbors, Nic and Will can’t exactly avoid each other. Then again, maybe they don’t want to. The two can’t deny their smoldering attraction, and it isn’t long before late-night confessions lead to backyard shenanigans.
Is this the start of a neighborly relationship—or could something more be hatching?