As 2022 comes to a close, I’m celebrating my 20 favorite romance novels of the year, and the swoony Mixed Signals easily makes the list. I ended up bingeing the whole Lovelight series in less than a week, and that’s because they are effortlessly charming. Better together, these books seem to improve with each installment, and the newest just absolutely captivated me. I loved the sweetheart of a hero, the small town feel, and the cast of characters. Plus, the tension!
And I’ve got to give a shoutout to In the Weeds, because it would’ve made this list if Mixed Signals hadn’t. It’s rare that a second chance romance wins me over, but I ended up loving that book because of the community aspect and the slow-building romance. I’m very much looking forward to the next book in this series – here’s hoping that it follows the same upward trend!
You’ll find my original review and some quotes from the book below, plus details on the series!
This series just keeps getting better and better, swoonier and swoonier. Maybe steamier and steamier too. Zero complaints about any of that – I loved this! It’s easiest to appreciate this series to its fullest when you read it in order, so I was already so excited to dig into Caleb and Layla’s story before it even got started. In previous books, we saw this sweetheart of a hero start to fall for his girl without even realizing it. And he’s just so ADORABLE – a kind, sexy man who blushes at the sweetest moments, and whose biggest fault is that his heart is just too big. He loves with his whole self, which was incredibly heart-melting. Caleb makes the perfect partner for Layla, a woman who has never been treated the way she deserves. Together, they were such a great (clueless) couple, and their chemistry was SO good. The build in intimacy was excellent, and so was the slow burn to SIZZLE romance. I loved it!
The story follows Layla, a baker who never seems to date the right guy. She’s had to lower her expectations so much that dating almost isn’t worth it anymore. So when Layla bumps into Caleb after her latest dating disaster, the last thing she’s looking for is someone new. But seeing the cute former cop/current teacher in a different setting makes Layla see him differently, and she can’t help but feel a spark of attraction. As the two share their dating woes, Caleb reveals that he often gets ahead of himself in relationships. Their commiserating leads to an unexpected arrangement – for one month, Caleb will show Layla how she should be treated, and she’ll give him tips on his dating missteps. Neither one anticipated just how well their arrangement would go… or just how much they’d wish that they were dating for real.
I do recommend reading the series in order, because the small town/community feel gets stronger with every book. So does Borison’s writing, honestly. Each book has its own swoony feel, but this one felt the strongest to me – so many little swoony breadcrumbs sprinkled along the way, such likable characters, and plenty fan-worthy spice. Caleb is what makes this particular book over-the-top special though; he’s just such a good guy, and a true cinnamon roll with a little bite in the bedroom. Stellar book boyfriend material, the guy that everyone needs in their life. He took the swoon up a notch, so there were some magical moments – and tons of chemistry. I also love that Borison’s style allows for a low angst feel while also tackling some heavier subjects. It gives the story emotional depth without weighing it down, leading to a more fulfilling reading experience. I certainly won’t be forgetting this smile-inducing romance anytime soon.
Layla Dupree has given up on love.
She’s waded through all of the fish in the sea, each one more disappointing than the last. Apparently owning the bakery at Inglewild’s most romantic destination does not help one’s love life—despite her best efforts. All she wants is a partner who gives her butterflies, not someone who ghosts her at dinner and leaves her with the check.
Good thing Caleb Alvarez has the perfect solution.
After saving Layla from another date gone bad, he has a simple proposition: One month of no-strings dating. He’ll do his best to renew her faith in men while she rates his dating game. It’s a win-win situation. All the benefits of dating, without the added pressure of feelings and unmet expectations.
But there’s one ingredient they haven’t considered. The chemistry between them is red hot and the urge to take things to the next level is more tempting than Layla’s double fudge mocha brownies.
Will the heat between them boil over? Or will it be another case of mixed signals?
Mixed Signals is a sweet and steamy small-town romance. Our story features a bashful man who can rock a Hawaiian shirt, a hopeful and dreamy bakery owner, enough sweets to give you a cavity, and your favorite Inglewild residents. Mixed Signals is a standalone romance and the third book in the Lovelight series, a collection of interconnected novels.
If Mixed Signals didn’t make this list, In the Weeds would have!
Evelyn St. James isn’t the kind of woman you forget.
Beckett Porter certainly hasn’t. One incredible weekend in Maine, and he’s officially a man distracted. He’s not unfamiliar with hot and heavy flings. He knows how it goes. But Evie wove some sort of magic over him during their tumble in the sheets. He can’t stop thinking about her laugh. Her hand pressed flat against his chest. Her smiling mouth at his neck.
Also, her eyes. And her legs.
So when she suddenly appears on his farm as part of a social media contest, he is … confused. He had no idea that the sweet and sexy woman he met at a bar is actually a global phenomenon: social media influencer Evelyn St. James. When she disappears again, Beckett resolves to finally forget her and move on.
But Evelyn St. James has a problem.
Feeling disconnected from her work and increasingly unhappy, she’s trying to find her way back to something real. She returns to the last place she was happy, Lovelight Farms and the tiny town of Inglewild.
It has absolutely nothing to do with the hot farmer she spent two incredible nights with.
Nothing at all.
In The Weeds is a sweet and steamy second-chance romance about finding your happiness. It features a grumpy farmer, a no-nonsense social media influencer, a small town of busybodies, and four very cute kittens. This is the second book in a series of interconnected standalones following the three Lovelight owners.
Read the audiobook review here
Start the series today!
I don’t really recommend reading this series as standalones, they are definitely better together. Mixed Signals, maybe, but In the Weeds confused me on my first attempt without insight from Lovelight Farms. The good news is that all three books (so far) are great, though I personally think they get better and better.
Where the lovelight gleams …
A pasture of dead trees. A hostile takeover of the Santa barn by a family of raccoons. And shipments that have mysteriously gone missing. Lovelight Farms is not the magical winter wonderland of Stella Bloom’s dreams.
In an effort to save the Christmas tree farm she’s loved since she was a kid, she enters a contest with instafamous influencer Evelyn St. James. With the added publicity and the $100,000 cash prize, she might just be able to save the farm from its financial woes. There’s just one problem. To make the farm seem like a romantic destination for the holidays, she lied on the application and said she owns Lovelight Farms with her boyfriend. Only … there is no boyfriend.
Enter best friend Luka Peters. He just came home for some hot chocolate, and somehow got a farm and a serious girlfriend in the process.
Lovelight Farms is a romantic comedy featuring a handsome, freckled data analyst, a messy, optimistic Christmas tree farm owner, and a small town with the best hazelnut lattes on the east coast. This sweet and steamy romance is a holiday happily ever after.
It is the first book in a series of interconnected standalones following the three Lovelight owners.
Read the audiobook review here
About the Author:
B.K. Borison lives in Washington D.C. with her sweet husband, vivacious toddler, and giant dog. She started writing in the margins of books when she was in middle school and hasn’t stopped. Lovelight Farms is her debut novel.
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