Love, Chocolate, and Beer (Cactus Creek, #2) [NOOK Book]

Overview

-- A USA Today Bestseller! --

"A new must-read series from Violet Duke." --NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Kathleen Brooks

Romance has met its most unlikely match-up...

Luke Bradford is a chocolatier on a mission. After moving his chocolate shop, and newly single life, to the quirky town of Cactus Creek, Luke wants nothing more than to devote all his energy into making his business a success--by taking the romance market by ...
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Love, Chocolate, and Beer (Cactus Creek, #2)

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Overview

-- A USA Today Bestseller! --

"A new must-read series from Violet Duke." --NY Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Kathleen Brooks

Romance has met its most unlikely match-up...

Luke Bradford is a chocolatier on a mission. After moving his chocolate shop, and newly single life, to the quirky town of Cactus Creek, Luke wants nothing more than to devote all his energy into making his business a success--by taking the romance market by storm. But his grand plans get thrown for a loop when he locks horns with the feisty beer-brewing beauty next door who calls his 'romantic idealism' a load of fairytale bull. Soon, driving the woman sparking nuts becomes another wickedly fun priority he simply can't get enough of.

In his defense, she's addictively easy to incite...and plain impossible to resist.

Beloved local brewmaster Dani Dobson is beyond riled up. It's bad enough the new shop owner in town comes locked and loaded with both a distractingly rugged charm and sexy flashing dimples, but the whole only-in-the-movies variety of romance he's selling--the kind her world has been crushed by before--is really doing a number on her allergy to unrealistic clichés. What's worse, he's created an annoyingly clever ad campaign that dubs 'beer joints' like hers as the "cave where romance goes to hibernate." The nerve of that man.

Combustible chemistry or not, damn it, this means war. The stakes...very likely, her heart.

THE CACTUS CREEK SERIES:

BOOK 1: A Little Combustible Chemistry [Prequel Novella -- Luke & Dani]
BOOK 2: Love, Chocolate, and Beer [Luke & Dani]
BOOK 3: Love, Tussles, and Takedowns [Hudson & Lia] -- June 2014
BOOK 4: Love, Exes, and Ohs [Isaac & Xoey] -- July 2014
BOOK 5: Love, Sidelines, and Endzones [Grady & Sienna] -- Sept 2014
BOOK 6: A Little Holiday Meddling [Holiday Novella -- Noah & Katelyn] -- Nov 2014
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Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review - Juliana Stone
"This is a small town romance with a great cast of secondary characters. They have chemistry, the writing is great and I loved getting to know the town."
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews - Slick R
"Holy cow, Luke is one of those heroes you can't help but fall in love with and stay there. [And] there is a remarkable ensemble cast that adds so much life to this story. That's what makes this book so incredible."
Liezel's Book Blog - Liezel .
"Like nothing I've ever read before...all around striking. It wasn't just the beautiful romance between the main couple that caught and kept my attention but it was the overall uniqueness and inventiveness of the story."
Can't Beat A Good Book - Jennifer E
"Sweet, sassy, sexy and full moments that made me swoon. Violet Duke has the uncanny ability to pull at your heart strings whilst also causing the biggest of grins at the sweetness of her stories. Overall a brilliant story."
The Lovely Books Review Blog - Jessica R
"Violet Duke has outdone herself...again! There is something pure and beautiful with her writing, it's phenomenal. This is an absolutely fun book about love and friendships. I was laughing and crying throughout the whole book."
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940148226925
  • Publisher: Violet Duke
  • Publication date: 1/29/2014
  • Series: Cactus Creek , #2
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 406
  • Sales rank: 1,980
  • File size: 731 KB

Meet the Author

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Violet Duke is a former professor of English Education who is ecstatic to now be on the other side of the page writing wickedly fun contemporary romance novels. Her books have been Top 10 bestsellers on Amazon, B&N, and iTunes, and have been featured on IndieReader and GalleyCat as breakout hits. When she's not arguing with her story characters or feeding her book-a-day reading addiction, Violet enjoys tackling reno projects with her power tools, trying pretty much anything without reading the directions first, and cooking 'special edition' dishes that laugh in the face of recipes. She lives in Hawai'i with her two cute kids and similarly adorable husband.

Find the latest on her books and weekly fan giveaways at www.facebook.com/VioletDukeBooks
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 94 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(65)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 94 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 20, 2014

    I fell in love with Violet Duke when I was asked by Didi to read

    I fell in love with Violet Duke when I was asked by Didi to read and review her A Nice Guy To Love series.   She's one of those writers who drew me in from the start with her quirky sense of humor, her flawed but loveable characters, and her full but entertaining plots.  So, I was very excited when she announced the Cactus Creek series and if Love, Chocolate, and Beer is indicative of what this series will be like then she's got a winner on her hands.  Danica (Dani) Dobson, town sweetheart and brewmaster extraordinaire, goes head to head and eventually heart to heart against the newest business owner in town chocolatier, Luke Bradford.  With Valentine's Day around the corner these two stage a What's Better For Valentine's day throwdown:  chocolate or beer?  You'll be amazed at the interesting way these two pump new life into their town and this holiday and no doubt enjoy the heated verbal foreplay they engage while doing so.  A battle of the sexes or a battle of wills, who will come out on top and in the end does it really matter?  
    Holy cow, Luke is one of those heroes you can't help but fall in love with and stay there.  He's a hopeless romantic who is looking for someone to be his Mrs. Right even after having his heart stomped on several times.  He believes in love, in a soul mate, and in happily ever after.  He's also one hell of a talented chocolate maker.  He's dedicated to his craft and to his best friend and business partner, Quinn and her little boy Connor.  For better or worse he jumps in with both feet and is willing to do whatever it takes to get what he wants and what he thinks is best for everyone in every situation.
    Dani, so help me I like this woman despite the fact that she made some very critical mistakes along the way in this story.  At times, I wanted to hate her but I just couldn't do it.  She's messed up, she's confused, and she has a whole lot of baggage she insists on carrying with her along her way.  She is thrown for a complete loop when she meets Luke but her trust issues just won't let him in and keeps her from sharing so many things from him.  However, it's so easy to see that deep down she really cares for him.
    I loved their first sexy encounter, the verbal sparring, their thowdown hijinks, the way they worked to show each other how much they care, the way they entwined their lives without really realizing it, the memorable gifts, and the way they each tried to make things right when things were going so terribly wrong.  These two have this connection that as a reader you can just feel, it gives you goosebumps and makes you cry when things aren't right.  
    While I would love to give Dani and Luke all the credit for this book, I can't.  There is a remarkable ensemble cast that adds so much life to this story.  Honestly, I felt like I was there in Cactus Creek caught up in the middle of it all.  That's what makes this book so incredible, I felt completely immersed in everything that was going on and like it was happening to my friends.
    I could go on and on about Love, Chocolate, and Beer but that would take time away from you actually reading it.  I urge you to run to your favorite bookseller and buy it, I have a feeling you'll fall in love with these characters and Cactus Creek as much as I did!

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2014

    I have read all of Violet's books and I have to say this one is

    I have read all of Violet's books and I have to say this one is by far my favorite. I was in love with Dani and Luke from the first chapter. 

    Dani a brewmaster and Luke a chocolatier are in a heated battle or which is more romantic...Beer or Chocolate. Along with the 'throw down' are five beautiful love stories with characters so typical of Violets writing. Each character was very well developed and easy to fall in love with. 

    Lukes parents are wonderful and have a great sense of humor and the story shows a love between them that most people only dream about. 

    LC&B flows well and the story builds with just the right amount f dram and heart ache. 

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2014

    Loved it!

    This was such a fun story!! I love the characters, the plot, the style... oh, and the thought of a hot man making fabulous chocolate candies! Can't wait for book 2!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 6, 2014

    How is that title not a motivation to read what this ¿Love Choco

    How is that title not a motivation to read what this “Love Chocolate and Beer” is all about? When I saw the book cover, I was completely bowled over. It had an aura of serenity, romance and love between the models, and the chemistry oozing out of the cover could not be ignored. It was one of the most delicious book covers I have seen making me tingle all over!

    I have never read Violet Duke, although I had her on my list of ‘to be read’ eventually. But a post from Carly Phillips and one look at the book cover changed my mind. Oh my!!! What a fabulous book it turned out to be!!! I am so glad to have acted on my instinct and what a wonderful, wonderful story it is ¿ .This is going to go down as one of my top favorite books, a special place in my library.

    Let me tell you, I was up until 4 am to finish reading the book and it took me quite a while to write about it – my feelings were all over the place and boy did I shed tears!!!!  Luke and Danica are such beautiful people to fall in love with – so perfectly imperfect.  

    Luke is a darling of a romantic chocolatier and his character is so very well developed. He’s hardworking, loves his parents and a great brother to Quinn, and even in the most trying of circumstances, he really could think clearly (almost all the time); such a sweet truffle of a person – warm, gooey and delectable. Dani is a super sweet aroma running a brewpub, floating in the various layers of anger, guilt, loyalty and a killer of a grin and smile shaking Luke to the core. 

    I loved the way the story unfolded and I did not skip one word! Violet really spent a hell of a time developing these characters to a T. Their journey of sparring with each other over chocolate and beer, finding a balance between the sweet and fizzy, dealing with their past hurt and guilt, it was one delicious ride. The last two chapters had me shed many a tear, and that tells how eloquently Violet was able to piece each emotion by emotion in words that jumped right at you and your heart is crying right along with Dani and Luke. 

    The supporting cast of her brother Derek and his partner Jonathan, Quinn and Rylan, and her amazing friend Xoey, were a heady mix of important ingredients in the whole equation along with Luke’s parents. I could not help falling in love with Cactus Creek and even Noah got into my good books.

    I want to say a lot more, but even as I write this piece, my emotions are going awry, again. So I will let my fellow readers read for themselves and am sure they would get to ‘tastegasm’ once they taste the love “beerified” between chocolate and beer.

    Can’t wait to spend time with Lia and Hudson as they find love between ‘Sidebars and Armbars” in Violet’s next installment.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2014

    Holy Hefeweizen!! Yep, that is Dani's most famous exclamation in

    Holy Hefeweizen!! Yep, that is Dani's most famous exclamation in this book and it pertains to this new series!! So Dani nearly royally screwed up her possible relationship with Luke by not telling him about almost ruining his business. She goes through about 3/4 of the book without telling him and it is almost a disaster. But during this time, Luke finds his way into Dani's heart, helping her to trust again. When he finds out why she is like the way she is, he goes and gives her the most amazing Valentines ever!!. Even though you can see that they are falling in love, they both have a lot of obstacles to fight through and they do it with family and friends and lots of love. This is a wonderful new series and you definitely will love it. There are no graphic sex scenes here, it is a beautiful romance story. Please read the prequel before you read this one. You need to know the background story or you will be totally confused. I am absolutely loving this new series and can't wait for the next one. You do get an HEA, there are no cliffhangers and the next one is about a different couple. I received an arc for an honest review.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2014

    Love this one! A new series by Violet Duke takes us to Cactus Cr

    Love this one! A new series by Violet Duke takes us to Cactus Creek, AZ! I found this to be slightly sweeter than her other books but no less entertaining. Great characters and a storyline that keeps you guessing. You don't want to miss it!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2014

    Book 2 of series, 326 pages long

    This is the second book of a series of six, so far. It has about 326 pages and is very well edited. The story is set in Arizona. I was really surprized by this, as the spelling of some names, sentence formation and word usage, lead me to believe the book was set in England or perhaps Ireland. It is once again a book about the war between the sexes. Will the women give up their independance to the men pursuing them? Will love and lust win? Of course it will, but only after many arguments, misunderstandings, hurt feelings, much foot dragging and loud caterwailing. Then there is no telling what the unpredictable woman will do, but there is bound to be tears, cat fights, throwing of objects and eating comfort foods. ( or beer drinking, in this case, (on both sides,) as well as chocolate nibbling.) This was a fun book to read. Predictable. There are adult themes, but not nastily descriptive. It is a chocolate versus beer world with a twist. The man is into the cocoa and the woman is hopping into the hops. A nice chick lit book. Suitable for ages 16 and up. Reminded me a bit of Cayote Ugly. Good.

    AD

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 2, 2014

    This was a fun, light, easy read that I practically devoured. I

    This was a fun, light, easy read that I practically devoured. I loved the way the characters got to know each other and care deeply for each other during the course of a business rivalry before there was even a first date. Luke and Dani were made for each other and their actions during the competition proved their inner character and devotion to romance. Their actions during the times of crises were both remarkable and heartwarming. Violet kept throwing things at me that I didn't see coming and I have to wonder how all of these romantic gestures came to her. I hope that she was on the receiving end many times because every woman should. I was touched so many times by so many different things throughout the course of this read. All of the characters in the book were lovable and developed well and each played an equally important role in the story. I would have loved to see a little more background/conversations with the secondary characters of Quinn and Rylan. Despite the book not actually being their story, I was just as invested in their relationship. If you're looking for a fun, feel good story, look no further than Love, Chocolate and Beer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2014

    LOVE, CHOCOLATE, AND BEER is yet another hit by Violet Duke and

    LOVE, CHOCOLATE, AND BEER is yet another hit by Violet Duke and the first full length novel in her new series Cactus Creek. As in her Nice Girl to Love series, Ms. Duke's offers a fun story with likeable characters that she manages, with the realistic feel of her writing style, to make you see them as your own friends and neighbors. I liked everything about this story. It's just one of those sweet romantic reads you hate to end, but when it does you find yourself with a smile on your face.

    My favorite character was the handsome and romantic Luke Bradford. He is a master chocolatier who has moved his successful chocolate shop, Desert Confections, from Mesa to Cactus Creek, AZ. Luke is a smoldering, old-fashioned romance kind of guy who is almost immediately smitten with Dani. Pretty much a love at first sight for him and he does everything he can to win Dani's skeptical and unromantic heart. He is that guy we all dream about having of our own. Nice, kind, loves his parents, funny, intelligent, hardworking, loyal to his friends, has mad bedroom skills, and been searching his whole life for The One to spoil and spend his forever with.

    Dani Dobson, is the hometown girl, the second-generation brewmaster and owner of Ocotillos Brewpub. She was burned in the romance department in a huge and devastating way which has left her a non-believer in true or romantic love. She is a girl-next-door type of sweet and a take-no prisoners workaholic businesswoman all wrapped up in one feisty package Luke finds impossible to resist. Determined as Dani wants to be she can't stop the weak-in-the-knees reaction he causes in her with just the hot way he looks at her and she has no defense against him when he pulls out all the stops to find his way into Dani's arms and into her heart.

    Their initial attraction and sexual chemistry is so intense it's combustible, but it's also no easy road. Dani has issues from her past that make it impossible for her to trust in a man to not break her heart. Their love is helped along by practically the whole town of Cactus Creek, their family, friends and coworkers who all have sassy and quirky personalities that round out this well-written and enjoyable story. As an extra bonus, we get a glimpse of the super sexy and dreamy Connor Sullivan, from Resisting the Bad Boy. Yeah, still not over my book boyfriend crush on him. :)

    ~I received this eBook from the author in exchange for an honest review.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    Liked the book!

    I thought the book was cute. However, it did run flat in a couple of spots but picked back up at the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 5, 2014

    Another great book by Ms Duke! I absolutely loved Dani and Luke!

    Another great book by Ms Duke! I absolutely loved Dani and Luke! I love Ms Duke's writing style! I was LOL'ing, feeling my heart ache, and rolling my eyes throughout. This was a could-not-put down read. What surprised me the most was also a love for the secondary characters-Quinn, Xoey, Derek, etc. and their stories just as much as Dani and Luke's! Completely LOVED the twists of the story and the growth of the characters. Loved that this was a stand alone book, but that we'll be seeing theses characters in the next books!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 5, 2014

    WOW Loved this book!! Can not wait for more! LOL Cried even want

    WOW Loved this book!! Can not wait for more! LOL Cried even wanted to smack someone once or twice :) This book is well worth reading! If you have not read Violet Duke yet this is a good place to start!! I'll take all 3 Love Chocolate and the Beer and I don't drink beer lol but this makes me want to try it! They will all Find a place in your heart!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    In Love, Chocolate, and Beer, Luke has moved to Cactus Creek to

    In Love, Chocolate, and Beer, Luke has moved to Cactus Creek to set up shop.  His chocolate shop that is!!   Something about Cactus Creek called to Luke as soon as he first set foot in that place.  Along with his good friend Quinn, they prepare to open...and are always trying new chocolate recipes. 




    Dani is the brewmaster in her own bar.  She is everything Luke is not...she's not a romantic, she's rather have beer than chocolate, and she has a hard enough time believing in second chances at love let alone love at first sight!  But the chemistry Dani and Luke create can't be ignored and Luke is going to do his best to get Dani to admit to not only the chemistry, but the feelings.




    When a mix up threatens to stop anything in it's tracks before it's started, sending Dani into a tizzy, Luke finds her all the more irresistable!  Soon their businesses are embroiled in a Valentine's Day contest ... ironically the most romantic day of the year for some, and it's almost impossible to separate the business end of romance from the personal.  But Dani is still holding back from Luke, and the longer she holds back, the harder the truth is for her to admit to.  Will Luke be the man to make Dani want to risk her heart?  Can she?




    Violet gives us a fast paced, fun, up beat, ultra modern romance with Love, Chocolate, and Beer that will sweep you up, give you cravings for chocolate and maybe a drink of beer.  Luke and Dani are really an entertaining couple!  Dani tries hard not to fall for Luke, she tries hard to be her prickly, non romantic self, but Luke just finds that side of her all the more attractive!  I thought this was hilarious!  I felt like he was a great match for Dani as I read more deeply into Love, Chocolate, and Beer.  He listened to her let steam off, didn't get offended, he poked at her, and he just kept pursuing her...wooing her with chocolate, romance, and Valentine's!




    Violet make Luke and Dani real to the reader, not only with their feelings, issues and real life problems, but also with the way she makes modern technology such a big part of Love, Chocolate, and Beer.  I really enjoyed this and it left no doubt as to when this book was taking place.  Violet gives the reader a real connection to the world of the characters, one that they can relate to and make sense of.  Violet also introduces some strong secondary characters in Love, Chocolate, and Beer along with secondary romances and possibilities that keep the story very interesting and make us eager for the next book in the Cactus Creek series.




    I'd recommend Love, Chocolate, and Beer to any romance reader looking for a fun read that involves chocolate and beer!  

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 31, 2014

    I was given this book as an ARC for an honest review i was alre

    I was given this book as an ARC for an honest review

    i was already a big fan of Violet's before from the Nice Girl series but WOW , this one was even better . Luke and Dani are great together. so different from other books I read because even though it is love at first site then dont jump into bed together. Instead they start a contest and fight each other tooth and nail to see who wins. In the end they both win as far as we all are concerned. I also hope the next book is for Xoey.. Just loved her . Every girl should have a luke to show then what romance is all about


    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

    Read it and appreciate the art of maing different chocolate flavore you can make and the art of brewng. People with differt tasts and views can still bond, love.

    SeX descritions could have been less

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2014

    Boring

    Couldn't even finish. It felt too much like a LMN movie. The thing about reading books is it usually pulls you so much deeper into the story than watching a movie. This one didn't. Unfortunately, I would save your money if I was you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014

    Yawn!!!

    Probably the most boring book I have ever read. I tried and tried, but had trouble finishing. Usually I can hardly put a book down, not the case here. Story had potential, but way to much info and not enough interaction between the main characters. There would be a conversation and after each spoke one line there were 5 pages of the other thinking before they responded. And most of the interesting interactions like the great text messages were never shown just implied. My first book by the author and most likely my last.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    recommended

    Enjoyable, but light reading, perhaps geared for the younger set.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    Cute and fun

    This book was a fun read. Nothing surprising, but a nice piece to read for a change of pace. Again, it is cute and if one is looking for a short, fun book to read, Love, Chocolate and Beer is that read.

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  • Posted June 27, 2014

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The banter between Dani and Luke

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The banter between Dani and Luke hooked from the get go.  I had to be forced to put the book down to get things done that needed to be done.  Also it is pleasant to know that this is a series but not dependent to move on to get the happily ever after for this couple.  I hope that means that they will not make an appearance in the future books but still nice to know.  




    As far as it goes you think the book will be predictable and in some sense it is but not the way you think it will be. I will not give it away but the reason you think will be for the temporary break up for the couple is not.  




    Another twist is that the characters developed throughout the book that you are almost certain will be the couples that continue on the books in the series are not.  Ok well at least one couple is not anyway as Quinn and Rylan have a happy ever after also, which both pains and pleases me.  I was looking forward to reading Quinn's story since she is the wicker witch LOL.  However I am holding out hope that Xoey and Isaac get their book.  
      

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