If only life came with instructions.
Boyd McNaughton is working on balance. He is a father, a brewmaster, and the oldest brother of four. When he’s not running Foghorn Brewery with two of his brothers, his days are packed with carpools, teenage angst, and well-intentioned school moms determined to send him on the perfect blind date. After a simple argument ends with a visit to the emergency room, Boyd discovers the one thing he’s been neglecting—his life.
Ella Walters is working on connection. Having grown up in a less-than-affectionate family of overachievers, she moved to Petaluma for a slower pace and to escape her past. She has friends now instead of accolades, chooses chocolate croissants over super foods, and cherishes the peace that’s replaced the drama. Sure, she occasionally misses the buzz of the San Francisco General Hospital ER, but Ella is learning that navigating a fuller life can be just as exciting.
When Boyd’s son, Mason, seeks out Dr. Ella for “advice” and Boyd stumbles all over her newly healed heart, she finds herself longing for something she never knew existed. But families are messy, and they’ll both need to let go of the past if they want to find a future that’s more than by the book.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I WANT A BOYD!!! This story was a joy to read and I found myself smiling a few times. It's a quick read and sometimes that doesn't give the reader a chance to really enjoy the characters, but that's NOT the case here. There is just something about Boyd (maybe it's the single parent connection I felt with him) and Ella (maybe it's her struggle to be ALL IN) and Mase (maybe I mentally relate him to my own boys) that just truly enjoyed without feeling like they were too good to be true.
Boyd McNaughton is the oldest of four sons. The three eldest: Boyd, Cade and Patrick, own and run Foghorn Brewery and are in the process of opening a tap house to showcase their brews. Boyd is the brewer, Cade will run the tap house and Patrick does the marketing. Boyd is also the father of a 13 year old son, Mason, born of a short-lived college romance. Boyd is the primary care-giver and he balances his work with bringing up a son with aplomb, he just doesn't have time for a relationship. Dr Ella Walters moved to the small city of Petaluma, California from San Francisco two years ago after a relationship went terribly wrong (fair warning, we don't find out exactly what went wrong for quite a long time - at page 126 I made a rather exasperated comment asking what had happened). Naturally reserved, her family are, at best snobs and at worst vicious sociopaths, distant and her recent romantic failure has caused her to shrink further into her shell of work, work, work. She doesn't believe in love and isn't looking for someone. After a disagreement with Patrick over the latest brew results in Boyd cutting his hand on a keggle and needs a trip to the ER where he meets Ella. Although the sparks are there aplenty it is really Mason and Ella who hit it off as Ella gives him advice about the girl he likes at school. What I liked about this book. I liked Ella and I liked Mason, I liked Patrick and Cade and West (the fourth brother who is a movie star), most of the time I liked Boyd. I liked the way in which a working dad was portrayed and I liked the tentative romance as it blossomed between two thirty-somethings who had been burned by love before. So what didn't I like? At some point in the books I have read by Racy Ewens the characters just seem to get stuck in a loop of denial or self-doubt which goes too far, the point at which I start using more profanities and exclamation marks than are strictly necessary. Luckily Boyd only did this once, page 233 if you are interested, but I did feel he needed to pull his big girl pants up. But, as always, what I really didn't like was Ella's 'friend' Bri, her gentle teasing was more like a sledge-hammer, she overstepped the bounds of friendship and was a bit of a bully. Also the way in which the group of women friends talk is completely unnatural (in my opinion), I mean who asks their friend if they have told a man that they love him, particularly if that friend is in denial/ hasn't realised it herself? Despite my loathing of all things Bri, this series is like catnip for me and I am gagging for Cade's story - is it with Bri, please tell me no?
I was not familiar with Tracey Ewens’s A Love Story series before this but based on how Brew swept me away, I’m going to need to acquaint myself with them stat. This was a heartwarming story. Ella and Boyd have both suffered blows in their past which make them wary of connecting with others. Single father Boyd figures he’ll be content enough with his 13 year old son Mason, his family, and their brewery. Ella throws herself into work, even when she trades being Head of Trauma in San Francisco for settling in Petaluma as an ER doctor. Despite wanting to lick her wounds, Ella is befriended by Bri and Vienna and the rest upon arriving in town but she still holds back. She keeps her secrets to herself and there’s a lot in her life that simply isn’t up for discussion. That is, until Mason shows up to ask his dad for advice while Ella removes Boyd’s stitches. This is how the story grows. As Ella connects with Mason, she begins to connect with Boyd and in the process, she becomes more connected to her own life and community. She becomes more empowered in every area of her life and this was incredible to see. Boyd will admit he’s attracted to Ella but he’s not interested in a relationship. He doesn’t believe he can be both a good dad and a good boyfriend. Mason’s mom walked out of his life when Mason was a baby and he hasn’t had a relationship since and figures he can put one off for longer. But life has a funny way about it when it comes to our plans…and when it comes to the interference of teenage boys. Everyone in Ella and Boyd’s life thinks they could be a good pair but Mason is the only one that tries to lend a helping hand. This is a love story, it’s true. But it’s not just the story of Ella and Boyd falling for one another. It’s a love story between them and their respective communities. It’s about the ways friends can be like family and family can go above and beyond in helping us and just how much we need one another. It’s about recognizing our worth and moving toward healthy people and cutting out the ones that are toxic. Boyd and Ella have different wounds in their pasts. They have different work to do as a result. And it doesn’t always line up perfectly. Mistakes are made. Lines are drawn. But there is such good between these two and I was rooting for them the whole time. I loved seeing them take risks for one another and I loved the way they took care of one another and how they made it up to one another when they screwed up. It felt just like a real relationship. I also really loved that Ella is 36 and Boyd is 37. (I also loved that Boyd was this big, burly man, pretty much my dream man!) I’m all in favor of love stories between people in their mid to late 30s! Please let there be more. The way brewing figured into the story was both thoughtful and insightful. Not only because it’s Boyd’s passion and the business he shares with his brothers but because of the way the metaphor of brewing added to the story itself. This book plain made me happy. There were times I ached for the characters but by and large, this was a fun, heartwarming read and I can’t wait to catch up on the 8 books that came before it. Clearly this can be read as a standalone and I’m glad for it. Disclosure: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
NO Skimming this novel it was not an option!! My first Tracy Ewens read but I will say that she is an amazing story teller that held my interest to the very end. Characters Boyd, a Brew master, his son Mason, and Ella a trauma doctor grow and heal through each other. This is a stand-alone read even though it says it is #9. Both Boyd and Ella have had unlucky past romantic encounters and are struggling to be HAPPY. Just really enjoyed reading this one. "This book was provided by author through NetGalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion."
This author once again serves up a sweet blend of romance with a heaping dose of relationship uncertainty angst. The first 40% or so was mostly main couple inner monologues as these two, perfect for each other knuckleheads try to reason and rationalize the feelings brewing inside and between them. They both seem set on convincing their heads and hearts that true love is too messy and complicated for their hectic lives. Ella is an ER doctor who has jumped off the fast track of success to hopefully get some needed life perspective and slow things down a bit, much to the perpetual disappointment of her selfish, uncaring, elitist family. Still reeling from hurt and betrayal two years ago, she finds herself unable to resist falling for Boyd and his 12 year old son, Mason. Surprisingly, she’s the one who mans up more than once and puts her heart on the line. Boyd is a single father in a small town trying to juggle a job and fatherhood to a 12 year old boy. He foolishly thinks a relationship will just get in the way of what needs to be his sole focus in life, Mason. Deep down though, he has an even greater fear, falling for someone then having to endure watching them walk away again. Let me warn you upfront. It causes him to do quite a bit of hand wringing and a knucklehead moment or two. With writing that flows, this slow burn romance finally starts to smoulder after quite a bit of circling around each other with a first kiss at the 45% point. However, it continues to be a rocky road right up until the finish line. The main couple do spent some smexy time together, but it is not overly done, folks. The majority of the book focuses on their relationship angst, with the hero being the most conflicted. If you like a sweet romance in a small town setting that does not have steamy scenes hijacking the storyline, you might want to consider this new release by Tracy Ewens. Title: Brew, Series: Love Story (Book 9), Author: Tracy Ewens, Pages: 304, stand-alone but part of a series, afraid to love hero, reluctant at first heroine, a few not overly graphic steamy scenes, lots of relationship angst, ex-boyfriend appearance, a few cameos of baby mama, no love triangle, no cheating, both have been celibate for quite awhile, great cast of sub-characters. Book 1 - Premiere Book 2 - Candidate Book 3 - Taste Book 4 - Reserved Book 5 - Stirred Book 6 - Vacancy Book 8 - Exposed Book 9 - Brew (I received a free advanced reader copy via NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. No type of compensation was given to this reviewer. There is no relationship/affiliation between the reviewer and the author/publisher/NetGalley.)