Book two in the Shakespeare drenched Rom Com series from Jessica Martin. While the first book (For the Love of the Bard) focused on one Barnes daughter ( the Barnes family being a kind of First Family of the Bard’s Rest Shakespeare Festival), this book centered on the eldest daughter — Portia — the uber driven, germaphobic, corporate lawyer who does not get the hype about Shakespeare (grumble grumble). Forced into a summer sabbatical prior to a big promotion, Portia gets a real chance for something different when she meets Ben Dane — a genuine good (and smart and gorgeous etc.) guy in the guise of an evil developer who wants to turn the local island / festival outdoor stage into — gasp — condos!
Honesty, ethics, and truth in relationships trump all — great banter and wonderful (completely unrealistic but absolutely fun to read about) characters make this very entertaining and great alternative to reading the daily news. Medium-high on the Steamy Scale. Plenty of fun around the Shakespeare themed town with merchants such as: the Merry Wines of Windsor, The Taming of the Shoe, and Parting is Such Sweet Gelato including the flavor “Et Tu, Brûlée.” I admit it — I would totally book a place for the weekend.
A few fun quotes to give you an idea of her comic and irreverent writing style:
“Selfishly, I rooted against the baby thing. Babies were gross, and I was really bad at faking any enthusiasm for them.”
“Dan’ face twisted into somewhere between ‘accidentally licked a persimmon’ and ‘received undesirable correspondence from the IRS.’”
“Candace is the total package: smart, creative, caring. And in a zombie apocalypse scenario, she’d be the last one standing atop a pile of rotting undead carcasses.”
“I was committing a felony with people who weren’t smart enough to wear non-identifiable gear. I wasn’t sure how to feel about that.”
Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on July 4th, 2023