Review: Falling Sweetly by Aidan Willows

Author: Aidan Willows
Series: Starling Falls #2
Release Date: September 19, 2016
Publisher: Self-Published
Source: Author
Pages: 271
Reviewer: Elizabeth
Rating: 5 Stars
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My life has been odd lately.
I’ve been looking for love.
I’m not sure what it’s supposed to look like, but I’ve been looking for it.
Date after date with awful losers has not left me with much hope.
Also, Jacob Jameson, the man I’ve had a stupid crush on, asked me to help him with his restaurant.
I foolishly said yes.
Let the months of awkwardness commence.

The girl I like keeps avoiding me.
My restaurant has been sabotaged.
The reputation that I’ve worked so hard to achieve is in ruins.
So overall, my life is not great right now.
I’m pretty sure Annika Abbott, object of my affections, is the key to reviving my business.
I’m done patiently waiting for her to come around to the idea of us being together.
Now I just have to figure out how to make her fall for me…

Annika Abbott is socially awkward, shy, kind and looking for love. She’s not embarrassed to admit it. She is, however, rather embarrassed by the freak show parade her latest set of dates have been. Annika has often been told she’s too nice for her own good, which is probably how she’s ended up agreeing to work on Jacob’s restaurant with him, after stealthily avoiding her (supposedly) unrequited crush for months.

Jacob Jameson is pretty sure he’s met the girl of his dreams. The only problem is she keeps evading him. Casual stalking seemed to help his brother land his fiancé, however, Jacob is a busy guy and stalking is a hard thing to work into a daily schedule. It’s a good thing he’s efficient. Killing two birds with one stone seems like a solid plan; get Annika to help him create a winning menu at his restaurant and persuade her to give him a chance.

Now, if only he knew how to go about winning the woman’s affections.
Authors Note: 18+ For mature readers only. Book contains graphic language, scenes of a very sexual nature, an extremely passionate but clueless chef, a self-conscious but gifted heroine, an intrusive but loving family, an insane, musical loving best friend, a c*ck-blocking cat and a goldfish who's a really good listener… 

Elizabeth's Thoughts
I loved the author’s debut novel FALLING COMPLETELY so much that I was pestering her for the second book right away! And I was so honored to receive an eARC (Advanced Reader Copy) for review!

FALLING SWEETLY is the story of Nika Abbott, Liya’s sister, and Jake Jameson, Caleb’s brother. In the first book, as Liya was falling in love with Caleb, Nika and Jake had some chemistry of their own, which has only intensified in this book.

Jake and Nika are both successful professionals but with soft hearts and unexpected insecurities. It was so cute watching Nika literally hide from Jake every time she saw him. She has a huge crush on him, but apparently she thinks she embarrassed herself with Jake at the New Year’s Eve party in the last book and has done everything to avoid him. Including leaving a full cart of groceries in the store, having someone else serve him in her bakery and even hiding behind mailboxes! What Nika doesn’t know is that Jake is just as enchanted with Nika as she is with him. And he’s got it bad!

As Jake’s professional career takes several hits, Nika is there to offer council and friendship only…no matter how much Jake wants there to be more. Their courtship is full of funny mishaps and embarrassing moments where Nika is sure Jake will start running for the hills any minute.

I loved Jake and Nika’s story! The characters are brilliantly formed and I could easily relate to Nika. Many of her insecurities are identical to some of my own. I felt that made Nika’s character realistic and believable. She has a beautiful soul and you could feel it throughout the whole story.

Jake paired with Nika perfectly. He is strong, patient, kind and so loving. I could relate to his character as well. He is always concerned about others and genuinely cares for people. He’s not much of a joker like his twin Josh, but he is focused, loyal and always worrying about the future and his family’s well-being.

And I cannot forget about all the wonderful secondary characters! Liya and Caleb are engaged and couldn’t keep their hands off each other. Dogs in heat would be an appropriate term to describe them! Aunt Deb and Uncle Jeremy are the most loving and wonderful characters I’ve ever read. They adopted Jake and all of his siblings from a horrible home environment when they were very young and gave each child the love, support and stability they all needed!

Jake’s brothers and sister are nosey and always butting into each other’s personal lives, and that was no exception here. We’re also introduced to some new characters and a few that are mentioned in the previous book. Every one of the characters are carefully thought out, brilliantly crafted and they complement the storyline well.

I loved Jake and Nika’s story so much! They paired beautifully together. What brought the whole story together was the witty dialogue. I laughed out loud so many times! The only negative aspect of the story was that it had to end! I need more! So much more!

FALLING SWEETLY is a mix of humor, family and love. It’s a comfort read that soothes the soul and tickles the funny bone! I highly recommend the entire series!

I want to thank the author for generously offering me an early copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. All conclusions reached are my own.

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