Book Reviews

Hearts and Hazelnuts by Kris T. Bethke at JMS Books

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Blue-Collar Workers / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 09-September-2019

Book Blurb

Mechanic Jordan Hart is down on his luck, so he gladly accepts a temporary job servicing tractors at a hazelnut farm in Newberg, Oregon. He doesn’t expect to be attracted to his boss, Beckett Shaw. Still working on embracing his bisexuality, he’s reluctant to start anything, but Beckett’s gentle coaxing convinces Jordan to take a risk.

Beckett has vowed not to get involved with anyone until he can restore the Shaw Farms name as a leader in hazelnuts. But there’s no denying his interest in the shy mechanic who shows up at his door. Just as they begin to find a balance, outside forces threaten to tear them apart. Job opportunities force Jordan out of the Portland area he loves so much. But when danger comes too close to Beckett, Jordan must decide if he can follow his heart to the Willamette Valley ... and straight back to Beckett.

First edition published by Dreamspinner Press, November 2017.

Book Review

Hazelnuts are not a crop I am very familiar with, but this story gave me a nice flavor, along with some great details about Oregon. The focus of this story is on the main characters though, and getting to know them was entertaining as well as interesting. Jordan is a dedicated mechanic currently out of work, and Beckett a hazelnut farmer desperate to make his family’s neglected farm a success again. They meet when one of Beckett’s machines needed for the harvest breaks down, and Beckett’s normal mechanic (Jordan’s brother) is too busy to make it to the farm. The attraction between Jordan and Beckett sizzles immediately, but both men are so focused on their careers that it takes them quite a while to figure things out.

Jordan is a great mechanic, but he lost his job when the car mechanic he was very happy working for is closed due to embezzlement. His job search is not going well, so when his brother offers him a temporary job fixing some farm equipment, Jordan immediately accepts. Even though the farmer is extremely attractive, Jordan is determined to remain professional. He needs to find gainful employment, and he figures that his stay on the farm is only temporary.

Beckett is in a tough spot: his father has neglected the hazelnut farm for many years, Beckett just about managed to buy him out seven months ago by sinking all his money into it, and now the equipment he needs for his first harvest is beginning to fail. The mechanic who shows up for emergency repairs and stays on to do some much-needed servicing and maintenance work is hot, but between the harvest, the local festivals and fairs, and attempts from a slimy neighbor with designs on Beckett’s farm, there is too much going on to consider adding a relationship to the mix.

Jordan and Beckett begin to bond when Jordan stays on to help at a festival, and it becomes clear their interest is mutual. But with their paths going in totally different directions once Jordan gets a much-wished-for job offer at the other end of the state, it takes a threat to the farm for both men to realize they are stronger together than apart.

If you like stories set in the countryside with lots of charming details, if two strangers deciding to band together for mutual support are your thing, and if you’re looking for a short, entertaining read with realistic characters and issues, then you might like this novella.





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Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 35203 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 07-September-2019
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link