Review: If You Love Me By Ciara Knight

Title: If You Love Me

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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Ex-Army sergeant, Drew Lancaster demands order, but when he’s thrust into small-town politics involving crazy elders and a manipulative mayor he finds himself submerged in chaos. His only hope to navigate the strange rules of the town comes from a distractingly beautiful, mess of a woman – Carissa Donahue.

As a small town girl, Carissa lives her life on a whim and a prayer. Even in the kitchen she never uses a recipe, yet her sweets are known as the best throughout the South. She has no desire to be a part of Drew’s show, but she knows it’s the town’s best option to increase tourism during a troubling economic time. If there wasn’t an upturn, she’d have to close her bakery. She can’t lose it. Owning a bakery has been her lifelong dream, and her focus since her best friend ran away with her fiancé.

The icing on the project for Drew is that a colleague has promised him a spot working at a real film network if Drew can spend time with Carissa and not fall in love. Drew isn’t sure he can resist the one person he’d never date under different circumstances, nor is he sure he wants to.

Can Drew convince Carissa she can trust him enough to open her heart?

If You Love Me had me at love at first sight with this rag tag small town crew who come together to save their town from financial  doom.  If they can get past their shared  love history  and work together like the old times.

Sugar Maple is one of the many little towns you can find anywhere.  However the economy   has  taken a downtown in the town and they are hoping a documentary will change everything.    However no one can see eye to eye on anything and it going to take them coming  together and realising that’s always friends over men.

Knight ‘s introduction to the series starts with Carissa the jilted party, hasn’t forgiven her best friend Jackie and this takes over this book as she forced to become star baker for the documentary . Carissa’s problems spilled over into the friendship group and the battle lines  are drawn.  Carissa isn’t a bad person, she is guilt by her mistakes and her inability to forgive her friend. As a result   Carissa  sounds quite bitter but she really wants the best Sugar Maple which means clashing with the hero.

Drew is  hoping to get his job back to where it first began. When he loved his job and his friendship with Knox wasn’t stale like it is now. Drew has become tired and is quite abash with the town. He doesn’t know want he is doing with his career and wants to leave fast.

There something charming about Sugar Maple and on particular leady that stops him from leaving town and hurrying to the next possibility , Carissa…

Their attraction is obvious but Drew comes across the wrong way. He doesn’t truly get the concept of the small town and how things worked. He was honestly jerk and seemed sterotypical alpha male. It sets them on the wrong foot and Carissa doesn’t want to deal with him. You can’t blame her as he makes problems without realising what he has done and she has to set him straight. Carissa really embodies the lifestyle of a small town and poor Drew just keeps needing rescues.

However through those moments, you can see  the chemistry at work.  Slowly the barriers come down and the two  start to appreciate each other as they work to save Sugar Maple.

The first in a new series and my first book from this author didn’t disappoint. Knight has a knack for sweet small town romances. I enjoyed the story overall and like the couple with the flaws and all.  However,there was a sense at the beginning that we the readers were the interlopers. It felt there was so much history being unsaid and we were only told parts in passing as the story went out. I felt there need to be prologue of the actual events so that we could get a foundation to the background of this crew. As it was such a big part in why they have come together now and being forced to be closer quarters. They had a role to play in this romance and I enjoyed the crew as they came together and started a new chapter in Sugar Marple. I can’t wait for the next instalment and see how things go as the town continues to change for this documentary.

Ciara Knight is a USA TODAY Bestselling Author, who writes clean and wholesome romance novels set in either modern day small towns or wild historic old west. Born with a huge imagination that usually got her into trouble, Ciara is happy she’s found a way to use her powers for good. She loves spending time with her characters and hopes you do, too.

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