Sharon’s review ~ Lips Like Sugar by Jess K. Hardy

Posted April 1, 2024 by Sharon in Mainstream, Reviews, Sharon/Slick / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sharon’s review ~ Lips Like Sugar by Jess K. HardyLips Like Sugar by Jess K. Hardy
Published by Pinkity Publishing on March 28, 2024
Genres: Fiction / Romance / Later in Life, Fiction / Romance / Rock Stars
Pages: 362
Format: ARC, eBook, Paperback
Buy on Amazon
Find the Author: Website, Facebook, Amazon, Instagram
4.5 Stars

"Every once in a while, a book reminds me why I love romance... I couldn't put it down!"

-Sarah MacLean, author of the Hell's Belles series

Fake Date. Real Feels.

Mira Harlow has finally lost it. Between running her bakery, parenting her 14-year-old son, and taking care of her mom, she's a stretched-thin mess. But kissing a total-and totally gorgeous-stranger before begging him to be her date to the biggest wedding her small town has ever seen so her ex won't think she doesn't have one? That's a whole new level of chaos, even for her.

The last thing Cole Sanderson expects when he drives into the ski town of Red Falls, Montana is to score a date to his best friend's wedding. But since his ex-rocker life in Seattle is stagnating, when the gorgeous, green-eyed bakery owner propositions him to play the role of her long-distance boyfriend, stirring his punk-shenanigans roots to their core, he doesn't hesitate to say, "Hell yes!"

Mira hopes for a fun night with her fake date, but when their wedding weekend turns into a genuine connection, when Cole returns to Seattle and she tries to go back to her normal life, she wonders if she missed out on something real. But Cole isn't done with her yet, and when he finds his way back to Red Falls, she'll have to decide what's more important: clinging to the neat and tidy life she's struggled to maintain, or taking a risk, embracing the chaos, and maybe even falling in love.

Lips Like Sugar is book 2 in the Bluebird Basin Romance series but can absolutely be read as a standalone. This story features two main characters in their fifties, lots of laughs, plenty of open-door steam, and so many butterflies.

Content notes: Living with and caring for a parent with mild cognitive impairment, addiction, relapse, an unhealthy ex, grown men deeply in their feels, strong friendships, conversations about love languages, and an absurd amount of Say Anything references.

Lips Like Sugar was a captivating, heartwarming yet heart-wrenching story and Ms. Hardy is a masterful storyteller. I loved watching this couple’s journey as they navigated life and love. ~ Sharon – Simply Love Books


Confession time, I may have a bit of a girl crush on Jess K Hardy. When I read Come As You Are last year, I was swept away by the story and the same goes for Lips Like Sugar. I love the way this author writes 50+ year old characters that are still learning, growing, and figuring out life and love while trying to parent their children and care for their parents. Lips Like Sugar is a love letter to the Gex-X generation and those of us in the Gen Jones group who doesn’t quite fit the Boomer era and don’t quite fit the Gex-X era. While you can read Lips Like Sugar as a standalone, due to some of the things that occur in this book I do highly recommend reading Come As You Are as it will make this book all the more memorable.

The last few years have knocked Mira Harlow sideways and she’s really not sure how she’ll recover. She has a 14 year old son who has gone from her loving little boy to a quiet, non talkative teenager. Her mother has been diagnosed with a mild cognitive impairment, most likely a precursor to dementia, and requires therapy and round the clock monitoring and care. The bakery that has been in her family for generations is barely keeping them afloat as the town she’s grown up in and loves is dying around her. The very last thing she needed was her ex-boyfriend and his new wife to walk into her bakery and announce they will be attending her friend’s wedding. Refusing to look like a loser, Mira announces she’ll be attending the wedding with her boyfriend and when a stranger walks into her bakery she welcomes him as her boyfriend and kisses him something that is so out of character for her she doesn’t even recognize herself. Thankfully the man plays along and Mira realizes he is none other than the ex-punk rock drummer Cole Sanderson.

From their quirky meet-cute to the under the world ending, I was completely enthralled with Mira, Cole, and their unconventional love story. One phone call, one get to know you before we fake date meeting, and hours at the wedding getting to know one another even better; they are both feeling something, but Cole’s life is in Seattle where he owns a recording studio and is helping his daughter with his granddaughter who is the light in his life and Mira is tied to Red Falls. They know it’s impossible and say good-bye but weeks later, Cole reaches out through a text which leads to more texting, then eventually phone calls, then video calls both wanting to be near one another and yet both still firmly entrenched in their lives. Cole gets the opportunity to return to Montana to help his friend Madigan and he jumps on it.

I loved that this book wasn’t all hearts and flowers; these were two people, both who had some baggage from their past weighing them down, and both firmly entrenched in their lives yet the connection between them was so strong. I ached for them, it was torture watching them fall in love while both knowing their lives were complicated and messy. I also applaud the author for showing that even in your 50s you can be kind of a mess, but you can still grow. You are still sensual, sexy, and can have fun with a partner and life because you are still LIVING! And you can still have your world fall apart and not know how to handle it.

Lips Like Sugar was a captivating, heartwarming yet heart-wrenching story and Ms. Hardy is a masterful storyteller. I loved watching this couple’s journey as they navigated life and love.

4.5 Stars

About Jess K. Hardy

Award-winning romance author from Montana.

Posted April 1, 2024 by Sharon in Mainstream, Reviews, Sharon/Slick / 0 Comments