Review ~ A Teaspoon of Trouble by Shirley Jump

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Type-A chef Carolyn Henderson has walked away from her job at a trendy NYC restaurant after an abrupt family tragedy. Now, as a guardian to her four-year-old niece, Emma, and a very disobedient mutt – kids and dogs are so not her skill set – moving back to Marietta, Montana seems the best temporary option. But when confronted by her parents’ declining health, Carolyn has to face reality. And she’s going to need some serious help. So who better to ask than Matthew West, a blast from her high school past… and as hunky and helpful as ever.

Vet – and very eligible, if reluctant, Bachelor – Matthew West can’t believe his luck when his high school crush stumbles through his door. Dogs, kids, and gorgeous damsels in distress. Carolyn needs help with the pup, and he needs help whipping up delicious concoctions for the Bachelor Bake-Off. So she wants to make a deal: dog obedience lessons for cooking tips… but Matthew wants to broker quite a bit more…

In A Teaspoon of Trouble we meet Carolyn Henderson, a talented NYC chef who has just lost her sister and brother in law and was now tasked with raising her adorable little niece Emma. So back to Montana the girls go, with Carolyn hoping her parents can help her be the mom her sister knew she could. Only her parents are aging and filled with grief, which means she has to figure it out. But Carolyn runs into the high school boyfriend she’d left without a backwards glance, and Matt is better than she remembered. A small town vet, he loves his life but wishes for more. For love and marriage. Shirley Jump has written a fun small town romance that includes a fun bachelor bake off for charity, moonlight kisses and tons of romance.

Where Shirley Jump excels in A Teaspoon of Trouble is creating the small town atmosphere with fun, small town characters, plenty of adorable animals and we can’t forget little Emma who is absolutely precious. And Matt was incredible; hot and generous and kind. But Carolyn was kind of hard to like for much of the story because she was so focused on what she wanted that she never thought about Emma, only her career. It was kind of repetitive but she got her stuff together in time to redeem herself, at least in this reader’s eyes.

There were also some really great moments filled with emotions, particularly a late night scene with Carolyn and her niece. Those scenes gave this book the depth it needed to be more than your average romance novel.

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