Digging up love

Chandra Blumberg

Book - 2022

When a dinosaur bone discovery brings together baker Alisha Blake and paleontologist Quentin Harris in her rural Illinois hometown, both Alisha and Quentin must weigh their future plans against their budding relationship.

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Romance fiction
Seattle [Washington] : Montlake [2022]
Main Author
Chandra Blumberg (author)
Physical Description
333 pages ; 21 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

Alisha Blake wants to open a cookie bakery in Chicago, but she is stuck in a small Illinois town helping her grandparents run their BBQ restaurant. Paleontologist Quentin Harris is stunned to realize bones discovered in a small-town pool project are actual dinosaur fossils. Never in his academic career did he think he would be leading this kind of dig so close to his Chicago university. His first meeting with the property owner's granddaughter, Alisha, is memorable. Soon he and Alisha are enjoying texting, flirting, and, finally, dating in this delightful slow-burn romance from debuting author Blumberg. Both Quentin and Alisha struggle with family expectations and professional complications but learn to stand up for what they want. The headline-making dinosaur dig offers a unique spin on the classic small-town contemporary romance, and readers will be craving treats after reading the descriptions of Alisha's baked goods. Blumberg's sweet romance offers a perfect recipe for a delectable read, combining diversity, smart characters, and a delicious love story.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Blumberg's charming debut combines true love, delicious cookies, and dinosaurs. Alisha Blake loves to bake, but the road to opening a bakery of her own has been anything but sweet. Having been raised by her grandparents after her father left, she feels obligated to put her dreams aside to take care of them. As she finally musters up the courage to announce her plans to move to Chicago, dinosaur bones are unearthed in her grandparents' backyard. The discovery brings paleontologist Quentin Harris, who hopes to bury the memory of his ex-fiancé under his passion for his work. When Quentin and Alisha meet, the attraction is instant, but as their feelings grow, so does the news of the excavation, and the media circus puts their budding romance to the test. Both contend with emotional issues as well: Alisha struggles to feel worthy and brave, while Quentin longs for certainty and commitment, and both must face their families' shadows before finding solace in each other. Blumberg gives apt consideration to the themes of the importance of family, obligation, individuality, and freedom. Romance fans will adore the well drawn love story between these funny and lovable dinosaur lovers. Agent: Rachel Brooks, Bookends Literary. (Dec.)

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Review by Kirkus Book Review

A determinedly single small-town baker and a paleontologist recovering from heartbreak cross paths in highly unlikely circumstances, proving that love always finds a way. Tucked away in a nondescript corner of rural Illinois with her grandparents, Alisha Blake yearns for the sights and sounds of urban life. Even as she helps her grandfather run their well-loved family-owned barbecue joint, she's secretly working toward opening her own bakery in Chicago. She finally builds up the nerve to tell her family about her plans, but she's forced to defer her announcement when a large dinosaur bone gets dug up in her grandparents' backyard. Although the find throws a wrench in Alisha's plans, it's a dream come true for Quentin Harris. He hopes that the bone will pave the path to academic prestige and finally vindicate his career choice in the eyes of his father. Quentin needs to focus on the dig, but his presence in Alisha's backyard unearths long-buried desires in both of them. Quentin, who was once jilted at the altar, is leery of committing to Alisha, and the talented baker is struggling to strike a balance between her family's needs and her own dreams. While Quentin's presence comforts and excites Alisha, the paleontologist's sermons about her life choices often cut too close to the bone. To make their relationship work, both must quit digging in their heels and focus on rooting out old apprehensions and worries instead. Replete with instantly likable characters and relatable pop-culture references, Blumberg's debut is warm, engaging, and emotionally honest. Alisha and Quentin's gradual movement toward companionship hits all the right notes, and their interactions are both meaningful and fun. While the external obstacles and issues keeping them apart are quite real, their internal battles seem to reach too pat a resolution. A sweet romance that would have improved with a little more heat. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.