Love, Chocolate, and Beer (Cactus Creek #1) by Violet Duke

Love, Chocolate, and Beer (Cactus Creek Book 1)


Romance has met its most unlikely match-up…

Luke Bradford is a chocolatier on a mission. After moving his chocolate shop, and newly single life, to the quirky town of Cactus Creek, Luke wants nothing more than to devote all his energy into making his business a success—by taking the romance market by storm. But his grand plans get thrown for a loop when he locks horns with the feisty beer-brewing beauty next door who calls his ‘romantic idealism’ a load of fairytale bull. Soon, driving the woman sparking nuts becomes another wickedly fun priority he simply can’t get enough of.

In his defense, she’s addictively easy to incite…and plain impossible to resist.

Beloved local brewmaster Dani Dobson is beyond riled up. It’s bad enough the new shop owner in town comes locked and loaded with both a distractingly rugged charm and sexy flashing dimples, but the whole only-in-the-movies variety of romance he’s selling—the kind her world has been crushed by before—is really doing a number on her allergy to unrealistic clichés. What’s worse, he’s created an annoyingly clever ad campaign that dubs ‘beer joints’ like hers as the “cave where romance goes to hibernate.” The nerve of that man.

Combustible chemistry or not, damn it, this means war. The stakes…very likely, her heart.


I knew Love, Chocolate, and Beer would just be such a fun read and I was not disappointed. Luke and Dani are amazing together! I love how they can be rivals in their business life, but that doesn't really affect their personal lives. They can kind of keep them separate and it is all in good fun anyways. Such a fun read. Violet Duke is definitely a new favorite author.

Dani and Luke have a competition going - which is more romantic chocolate or beer? They have until Valentine's Day to see who the winner is. Their ideas, their ad campaigns, everything was just great to read. They go all out trying to win and it was so much fun to watch. All the while they are growing closer and closer. Dani is adamant that she is not a romantic, that just good old fashion fun is better than that. She has been burned before and wants nothing to do with romantic romance. She thinks romantic notions are nonsense and worthless. Only Luke is out to prove to her that is false and she is just as much of a romantic as he is. She is so feisty and fun it was just very entertaining to read. She really is a sweetheart and I loved her. She is one of those people who is just genuinely nice and will do anything to help out other people, even strangers. She is definitely a closet romantic and it is just so sweet.

Luke owns the new chocolate shop in town. When he first met Dani things were hot hot hot. Then his business partner Quinn does something that angers Dani and their competition was born. He wants to win the competition and win over Dani. Really from the moment he met her he knew there was something there. The more time he spends with her the more he wants to be with her. He is so romantic and you just can't help but love him.

Just like the other book in this series I read the author handles every situation in such a great way. Where most authors would cause eye rolling drama, this one doesn't. It is still so refreshing to read. **slight spoilers ahead, especially if you haven't read the prequel** For example we see Dani act in a fit of anger and try to take out the chocolate shop in the prequel before she knows it is Luke's. She went and proposed a wine business to the land owner which would mean kicking the chocolate shop out of that space. She wants it for her brother who has always stood by her and gave up his own dreams for hers. She quickly realizes once she calms down that she shouldn't have done that, especially when she finds out it is Luke's shop. Well at the start of this book she tries to find out if the owner took her seriously without actually asking as she wants to fix this mess, but she thinks there is nothing to fix. You know it is going to come up again, that Luke might have to give up his shop, that he will find out that it was all Dani's idea, but the way the author handles it when it does come up? Perfect. Dani knows all along that she needs to tell Luke, but when he finds out? Other authors would have made more drama with it. Sure the character react and there are emotions and everything, but it isn't just full of drama. Really everything in the book is that way. There are a lot of story lines and they are all handled in such a great way.

Overall a great read. I loved the characters, I loved the storyline, I loved it all. So much fun, so sweet, so hot, so much of everything.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

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