Friday, June 28, 2024

I Love a Good Challenge by Sara North: Book Review

 **ARC received for consideration. All opinions are my own. 

book cover

The Book


I want the steady kind of love—the gritty kind that can handle fire and failure and won’t be lost along the way. The kind of love that can be tested and tried and stretched to the edge of itself without shattering. A love I can’t run away from, no matter how hard I try.

In my small, New England town of Birch Borough, I’m the unexpected one. The woman who wears black and says whatever outlandish things she wants. Despite devoting my life to perfecting the chocolate concoctions in my bakery, they seem to hate me. I dream of men in great coats, but I can’t imagine being someone’s first choice. Until Graham.

Meeting Graham was like being struck by lightning, and it left a jagged tear in its wake. Now, as the maid of honor and best man in our dearest friends’ wedding, I’m determined to get him out of town and finally out of my heart. I issue him a series of challenges—winner takes all. Graham may be everything I’ve ever dreamed of, but when I look in the mirror, all I see is a woman who let the love of her life think he meant less to her than she ever did to him. If I can’t have his ring on my finger, then it’s time to get in the ring. May the best woman (and certainly not the best man) win.


If you ever meet a woman named Lily, run. This is the greatest lesson I’ve learned since the Lily who lives in Birch Borough ruined my life.

My Lily has at least eight different smiles. One in particular for when she used to look at me. While she may think she can run me out of town with her challenges and her wit, I'm here to stay. Our best friends are getting married. I'm ready to plant some roots and make Birch Borough my home too.

I’ll use every bit of my experience as a lawyer to counter Lily’s arguments, though I feel like my soul is limping every time I see her blonde ponytail in my peripheral vision. If it takes the rest of my life to prove that I still want to hold her close to my heart—even after she broke it—it’s worth the risk. Because, after all, I do love a good challenge.

I Love a Good Challenge is a sweet, swoony, small-town, closed door rom-com with lots of heat but none of the spice (except chilis). Full of the freshness of the spring season, it’s the second in a series of standalone rom-coms set in the fictional New England town of Birch Borough.

The Author

Sara North is a New England native who often dreams of Paris. While books held her heart first, Sara’s training included writing and story development for both film and television scripts and fueled her desire to create with heart.

With a passion to cheer on creatives and writers across art forms and industries, Sara recognizes the power of stories to bring healing, hope, and happiness. When she’s not writing, her loves include 90s rom-coms, Old Hollywood films, Hallmark Christmas movies, beloved sitcoms, music to match her mood, cafĂ© hopping, baking, and celebrating all things fall.

Book Review

I Love a Good Challenge is the second book in the Love in Birch Borough series, both main characters were first introduced in that story and Rafe and Sparrow (from book one) definitely play their part in this one too, so it might be best enjoyed read in order... but I do think it could be enjoyed as a standalone as well. 

Have you ever read a book that had you feeling teary not because it was sad, but just so absolutely heartfelt and you could just feel those emotions flying off the pages? Yes, this was definitely one of those for me! I loved the relationship between Graham and Lily so very much! Lily is certainly stubborn and has a habit of getting in her own way (and yes, I wanted to shake some sense into her here and there) ... but the way Graham loves her so fully? Oh my goodness! I loved seeing his heart and emotion throughout their story. It felt like a slightly slower paced story than I usually prefer, but it absolutely worked for them, and I found myself never wanting the story to end. Truly, this was such a beautifully told second chance romance. 

I Love a Good Challenge is a closed-door romance with chemistry-filled kisses only and no language. 

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"Pleasant words are as a honeycomb: sweet to the soul and health to the bones." Proverbs 16:24