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Smith's Corner: Hunter and Holden (The Heartwood Series #6) by Jayne Paton

@Archaeolibrary, @debbiereadsbook, @JPSayle69,

#Contemporary, #RomCom, #Romance,

Love comes with no guarantees, but that doesn’t stop Hunter from loving the straight guy. Are the obstacles he faces, too big to climb over to win their forever?

After being disowned by his family as a teenager, Hunter Taylor values his friends. Even though he’s from a town where everyone knows everybody’s business, he’s managed to keep one secret for years—his attraction to the straight bartender, Holden Adams.

A heated exchange leaves Hunter questioning whether Holden is as straight as he proclaims. The angry encounters that follow leave Hunter confused until he seeks advice from his friends. With his heart on the line, Hunter isn’t ready to give up the battle to win his forever family.

Holden is left to care for his daughter when his childhood sweetheart skips town. His focus is making sure she has everything she needs, and he doesn’t have time for anything else. Especially Hunter, who for some unknown reason makes it his mission to get into Holden’s face. When anger turns to attraction, Holden is left examining what he believes about himself. The stunning man has the power to touch his heart, but his aren’t the only feelings to consider. Now he must decide if taking the risk of his life will gain what his heart desires—Hunter.

Can they overcome the barriers together to find their path to happily ever after?


Hunter & Holden: Smith’s Corner is the captivating sixth book in The Heartwood romance series. If you like strong-minded men and steamy passion, then you’ll adore Jayne Paton’s pulse-pounding tale.

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5 out of 5 (exceptional)

Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Book 6 in the Heartwood series, and Lord has it been a wait for these two!

Hunter is best friends to Faith (book 4, Faith and Fox) but he's been a constant in this group since the beginning. As has Holden. Hunter knows Holden is straight, but his heart wants Holden and his heart will wait Holden out. Because Holden starts to feel something for the annoying bigger man who laid claim to him, even if he doesn't want to. And then all of a sudden, Holden questions everything he ever knew about himself.

Long time coming, but these boys do not disappoint, no ma'am they do not!

We knew Hunter had a thing for Holden, waaaaaay back in book one, and there is some overlap here with the later books. So I'd suggest you read all the other books before this one, to get the full picture of these two and how everyone else can see what's going on, even if Holden can't quite get it. They are, however M/F books, and might not be your thing, but they are so good! Most of the other pairings are crash condensed in this one, though.

There is anger here, with Holden fighting how he feels, how Hunter makes him feels. The thing is though, Holden does not ever say NO to Hunter. He pushes him away, sure, and he fights himself so freaking hard, but not once, does he utter the words NO to Hunter.

There is so much love too. Hunter does love Holden, even if Holden rejects him at first and Hunter cannot be with anyone else. Coco, Holden's daughter, can see how Hunter makes Holden feel, once they actually decide to do this thing between them, and she is a real delight here, loving that Hunter knows he can't just take Holden, he gotta take Coco too.

There is smexy times: so much with the smexy times, even if we do have to wait for the main event! But I loved being made to wait, I really did, and the epilogue? Oh! I loved the epilogue, I really did. It shows just how much Hunter loved Holden, and how he would wait for Holden to be ready to fully consummate their relationship.

There is pain here, too. Mostly on Hunter's part. A part he hides from a lot of people, but Holden sees it in Hunter, when he least expects to, and Holden does not do tears!

I think what I especially liked here, is that all the angst comes BEFORE they get together, you know? Once they decide to be a couple, they are all in and I loved that.

Loved watching the other pairings from both Holden and Hunter's point of view.

Who is next? No idea since all the brothers are now spoken for. Dakota (from the clothes store) needs a story, and Monty (the chef in the bar) oh I wanna know why Monty is so angry with the world (for most of the time, but he does come good here for Holden!) But I don't really care who comes next, I will read it!

5 full and shiny stars! I honestly think the best was saved for last!

** same worded review will appear elsewhere **

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

I'm Jayne or JP, I live in the Isle of Man. A tiny place in the Irish sea where all the magic happens. I am fortunate now to write full time and I've a love for books, all kinds. I like to spice things up and dip my toe into different genres. This is my first book in M/F romance in Smith's Corner.

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