Must Like Spinach

Must Like Spinach

By Con Riley

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars




Jon’s future in New York seems bright. He’s on the corporate fast track as an executive problem solver, but somehow he can’t help feeling hollow. Yearning for a life spent outdoors makes no sense if he wants to flourish in this city, nor does losing his cool with clients when they make bad decisions. Only leaving the East Coast behind for three months can save his business reputation.

His exile in Seattle has unexpected upsides. Jon’s rented home has a garden where his true passions blossom. It’s overgrown yet idyllic—perfect if he didn’t have to share it with another tenant. Tyler might be as cute as hell, and their landlady adores him, but Jon can’t let himself fall for someone who seems lazy.

Three months could be enough time to see Tyler clearly, but choosing which to nurture long-term—love or a business career—might take Jon longer than one summer.





I really liked this book – no, I loved it – the story itself, the plot and sub-plots, the characters, the characterization. The writing is magnificent and pure; the story simply flows like a stream – it was hard to put down and I really didn’t want it to end.


I’m counting my lucky stars I came across it, signed up for the ARC and dove into it as soon as I could. For me after browsing through and reflecting on the few comments about the business ‘mystery’, it certainly wasn’t a hang-up for me since that wasn’t really what the story was about – it served as a frame to build part of the story around, a sub-plot that turned out to be sweet in its own way (heck, I rarely read an e-romance assuming that every single element is going to make sense). What mattered to me – and pulled me in hook, line and sinker – was the emotion, the evolution of the relationship between Jon and Tyler, Jon’s realization that life lessons aren’t always cut and dried but they’re always worth the effort, and the sensitivity the story afforded to how Tyler felt compelled to handle his ex’s behavior and his affection – and eventually Jon’s, too – for Peggy. And the writing itself was extremely good. As an editor myself (and writer), I love to pick up a book like this and simply float through it, enjoying the story, enjoying the escape it offers me, and being able to smile when the HEA is so satisfying.


The following sums up the story best for me:

Jon starts with the important truth first. It’s the only thing that matters. “I love you.”


I received an ARC in exchange for sharing a review, and I know I can’t wait to read what this author has planned next.




“For fuck’s sake, Ty. You really think I could fake the way I feel about you?”


Tyler’s voice is muffled against his shoulder, his back stiffening all over again when he says, “It happened before.”


Then he melts in Jon’s embrace. It’s not gradual, like a glacier’s slow drip. The way Tyler trusts is like an iceberg shearing from a landmass, fracturing completely in two when he clambers onto Jon’s lap to get even closer.


Original review posted on Amazon and Goodreads on October 2, 2016.


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