Love in a Nutshell

Love in a Nutshell

by Janet Evanovich

and Dorien Kelly

Love in a Nutshell (Culhane Family #1)

Kate Appleton needs a job. Her husband has left her, she’s been fired as a magazine editor, and she only wants to go to her parents’ summer house, The Nutshell, in Keene’s Harbor, Michigan, and make a Bed and Breakfast inn. Matt Culhane needs a spy in his brewery for a saboteur, and Kate is new in town. But Kate despises beer and nobody trusts her.

So, Love in a Nutshell is one of the many author collaboration novels that Evanovich has produced outside of her Stephanie Plum novels.  I decided to re-read the novel because of a discussion with a friend about pumpkin beer sparked a desire to read a fun story about beer.  A brewery is the setting for most of the book so it seemed like the perfect read.

I really like the two main characters, Matt and Kate.  Matt is a good guy and great business man who is struggling with the fact that someone is out to destroy his business, Depot Brewery.  Kate is a spunky, stubborn, and happy woman who is determined to save her childhood home, the Nutshell, and establish a good life post divorce.  These two have instant chemistry and I was pleased that the two developed an actual friendship instead of immediately jumping in to bed together.  There relationship just felt real instead of ideal.   Matt and Kate’s banter is fun and provides a light tone to the story despite the two searching for a saboteur.  These characters, and the environment of the brewery and the town, make Love in a Nutshell a quick, light read.

Now, I am not a fan of the title; it doesn’t really pertain to the story and comes off a tad forced.  Also, the book tends to read flat with far too much ‘telling’ language.  This is something I have noticed in many joint authored novels.  Love in a Nutshell is missing the descriptive ‘showing’ language that one usually finds in an Evanovich novel.  A lot of the details just seemed left out and makes the book feel like its flowing too quickly.  I feel like it needed one good edit/adding session before hitting the presses.

Love in a Nutshell is perfect if you are wanting a fun light read that doesn’t require a lot of extra thought.  Take it to the beach on a nice fall day and expect to crave a good beer once you’re done!  Has anyone else read Love in a Nutshell?  What is your favorite book by these authors?


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