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Start Me Up | Nicole Michaels | Book Review

Start Me Up is the first book in the Hearts and Crafts series. i have previously read the e-novella Blame It On the Mistletoe and the second book Win Me Over. Win Me Over had several references to the start of Annie and Mike’s relationship and I was looking forward to learning more.

Annie Edmond is a single mom who is a party planner and crafter. She runs a blog My Perfect Little Life with two of her friends Callie and Lindsay. When she is not crafting o blogging, she is spending time with her daughter Claire or her mother Marie. She really hasn’t dated since her divorce and it is a surprise when she encounters mechanic Mike Everett at her daughter’s birthday party. The two of them have an instant connection but they also have several misunderstanding and misconnections that come from two people viewing a situation differently.

Mike has a history of being a bit of a heartbreaker. At 29 years old he has no intention of settling down. He has a good career fixing and restoring classic cars and enjoys spending time with his family in particular his niece Bailey. He meets Annie when he brings Bailey to Claire’s birthday party. He is immediately attracted to her and they indulged in some flirting. This is as far as it goes in the beginning because Mike has a date with a flashy blonde hair dresser. It doesn’t take him long to realize that she doesn’t want flash but something more concrete.

Annie and Mike are hot together but their connection is deeper than sexual. This scares Annie because she has spent so much time building her life after her divorce. She doesn’t to lost it again. Her ex-husband did not support her goals and blamed her blog and career as the reason for the collapse of their marriage. She is afraid if she puts a label on this dynamic with Mike, it will be ruined. Mike recognizes her hesitation and does his best to reassure her and show that the way he feels is more than surface level. These two characters support each other and it was so nice to watch their relationship evolve. It didn’t feel rushed but instead naturally evolved.

The main focus for Annie is her daughter and Mike understand his completely. He develops a relationship with Claire and it is obvious that she feels very comfortable with “Uncle Mike”. To me, this made him even more attractive, and I think Annie would agree. He also becomes more attractive with his dynamic with her mother and her friends. He isn’t afraid to roll with the punches that come forward and break down any walls needed to make Annie more comfortable with him. He is such a good character and book boyfriend.

Start Me Up is a fun addition to the Hearts and Crafts series. It can be a good introduction to the characters or you can read out of order like I did and still not be confused. There is also a small town setting vibe which is of course is one of my favorites. If you enjoy these type of stories as well, I recommend this one to you.

Rating: 4 Stars

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