Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Review: The Solid Grounds Coffee Company by Carla Laureano

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it



Analyn Sanchez can handle the long hours and arrogant clients that come with her job as a crisis management associate at Denver's largest publicity firm. The high-powered job, expensive condo, and designer wardrobe are all part of her plan to prove to her family that her life choices haven't been in vain. But when she's asked to cover up a client's misdeeds with serious moral and legal ramifications, she can no longer sacrifice her conscience for her career . . . and the cost is no less than her job.

Ever since a devastating climbing accident in South America eight months ago, and a bad decision that dried up his sponsorships, professional rock climber Bryan Shaw has found himself at similar loose ends. When the opportunity to buy a coffee farm in Colombia arises, he jumps on it--only to discover his wandering ways have left him utterly unprepared to run a business.

When Bryan returns home and offers Ana a role in his company as a solution to both their problems, she's desperate enough to consider working with the far-too-flippant and far-too-handsome climber, even though he's the polar opposite of her type A nature. As they delve deeper into the business, however, she begins to suspect there's much more to Bryan than she's given him credit for . . . and that sometimes the best plans are the ones you never see coming.

My Review

I loved getting to know Ana and Bryan since they were both enigmatic in the previous books. I was impressed/intimidated by Ana's intense work ethic- with her list making, exercising, and productivity. I can in no way relate, but it was fascinating to see what made her tick. I was surprised by some of the secrets that were revealed about her throughout the book. It was wonderful to experience more of her friendship with Rachel and Melody, especially as they prepared for Rachel's wedding.

The book actually starts our from Bryan's perspective and experience climbing in Colombia, and I have to say I didn't much care for him, but that only allowed him to grow on me as I saw how he changed after he returns to Denver. It was interesting that the author chose not to show the time where he had his "come to Jesus" moments, and instead it was like the reader was seeing him and judging him the way his friends and family were in Denver- based on what they knew of him in the past, while getting an idea that his new choices are reflecting something different about him. I appreciated that as the book went on more layers were revealed about his true character and what led him to make the decisions he did in the past, as well as the influences that prompted such a drastic change in him.

I'm not a coffee drinker so the intricacies of the roasting of the beans was lost on me, but I liked  the camaraderie that built between Ana and Bryan as they worked together to build the company. The emotion in the book was focused more on the changes in Ana and Bryan's lives rather than on the romance, and I felt the chemistry was a little flat, but I really enjoyed getting to know the characters for themselves and seeing how letting go of the past gave them the freedom and peace they needed.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)

Don't miss the previous books in the Supper Club series . . .


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