Bittersweet, by Lyz Kelley: A Beautiful Addition to the Elkridge Series (Book Review)

Introducing Bittersweet

an Elkridge Novel

by Lyz Kelley

Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance, Single Parent Romance

Series: The Elkridge Series

Release Date:  August 27, 2018

Tour Hosts: Bare Naked Words

Synopsis

Cover of Bittersweet, an Elkridge NovelStarting over is never easy, but in Elkridge, Colorado, where newcomers are welcome, and friends become family, it’s possible to find yourself again.

Leza promised to return to Elkridge after she finished her FBI undercover assignment. Only the local sheriff didn’t keep his promise to be there when she returned. Now she’s searching for a way to rebuild her life.

Heath applied for the deputy position because he wanted to raise his newly-adopted niece in a small town. He’s not interested in more complications—until he meets the town’s newest resident.

Heartbroken, Leza is unable to risk having her hopes shattered again. He’s sworn to protect and serve, but Leza doesn’t want that either.

Can Heath’s single-dad charm and captivating openness heal Leza’s heart?

Click on the link below to add Bittersweet to your TBR on Goodreads!

My Review of Bittersweet

BittersweetBittersweet by Lyz Kelley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bittersweet is a beautiful story of two “lost” souls who find each other and, in doing so, begin the process of healing and becoming whole again. The theme is familiar, similar to others in the Elkridge series, and for continuity’s sake, the storylines overlap to some extent, but each book is unique, featuring interesting, well-developed characters that stay in your heart long after you’ve read the last page. And while I think Bittersweet could be read as a standalone novel, I recommend reading the series in order to fully appreciate the impact of this story and the contributions of its secondary characters to the reading experience.

Bittersweet is what I like to call a “cozy romance.” It’s warm and inviting, immersive yet easy to read. Lyz Kelly has a unique voice that infuses just the right amount of humor, heat, suspense, angst, and action to hold your interest. The reading experience itself is cozy, but the sometimes raw but always powerful emotions, plot twists, and edge-of-your-seat subplots keep you just enough on edge to keep you guessing until the end.

The Characters

Leza is a tough-as-nails former FBI agent, a survivor with a scarred body and a broken heart, looking to heal and make a home in the small town of Elkridge, Colorado – the same small town where her former lover Sam, the town’s sheriff, lost his life while investigating the same drug and sex trafficking operation she infiltrated and helped to bring down before turning in her badge for the final time.

Heath is a former Marine, scarred by the horrors of war in Afghanistan, who gave up his military career to raise his young niece, Ellie, following the tragic death of his sister. Overwhelmed by the changes in his life, struggling to make ends meet while parenting a grieving child, and studying for his new career as an Elkridge deputy, he is often exhausted, lonely, and more than a little bit lost.

Until he meets Leza, who piques his curiosity and almost immediately captures his heart.

The Conflict

Leza doesn’t want a relationship, especially with a man in uniform who could lose his life in the line of duty and force her to re-live the trauma of Sam’s death. Headstrong and stubborn, Leza is determined to make it on her own without letting anyone get too close – no matter how handsome and irresistible he is. Heath is ready to settle down and take a chance on loving Leza, and if he only had himself to worry about, he would happily do so. But he also knows he can’t risk bringing Leza fully into Ellie’s life – no matter how much he wants and needs her -until she is willing and able to stay.

Recommendation

Four Gold Stars

Bittersweet is a perfect title for this story. It is simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking. Lyz delicately balances the hope and despair experienced by all three of its main characters. She captures and beautifully portrays the excitement of new love, and lovingly conveys the humor and tenderness of a tough Marine who is fumbling–and sometimes stumbling–as an exhausted, well-intentioned, but inexperienced single parent. She also accurately and relatably depicts the devastating emotional consequences of trauma and loss, coupled with the overwhelming fear of losing again.

If you are a fan of Emily March and Debbie Macomber, you will especially enjoy the approachable, relatable novels of the Elkridge and the Lonely Ridge series – and I highly recommend you read them all. With fall on the horizon, these are perfect stories to warm you on the inside and out.

View all my reviews

Teaser photo from Bittersweet by Lyz Kelley

Buy Bittersweet

on Amazon US

Discover the Elkridge Series

This series beautifully captures the emotionally charged, complex dynamics that come with being part of any community. I hope you laugh and reach for a few tissues as the characters discover what it means to be loved, supported and accepted by the people who mean the most.

Available as a 6-book series or as individual titles on Amazon.com

Meet Lyz Kelley

Award-winning author Lyz Kelley resides in a small community in Colorado with her husband and several four-legged family members. She’s a disaster in the kitchen, a compulsive neat freak, and tea snob, a lover of board games, gardening, and painting.  She loves writing about strong women who have endured challenges and the men who enrich their lives.

A healing love is at the heart of her book series. Creating wounded yet amazing characters—discovering what drives them, frightens them, heals them, makes them laugh—is what gives her joy. Lyz is pleased to share that joy with her masterfully written stories.

To keep tabs on her newest releases, connect with Lyz by signing up for her newsletter at LyzKelley.com. Members receive a copy of Unmistaken and learn about thoughtful giveaways, Members may even get the opportunity to receive advanced reader copies. Check out LyzKelley.com for more information.

Follow Lyz

Website: https://www.lyzkelley.com/index.html

Newsletter Sign Up: www.LyzKelley.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LyzKelleyauthor/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/LyzKelley

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/lyzkelley/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lyzkelley/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQFoD1TFtfhff2Hb1f1iBcw

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/60669260-lyz-kelley

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Lyz-Kelley/e/B01N4AYJUL/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/lyz-kelley

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Published by

Paula Radell

Always a passionate reader and a somewhat more casual writer, Paula Radell started her first book review and promotions blog, Curl Up and Read, in September of 2013. In early 2014, she left a career in nursing to become a freelance project management consultant. She also turned her part-time hobby into a full-time passion by becoming a freelance editor, publicist, and a hopeful author. She is a Goodreads Librarian, Group Moderator, and a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association. She has also taken advanced internet and social media marketing certificate courses at the University of San Francisco. Born and raised near the beaches of southeastern Virginia, Paula now lives in Mendocino County, California with her husband Ray, a couple of stray tabby cats, Matthew & Diana, and a 2-year old rescue Greyhound, Willow. When she is not catering to the dog’s every whim, touring and tasting the latest California sparkling wine vintages with Ray, or sitting in Starbucks reading a great book, you can find Paula at her laptop – writing, editing, reviewing or avidly promoting the books and authors she loves. Two releases are planned in the coming year: Where Angels Lie, a dark romance; and an inspirational novella (name still under debate).

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