Review: Raising the Bar by Stephanie Rose


Note: An advance reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author.

Back to Kelly Lakes, New York we go, and I've been looking forward to this return trip ever since Stephanie Rose announced that this book was in the works. Raising the Bar is obviously a small town romance, but it also has major grumpy/sunshine feels and a meet-cute to remember. This is Claudia Ng and Jude Davis's story, and it works well as a standalone, but if you're familiar with my reviews, then you know this is the part where I encourage you to read the other books set in the town of Kelly Lakes--An Unexpected Turn (Peyton Miller and Jake Russo) and Starting Back (Kristina Webber and Leo Reyes)--as well, but it's totally up to you whether you read them in order or whichever one first.

When thirty-five-year-old Claudia Ng is stopped for speeding while making her way from Brooklyn to Kelly Lakes, she knows she was in the wrong. She doesn't think the hot police sergeant will let her get away without a ticket, but surprisingly enough, he does. What she doesn't know is that forty-three-year-old Jude Davis is a by-the-book sort of guy, and not giving someone a ticket was out of the norm for him. Seeing the gorgeous speedster again is a reminder that he can't afford the distraction, not when all his time is consumed by work and caring for his dad, especially with Claudia not staying. But what if she does?

This book was such an adorable read! I loved how Claudia and Jude were with each other. From that unforgettable first meeting to every other one that followed. It was almost as if they were at a point in their respective lives wherein they were the other's missing piece in a puzzle--the puzzle being the next stage of their lives. There were a lot of notable supporting characters, but my favorite was George, Jude's dad, who was wise and witty. Raising the Bar was a delightful and enjoyable return to Kelly Lakes. Five stars!

Release Date: 03 November 2023

Date Read: 02 November 2023

Learn more about Stephanie Rose.

Purchase Raising the Bar on Amazon.

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