Review: Sizzle by Carrie Aarons (The Ashton Family #3)


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

Sizzle is the third novel in Carrie Aarons's Ashton Family small-town romance series, and this newest addition is a story about first loves, second chances, and forever family. At thirty-two, Liam Ashton is the oldest among his siblings, and he's always been the one that took after his grandfather when it came to becoming a farmer. It's a business that works well with the family's pizza empire. He takes his responsibilities to heart, and if that makes him come off as broody and intimidating, then so be it. Of course, having the one woman who's owned his heart from the time he was a nineteen-year-old high school senior back in town. Thirty-five-year-old Gabrielle Murphy is still making a point of keeping her distance, just like she did back when she was a twenty-two-year-old teacher. She didn't have any business getting too close to Liam more than twelve years ago, and she can't help but feel that way all these years later. But that sizzling connection between them? It's become more difficult to ignore this time around.

I'm a sucker for romances where the female main character is older than the male main character, and with the history between Liam and Gabrielle, it felt like their story was going to be my romance catnip. I have to be honest, though--this was not my favorite book in the series. A lot of it had to do with this disconnect I felt with Liam and Gabrielle, unlike the connection that was there with Patrick and Cassandra and Alana and Warren before them. There isn't a whole lot of character development either, and I think that it was because we're told that teenager Liam was so different from the Liam we have today but we don't get to witness that transition, and Gabrielle's basically just as hesitant and afraid to take a risk, although she does take small steps here and there. All that being said, I still loved the happily-ever-after, even if I felt that Liam was far more invested than Gabrielle. There's a bit of mystery and suspense, and I liked how it was resolved. While not my favorite, Sizzle was still an overall entertaining read. Four stars.

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Read my reviews for the Ashton Family series:


Bittersweet (book one) - five stars - My Review

Honeyed (book two) - five stars - My Review

Sizzle (book three) - four stars - My Review (posted above)

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Release Date: 26 January 2024

Date Read: 26 January 2024

Learn more about Carrie Aarons.

Purchase Sizzle on Amazon.

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