KU Sunday Spotlight by KUBR + OCA

Heya KUbbies! It’s Sunday and that means it’s time for the KU Sunday Spotlight, brought to you by KUBR + the One-Click Addict Support Group. As always, we have two more awesome new books to be added to your TBR—a Buy It and a Read It that’ll make you smile!


Let me just start off by saying that if you haven’t read Mae Wood yet, you need to start now.

Ok, glad I got that off my chest. Now, on to Plus One.

There are so many elements in Plus One (Pig & Barley Book 3) that hit all of my sweet spots—first, Bert. Bert is tatted, sweet-but-alpha, smart, poetic, loyal and playful. He’s also 39 and the single {divorced} father of an 18-year old son. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I loved what that relationship brought to the story. The realness, maturity and depth it brought to his character was phenomenal, but it was also so nice to read about a man who wasn’t entirely caught up in himself. It humanized him in a way I don’t often find in romance and made me long for more of that in the books I read.

Then, Drennan. She’s 26, which could cause an eye roll, but if it did, it would very quickly disappear. She’s mature and wise and has had to grow up a bit before her time. But she’s also playful and sexy, and she’s got a great sense of female strength—yes, she’s totally enamored with Bert {who wouldn’t be?}, but she’s no shrinking violet and she more than holds her own with a man 13 years her senior.


Bert is a chef-owner at Pig & Barley and Drennan is his wine rep. Which brings us to my next favorite thing about Plus One, besides this amazing couple—the foodie world. I’m, admittedly, completely caught up in the foodie scene here in Chicago {and elsewhere in my travels} and can unequivocally state that Mae knows her food. And wine. And beer. And, and, and. It was such a joy to envision their different excursions and culinary experiences and it just added a whole new level that I utterly enjoyed throughout.

Drennan is in Memphis short-term before heading back to California, where she is running her family’s winery with her cousin, and Bert is firmly based in Memphis with the restaurant, his family and friends. They start to date casually while she’s still local, but you can clearly see the dilemma headed our way.

Mae is a passionate, intelligent writer and that comes across throughout her work in spades. If you want to jump in, feel free to start with Plus One. It is the third book in the Pig & Barley series, but it is truly a standalone. You’ll meet Trip + Marisa in Plus One, but then do yourself a favor and go back and read their story in the first two books in the series, Risking Ruin and Borrowing Trouble. I’d say start with those two first, but I loved Plus One so much, and am head over heels for Bert + Drennan, so you really need to jump in on this now!


He tasted like chocolate, whipping cream, and the exciting start to a new chapter.

^^ Three things I love right there. Chocolate. Kisses. New chapters.

Something else I love (aside from making these cheesy connections to a quote from the book I’m reviewing…)? Marina Adair’s sweetly charming new small-town series.


It Started with a Kiss (Sequoia Lake Book 1) is just the beginning, and it’s a very good one at that—filled as it is with likable characters, playful moments, quirky small-town shops and drinks and people. It was a book I anticipated, one I enjoyed and one that made me a very happy camper. Or if we’re sticking with the theme—a very happy adventurer.

This was a simple and adorable story. Not taxing, not over the top, high on love, low on angst. That’s not to say, of course, that there’s no drama and no feeling here. The race to the ending was quite emotional; I loved seeing Ty + Avery in these tense moments, and will even own shedding a couple of tears. And the underlying story of Avery’s need to fulfill wishes and Ty’s need to keep running added just enough tension to the story to keep my attention, even if elements of the story came together a little too quickly and perfectly than I might have otherwise expected.

Despite that (or maybe because of it?!), this book grabbed my attention. Kept my attention. And left me keen for more. More of Ty + Avery, who had a buzzing chemistry and some excellent banter. More of Harris (and his little girl because SINGLE DADS). More of Liv. Of Grace. Of the lodge. Of the town. Of this series.

I’m already looking forward to solving the comic book mystery and perhaps getting another glimpse of Avery + Ty in their loud, loving future. And I wouldn’t mind some more chocolate flavored kisses and exciting new chapters, either.

“I’d rather take the leap and fall than spend the rest of my life looking out windows.”

 As of 02.05.2017, Risking Ruin, Borrowing Trouble and It Started with a Kiss are available on Kindle Unlimited and Plus One is available for pre-order. Plus One will be available to KU readers on 02.06.2017.

About Beth Cranford | KUBR

Book Reviewer. Wife. Mother. Crazy Person. Australian.

1 Response

  1. Sandra Sparkes

    I devoured Plus One by Mae Wood. I ate it up, as it has so much honesty and emotion. People living with decisions they’ve made or life has made for them and turning those experiences into what works for them, becoming more than they ever expected of themselves. People interacting with friends and family, sharing the highs and lows; learning from each other; loving through it all. People circling one another, as the air is alive with electricity; turning that electricity into forever. Thank you, Mae Wood, for such a beautifully written book. Through your words, the scenes come alive, the characters spring off the page and live in my mind. Beyond a doubt, a truly great read.


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