Audiobook review: Don’t Touch My Petunia
Author: Tara Sheets
Narrator: Joell A. Jacob
Audio Speed: 1.5x
Series: Holloway Girls #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Magic
Source: Tantor Audio
Don’t Touch My Petunia takes us back to the tiny island of Pine Cove where residents know all about the Holloway magic. While most write it off as local island lore, those close to Juliette know she’s got a special way with plants and the natural world. This includes her boss and friend, Romeo, who owns the flower shop Juliette manages. Juliette enjoys her fairly solitary life and has mapped out her future, to include purchasing Romeo’s shop after he retires. However, things fall apart when Romeo’s nephew, Logan O’Connor, returns to Pine Cove and takes over the shop renovations. Not only was he Juliette’s first crush and kiss, but he’s still fine as the day is long, distracting Juliette from her life’s goals. Add to that the filming of a B-list celebrity reality TV show on the island, and things turn upside down for Juliette.
Similar to the first title in the Holloway Girls series, Don’t Touch My Petunia centers on a “enemies to lovers” romance; however, in the case of Juliette and Logan, they have a brief history. When Logan graduated high school, the younger Juliette poured out her heart and kissed him, asking him not to leave for the Army. Although they aren’t true enemies, there is a lot of discord between the pair because Juliette is possessive of the shop and Logan wants to change things up. The knowledge of their past interactions heightens the sexual tension. After each tries to date others on the island (which includes an annoying celebrity pursuit for Juliette), they succumb to their attraction.
While I enjoyed the romantic pairing, I has some issues with a couple side stories-the biggest being the relationship between Romeo and Juliette (insert Shakespeare joke). We are led to believe Juliette is like family to Romeo, so I feel like his actions, first in letting Logan have free reign over the shop renovations and second in the (not really a) surprise twist after Romeo announces his retirement, were annoying and off-base. Yes, these events are used to fuel the romance and conflict, but I didn’t care for it. While it was evident from the start the direction the book would take, I wish the author hadn’t played up Juliette’s desire and readiness to purchase the shop from Romeo so frequently. The constant reminder that she assumed she would be owning the shop just got to be too much.
Additionally, I was disappointed with Juliette’s behavior during the course of the book. While at times she was kind, insightful, and genuine, there are other times she was just thoughtless and childish, especially towards the climatic point of the tale. I felt her reaction to the “surprise” and how she dealt with the “shock” was horrible and that she didn’t deserve Logan’s kindness. But all is well in the end, and she does sacrifice some of herself to make amends.
Overall, I enjoyed Ms. Jacob’s narration. She maintained a constant narrative voice that was tempered with the appropriate emotions as needed. After listening to her narrate the first book, I felt more comfortable with her male voices, with the exception of surfer-dude/celeb Brock. His accent and soft voice just seemed odd rather than laid-back. While I’m not an expert on regional accents and dialects, the accent used for Juliette sounded slightly off and not one of a native Pacific Northwester. Instead it sounded like Juliette hailed from New York or such. But in general, the narration was easy to listen to and mostly enjoyable.
In the end, Don’t Touch My Petunia was a cute romance and enjoyable listen, even though I felt some parts of the story were weak. But I liked Juliette and Logan together and enjoyed watching them fall in love.
Review copy provided by Tantor Audio
About the Book:
The Holloway women each have a special gift, passed down through generations, each one a little different. Juliette possesses a magical green thumb, which makes her job managing the local florist shop a dream. She may be a bit wild, but she knows what she wants: to save enough money to buy the shop from her boss. Then in marches Logan O’Connor, more annoyingly handsome than ever, turning all her plans upside down.
Logan hasn’t been back on Pine Cove Island since he was eighteen and broke Juliette’s teenage heart. Now it turns out he’s her boss’s nephew–and will be spending his days remodeling the shop and barking orders. At her.
For the sake of the business, Juliette will have to ignore their simmering attraction and work with Logan. But that doesn’t mean she has to make things easy for him. Because no one knows better than she that one tiny, perfectly planted bit of garden magic could uproot Logan’s own plans and keep him out of her way. And nothing would make her happier. At least that’s what she thinks . . .