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ScarlettReader's Review of The Chocolate Garden Series (Dare River #2) by Ava Miles

The Chocolate Garden is the second book of Ava Miles’ Dare River series, which is a spin-off of her Dare Valley series. Tammy Hollins has broken free from a terrible, abusive marriage and is the midst of making a new life for herself and her children. While learning to stand on her own two feet, she starts a landscaping business, and her first client is her brother’s sexy friend John Parker McGuiness.

When Tammy discovers John Parker’s love of chocolate, she designs a unique chocolate garden for his backyard. While Tammy works to bring her ideas to life in John Parker’s yard, their love for each other grows. I was fascinated with Ms. Miles use of imagery in this story along with her extensive knowledge of gardening and landscape design. I could see the chocolate garden coming to life throughout the story! I was, however, disappointed that we only saw Tammy’s side of the romantic relationship develop and grow. The relationship felt one-sided to me since John Parker was already in love with Tammy. I did not read the first book in this series, and I got the feeling he fell for Tammy during that book. Other than missing that part of the story, this book can be read as a stand-alone.

Ms. Miles did a wonderful job of writing relatable characters with strong emotion. This story deals with family dynamics, spousal abuse, divorce, and the healing that goes with all of those issues. I loved watching Tammy grow into a strong, confident mother and business owner during this story. I especially enjoyed watching her interactions with her mother and hope Ms. Miles allows us to watch as their relationship continues to evolve in future stories.

This was a sweet, contemporary romance and I look forward to reading more of this series!

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