Queen of Tarts Review
of No Flowers Required
by Cari Quinn
Oh my goodness! I am in love! This contemporary romance gave me what I wanted and more! It is a sweet, sexy story with a lot of heart and humor. I loved the characters, I loved the story arc, I loved how grounded this tale was in relatable situations. The heroine, Alexa, owns a small business and her hopes and fears and stresses are very familiar. She’s dealing with expectations from, well, herself mostly, and the promises she made to the woman who mentored her and left her the little flower shop she’s now struggling to keep afloat. The hardware store down the road has began selling flowers. Alexa really HATES the hardware store and it’s bargain arrangements that are outselling her artistically arranged original pieces. She’s just downsized and sold her house because of the money pinch she’s under and is feeling very vulnerable and like a bit of a falure as she moves into an apartment above her flower shop. I admired her so much. She is a fighter and not planning on quitting, you can feel her drive to work even harder to make the store succeed.
When Alexa moves into her little apartment she has trouble with the bathroom sink and that’s just icing on the cake of her bad day. She stomps down the steps looking for the super and sees a guy working on some flooring in an empty apartment. She assumes he’s the handyman and tells him about the problem. Dillon is my kind of guy. *sigh* He’s big and buff and has tattoos and an eyebrow ring. He has a big heart, and works hard to give back some of the blessings he’s been given… and he’s NOT the super. He’s actually one of the owners of the building and of the hardware store. He didn’t set out to lie… He was just tired of people wanting him for his money and so he went along with her assumption. And of course you just know that that decision is gonna bite him in the butt!
Alexa and Dillon have delicious chemstry and she’s thinking she might try a fling, to blow off some steam with a hot, nice, guy. Dillon does mantenance on her apartment and he knows she’s going through a difficult transition. He starts leaving her little flowers and a cute daisy rug from the thrift store that made him think of her. Alexa’s heart is softening and her walls are coming down. She doesn’t ask for help, she doesn’t need help, but the fact that he is offering it is heartwarming and comforting. She didn’t realize that was something she would welcome. There’s more than just heat, there’s the seeds of hope. Dillon and Alexa start a relationship thinking it’s going to be purely physical. But when Alexa has a really bad day her first instinct is to call him. What happens after is so beautiful and warm. It’s one of my favorite parts of the book. I loved watching the two of them discover there was more between them then they started out wanting.
I like how Dillon is not trying to rescue her. Yes, he calls her princess, but he doesn’t feel the need to be her knight in shining armor and slay her dragons. He respects her skills and trusts that she can slay her own beasts. He just wants to share some of his weapons with her by giving her some hard won business advice and some tools that might help promote her business. He actually sits and helps her with a flower order. There’s something incredibly sexy about a guy being willing to step out of his comfort zone and lend a hand on something he’s inexperienced with, just cause he knows an extra hand is needed.
Alexa and Dillon’s relationship is growing closer all the time and she’s opening up to him and trusting him. But all along there’s that dark cloud over Dillon’s head, his big fat lie of ommission. You know, and he knows that is a big problem. Lies always are.
I enjoyed seeing them deal with the challenges in their relationship and deciding if what they had was worth fighting for. I highly recommend No Flower’s Required if you like well drawn, relatable characters and delicious chemistry that burns up the pages, run, don’t walk and get this sweet, soulful and sexy book!
The Queen of Tart
♦eARC provided for review
Click HERE for an sit down with Cari on my virtual couch. She’s a darling!
PS. I adored the first story in Cari’s Love Required series, No Dress Required is an adorable, hot, sexy short treat of a story. Read It!