First Crush (In the Garden #2)


Maddie McCormick has big plans for the greenhouse classroom she and her friends put together across the street from the school. Unfortunately, the local street thugs see the greenhouse as a hindrance to their business and have no qualms scaring off the elementary schoolers and teachers. Police officer Ben Belliston agrees to help with the greenhouse and provide some off-duty security as a favor to his best friend. Taking an interest in his best friend’s little sister is not in his plans. But, when his orphaned niece ends up in his custody, Ben needs all the help Maddie can provide, and with the garden and his niece bringing Ben and Maddie together, Ben’s plans might have to change whether he’s ready or not.

The second book in the “In The Garden” series, “First Crush” is a "girl crushes on older brother’s best friend, best friend finally realizes little sister is a woman" type story. While not a new plot line, this story mixes the tension from the street gangs, with Ben figuring out how to raise a kid, and the romance itself which allows for a quick flowing story, and plenty of sweet heartfelt moments. Despite the lack of a wow factor, or complex plot, “First Crush” has solid characters, hints toward romance in the next book, and is a great clean read for anyone looking for a cute romance for a lazy afternoon.

Sarah E. Bradley