Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Paradise Hops Super Book Blast and Review

Paradise Hops
Liz Crowe

A brutal attack left Lori Brockton convinced she was damaged goods. By the time she emerges from hiding two years later, ready to run her family's famous brewery, she's determined to be independent--never rely on anyone ever again. Nearly a year of working in every corner of Brockton Brewing Company, from warehouse to pub, front office to kitchen, teaches her all she needs to know about the business.

Then, she comes face-to-face with masculine perfection in a suit and her world is rocked in more ways than one. Garret Hunter is the new Brockton business manager who takes one look at the beautiful, sad young woman and his entire existence coalesces around winning her heart. 

But standing between Garrett and what he believes is his true love, is a six-feet six-inch blond-haired bad boy brewer.

Eli Buchannan is a craft beer rock star, recently hired by Brockton to drag the company into the 21st century. He brings innovation and attitude plus a prima donna ladies man reputation.  But he's sworn off anything resembling commitment, personal or professional, after getting burned at his last job on both fronts. 

Garret Hunter is “The Perfect Man” -- handsome, successful, stable, eager to settle down. Eli Buchannan... is not.  Compelling, smoking hot, creative and elusive, he represents everything Lori Brockton should avoid.  But just as she makes a difficult choice, a drastic life-changing shift occurs, and nothing is ever the same again.

Lori wrestled open the back brewery door, ears already ringing from the curses that echoed through the large, brightly lit room. The brewery boys, and three second brewers stood in a line, like they were in a marine barracks all looking as nervous as mice observed by a very hungry cat.

“And who the fuck,” boomed a voice, “might you be? No one told me there was a girl brewer in this place.”

As a reflex, Lori looked around, seeking out the girl who’d pissed off the faceless angry voice that must belong to Eli Buchanan their new master brewer. She’d been instrumental in convincing her father to hire the guy. He was a brewing celebrity, a genius, temperamental and prone to quit perfectly good breweries if the mood suited him. He was exactly what Brockton needed. They had to to get past their staid, complacent attitude in a rapidly changing craft beer environment.

“Yeah, I’m talking to you. The one who showed up fifteen minutes late for my morning staff meeting.” She flushed, frowning at the line of men, many of whom had worked for her father for years as they shuffled their feet and wouldn’t meet her eyes.  “Who the hell are you, and why are you on my brewery floor?”

She cleared her throat, squared her shoulders and channeled the anger building in her chest. “I’m Lori. Lori Brockton. This is the first day of my brewery rotation.” She hated how thin her voice sounded.

“Your brewery rotation eh?” She stepped back at the vision that emerged from between towering stainless steel fermentation vessels.  “What is this? Brewing Day Camp? I’m supposed to babysit the Brockton kids?” He glared at her, making her blink in the glare of his bright, steely blue gaze. Eli Buchanan was larger than life. At least six foot five, with long blonde hair held back by a small piece of leather. Clad in light blue jeans and a Brockton Brewing grey t-shirt, the span of his shoulders and definition of his torso forced an exhale from Lori’s lips. He kept quiet as her eyes took him in, from rubber boot clad feet to the light red hair covering his jaw. “Well? See anything you like?”

“Uh, no, I mean, it’s not camp. I mean, you are…I’m…” she stuttered, then stopped. The man stood stock still, glaring as if challenging her. She stood up straighter. “I’m here for the next six months to learn this part of the business. You know, so I can be your boss someday.” The man frowned at her. She frowned back.

Then he tilted his head back and laughed, stepped into her personal space and smacked her ass so hard she yelped. “I look forward to that day girl Brockton. Yes, I do.” A couple of the men started forward as if to protect her but she waved them back. This asshole had another thing coming if he thought she’d be intimidated by him. As much as she might have been at one point, something about him was as non-threatening as Garrett, but in a different way—a much more spine-tingling way.

The following ten hours of back breaking work nearly made her throw in the towel. But after an hour scraping out the last of a twenty barrel’s worth of wet, heavy spent mash—the leftover grains from a batch of beer made on their smaller system, she felt sore as hell, but invigorated. The smells, sounds and sights of this place, the heartbeat of the entire operation, the reason all three hundred of her father’s employees came to work every day, this she loved.

“Brockton!” An angry voice behind her made her jump and turn. Wet, sticky malt grains dripped from her face where she’d accidently splashed some onto herself as she cleaned out the large vessel. She swiped at them, smearing even more of the mess across her cheeks. Without warning, Eli wiped her face with a clean white towel, his touch surprisingly tender, lingering longer than necessary. But his frown stayed stuck in place.  She stepped away from him even though her body reacted, compelling her to move closer.

“Some guy in a tie is looking for you,” he jerked a thumb over his shoulder but didn’t move. Lori had no experience with hypnosis, but she’d swear at that moment he’d done it to her. They locked eyes, then the sound of harder heeled shoes on the concrete floor forced her look past him. Garrett’s bright smile was familiar, yet strange in the highly charged environment.

“I’m actually here to see you, Eli.” Garrett stuck out a hand and the other man looked at it, glancing over to Lori then back over before gripping it without a smile. “Glad to have you on board.”

Eli took his hand back, and swiped at it with the towel he’d used on her face. If he noticed the rude gesture, Garrett didn’t indicate it in the slightest. Impressed, Lori moved a step closer to him and glared at the tall, blonde man.

Eli shot her an unfathomable look, but spoke to Garrett. “Sorry, but no suits in the brewery. Wouldn’t want to get you messy.” He walked away, waving over his shoulder. “Glad to be on board, boss, thanks.” The sarcasm dripped from his words like venom. Garrett turned to her, his handsome face calm, as if the odd exchange with the rude employee had never happened.

The Review:

There is only one word that adequately describes this book. Wow.

From page one, I was riveted by author Liz Crowe's flowing prose and characters that come to life within the space of her words. Lori and Garrett are unforgettable and blaze trails of combustible heat everywhere they go. Then enter Eli and everything goes thermonuclear. 

This book was out of this world, page turning material. The love triangle, Lori's trauma and her recovery and learning to cope with unimaginable loss and change are so intense I couldn't sleep until I had finished the book. Real life romance is indeed a great way to describe this book. Life isn't neat. It doesn't fit nicely into a box check right or wrong. It falls somewhere in the middle. Lori, Garrett and Eli are caught in the maelstrom of  emotion and what a ride it is.

Beer. This book gave me a greater appreciation for what goes on behind the scenes in a brewery and I found myself wanting to know more. It is not just beer. It is an art and a craft. Kudos to Liz Crowe for making me want to know more about a subject that would have had my eyes glazing over if anybody else had written it. Lol.

The other thing about this book is the way it is written. The speech patterns are real. Emotions run high, both in the head and the heart and you feel every single reaction yourself. The agony of Lori's trauma, the pain of trying to heal, the possibility of a perfect love the moth to a flame of a desire that could destroy everything. It is so well done that I think I am going to have to read it again and pray very hard that Liz will hear me (or at least read this post so she knows I really, really want another book...) 

I loved it. Hands down. Freaking amazing-am so glad I got to review this one! One of my favorite books from 2012.



Microbrewery owner, best-selling author, beer blogger and journalist, mom of three teenagers, and soccer fan, Liz lives in the great Midwest, in a major college town.  Years of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as an ex-pat trailing spouse, plus making her way in a world of men (i.e. the beer industry), has prepped her for life as erotic romance author. 

When she isn't sweating inventory and sales figures for the brewery, she can be found writing, editing or sweating promotional efforts for her latest publications. 

Her groundbreaking romance subgenre, “Romance for Real Life,” has gained thousands of fans and followers who are interested less in the “HEA” and more in the “WHA” (“What Happens After?”)

Her beer blog a2beerwench.com is nationally recognized for its insider yet outsider views on the craft beer industry. Her books are set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch and in high-powered real estate offices.  Don’t ask her for anything “like” a Budweiser or risk painful injury.

 ARC reviews for Paradise Hops:

Liz will be awarding a "swag pack" from her brewery, the Wolverine State Brewing Co including 2 tee shirts, a pint glass, a hat and a certificate for a free growler fill plus $15 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

 Please follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2012/09/super-book-blast-paradise-hops-by-liz.html


  1. Thanks for the lovely review and for hosting me on Book Blast Day! cheers

  2. Can't wait to read this! Your work is awesome, Liz & I think it's so great that you can combine writing & your beer-loving passion together & make amazing things! Best wishes on the success of this book! Cheers to my fave Beer Wench! :)

  3. Thank you for the review. The book sounds great.


  4. Thanks for the review...can't wait!


  5. loved the book and hope that others will be sure to read it as well.....

  6. One of the best books I have read this year. Although I have read most of Liz Crowe's books over the last year, I am a bit biased ;)
    A great story that deserves all the accolades it is receiving. Well done.

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  8. What a fantastic review!!! Thermonuclear is a perfect description. I have just started it and am slightly resentful that the daily requirements of my life are getting in my way today. I have YET to be disappointed by a Liz Crowe book and this one appears to be following suit. =)

  9. Very nice review.


  10. Thanks for the review, sounds like an awesome book.



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