Friends with Benedicts by Staci Hart follows the previous romantic comedy in the series, Bet the Farm. The main character of Bet the Farm, Olivia, is friends with Presley, the main character of Friends with Benedicts. Though they are loosely connected, they can both be enjoyed as stand alone novels.
After some financial trouble and with her mother Birdie having to stop working due to COPD, Presley Hale loads up her 4 year old daughter Priscilla and her mother and moves from California to a small town in Texas to live with her cousins, the Blum family on their honey bee and flower farm. Presley spent many unforgettable summers in Lindenbach, Texas and thanks to a certain dark haired heartthrob named Sebastian Vargas, the summers were full of love and memories. Seb couldn’t wait to get out of the tiny Texas town where his family is well known for their restaurant,, Abeulita’s, so he joined the Peace Corps and spent many years in Zambia. Presley spends her days working at Bettie’s diner, where she dons her pink uniform and pours ridiculous amounts of coffee, even in the sweltering Texas heat she hasn’t quiet gotten used to yet. In her spare time, she makes candles and soap using the beeswax from the Blum farm.
When Sebastian shows up at Bettie’s, Presley knows she not be able to resist his charm, throwing them right back into their friends with benefits situation from summers past. The last time she was with Sebastian was 4 years and 9 months ago, even though Presley desperately tried to find him with some news. Now he’s home for the summer, before he leaves for another Peace Corps tour in Zambia. Both Seb and Presley know its a bad idea to get involved again, but there’s no denying the sparks that flicker between them, and it doesn’t take long before those sparks are full out flames of desire.
When a big chain store threatens to build in their little town, Presley and Seb find themselves working together, with other small businesses and against the Mayor to try to save their town and keep it’s down home charm. The town’s future isn’t the only problem they face, however. There’s also a certain Mayor’s daughter, named Marnie, who happens to be Sebastian’s very recent and very unhappy ex-wife. Can these friends with benefits hold the line and make it through the summer unscathed, or will the line be obliterated by love?
Thank you to the author for providing me with an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.