Digging Up Love by: Chandra Blumberg

Alisha Blake works her magic in the kitchen, creating delectable desserts for her grandfather’s restaurant in rural Illinois. Though Alisha relishes the close relationship she has with her family, she can’t help but dream about opening a cookie shop in Chicago. She may be a small-town baker, but Alisha has big ambitions.

Then a dinosaur bone turns up in her grandparents’ backyard. When paleontologist Quentin Harris arrives to see the discovery for himself, he’s hoping that the fossil will distract him from a recent painful breakup. Instead, he finds Alisha–and sparks fly. The big-city academic and the hometown baker seem destined for a happily ever after.

But Alisha is scared to fall in love. And Quentin’s trying to make a name for himself in a competitive field, which gets even more complicated when the press shows up at the dig site. For love to prevail, the two may have to put old bones aside–and focus on the future.


Content Warnings: Death of a parent, cancer, and abandonment.

I loved the overall idea of this book, a small-town baker and a paleontologist meet and fall in love, but I feel like the execution fell flat.

Alisha dreams of opening her own cookie shop in Chicago but in order to do so, she needs to gather the courage to tell her family. Having her grandfather constantly call her baking a hobby like it couldn’t lead to anything, and fear of disappointing her grandparents has prevented Alisha from being open and honest about what will make her happy.

Quentin’s family has never taken his career as a paleontologist seriously. His father is constantly judging him for not following a career path that he, Quentin’s father, deems successful and worthwhile.

I loved that aside from baking Alisha also has a passion for powerlifting and I would have loved to see move information, or instances, where that was discussed. What exactly got her into powerlifting and is it just for fun or it is something she could see herself competing with as well? It’s mentioned that she only does it in the privacy of her garage because she’s faced criticism and judgment by men. I really would have liked the powerlifting to have more depth rather than just feeling like filler, as Alisha only does it two times in the book and only briefly mentions it.

One thing that irked me, in regards to Quentin’s storyline, is that there are a few instances where he tears up and he just feels shame and mentions it as a “family curse” like a man feeling, or showing, emotion is distasteful and I really hated it. I’m used to romance novels combating toxic masculinity and I just felt this story fell short by showing Quentin’s expression of sadness as a weakness rather than a strength.

Reading through this book it felt like 90% of it was just a back and forth between Alisha and Quentin knowing they were attracted to each other but having a bunch of reasons why they shouldn’t pursue a relationship. This drove me up a wall. With the constant back and forth I felt like I didn’t really see a level of connection or chemistry between them that made me believe they genuinely belonged together, by the end.

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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