Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Review: Mugs of Love by Norma Jeanne Karlsson

Serving promise, one cup at a time. When his world came crashing down around him, Garrett Sharp didn’t run. He stood like the man he is and took his punishment. Eight years later, he finds himself in a new life. It’s not the life he grew up believing he would live, but it’s a life all the same, albeit numb and empty. Well, not entirely.

Every day across the street from his furniture store, Garrett steals moments full of warmth from Emily Garner. As she floats happily through her coffee shop, Emily provides him glimpses into her soul. She’s pure and full of life in a way Garrett’s never experienced. He’s never heard her voice and doesn’t know the color of her eyes. But he knows she lights up like a beacon when she serves coffee to couples on their first dates. Emily can feel the tingles of new love even when she’s not the one experiencing the thrill. And Garrett can feel Emily’s joy from across the street.

When Emily finally enters Garrett’s store for the first time six months after he opens, both their lives change. Garrett must battle the demons of his past to be a man worthy of the woman he’s fallen for from afar. Emily has to move beyond her ex-boyfriend and his betrayals to find trust again. If it were only the past challenging Emily and Garrett, their story would be easy.

Life is never easy.

4.5 Fabulous Stars!

Review by Jen Hagen 

I am starting my new year off with a great start.  I just finished a fantastic book, one that I think is going to be a hidden gem.  I hope that all of you will give Mugs Of Love a read. 

Emily is 28 years old and living the dream of owning a coffee shop that she had with her mother, who passed away several years ago.  Emily lives a simple life, but is very content.  She loves watching people have their first date at her coffee shop.  She loves watching the romance build over the steam from their cups of coffee.  She pushes the start of romance towards the couples with her latte foam art, always earning a smile and breaking the ice between the new couple.  Emily always has a smile on her face and takes time to talk to people.

Garrett is the owner of the custom-building furniture store across the street.  He has been in this business for 6 months after being released from spending 8 years in prison.  Garrett keeps to himself but from the moment he first saw Emily across the street with her smiles he has become the person he went to jail for…a thief.  Garrett has been stealing Emily’s smiles and her warmth and using it for himself.  This keeps him content and able to push through each day knowing that he can see her.  He has never had a conversation with Emily.  In fact, Garrett doesn’t have conversations with anybody. 

I’m just not a fan of communicating.  It’s overrated.  People talk all the time and say absolutely nothing.

Finally the world aligns and brings Emily to Garrett’s shop where they attempt to have a conversation.  This has to be known as the worst first conversation ever.  First, Garrett doesn’t speak…

He grunts a lot.  There are not a lot of full sentences when he speaks.  It’s more clipped versions with chin lifts, grunts and grumbles in a deep thunderous voice.  He’s intimidating as hell…

And then Emily uses her anger to speak for her…with a hammer…on Garrett’s workbench… You see Emily has an ex-boyfriend that still has not figured out that she broke up with him.  Adam is being quite adamant that he will be given a second chance.  Emily doesn’t want anything to do with him, but this is the day that she finally realizes how angry she is at him for destroying her romantic idealism.

Garrett uses his alpha-male characteristics to make Emily feel safe and Emily uses her happiness to allow Garrett to feel something he doesn’t think he has ever felt before… alive. 

I haven’t felt this good in my entire life. 

I loved the interaction between Garrett and Emily.  They get each other so well.  There was always respect between the two and it made me feel warm knowing how they were perfect for each other.  There is so much happening in this story besides Garrett and Emily finding each other.  There is a little bit of suspenseful angst, and some graphic violence that may make some readers shudder.  Garrett was in prison so we know he’s not a complete saint.  Events will lead him back to his past…

The closer we get and the more I learn as we drive, the more certain I am that this day will resurrect the Garrett Sharp of my past.  Only this time he’ll be smart.  He’ll be more vicious.  He’ll be more calculating.  And he’ll be more deadly.

Garrett may not speak eloquently, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have meaningful thoughts…

Time is an illusion.  I live an entire lifetime of good every breath I take with Emily.  I’ll cherish every moment.  Every breath.  Every ounce of warmth.  And when my clock runs out, I’ll know that I’ve had more time than anyone has ever lived.

I’ll be happy.

The writing was superb in that it flowed and pulled me into the story from the very first page.  Sometimes you know you have a good book from the get go, and I knew this as soon as I started reading.   It is very descriptive and not a rushed story.  I felt myself several times looking at how far I had read only to think to myself “I’m only 40% in.  We’ve covered a lot of ground and there’s still a heckuva lot left.”  There are several secondary characters that play a huge part in making this story complete and each of them have a small story embedded into the storyline.    

I don’t usually like to compare one author to another, but in this case I was struck with the similarity of  one of my favorite alpha-male writers, Kristen Ashley.  If you are a fan of her writing, then you MUST read Mugs of Love. 


  1. I'm only about 20% in right now, but I'm enjoying Mugs of Love. I was telling friends that it feels like one of those "hidden gem" kind of books and that the H reminds me of a KA your review seems spot on to me ;)

  2. YES!!! i absolutely ADORED this book! so much so that i took to FB & tagged like 6 of my author/book friends telling them they needed to check it out. :D it was definitely a top top top read! <3


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