Just Say Yes by Alyssa Goodnight

August 27th, 2015 Kimberly Review 73 Comments

27th Aug
Just Say Yes by Alyssa Goodnight
Just Say Yes
by Alyssa Goodnight
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Magical Realism
Source: Author
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameHalf a Flame

He's just what she needs...Single mom Jade Moran isn't ready for any big changes in either her horrible '70s kitchen or her romantic life. Her ex did a number on her, and she isn't interested in getting hurt again. But when she meets a super-hot contractor, she wonders if avocado appliances are on the way out and romance is on the way in. Max Gianopoulis doesn't have a clue why he's so enchanted by Jade. She's almost as big a mess as her kitchen, and he's a guy who likes to keep things simple. He let himself get involved with a previous client, and he's not interested in repeating the experience. But Jade has turned up the flirty heat - and he can't keep his hands off her. With everything moving too fast and coming too easy, Jade's insecurities kick into high gear. She's not sure she can trust another man again - and she definitely doesn't believe in magic.

nomnom refreshing ROMANCE smartfunny

Just Say Yes by Alyssa Goodnight is a contemporary romance with a touch of magical realism. It will appeal to foodies and offers up something different from Browncoat to pop culture references and it is sure to make you smile. Unique characters, growth, friendship, humor and a sweet, slow-building romance made Just Say Yes a winner.

We meet Jade Moran and her thirteen-year-old daughter Evie as they are parking and preparing to enter an eatery/store with a turnip on the logo. Evie is using a “yes” for this excursion and Jade smells a rat. Here we meet Opal the vivacious proprietor and right away, this woman charms me. I loved the little eatery with its mason filed jars, odd menu and southern charm. All of the food is meant to invoke feelings, resolve problems, give confidence etc. Opal introduces them to Max who Jade describes as “the best parts of Neal Caffrey and Harvey Specter combined.” The reference made me giggle:snort and had me settling down, because once again I knew Goodnight was going to entertain me.

At the beginning of each chapter, we get a little tip from the kitchen witch regarding the powers of food and Goodnight has me craving everything from chocolate bark to fig spread. I loved the foodie theme threaded throughout the tale giving us a touch of magical realism.

“Some days, romance needs a little push, a little vote of confidence. For those days, there is chocolate-cherry-blueberry bark. The blueberries will calm your nerves; the cherries will amp up your seductive wiles, and the chocolate means you’ve scored already. —Witch in the Kitchen, Bark Is Better with Bite”

Max is a contractor, Jade needs a new kitchen, and Evie thinks that after thirteen years her Mom needs to date again. The tale that unfolds is charming, chock full of humor and left me smiling.

Five things I learned from reading Just Say Yes

  • I want to be friends with Goodnight. She is clearly a Geek. She references shows I adore and her characters discuss Superheroes. If she likes coffee and chocolate, we could totally be BFFs.
  • Her characters are fleshed out, realistic, and unique. If you are looking for cliché characters, you will be disappointed. I loved the secondary characters we meet thanks to Opal’s dinners. I would love to see more books develop around this new group of friends. (I also want to recreate these dinners for friends)
  • At its heart, the tale is a romance, but Goodnight delivers so much more. I became caught up in their families, their friends and of course Opal herself. I want to spend an afternoon on her porch sipping tea and swapping tales. The angst/tension was low-key with just enough to keep us flipping the pages. The story is memorable from moments of learning to the romance itself. Nothing is rushed and the romance does not rely on tropes. Think contemporary romance wrapped in a “Sarah Addison Allen” type world.
  • I love the concept of food evoking feelings, boosting your confidence and fueling passion. I have always loved foodie books and enjoyed the unique way in which Goodnight weaved this into the story. I need to get my hands on a Witch in the Kitchen cookbook
  • This is the second book I have read by Goodnight and her stories are memorable. I can still recall characters from Austensibly Ordinary that I read in 2013. I have no doubt that two years from now I will still be able to recall in detail Just Say Yes.

Just say yes to Just Say Yes. A warm, funny, and unique romance you will want to share with friends. This would be wonderful for a reading group. I want to start a group just to talk about it.

Photo of kimbacaffeinate
About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

73 Responses to “Just Say Yes by Alyssa Goodnight”

  1. Teddyree

    ooh I want … my type of read, love anything ‘foodie’ related and magical realism. Reminds me a little of The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee, I adored it. Thanks for wonderful review!!

  2. Whitney

    Just Say Yes sounds super cute with some fun characters. Although, I think the Jane Austen geek in me will win out and will have to read Austensibly Ordinary first. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Lorna

    Okay so I just went and bought it. I don’t know when I will get to read it but you sold me on it! Thanks for a great review 🙂

  4. Jess

    This sounds like a fun, fabulous read. I hadn’t heard of it before. Thanks for the introduction!

  5. Lisa

    Hehe I like the sound of the tips at the beginning of each chapter. 🙂 So glad you enjoyed this one!

  6. Bookworm Brandee

    I’ve not heard of Goodnight before, Kimberly, but you’ve just put her on my tbr. Not only does Just Say Yes sound like a delightful read with elements I adore (strong heroine, well-developed characters) but it also has elements I’m thinking I could learn to love (foodie elements). 🙂 I’m also going to have to check out Austensibly Ordinary, since I am a huge Austen fan. 😉

  7. Rosa

    I must confess I hadn’t heard about Alyssa Goodnight before. I’m so excited to find out that she wrote a Jane Austen’s Diary series. I’m a huge fan of Jane Austen! and this book also seems promising.

  8. Megan

    This book sounds interesting. I haven’t read much magical realism but it sounds like it makes the story fun.

  9. Cyn

    This sounds like a cute read and I like the bit of magical realism! Also, yes to the foodie and pop culture references! I’m a little sad that it’s only 2 1/2 on the heat scale, but it does still sound adorable, haha. Great review, Kim!

  10. Heidi

    I was on a foodie book kick earlier in the summer. I am such a sucker for food and magical realism. I totally need this one. Thanks for the recommendation.

  11. Katherine

    I just read my first Sarah Addison Allen and absolutely loved it so I’m loving the idea of magical realism right now. Plus anything that involves a kitchen always makes me happy. I’ll definitely be adding this to my TBR!

  12. Mary Kirkland

    I like foodie type books. I laughed at the description of the avocado appliances that need to be taken out of the kitchen. Sounds like the kitchen needed a make over really bad.

  13. Sophia Rose

    I’ve read her Austentatious and loved it. I was constantly hungry because it was a little bit foodie, too. This one sounds even better.

    Love your five reasons!

  14. Grace MyBookSnack

    This sounds so yummy! I love a great foodie read. It’s always nice to come across an author that can describe food and emotions well. Lovely review!

  15. Ramona

    You know, I find your reviews very comforting… It’s GREAT that I’m not the only one who has fantasies about becoming BFFs with fictional characters. But Goodnight does sound like my type of girl too 🙂

  16. kindlemom1

    I have yet to try anything with a touch of magical realism but this is the second review for such a book I have seen this week and now I want to try one of them because they sound like so much fun. Glad this worked so well for you Kim!

  17. Laurel-Rain Snow

    What fun! I HAD that kitchen once…but it was back in the 70s. I wonder why we thought avocado appliances were cool? LOL

    I am now very curious about these characters, too. Thanks for sharing.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Have you tried any books in this genre? Sarah Addison Allen is a good one to start with. Garden Spell is my favorite and of course Just Say Yes is wonderful too.

  18. Braine Talk Supe

    You had me at magic realism & Sarah AA. I’m on that kick right now and I’m going down my TRB hunting for another one. Definitely adding this to the list.

  19. Nick

    I love that this is so much more than a romance. And a touch of magical realism? I’m intrigued!

  20. Quinn's Book Nook

    This looks super cute. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much. I have to look into this. Lately all I’ve been reading is contemporary romance.

  21. Jenny

    Um. Chocolate cherry blueberry bark? I think I just started drooling! Clearly I’m not going to make it through this book without chocolate on hand:) Thanks for the recommendation Kim!

  22. Lexxie

    I’m always happy when I see the genre ‘magic realism’ at the top of a review, Kimba, and when the rest of the review tells me about the fleshed out characters and well-made story, I’m sold!

  23. Red Iza

    Those characters look so good that I now have to read this..; Thanks for sharing !