“Must Like Spinach” by Con Riley


Jon’s future in New York should be bright. He’s on the corporate fast track as an executive problem solver, yet he can’t help feeling hollow. Yearning for a life spent outdoors makes no sense if he wants to flourish in this city, nor does losing his cool with clients when they make bad decisions. Only leaving the East Coast behind for three months can save his business reputation.

His exile in Seattle has unexpected upsides. Jon’s rented home has a garden where his true passions blossom. It’s overgrown yet idyllic—perfect if he didn’t have to share it with another tenant. Tyler might be as cute as hell, and their landlady adores him, but Jon can’t let himself fall for someone who seems lazy.

Three months could be enough time to see Tyler clearly, but choosing which to nurture long-term—love or a business career—might take Jon longer than one summer.


First impressions are not always accurate. Sometimes they are even flat-out wrong. Jon makes some assumptions and finds himself questioning them again and again.
But how could….??
Isn’t he…?
I don’t understand why…??
And that’s it. Jon didn’t understand or know what was going on at the rental house/apartment he’s considering. He only knows it is currently being held together with stubbornness and love and he would be wise to quickly walk away. You see, Jon is not on a vacation or extended holiday. He’s been sent away by his boss, far away, to straighten out his head. He’s been so focused on his career; it’s consumed his every waking hour. He is on the path to achieving his career goals but he’s lost focus of the golden rule. The customer is always right….even when they’re wrong. Due to the utter mortification of his seniors, he let his mouth override his ass. He should have been given a pink slip, but instead he is given a second chance. What will he do with it?

Jon has a chance to play by the rules and takes an easy assignment to clear his head in Seattle’s fresh air. An intriguing rental ad piques his interest. One of the requirements is a taste for spinach. Spinach? Yep, spinach. When he arrives at the potential new temporary home he is flabbergasted. He is revolted. No one should be living in such a state. And yet, he discovers he wants to know more about the sweet little old lady and her shifty ‘boy’. If he has to reside in this ramshackle to do it, so be it. He yearns to dig his fingers in the dirt of the massive garden. He can’t allow an elderly woman be taken advantage of. He will stay. After all, it’s only for the summer. Soon he unearths many surprises and the biggest one of all is about himself.


It kicks off at a quick clip in the Big Apple and slows down to a slow stroll in the country. However, I found the flow perfectly balanced. I liked the taste of scenery as well as the layers in the characters. Tyler has more layers than anyone and watching Jon pull them away was glorious. Home cooked meals with fresh produce from the garden, crossword puzzles and admirable dreams were some of my favorite parts. There is a lot to like here!


This is a feel good story. I enjoyed the writing and breezed through it ignoring life’s busy distractions. It isn’t super mysterious or full of angst. It isn’t action packed or filthy naughty. What is it? Tender. Sweet. Full of contagious goodness. I felt the sunshine on my face and it left me with a happy heart. Those are my favorite stories! I loved witnessing the renovation of both men and buildings. Second chances and second impressions gave us fresh beginnings. All in all, it is simply a lovely romance. Ohh, and the ending…gahhhhh! I loved it!

bewareAttitudes. Stress, pressure and unhappiness brings out the worst in us. Expect a bit of a snobby attitude early on but know that in turn, happiness brings out the best in us. It’s a slow burn but it heats up nicely before too long. And be prepared for a little old lady that will steal your heart.

bookisforIf you are looking for a relaxing but fulfilling story, this might be the perfect fit. And picky eaters never fear, you don’t really have to like spinach.



TITLE: Must Like Spinach
AUTHOR: Con Riley
PUBLISHER: Figment Ink
LENGTH: 245 pages
RE-RELEASE DATE: October 19, 2016

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