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Love in a Nutshell (Culhane Family #1)

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  12,291 ratings  ·  1,292 reviews
Kate Appleton needs a job. Her husband has left her, she’s been fired as a magazine editor, and she only wants to go to her parents’ summer house, The Nutshell, in Keene’s Harbor, Michigan, and make a Bed and Breakfast inn. Matt Culhane needs a spy in his brewery for a saboteur, and Kate is new in town. But Kate despises beer and nobody trusts her.
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by St. Martin's Press
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Ok, admittedly, I haven't read many of Evanovich's books, but I'd heard that she was funny.
This wasn't funny. Like, not even a little bit!


This was a total cornball mystery/romance that relied on hokey shit to keep the plot (loosely using that word) going. Every single dried up, goofy, overused trope was effectively rolled up into one dumbass story.
They even threw in a 3 legged dog to show that Matt was a good guy.
Oh my! If he rescued a hound that was missing a limb, he must be a GOOD GUY! Righ
DJ =^^=
WARNING for audiobook readers:
Janet Evanovich uses the same narrator that she used with the Stephanie Plum series. My only complaint about the narrator is that the character voice sound just the same. A few times I caught myself saying that's Stephanie, Joe Morelli or Ranger's voice.
Barbara ★
I really love these quirky romances by Janet Evanovich and assorted co-writers. They are cute with hottie guys, ditzy (but hilarious) heroines and screwy circumstances. Who could ask for more in a funny romance.

Kate Appleton has returned to her childhood vacation home with the hopes of renovating the cottage into a Bed and Breakfast. Unfortunately her parents have allowed the mortgage to go into arrears (is that the correct term?) and now someone has purchased the property and is trying to evict
Duchess Nicole
Jan 13, 2013 Duchess Nicole rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Lovers of light, sweet , PG rated contemporary romance
This was a sweet, lighthearted, nothing special contemporary romance. I think Evanovich has made such a name for herself with her humor and the crazy antics of her characters that I've come to expect it from her non-Plum titles. Sometimes she delivers, but not in this case.

The funniest part about this book was the way that Kate forces Matt in to hiring her at the beginning of the book. Matt is a stand up guy who was the wild boy of Keene's Harbor in his younger days. He's come home and is now n
Sean Logan
It's a bit discouraging when an author becomes so formulaic that the publisher holds them to a certain word or page count, and than 9/10ths into the book the writer realizes they had better start wrapping things up. "Love in a Nutshell" is one of these books. Janet Evanovich has perfected the light-romantic-mystery formula with her Stephanie Plum series; however, she may want to look at other authors' techniques for writing and concluding a stand alone book.

"Love in a Nutshell" is a fun book, ni
This was an ok book that was a quick light read but nothing that I would highly recommend. I have been a big fan of Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, but it was hard to tell how much of this was her work and how much was Dorien Kelly's work.

The plot had holes in it. After a divorce, the heroine Kate Appleton moves back to a small town in Michigan where her family has a summer home. Kate plans of fixing the home up and opening a bread and breakfast. Problem is there is a huge mortgage on the home
This book is awful in a stellar way. The plot is like every Janet Evanovich only less funny, sexy, or thrilling. The writing is pretty cheesy, and I have proof:

"She looked up from the cross word puzzle she was doing. "What's a four-letter word for idiot? She asked. "Matt." "Really. Throw me a word." "Dolt." She frowned down at the puzzle, then smiled up at him. "That fits." And it fit him, too. Since when had he not grabbed for what he wanted? "Can you call and reschedule tomorrow's meetings un
****2.5 stars**** I know, not my usual fare. I have this need to read everything that Evanovich writes because she penned Ranger Manoso's character. Since then, she hasn't used him properly, but still I read?.... Anyway, this was a quick, ok read for me, I guess. I figured out early on who the bad guy was. Also, it is really, really obvious that Evanovich is having a hard time with sexual tension between the leads and will throw in any even remotely possible twist to stave off a love/sex scene.
2.5-3 stars for what it is, a fluffy, chick lit/romance read with a bit of mystery to it and not a lot of depth. It's like drinking Mountain Dew. Why did I read this? because the reviews were good and it sounded like a good beach-read type book. LJ: "Sassy dialog, laugh-out-loud humor, vastly appealing characters, and an intriguing setting make this fast-paced, suspenseful romance one to imbibe." Bah. Not so much, LJ. It's ok. It's close to that, but a few notches below achieving it. Fast read, ...more
Kate Appleton just wants a chance to restart her life. Her husband divorced her, taking her beloved poodle with him, and much of her self-confidence. Movie to Keene’s Harbor, and remodeling her family’s old summer cottage, The Nutshell, into a bed and breakfast is the new start she is hoping for; until she loses her job, and she discovers that the Nutshell needs more than just a touch of paint. In a fit of temper, Kate storms in to Matt Cuhane’s office and demands a job, because she blames him
Sharon Redfern
This was a nice light romance from the team of Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly. For readers used to the craziness of Ms. Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, this might seem a little tame, but it is an enjoyable read. The two main characters are normal everyday people who find that they need help from each other to get their lives back on track. It is refreshing to read a book that is just plain fun to read.
Kate is divorced and trying to keep her family home so she can start a new life and career
Christi Snow
My Review:
If you are looking for a light, fluffy romantic read with a dash of suspense and mystery thrown in, this is a good book for you. This book was very entertaining and fun. I loved the brewery setting and I enjoyed Kate and Matt. There isn't anything too deep in this book...not even the romance. Honestly, I can think of only a handful of kisses throughout the entire book. Although saying that, I have to admit that I never did figure out who the bad guy was until it was revealed in the boo
Morgan Wyatt
Love in a Nutshell is another romance by the team of Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly, best known for The Husband List>. This contemporary romance stars a recently divorced and unemployed Kate Appleton. Down on her luck Kate has an idea to turn her family’s summer home on Lake Michigan into a charming B&B. Her only problem is money, which lack of employment exacerbates.

Kate realizes she has to use her natural gumption to get a job at Depot Brewery. She had no option to take “no” for an an
Kate moves into her family's old summer home when she gets divorced and loses her job with the plan to renovate it and turn it into a bed and breakfast. Only the mortgage was sold and she has to come up with the money to pay the loan in four months. She goes to work for Matt at a local microbrewery as a floater, but she is really a spy for him trying to find out who has been sabatoging his business.

I was really disappointed in this book. I read the book all in one night and can't say that I was
Well, this one started off strongly, reminding me of how Jennifer Crusie at her best can fill a story with detail that really shapes the character and plot (Faking It--lots of info on art and art dealing and preservation, etc). . . So this one started with lots of restaurant and home brew info, but then suddenly, about 1/3 in, got very thin--random plot events (her house was infested by bees and it only merits a casual one line mention?), baseless adoration (they're suddenly in love with each ot ...more
Sandra Strange
This book, unfortunately, is not worth the time. Some of the dialogue and descriptions were clever, and that's about all the positive I can say about this book. The novel seemed slow, with little real plot. The "mystery" was poorly developed, and the adventure/jeopardy didn't draw the reader into the story because the particular scenes were either slighted over or (toward the end) the reader doesn't really identify with the characters enough to care about their danger. The story feels very much ...more
Well. I finished it. Despite a lot of reasons that I shouldn't have: dialogue that didn't gel, characters that were not fully drawn, and a terribly done romance. Why then did I finish it? I wanted it to get better. And it went so fast that it was over before I knew it. Fair warning.
Bec Sachse
You lost me at the word 'crapola' (or maybe even before that). On a positive note I did actually finish the book. On the negative side, it was like going to see a rom-com and leaving completely unsatisfied - you only just kept watching because the lead guy was eye candy.
This was good. I liked the characters and the story line. But overall this wasn't really a page-turner. This would be more for passing time and/or nothing else to read or do. It wasn't all that exciting but I liked the overall concept of the book. Good Luck!
Quick short fun summer read. I enjoyed the characters but thought it ended abruptly! I may try another Janet Evanovich book


I was in the mood for something light and fun that wouldn't require much thought and wouldn't drive me crazy with ridiculous angst.

Love in a Nutshell totally hit the spot. I believe this is the first book I've read by this author and I really enjoyed it. I gave it 3 stars because it's not a masterpiece or brilliant, but it was really enjoyable for the type of quick, light read that it was meant to be. It was cute and funny and fit my mood completely. I will read mor
Paula  Phillips
As a fan of her Stephanie Plum series and the one Diesel Tucker novel I've read , I have decided to go on a Janey Evanovich spree and check out her other novels. The first one up was Love in A Nutshell co-authored by Dorien Kelly. Love in A Nutshell takes us into the world of Kate Appleton whom has lost everything she had spent her life gaining from her job to her husband and even her house and pet dog Stella. With nowhere else to go, Kate decides to head to the family's summer Lake House in Kee ...more
Kari Anderson
Kate Appleton needs a job. Her husband has left her, she’s been fired from her position as a magazine editor, and the only place she wants to go is to her parents’ summer house, The Nutshell, in Keene’s Harbor, Michigan. Kate’s plan is to turn The Nutshell into a Bed and Breakfast. Problem is, she needs cash, and the only job she can land is less than savory. Matt Culhane wants Kate to spy on his brewery employees. Someone has been sabotaging his company, and Kate is just new enough in town that ...more
Jennifer Daiker
Kate Appleton is a hot mess and from page one that will entice you.

Fact - She's lost her job.
Fact - She lives in an old broken down house that she'd like to make into a bed and breakfast.
Fact - She has no money.

This hard headed female doesn't let that stop her. She marches right to the gentlemen who got her fired in the first place. The hottie who owns a very popular brewery and who will soon own her heart, Matt.

He gives her a job - To spy on his employees. Some strange things have been happeni
This book was just meh. It wasn't great and it wasn't horrible. It fell to just "ok" Maybe its me getting over the whole romance genre. Who knows. It wasn't a thick book by any means so realistically I should have been able to finish in a day maybe two. Well I kept setting it down. I liked the characters for the most part but I felt like the book was lacking something. Just not sure what. I am a HUGE fan of Janet Evanovich books. Her Stephanie Plum series is one of my faves. This book almost fel ...more
I love this writer, but I don't love her as much when she is teamed up with another writer. I also really love her stand alone romances, nearly as much as I love her series so when I saw another one out I snatched it up!

It was a very cute book....but it dragged at many points for me. There always seems to be at least one unique pet or person and sometimes both in each of these romances. This one wasn't any different and as always I enjoyed them. Chuck and Stella are definately quirky!

There was
Well, I read this in spite of - not because of - the author. Janet Evanovich doesn't hold any especial allure for me, and frankly after one or two Stephanie Plum books I had had enough.
I really enjoyed the setting, being from Michigan myself, but that wasn't much of a surprise. The plot was admittedly a little thin, considering the fact that a real business facing that level of sabotage would have some darn good security installed (never mind an amateur "snoop" hired for a $20,000 bonus to catc
Mandy Sickle
For the final week of my words with friends challenge I decided to finish off with one of my favorite authors. Kate’s life has hit the bottom so when the chance to reinvent herself comes up she has to jump at the chance. Kate’s ok with saying goodbye to the past she doesn't need the cheating ex-husband or the magazine editor job. Determine to turn her parent’s cottage The Nutshell into a Bed and Breakfast Kate sets out for Keene’s Harbor. However her problems just keep adding up after losing her ...more
This book is typical Evanovich fluff. If you’re familiar with the Stephanie Plum series or any of her books for that matter it’s all the same- sassy heroine and alpha male with some mystery and hijinks thrown in. To be honest, I don’t understand why Evanovich needed a co-writer for this book because she’s written this type of book many times in the past. It’s a formula that works for her and having a co-writer didn’t make any difference that I could note.

With that said, I enjoyed it for the flu
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Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O'Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.
More about Janet Evanovich...

Other Books in the Series

Culhane Family (2 books)
  • The Husband List (Culhane Family #2)

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