Do something that makes you happy, people say. All the time. All the time, people tell people to do something that makes them happy. Well, reading Asheville Brewing makes me happy. Honestly, I had forgotten just how that series makes me, well, happy. I’m repeating myself, am I not?
However, no matter how much I loved the first book of the series, co-written by A.R. Casella and Denise Grover Swank, and despite pre-ordering and, thus, buying, the four subsequent books, too much got in the way of my continuing on with the series, much to my regret. Be it because of work, because of my ARC commitments (which is almost the only thing I was able to really manage because of work), or because of real life, reading on had been put on the back burner.
Until All the Luck You Need, the prequel novella relating Dottie Hendrickson’s and Beau Buchanan’s love story.
What the book is about
All the Luck you Need
Series: Asheville Brewing, Book 6
Author: A.R. Casella
Date published: 12 July, 2021
She thinks her days of romance are over. The universe has other plans.
Dottie Hendrickson has always believed in signs—until pink crystal beads fall on her head, doves gather by her window, and heart shapes form in her tea leaves. They’re telltale signs she’s about to meet a man, but she’s newly divorced and over sixty, and love is something she’d prefer to find for other people. Her sweet neighbor comes to mind.
Dottie’s focus is where it should be—on her art and her beloved great-nephew, River.
But the universe is nothing if not stubborn. Dottie’s offered a job hosting beer tastings at Buchanan Brewery, and it’s immediately obvious the owner is the one she’s meant to meet. Beau is surly and confrontational, but beneath his walls is a man of surprising depth. Grudgingly, she realizes the universe might have a point.
When Dottie’s niece shows up in town with River, Dottie’s budding plans, both for her neighbor and for Beau, go disastrously wrong. A lesser woman might give up, but Dottie has never met a wrong she hasn’t schemed to make right.
See where it all began in this prequel to the Asheville Brewing series!
Something made me read it now
At school, the old cliché for a forgotten homework is having the kid telling the teacher, “My dog ate it.” Well, I don’t have a dog and Mambo the cat sure does not eat books, but something made me read it now, despite my being four books late in the series. Maybe some sort of reader’s fate, I don’t know. However, at this point, why I did it really doesn’t matter.
Why? Because as this review is being written, it means that I did read it after all.
And I don’t regret my choice one bit. In fact, I would definitely suggest that any new reader of the series start with this prequel, despite it being the sixth book.
After all, this is where the whole story starts.
We all need a Dottie, or to aim to become a Dottie
After reading this novella, my first thought was that we all need a Dottie, or aim to become one, because for me, Dottie is the embodiment of positivism, of wanting the best for everyone, of aiming to simply be herself (with her quirks and everything or, as I say, warts and all), of trying to see the best in everyone.
A friend like Dottie is, to me, a friend that everyone needs in their life. When we see what she does for her neighbour, Doris, and for little River and, of course, for Beau Buchanan, it not only makes me happy, it makes me want to have someone to have my back like she does them: unconditionally and with their best interests and happiness in mind.
She also is the friend and person that I am trying to be for those who cross my path. No, I am not a Dottie, but maybe a big part of me does the same, although perhaps not always with the same results.
In other words: Dottie wants people to be happy.
Happiness in a book
For happiness is what I take from this novella, as I did with the first book of the series (of which you can read my review here).
Throughout the (too short) 125 pages of the novella, I had, more often than not, a smile on my face and a laugh close to bubble out. I simply felt happy, content, and that is probably the biggest praise I can dash out on any book I read, because a book that makes me happy, indeed, a series that makes me happy, is one that will have a lasting feeling in me, and a sure sign that I will reread it (them) often.
Do I regret not having read the other four books of Asheville Brewing before this one? No. It seems like reading this one now and before the others was, simply, meant to happen.
Will I read the other books of the series? Yes, even though it will not be in the immediate future, since I do have ARC commitments for real. But as soon as I can, I will get back to Asheville, because the series really, sincerely, makes me happy.
For that, I thank both A.R. Casella (who wrote All the Luck You Need in solo) and Denise Grover Swank. It does take happy people to write such happy books.
I might or might not have ordered myself a pink quartz pendant to help balance myself after reading the novella. It is possible. However, there is one certainty: I want to read more, not only about Dottie and the Buchanans, but also about all the side characters, some of which I remember reading about in Any Luck At All.
The good news is that Angela’s and Denise’s next book, Love at First Hate, the first of a brand new series, is coming out in a little less than a month. Meanwhile, I will do everything I can to finish Asheville Brewing, with a smile and many a laugh, and sometimes with a few tears (I know myself!).
A happy five stars! ✰✰✰✰✰