Title: Tasty Pickle
Series: Everything Tasty #2
Author: JJ Knight
Genre: Standalone Romantic Comedy
Trope: Opposites Attract
Release Date: January 20, 2023
Surely nobody has ever met their great love while using duct tape to pull cactus needles out of their girl parts on a mountain trail.
Except I just did.
Let me tell you about Axel Pickle.
He’s a bronzed god.
Worth half a billion after selling his nature app.
And he hikes naked.
He showed up in nothing but his hiking boots when I ran shrieking onto his private property after peeing on a prickly pear and being unable to put my pants back on.
We’ve been staring at each other’s private parts from the moment we first laid eyes on each other.
But I can’t date him.
I shouldn’t even talk to him.
And why he’s showing up at the hotel deli where I work, volunteering to slice the salami is a mystery to me.
I’m running from a terrible situation, and I need to keep my head down and avoid the world.
But something about the way Axel looks at me gets under my skin.
And this time, no duct tape in the world can yank the hooks he’s set in my wary, introverted soul.
Tasty Pickle is a full-length standalone rom com about the most charming, witty, completely useless hunk of man-meat ever to nature walk au naturel, a skeptical, purposefully underachieving deli worker, and the ghost pepper pickle relish that brings them together with a kiss so fiery that it ends up requiring medicated lip gloss.
It is part of the bestselling Pickleverse, but you do not need to read any other books before this one. You can start your outrageous adventure into the world of the Pickles right here.
First, I was forced on a hike by my employer.
Then, I got tired and slowed down for like fifteen seconds and somehow lost the group.
Then, I got pelted with nuts by maniac squirrels with a grudge.
I ran in the direction where I thought the group was headed and lost the trail completely.
Of course, I had no cell signal.
Just like a horror movie.
I started stress-drinking Gatorade.
Then, I had to pee.
So, I popped a squat.
Apparently on a cactus hidden in the brush.
Tiny spines attached to my girl parts.
And now, I’m on my back, my cactus-impaled vajajay flashing in the sun, my yellow daisy underwear caught on my ankle.
I would like very much to be eaten by a mountain lion.
I can think of nothing else to do, so I close my eyes, lay my head in the dirt, and wish for death.
Then something nudges my shoe.
I ignore it.
No. I’m dead. Death has become me.
Someone is here. Great.
I open one eye in a squint. A man stands over me like a bronzed god, wearing a backpack, a neckerchief, and hiking boots. And nothing else.
Sunny Shelly’s Review: 4 Stars
I have loved the Pickle family right from the beginning, and I’m so glad that JJ Knight has found ways to continue telling stories with the extended family members. Now we have Axel Montgomery, who is a first cousin of OG Pickle Anthony.
The meet-cute between Axel and Calypso Ash is while he’s hiking — naked — and she’s just fallen on a cactus, getting needles in her hoo-ha. Yep. It’s hilarious and awkward, yet these two somehow manage to move past all that and develop a sweet friendship as she’s working at Havannah’s castle hotel opening a Tasty Pickle deli. But Calypso is a former debutante running from her oppressive past, and when she finds out that Axel is a self-made (half) billionaire, she freaks out because of how wealth has controlled her life in the past.
Axel is so sweet in his dedication to not giving up on Calypso. While Calypso hates how restrictive her old life was because of her family’s societal status, Axel can never trust if someone likes him for him or for his money. Their very vulnerable first encounter kind of put them on a level playing field, and they got to know each other for who they are, not the money in their bank account.
This sweet story is infused with all the zaniness that comes with the Pickle family, and I loved seeing Uncle Sherman and John Boudreaux and the rest of the bunch when it came to getting Tasty Pickle up and running. There are a few cameos from Indigo (aka Lilli from Royal Escape), as part of this story overlaps a bit with hers.
Tasty Pickle delivers a sweet bite of romance, steam, and family drama, and I loved how Axel supported Calypso and gave her the confidence to stand up for what she wanted — and didn’t want — from her past.
I received an advanced copy and voluntarily left a review.
JJ Knight is the USA Today and Amazon Top 100 bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic comedy including Single Dad on Top and Big Pickle.