Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)

Genre: Sports Romance

Available On: Amazon

Hunting Eden by VH Nicolson is an absolute gem of a story that captivates from the very first page. With its delightful mix of humour, romance, and steamy encounters, this book is a real page-turner that keeps you hooked until the end. Set against a backdrop of beautiful scenery, the author transports you to your happy place, immersing you in an excellent story that hits all the right emotional notes.

A friend lent me this book on a train journey when I finished mine and found myself lacking a backup (very unlike me!). I was distraught when we reached home to have to return it to her as I was utterly hooked by that point. I immediately ordered it and the other two books in the trilogy. I say trilogy, all three are standalone books, but with overlapping characters, which is a format I really enjoyed.

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The Scottish Eden

Set in Scotland, the book follows the journey of Eden, a Scottish dancer, and Hunter, a hot American pro golfer. From the very beginning, the story grips readers with a mix of suspense, humour, and hurdles that the couple must overcome. The book is well-written, keeping readers engaged from cover to cover. The author’s quirky writing style has a Scottish twist, with explanations of Scottish words and mentions of Irn Bru, Deadpool, and other relatable pop culture references, adding authenticity, charm, and an extra layer of enjoyment. The characters are memorable, and their connection is both electric and heartfelt.

The characters in this book are truly memorable. Eden, the sweet and sassy protagonist, hasn’t had an easy few years, but when she meets Hunter, a handsome, kind, and talented man, her world begins to change. Hunter’s charm and genuine affection for Eden help her regain her confidence and find herself again. However, their journey is not without obstacles and heartache, adding unexpected twists and turns to the plot. The author expertly captures every emotion, from laugh-out-loud moments to silent tears and hope. 

Sizzling, Spicy Romance

The chemistry between Eden and Hunter is palpable, and their romantic encounters are both steamy and satisfying. As the story unfolds, you’ll find yourself smiling, feeling frustrated, and experiencing a range of emotions alongside the characters. Eden’s personal growth and the support she receives from her sisters and other characters in the small town setting add depth and authenticity to the story.

Hunting Eden is a must-read for fans of romance novels. It offers a strong storyline, well-developed characters, and a perfect blend of love, passion, and heat. The book will leave you with a smile on your face and eagerly anticipating the next instalment in the series. While it’s a debut novel, and in places shows this, particularly where the pacing is concerned, it nevertheless delivers an engaging and emotional reading experience from start to finish. 

The chemistry between the protagonists, Eden and Hunter, is intense and sizzling. The steamy bedroom scenes add an extra layer of heat and excitement to the story. Eden is a strong character who resonates as she navigates her past and finds healing. At the same time, Hunter’s unwavering attraction to her creates a desire for a love like theirs. The supporting characters are also well-written, contributing to the overall charm of the story. With its twists, turns, and just the right amount of intrigue, Hunting Eden keeps readers engaged and turning the pages.

Four Stars Not Five For Hunting Eden

All that being said, I wasn’t quite able to give this a five star rating. That’s not unusual for me – my 5 star reviews are rarely gifted (this year I’ve only done two so far, Pride and Prejudice and The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo). In this case it was down to issues with pacing throughout the book which, having read the rest of the Triple Trouble trilogy, I know isn’t entirely down to this being a debut as it doesn’t go away (although it’s not as pronounced in future books). There is a certain amount of frustration at times from the extent to which things are drawn out. Although that may be more a reflection of my own impatience than anything else.

Overall, Hunting Eden is a captivating debut novel that combines romance, emotion, and a compelling storyline. It had me completely hooked from the beginning and eagerly anticipating the author’s future works. VH Nicolson has crafted a truly enjoyable and engaging read. It dragged me out of a bit of a reading funk and immersed me in a story that had me laughing, crying, and cheering for the characters at various stages. An unputdownable romance that combines passion, humour, and a Scottish flair. Whether you’re looking for a steamy love story or a delightful escape into a world of Scottish humour, this book promises an enjoyable read.

How Spicy Is Hunting Eden?

Spice Rating: 🌶️🌶️🌶️

The novel has a good balance of spice in it thanks to Eden and Hunter’s steamy romance, however, this is well balanced with a plot of real substance. It’s also very well done. It’s not overblown (pun intended) as is so often the case, but nor is it demure, shy, and beating about the bush (pun intended) as often happens when writers try to be coy.

What Romance Tropes Are In The Novel?

The novel features several popular romance tropes, which are well handled for the most part. 

Sports Romance

The book delves into the world of sports romance, as it revolves around the budding relationship between a Scottish dancer and an American pro golfer. The dynamic between these two characters is influenced by their respective athletic backgrounds and the challenges that come with pursuing their passions in the sports industry.

Soulmates

The story explores the concept of soulmates, emphasising a deep connection and undeniable chemistry between the main characters. Their interactions and shared experiences suggest a profound bond that goes beyond superficial attraction. The narrative may highlight the idea that these characters are destined to be together, despite the obstacles they face.

Romantic Comedy

Infused with humour and wit, the novel incorporates elements of romantic comedy. The interactions between the main characters are light-hearted, often leading to amusing and entertaining situations. The comedic moments serve to enhance the romance and provide readers with moments of laughter and joy. I wouldn’t say the comedy is prevalent enough to call it a comedy romance, but it’s certainly on the cusp. 

Celebrity Romance

The presence of a celebrity in the story adds an exciting dimension to the romance. With an American pro golfer as one of the main characters, the novel explores the complexities of love and relationships in the context of fame and public attention. The challenges and pressures that come with being in the public eye add an intriguing aspect to the romantic storyline.

Secret Pregnancy

While this trope does appear in the novel it’s not nearly as prevalent as many readers expect. Thankfully, I came to it blind. Since I started reading it, however, and followed the author on social media, I’ve seen a lot of the marketing materials around it which put this trope front and centre. It’s worth mentioning that while it does feature, it’s probably not in the way you’d expect, and it’s not really the driving force behind the plot.

What Genre Is Hunting Eden?

The novel is a straight up contemporary romance, however, Hunter’s profession places it in a quirky sub-genre: Sports Romance. I’ll admit I don’t think I’ve ever read a sports romance before. That, or I’ve not considered the fact it constitutes a sports romance (which to my mind indicates that sports didn’t play much of a role, and therefore I haven’t read a ‘true’ sports romance before). I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy this new genre (I know, it’s not even vaguely new, but it’s new to me, so…). I am not a sporty person. I don’t play sports, watch sports, or have much patience for people who do. As it turns out, however, I can very much appreciate the sexy appeal of the sportsman (or woman), a fighting fit individual with passion and drive. 

Amusingly, this revelation has actually impacted my own writing, as the main male character of my current WIP (Bane), evolved into a footballer while I was reading the Triple Trouble books. He was originally a teacher, who had family wealth, but it really never suited him. He’s now morphed into a successful finance guy who’s earned his own wealth and coaches kids football, after his own dreams of becoming a football player didn’t pan out. So…not a sports romance, but definitely not something I’d have thought to include otherwise!