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Josephine Shaw: complex, yet singleminded. A tiny woman with big ideas and, some would say, a mouth to match. But what does she really know about sustainable living as it relates to the real world? After all, she and her two friends are new to farming. Zachary Nemesek is back only until his dad recovers enough to work his own land again. When Zach discovers three helplessJosephine Shaw: complex, yet singleminded. A tiny woman with big ideas and, some would say, a mouth to match. But what does she really know about sustainable living as it relates to the real world? After all, she and her two friends are new to farming. Zachary Nemesek is back only until his dad recovers enough to work his own land again. When Zach discovers three helpless females have taken up residence at the old farm next door, he expects trouble. But a mouse invasion proves Jo has everything under control. Is there anything she can't handle? And surely there's something sweet beneath all that tart....

Title : Raspberries and Vinegar
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780984781638
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 348 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Raspberries and Vinegar Reviews

  • Tammi
    2018-12-16 22:29

    I regret starting this book and only read it a little past the halfway point. I should have stopped 50 pages in, but I've never not finished a Christian fiction novel. I could not take the environmental, do-gooder message throughout the book. While I love gardening and farmer's markets, I am mature enough to realize the importance of the traditional American Farmer who feeds the world. This book is anti-farming and anti-beef production unless you are growing a little organic garden and raising grass fed beef. One of characters regretted her father was a truck driver for a major grocery store transporting Florida oranges across the country. Really? Because people in North Dakota don't deserve to eat oranges because they can't grow them locally. Seriously, I cannot take this mindset. I have difficulty fathoming how any freedom loving American can give this type of ideology 5 stars.

  • Narelle
    2018-11-22 04:22

    I really enjoyed reading Raspberries and Vinegar. Jo and Zach are fascinating characters who are drawn to each other despite having different life philosophies. Jo and her friends, Claire and Sierra, are intent on ‘practicing what they preach’ by creating a sustainable living farm. Their beliefs regarding sustainable living and decreasing their carbon footprint have a Biblical foundation. The girls are prepared to make sacrifices, including temporarily living in a rundown caravan with an ongoing mice problem, to fulfill their dream of creating a sustainable farm. They also strive to engage the local community in learning about how they can live in a more sustainable way.Zach enjoys the culture and convenience of city living. He grew up on the farm next door to Jo and the girls, and is he is only back in town temporarily to help his mother while his father recovers from a serious illness. At the start of the story Zach can’t understand why Jo and her friends are determined to create a new life on the farm. Sparks fly whenever Jo and Zach are together, and an adorable pup called Domino creates a lot of mischief in the story. Raspberries and Vinegar is a fun romance that addresses important issues without being preachy. The story is contemporary and touches on issues that are relevant to twenty-somethings in today’s society. Both Jo and Zach experience character growth during the story and the plot twists kept me turning the page to find out what happens next. I highly recommend this book to those looking for an exciting and inspiring contemporary romance.

  • Julie Arduini
    2018-12-17 00:32

    A Farm Fresh Romance Series: A Farm Fresh Romance. This unique farm lit series follows the adventures, romantic and otherwise, of three college graduates who move onto a reclaimed farm where they plan to take the rural area by storm with their sustainable lifestyle and focus on local foods. Raspberries and Vinegar: Josephine Shaw: complex, yet singleminded. A tiny woman with big ideas and, some would say, a mouth to match. But what does she really know about sustainable living as it relates to the real world? After all, she and her two friends are new to farming. Zachary Nemesek is back only until his dad recovers enough to work his own land again. When Zach discovers three helpless females have taken up residence at the old farm next door, he expects trouble. But a mouse invasion proves Jo has everything under control. Is there anything she can't handle? And surely there's something sweet beneath all that tart.Raspberries and Vinegar is the debut book from Choose NOW publishing, an issue-driven company, and Valerie Comer's farm lit series is a perfect fit. In Raspberries and Vinegar, Jo comes on the scene passionate about eating healthy and growing foods the right way.Zach's grandma, in his mind, has earned the right to a little chocolate now and then. But when Jo's day job includes making sure his grandma stays healthy, it's just one more issue that seems to divide the two.I absolutely adored this book. Farm Lit is a refreshing genre that I think is long overdue. As our country plunges into darker and more troubling times, it is books like Raspberries and Vinegar that remind us of what's important. Valerie crafts a strong romance with a current message without beating readers over the head. The characters aren't perfect and neither are their paths. What I especially enjoyed was that writers can often tell what's happening next, we're just wired that way. When I'm stumped, I love it. Raspberries and Vinegar took me places I never saw coming. That is a very good thing.Each December I pick my favorite reads of the year and right now Raspberries and Vinegar is a top contender. If you love strong characters, a great message, a clean romance and the country, this book is for you.

  • Catherine
    2018-12-06 21:39

    Raspberries and Vinegar is the perfect title for a book that is as tart in conflicts as it is sweet—or perhaps I should say, sizzling, in romance.Jo Shaw is an ecologically aware, pint-sized heroine who did not intend to fall in love when she moves with two girlfriends to start their sustainable farm, Green Acres. Zach Nemesek is the way-too-attractive neighbour who has a love of way-too-many things that go right against Jo’s ecological ideals.R & V shows the clash of these two likeable characters and the inescapable romance that ensues. Valerie Comer has given that spark of attraction between characters that creates a page turner.Jo is a character with many issues. At times I would get cross and want to argue with her—but then the story would accomplish that for me. In the end, I could not help but like her spunk, and be glad that Zach saw that her strengths outweighed her weaknesses. Zach experiences his own internal battles that he overcomes and I was satisfied as a reader to have all this tied up in the end.While the book has plenty of supporting characters I never felt overwhelmed by them, rather that each helped create the setting of a small farming community where everyone knows their neighbour.For the romance genre, I would have preferred more scenes of Jo and Zach interacting throughout the middle portion of this book; however the tension and personal motivations of both kept me turning the pages. For me, more scenes with the main characters together would have deepened the ending and increased the validity of their final decisions. However, the ending was satisfying.There were some well-developed sub-plots in R & V and excellent foreshadowing of events. There was even that sharp intake of breath that shows you have truly been caught by surprise. The book was well edited with no major flaws to pull me out of an enjoyable story.I’m giving this four stars and I will be reading the next in the farm fresh series—those well-woven sub plots in Raspberries and Vinegar has left my romantic heart imagining where the series will lead to next. Recommended.

  • Paula Vince
    2018-11-18 05:25

    Josephine Shaw, a young nutritionist, and her two friends have embarked on their dream of setting up a sustainable lifestyle farm in a country town, but it will be a long process. The mouse plague in their temporary portable trailer home is just the start. Jo is so passionate about treading lightly on the planet that she tends to do just the opposite with people, coming across as overbearing and pushy in her zeal to convince others to live as healthily and thoughtfully as she does. Zach Nemesek is the next door neighbours' handsome son. He's a fully qualified vet anxious to secure himself a city job, yet he's helping his parents out with the running of their farm until his dad is back on his feet from a long illness. Zach appreciates the convenience of the occasional take-away meal and junk food.I really liked the romance. Zach is a lovely fellow and I looked forward to the parts from his point of view. It might be easy to wonder whether he could find himself a more easygoing match than Jo, but he'd find it hard to discover somebody who would adore him as much as she does. She keeps trying to convince herself that she has no future with him, yet I almost wanted to start counting the number of times she sees him passing the time of day with other women, jumps to the wrong conclusion and storms off, devastated. Gotta love her.Along with the lightheartedness and humour in this book are some tear-jerking moments of touching sadness. The ethical considerations the story raises are thought-provoking too.I'd been looking forward to getting stuck into this book, as I enjoy novels with 'foody' themes. They add a good dimension. Although this one didn't end up with the huge town feast they were planning, I'm hoping it will take place in one of the sequels, which I expect will be about Claire and Sierra and their romances. I love Valerie Comer's warm, easy and humorous style of writing, so I'll grab those for sure.Meanwhile, I'll definitely try the raspberry vinegar recipe.

  • Christine Lindsay
    2018-12-15 05:35

    Raspberries and Vinegar--a farm fresh romance by Valerie Comer is a hoot of a gentle Christian romance. If you like a wholesome, sweet romance, that will make you chuckle, then I highly recommend this book. I use the word wholesome in a tongue-in-cheek way, because the main character, Josephine Shaw, is a nutritionist who takes organic, healthy food seriously, as well as her faith and her desire to take care of the environment. So when Jo finds herself attracted to Zach Nemesek, who is a self-admitted junk-food addict, she doesn't think there's a hope for the two of them, especially when he seems more interested in her extremely pretty best friend. I thoroughly enjoyed this contemporary farming story. Being a reader who enjoys good food, and the beauties of farming country, gardening, canning, quilting, then this debut novel by Valerie Comer is a real delight. I look forward to this author's next book.

  • Rita
    2018-12-15 04:38

    This interesting genre really is unique. It's nice to read something with a new twist. It has a lighthearted beginning and then, before you know it, the storyline covers some serious issues most of us will face in our lives.I like the independent heroine because she doesn't cave in when things are very difficult ... I certainly wouldn't have hung in there at her age when things were so creepy! The rapport between the girlfriends is natural especially when a little jealousy sneaks in, but girls will be girls!The hero acts just as any man worth his salt would act when faced with three females on an unpopular mission, despite the fact he finds himself attracted to the most stubborn, but most appealing one of them. And as in most romances the misunderstandings and misconceptions are hilarious.A good read, Valerie. I really enjoyed this book and read it in one sitting. And the 'icing on the cake' is the recipe for this unusual but refreshing beverage.

  • Lucy Thompson
    2018-11-25 00:29

    I recommend Valerie Comer's book, "Raspberries and Vinegar". Sweet romance, cute characters, a fun setting, and lots of lifestyle choices that made me think about the way I live.I read a lot of books and I don't see that combination very often! (Or at all).Very well written, I enjoyed Valerie's voice, and she frequently made me laugh out loud. Plus, there is a delicious recipe for raspberry vinegar cordial included that I'm dying to try! :-)

  • Virginia Carmichael
    2018-12-17 03:40

    This was a wonderfully light romance read and it appealed to the gardener in me. I've been learning about the locavore movement for the past few years and knew I would enjoy the themes of Raspberries and Vinegar. A sweet, light-hearted read and a great start to the series!

  • Paula Lynn
    2018-11-21 22:32

    What is a locavore and farm girl to do when she finds a farm lit romance available on the market? Get a copy and review it! That’s what I’m doing here for Raspberries and Vinegar, written by Valerie Comer.Spunky Josephine Shaw has dedicated herself to a sustainable lifestyle and is no less than fanatical about it. She and two of her friends, Sierra and Claire, recently graduated from college and purchased a tract of land in northern Idaho they affectionately call Green Acres where they are building a straw bale house and living off the land. Unpredictable, argumentative and somewhat stubborn, Josephine is bound and determined to defeat the mice infesting their mobile home and to convince the residents of their new town, Galena Landing, to eat a menu consisting of organic, locally grown food.The friends’ new neighbor, Zachary Nemesek, is jobless, and his friend, Gabe, senses he’s drifting and encourages him to ask God what He wants. Zach doesn’t believe he’s drifting, he has a couple of employment prospects, feels God is ignoring him and that praying is like talking to a brick wall, and he doesn’t see the point in it anymore. Even though he grew up in a Christian home, he and God aren’t on speaking terms any longer. He sees himself as an honest man, a trustworthy man, but wonders if he can ever become a God-centered man. In recent years, he hasn’t been in the habit of talking with God, and fears if he gives in, then God is going to want to meddle in every facet of his life, and he’s definitely not up for that. Dead set on city living, Zach temporarily puts his dreams aside to help his parents run their farm during his father’s prolonged illness and convalescence. He doesn’t like rural life or living in a dead-end town, and he can’t wait to be gone from Galena Landing. He longs live and work in the city as a veterinarian where he believes life won’t be so hard.Even though Jo admires the way Zach tenderly interacts with his grandmother, an elderly woman she takes care of in her new job at the local care facility, she doesn’t believe they’d ever be compatible, not with his attitude toward farming and living in a rural community. Their differences abound and are magnified in Josephine’s mind as she makes comparisons between the two of them. Zach uses Styrofoam and eats greasy, calorie-laden fast food while she cooks from scratch and eats as organically as possible. She majored in holistic medicine and is all about herbs and natural remedies, while he prefers modern medicine and prepackaged meals. Will their attitudes regarding food choices, their relationship and dependence upon God, and their personal views on rural living hinder or help the romantic connection between them? She’s convinced he can’t stand her and is secretly trying to undermine her attempts at the nursing home to serve his grandmother good, whole food. He brings his grandmother treats of candy and fast food, while Jo is doing her utmost to make sure the residents have healthy snack choices. Polar opposites, they are attracted to each other, but she wants a man who walks with God, who values rural life and the work of God’s hands. Zach has chosen to find a job in the city and live a life of convenience and comfort. Zach thinks Josephine is a softie beneath all the bristle, but they struggle to agree on what constitutes healthy eating and the benefits of rural living. He believes she is a high-and-mighty environmentalist snob and definitely doesn’t think they’re a match made in heaven. He knows where he stands with her and knows he’s not good enough and never will be good enough for her. He struggles with his attraction to her and wonders if she is worth everything to him. Could he stay in Galena Landing for her and give up on his own dreams? He fears he will never be good enough, never environmental enough, never green enough to live up to her standards.At one time, Zach had experienced peace and joy in being right with God and now longs to find his way back to Him. Despite rubbing each other the wrong way on so many levels, both he and Jo come to realize putting their hopes and dreams into God’s hands will cause the future to work itself out. Being right with God is what really matters, a concept neither of them has considered in a long time. God expects them to do everything within His power, not their own. This book was really fun and entertaining to read, and I’m looking forward to the next story from Valerie Comer’s pen. Please note I was given a free copy of Raspberries and Vinegar in exchange for my honest review.

  • Janet Sketchley
    2018-12-06 21:49

    What happens when three 20-something single Christian women buy a farm in northern Idaho and set out to demonstrate their beliefs about sustainable living?The farm is called Green Acres, but unlike Lisa from the classic TV show, Jo Shaw and her friends Claire and Sierra have done their research and are up to the task.Mostly up to the task. There’s the small matter of a mouse infestation in their temporary dwelling, but Jo’s sure they can handle it.She's not so sure she can handle their attractive neighbour, Zach. He's only home to care for his parents’ farm until his father's health improves, and he can't wait to get back to the city. The girls see all the pluses of rural living, but he sees only minuses. They eat ethically-sourced food; he’ll hit the drive-thru any chance he gets. Jo doesn't think she stands a chance with him anyway, against her friend Sierra's charms.Jo, at 25, is only beginning to see the world's not as black and white as she thinks. And she knows her subject so thoroughly, she forgets the average person doesn't share her knowledge. When she remembers, she tries to fully educate the person on the spot.Author Valerie Comer does a great job making Jo a likable character instead of the opinionated shrew she could have been. Jo's just like any of us: passionate about something that matters to her. And like us, she sometimes reacts first and regrets later. She's a vulnerable character, despite her spunk.As a boy, Zach loved the farm but hated the low income level. He's a newly-qualified veterinarian, looking for a lucrative city post with civilized hours and no cows. Somewhere along the way, his faith has been pushed to the side. Coming home may get him thinking about it again.Something about these characters connected with me. Maybe it’s Jo's second-guessing herself, or how she's so quick to compare herself to others (always to her loss). Maybe it's Zach's trying to be an honourable man in his own strength. Maybe it's both of them, carrying loads they were never intended to shoulder alone.Like Zach, I don’t know much about "walking gently on the earth," and I found lots to think about in this book. The information flows organically (couldn't resist that pun) as the story unfolds, and it doesn't stop the forward motion of the plot.The novel's humour offsets Jo’s serious nature, and there are some heart-tugging moments too. This is a longer romance than you’d see from Love Inspired, so the author had more room to explore her characters and readers can get to know them on a deeper level. Definitely a plus, in my view.My favourite line (said to Jo by Zach's grandmother):"God loves your zeal, I’m sure, but He wants your heart." [Kindle Location 3528]Jo does love God, but—like many of us—she has a few control issues. So does Zach, for that matter, and one of the novel's threads is how they’re each confronted with the need to let go of control and let God be God.Canadian author Valerie Comer is quietly passionate about food, faith and fiction. Raspberries and Vinegar is the first in a three-novel farm lit series called "A Farm Fresh Romance." She also has a geo-caching romance novella in the collection, Rainbow’s End. For more, visit Valerie Comer’s website. Or click to read a sample from Raspberries and Vinegar.This week only, buy a print copy of Raspberries and Vinegar and get bonus material:[Review copy provided by the author.]

  • Margaret Fisk
    2018-12-01 03:48

    Originally published on Tales to Tide You OverI had the privilege of being a beta reader for this novel. Even then, in a much less polished form, Jo captured my heart and my attention. She, along with her two college friends, is determined to honor God by being a true caretaker of the planet. What this means to them is that they’re beginning a sustainable living farm where they plan to live and teach others ways to reduce the impact of humanity on the natural world.As it sounds, she’s a bit of a fanatic. Jo’s driven, sometimes blind. Adamant in her faith and how she’s chosen to express that faith.Along comes Zach, current generation of a long-term farming family. He’s lived the farmer’s life growing up and seen how sustainable it isn’t. He has his hopes set on a city job, using the veterinarian degree he’s worked so hard to earn on pampered pets in return for culture and an easy life with modern conveniences…which include dining out whenever he gets hungry, often enough on fast food.Zach begins the novel as a reluctant hero, home temporarily to help his mother after his father is afflicted with a serious immune disorder. He has one foot out the door, unwilling to commit to any significant length of time because it will delay his plans even more than they’ve already been hindered by a failed relationship with his former boss’s daughter.That these two have nothing in common is obvious…or is it?Valerie manages to take a fanatical character and teach Jo there’s more to life than her goals, while also giving her reason to consider whether brow-beating is the best approach to teach better caretaking. She also delves into poor Zach who needs to see beyond the superficial to understand what’s really in his heart in terms of his life plans, love, and faith. He needs to see beyond the struggles to the strengths to be found in a small community where people stand by each other.This is both a sweet boy meets girl story and so much more, offering a look at how people’s relationships with God affect their outlook along with an evaluation of how different choices have an impact on our environment. There is no question that this is an inspirational romance. The faith message is strong, so if that’s a turn off, be forewarned. The environmental message, focused on local produce and understanding where our food comes from, is also strong. But don’t let me give the impression that the book is a message book rather than a story. The messages it offers are firmly within the perspectives of the various characters as they try to establish who they want to be and how they want to interact with others, the Earth, and God. They face trials of faith, of body, and of heart as they struggle to meet the challenges life offers without losing hope or giving up.I’m happy to see this series published so that we can share in the journey of a bunch of interesting people doing interesting things as they balance faith and relationships to find their place in the world.P.S. I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review. I hope you enjoy Jo and Zach’s story as much as I have.

  • Nancee
    2018-11-17 01:43

    Three recent college graduates set out to change the world! Environmental purists, they purchased property in northern Idaho with plans to live a sustainable lifestyle. Unhindered by husbands or children the young women forge ahead only to discover their temporary home to be an old, filthy, mouse-infested, and dilapidated mobile home. The one benefit is indoor plumbing! Jo is convinced that the three of them can make a go of it and prove to the community that they can make a difference. The talk of the town is that they're a bit on the crazy side. A young veterinarian, Zach grew up on the farm next door to the property which formerly belonged to his grandmother, and he has no use for what the girls have planned. Fast food and a sporty car are what sustain this guy! His goals are to land a position as veterinarian in a city practice, living the good life and making big bucks! Unfortunately his puppy finds the girls enchanting, and routinely escapes his dog run to spend time with Jo and her roommates. Jo sees Zach as an attractive guy who makes her heart beat a little faster, but his lifestyle and lack of respect for the environment OR his diet set Jo's teeth on edge. The plot thickens, and numerous events create laughter, tears and hope for a better tomorrow with a little help from above.Valerie Comer has created a remarkably unique, creative and very entertaining book in the Christian fiction sub-genre labeled "farm lit." This isn't any ordinary Christian romance. It's an environmentally friendly experience! Based on sustainable living and being friendly to the environment, this book is so much more than I expected. There is humor, romance, tragedy and an underlying Christian foundation that appeals to a wide variety of readers. The author has created an atmosphere of authenticity and honesty that evokes an abundance of emotions. I highly recommend this book if you're up for a belly laugh, a good cry, and a feel-good sense of entertainment. I look forward to the sequels to this book. I can hardly wait to see what Valerie has up her sleeve in the next installments in this creative series.Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.

  • Tara
    2018-12-08 23:41

    Sassy and sweet, this romantic story will charm it’s way into your heart. Josephine moves to the country with her friends to pursue a simpler life, not expecting to meet a young man who sparks her interest, but has his sights set on returning to the city. Despite misunderstandings and differences, love blossoms and overcomes life’s barriers.Many readers will relate to Josephine’s insecurities and inner turmoil as she struggles with doubts about her feelings, self worth and life path. As the lives of several characters unfold we see the reward of choosing a life consistent with God’s will, starkly contrasted to a life lived apart from Him and the consequences of choices made accordingly.Until I read this book, I’d never heard of “farmlit,” and didn’t know what to expect. Romantic, fun, with refreshing values, and small town atmosphere, readers will enjoy this romp on the farm!

  • Sherida Stewart
    2018-12-12 01:40

    Raspberries and Vinegar-A Farm Fresh Romance, by Valerie Comer, is refreshing to read. With believable characters, good pacing and a faith thread running throughout, Valerie has written an “opposites attract” romance, showing that every person and every issue is composed of multiple shades of positives and negatives. As in real life, there are sad moments in this story and joyful celebrations. If we let God direct us, our dreams can become something much more that we imagined. The last line is perfect, but please don’t peek ahead! I'm looking forward to two more books in Valerie's Farm Fresh series.*I was graciously given an ebook. This is my honest review.

  • Alyssa
    2018-11-26 01:24

    I said two years ago I wouldn't read this book based on some things within the pages of this book from another reviewer, but I decided to try it and make my own judgements. And it was free too. I shouldn't have read it. It felt very anti-traditional farming and I couldn't stand the enviormental message throughout the book. It felt disrespectful of farmers and farming and as the great-granddaughter of farmers, the descendant of many other farmers, and a supporter of farms/FFA it just rubbed me the wrong way.

  • Julie Carpenter
    2018-12-15 00:30

    This was a fun, quick and clean read. I enjoyed it. The main characters Jo and Zach had several disagreements and misunderstandings throughout the novel but both turn to God and learn to allow him to guide their lives. As they do there are several fun, silly and frustrating moments.Happy Reading!!!

  • M Joey
    2018-11-18 01:45

    Loved this book....once I started it, everything else had to wait. Has a little bit of everything and her characters are very believable! Go for it, you'll love it!

  • Victoria
    2018-11-27 00:34

    Kindle freebie that makes me think I have GOT to swear off Kindle freebies. I think this one won an award, but it wasn't for me. The main religion preached was Natural and Organic. I think it's lovely, but terrifying in the wrong hands. *spoiler* conventional farming KILLS BABIES. And MOTHERS. And PUPPIES.

  • Violet
    2018-12-04 02:48

    Three friends, Jo, Claire and Sierra, buy farm property just outside the town of Galena Landing (Idaho) to realize their dream of living off the land in an eco-ethical way. Even the mouse-infested trailer they have to move into (until they get around to building their straw-bale-walled, solar-powered house), is worth it… they are sure. Twenty-five-year-old Jo (never-been-kissed) Shaw is the one of the trio through whose eyes we see the beginnings of Green Acres Farm in Valerie Comer’s contemporary Christian novel, Raspberries and Vinegar.Son of the neighbors Zach Nemesek is just finished vet school and champing at the bit to get a full-time position, preferably in the big city. He’s put out resumés all over. But at his last job he was let go when he broke up with the boss’s daughter. Now that former boss won’t even give him a reference. Plus his own dad has fallen ill with a mysterious neurological disease, is in hospital, and Mom desperately needs Zach to help with their own farming operation. So he’s stuck.Of course the trio meets the hunk and soon it’s obvious there’s electricity between Zach and Jo. But could there possibly be a future for such a fast-food-loving city boy wannabe and this eco-evangelist? This is a fun book that delves into serious issues, albeit with a light touch. There’s the whole green, organic reduced-carbon-footprint movement the girls represent, versus the townspeople who are used to the way things are—not to speak of having to make a living. This includes Zach’s own father who, before he got sick, worked at Leask’s feedlot—a smelly, suspiciously disease-laden place out of which cattle are shipped in droves to meat plants.There’s the dating game / sex-before-marriage issue over which Zach has come to grief with his last girlfriend and which Jo brings to a head when at one point she lashes out: “That’s another place we’re different Zach. I will never date a man I couldn’t see marrying. Why put myself through that? Why build up false hope” – p. 204 (Kindle edition). Both of these young people struggle with the ideal of living their lives under God’s control versus calling the shots themselves. I love how Comer frames the issue as seen through Zach’s eyes: “And what was God going to say, if Zach sincerely wanted an answer? Oh man. He didn’t even want to go there. Asking for God’s direction would get way more complicated. It wouldn’t end with which job he should take. It wouldn’t end with where he should live. It wouldn’t even end with Jo and her enviro-crazy ways. God was going to want to meddle in every facet of Zach’s life” – p. 128. Comer’s writing style is brisk and savvy. Point-of-view doesn’t wander but stays firmly with either Jo or Zach. And the plot kept throwing surprises at me. As a result, the book’s 343 pages sped by. The book is a refreshing and chaste-but-fun modern romance that isn’t afraid to tackle some hot-button lifestyle issues. Along with discussion questions on Raspberry and Vinegar, Chapter 1 of Book 2 in Comer’s Farm Fresh Romance Series (Wild Mint Tea) is included at the end of the book. I read it and am definitely going to look it up when it releases, sometime in the spring of 2014.

  • Erin Hartshorn
    2018-12-01 00:36

    I'll preface my comments by saying that if you don't like Christian fiction -- if it's going to bother you to have characters who tell each other to trust in God or to spend more time on their knees in prayer -- you're going to want to give this book a miss. The author wrote this book out of her convictions about God, about our duty to take care of the earth, and about how people ought to relate to one another. All of that is there in the book, and it's not a hidden message. That's not to say the characters are perfect; they're people, which means they have foibles and faults, just like anyone else.Obviously, I enjoyed the book, both the sections that made me laugh and the ones that made me cry -- and there were plenty of both. Jo Shaw's a little spitfire, who's wanted to get back to a farm since her mom took her away from her grandparents' farm at ten. Zach Nemesek is only back at his parents' farm because his father has been hospitalized with Guillain-Barré Syndrome and his mom needs help to get the spring chores done. They meet when she opens a door to dispose of a dustpan full of baby mice and throws them all over him. That pretty much sets the tenor of their relationship.Friends and family play a big part in this book, from the two friends Jo is trying to create a sustainable community with (Sierra and Claire) to Zach's best friend Gabe and his wife Bethany, to Zach's parents and his grandmother, to Jo's mom and stepbrother (who drop in for a visit). Everyone has something to contribute to the story, no matter how active they are, or how often they show up. Oh, and I can't forget Domino, the cute border collie who shows up on the cover and who spends his time happily romping between the two farms.I expected to like this book; I've read other work by Valerie Comer, and it's never disappointed. I didn't expect to love it as much as I did, or to be disappointed after reading the sample chapter of the next book (Wild Mint Tea) to realize I have to wait to buy it. If you do get this book, be warned: You will cry. A lot. And it is so worth it.Note: This review originally appeared on my blog. I received a digital review copy from the author in return for an honest review.

  • Laura
    2018-11-27 02:47

    Title: RASPBERRIES AND VINEGARAuthor: Valerie ComerPublisher: Chose NOW PublishingJuly 2013ASIN: B00E6TC2RUGenre: Contemporary romance / farm litBreaking ground with the Farm Fresh Romance series, in RASPBERRIES AND VINEGAR Josephine Shaw and her two friends renovate a dilapidated farm with their sights set on more than just their own property. However, transforming the town with their sustainable lifestyle and focus on local foods is met with more resistance than they expected, especially by neighbor Zachary Nemesek. Jo needs to learn that a little sweet makes the tart more tasty.Zachary graduated from Veterinarian school with honors, but it isn’t so easy to find a job when he’s fired for failing to excel in a relationship with the boss’ daughter. He goes home to the farm to help out when his dad is hospitalized, and takes a very temporary position at the animal clinic in town while the doctor has a surgery. But he dreams of a city job, carrying for pets, not large farm animals. Everything that can go wrong possibly can. Jo and Zach couldn’t be more different. When tragedy after tragedy occurs, will they draw nearer each other—or continue pushing each other away?RASPBERRIES AND VINEGAR is a book I wanted to read for sometime, but due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to wait. This book was every bit as good as I expected. The formatting was a bit off, making some of the conversations a bit hard to follow, especially in later chapters, but otherwise, it was a great book. I wondered what it would take for the two selfish main characters to see beyond themselves and see what God plans for them. I can’t wait for book two, Wild Mint Tea, coming in Spring 2014. If you are looking for a great romance from a new voice, then RASPBERRIES AND VINEGAR is the book to pick up. Available in print $14.99 and ebook $.99. 345 pages. 4.5 stars.

  • My Book Addiction and More MBA
    2018-11-26 04:24

    This could have been a real favorite of mine with its connection of sustainable living to some Christian ideologies mentioned throughout the story. Unfortunately, however, it will not be so. I truly agree with many of the sentiments throughout the book regarding sustainable farming and although I have only taken very small baby steps in that direction, I would love to live as these three girls are setting out to do (which is why it got 3 stars). I do not, however, agree with Josephine’s presentation of their ideas. We would not have been friends, despite our shared ideals. I assume (from the book’s discussion questions) that the author meant her to be annoying, just so she’s more of an opposite personality to Zach. I understand the reasoning, but the method doesn’t seem to lend itself to convincing anyone else of their beliefs.I also didn’t like the plot twist near the end. I stopped reading Nicholas Sparks for almost 7 years because of his tendency to do things like that in his books, and I normally wouldn’t hesitate do it with other authors either. Despite these things, I would probably continue this series to see where the plans for the farm are taken, and learn what I can from their relationship of Christianity to sustainable living. I would also like to see if Josephine evolves as a character and to see if the twist turns into what I think it will. The book was a decent beginning to the series, if you can overlook some of the character attributes. The actual ideas presented are more than worth reading about and researching if you’re interested in things like that, just try to ignore the overbearing and downright condescending way some of them come across.Rating: 3HEAT Rating: sweetReviewed By: Daysie W.Review Courtesy of: My Book Addiction and More

  • Joy W. Doering
    2018-11-25 04:52

    This book delivers exactly what it promises on the front cover. It's about a farm. It's fresh. And it's a romance.It's about a farm.But this isn't just any farm. It's a back to nature, make your own compost, heritage seeds only, as-organic-as-you-can-get farm. Jo and her buddies Sierra and Claire are serious about changing the way we as a culture look at food. They're passionate about being good stewards of the earth, and as a result, taking care of the human body in the process. Move over, Super One- Green Acres has come to town!It's fresh.I could compare reading this book to eating a crunchy, home grown, leafy green salad. It's just plain good! I have never read a book like this before, and I believe Valerie's voice has definitely been missing in the Christian fiction market. Valerie's characters have minds of their own. They're snarky. They have dreams. They have "issues". And in the end, they come to a point of asking, as we all must, "Who's plan am I following? Am I doing what I want, or am I doing what God wants?"It's a romance.Yep. No denying the chemistry between Jo & Zach drives this story. But it's also about the love of the land. The love of the simple life- and the simple things in life. It's about loving those near to you while you still have time. It's about loving another person, even if you will never see eye to eye with them. And most of all, it's about loving God, and desiring to follow Him no matter where it might take you.Can this book be confrontational? Yes.Will it challenge the way you as a reader look at the food on your plate? Yes.That's kind of the point.Raspberries and Vinegar will stick with you long after you finish reading it. And, just like that fresh salad, you will be wanting more.

  • Debbie
    2018-12-09 23:26

    "Raspberries And Vinegar" by Valerie Comer gets five stars from me. I was given a copy of the second book in this series ( A Farm Fresh Romance) and even though they can be stand alones, I have to read series in the order they are written so I have to get this book and I can say I don't feel like I wasted my 99 cents.Josephine Shaw and her two friends buy an old farm in Idaho together with the purpose of growing their own food and proving to those around them that they can make a difference with Christian beliefs. There ideals are almost working except they cannot get rid of their mice problem and they don't want a cat. This story is a really funny clean romance!Zachary Nemesek is their next door neighbor and the grandson of the lady they bought the farm from. He is a veterinary and doesn't agree with there ideals. Jo and Zach are attracted to each other, but Zach's grandmother is in the nursing home where Jo works and she is trying to get rid of all unhealthy snacks and the sparks fly. Will the three girl's friendship last and will Zach and Jo end up together or Zack and one of the other girls? I know and so will you if you read this book!This book isn't all roses and sunshine either, There is a section that is really heartbreaking but I think that is what makes this such a wonderful story as well as the romances in this book.At the end of the book Valerie Comer gives the recipe for the Raspberry and vinegar tea that is drank in the story.

  • Joanne
    2018-11-19 02:29

    Won in a Goodreads Giveaway raffle.This novel was listed as a Farm Fresh Romance. The characters are Christian. This book was a refreshing change from the boy meets girl storyline. A cute romance with a different twist of farm life, the simple things, faith and sustainability. Jo, Sierra and Claire all in their mid-20s buy an old farm with the intent of making it sustainable and hopefully a tourist attraction down the road for those looking for the simple life experience. Next door neighbor Zach is an attractive recent vet grad who comes home to help his mother while his father is ill. He sometimes misses the excitement of the city life he has experienced during college and his internship. If you don’t want to read about characters praying and letting God’s will happen in life you may not enjoy the story. Their faith bases how they handle life situations. The author weaves a tale that is not always happy and some of her twists were a little surprising, but life is filled with trials and tribulations. After I finished the book, there was a discussion question about Jo’s character. I just accepted her for being Jo and didn’t really give thought to her personality in that light.

  • Melissa
    2018-12-02 04:37

    Jo is off to a bad start with Zach… unfortunately life doesn’t give do-overs. Zach is just out of a relationship and not ready to date. It’ll be hard for him to stay single with the three new girls next door though. Can Jo overcome her unwillingness to love a guy who wants nothing more than to live in the city? Will Jo, Sierra and Claire be able to win over Galena Hills and have the people who live there decide to believe in buying local, organic foods? I absolutely LOVED Raspberries and Vinegar! I don’t usually read romance novels, but this one wasn’t the average. Not only was there an actual love story, but it revolved around sustainable living and people living the simple life. This book brought back a lot of memories from growing up on my grandparents farm on weekends. I personally love farmer’s markets and love to buy local. I wish more people would start supporting the people who sell their goods there. I absolutely loved Jo and Zach, because they weren’t perfect and had flaws just like the rest of us. It was interesting to see the family differences between Jo, Claire and Sierra. It kind of made me wonder if maybe that could be part of Jo’s issue with relationships. This book is really enjoyable and Jo and Zach’s relationship is a great story!

  • Ginger Solomon
    2018-11-19 01:38

    I found Raspberries and Vinegar by Valerie Comer to be incredibly funny, but also enlightening. There were a few moments when tears coursed down my cheeks, but I smiled through most of the book. Domino stole my heart from the very beginning. Valerie did an excellent job, and I wish it were still raspberry season here in the south so I could try the raspberry vinegar recipe that she included at the back of the book.I look forward to her next installment in the Farm Fresh Romance series.***I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of review. The above is my honest opinion.***

  • Jenn
    2018-11-26 02:52

    This is a cute, clean romance- but... sooooo agenda-y. I know the point of the story was to share that God loves us and answers prayers (which I believe is true), but the self-sustaining-don't-eat-stuff-from-a-chain-grocery-store-build-your-own-hay-wall-house was too much for me. Neither did I buy that they would actually fall for each other while differing so much on food quality (seriously). The writing was average and the preaching on environmental stuff irritated me. But- if you like that stuff, this is the book for you.

  • Wendy Macdonald
    2018-11-16 04:29

    Raspberries and Vinegar is a sweet romance that both entertains and encourages the reader. I instantly liked the male protagonist and eventually loved the lead female too as she changed for the better towards the end of the book. The subplot of the book reminded me how important and beneficial it is to grow our vegetables organically. It was refreshing to read a Christian book that encourages us to respect the planet and support businesses that do. I'm planning on reading more of Valerie's novels.