Spotlight & Giveaway: The Boy With The Bookstore by Sarah Echavarre Smith

Posted October 3rd, 2022 by in Blog, Spotlight / 30 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Sarah Echavarre Smith to HJ!

Hi Sarah and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The Boy With The Bookstore!


Please summarize the book for the readers here:

The Boy With The Bookstore is a friends-to-enemies-to-lovers romance about Joelle, a Filipino bakery owner, and Max, a bookstore owner. The two work in the same building and Joelle has had a crush on Max ever since he moved next door. When the landlord of their building decides to do renovations, Joelle and Max are forced to share a temporary work space together, and loads of steam and drama ensue. And when they discover the real reason for the renovation, they’ll have to put both their business sense and their feelings for each other to the test.

Please share your favorite line(s) or quote from this book:

“You come off so shy and sweet and innocent.”
“I am. Until you get me into bed.”


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • I wrote the first draft in just under 2 weeks, that’s a record for me!
  • It was a totally random idea that I pitched to my editor on a whim and she loved it, so then I had to write it haha.


What first attracts your Hero to the Heroine and vice versa?

Max is drawn to Joelle’s genuine sweetness. He’s a bit rough around the edges (he’s a bit of a bad boy) because of his upbringing and often has his guard up with people. But he has a soft spot for Joelle because of how genuinely sweet and kind she is. He’s always loved that about her.


Did any scene have you blushing, crying or laughing while writing it? And Why?

The scene that had my blushing was the first chapter. There’s an interesting discussion about bone marrow and oral sex. Weird combo for sure! You’ll have to read it to truly understand.

The scene that made me tear up was a scene between Max and his estranged mom. Second to the romance between Max and Joelle, family is a big theme in this book. This scene is very emotional because his mom isn’t in good health and it’s been years since they’ve spoken to each other. It’s a mix of sadness, pain, regret, and joy.

A snippet:

As I look over at her, I notice the pain in her eyes. She’s hurt that I didn’t move to embrace her.
I ignore the squeeze in my chest and clear my throat.
“It’s really good to see you.” She smiles once more.
“How are you?”
Terrible question, I know. But I don’t know what else to say. We haven’t seen each other in fourteen years. She’s akin to a stranger to me.

Only she’s not. She’s your blood, weather you like it or not. And you came to see her for a reason.


Readers should read this book….

…if they love books, pastries, cute rescue pets, steamy scenes, and laugh-out-loud moments mixed with emotional moments that lead to the most joyful, satisfying HEA I’ve ever written


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have in the works?

My next sexy romcom comes out in February, it’s called In Love With Lewis Prescott. It’s a romance between an architect and a TV star, so a regular person/celebrity trope with some secret romance trope thrown in there. It’s set in Half Moon Bay, California, one of my favorite places. It’s heavily inspired by the movie Notting Hill, but with more steam and a Filipino-American main character.

Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: (1) A paperback copy of The Boy With The Bookstore


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: If you had to share a tiny cramped work space with anyone, who would it be?

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Excerpt from The Boy With The Bookstore:

When Max Boyson walks into my bakery, I almost drop the tray of croissants I’m
holding and try not to pass out.
It’s a daily occurrence for me. Because this is what I have to contend with when he
strolls in at seven forty-five on the dot: His six-foot-two frame clad in a black
leather jacket, worn jeans covering his long, muscular legs. He wears a knit beanie
over that mass of light brown hair, and there’s a healthy amount of scruff sheeting
along a jawline sharp enough to cut diamonds.
He’s a cross between a ridiculously handsome Instagram model and a biker.
And that smile. Oh my freaking god, that smile. Always a half smile. Always the
right corner of his mouth quirked up like he’s hiding a secret that he’s dying to tell.
Always deliciously wolfish.
But it’s not just his looks. It’s his whole demeanor. The way he walks into a room,
posture straight, gaze focused and unbothered at the same time. He looms large
but is also aware of himself. As physically imposing as he is, he’s careful not to
crowd anyone when he steps into the tiny space of my bakery. He holds the door
for people when he walks in and out. And he always moves out of the way when
there’s a line. It’s an easy confidence he possesses-something I’ve always ached to
He is the epitome of everything I find attractive in a man. And that pinnacle of
hotness walks into my world every single morning, setting fire to my skin and
turning my brain to mush.
I wish I weren’t such an utter cliché. But I am.
I am the physical representation of the phrase “mousy shy girl.” If you were to
search that on Google Images, my photo would be the first to pop up.
I’ve got it all: wild hair that hits all the way to the middle of my back and hides my
face when it’s not pulled into a ponytail, thick-rimmed glasses, a penchant for biting
my lip and stammering when I’m nervous, and the inability to maintain prolonged
eye contact when a handsome guy looks my way.
That’s pretty much what I’ve done every other day when Max walks in here and
places his usual order of an ube latte-iced in the spring and summer, hot in the fall
and winter-and a plain croissant, just before he strolls next door and opens his

non-exclusive excerpt / THE BOY WITH THE BOOKSTORE
bookshop, Stacked, which occupies the store space next to mine in this brick
building we both lease in the Jade District of Portland, Oregon.
It all happens like some slow-motion scene out of a movie. Max half smiles. I
instantly forget that I often have a store full of customers to help. He makes casual
conversation, asking me about the morning rush, what new pastries I’ve got on the
menu that day, if the pigeons in the dumpster behind our building have dive-
bombed me when I took out the trash. And like the unsophisticated and painfully
awkward human that I am, I burn hot all across my cheeks and neck and chest. I
giggle, then stammer my way through the conversation, all the while trying not to
stare unblinkingly at him so I don’t come off like a psycho.
And then he leaves, my heart resumes a steady beat, and I will myself to act like a
normal human being again.
It’s all very embarrassing, the fact that I devolve into a flustered teen every time
I’m in his presence.
But not today.
No, no, no. Today marks something new. Today I’m going to actually do something about my crush on Max Boyson that kicked off when he started renting out the space next to me a year and a half ago. I’m going to ask him out.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

Max Boyson looks good…from a distance. But up close and personal, the tattooed hottie Joelle Prima has been crushing on for the past year and half has turned into the prime example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by his delectable cover.

When she first learned about the massive renovation to the building they share, Joelle imagined that temporarily combining her Filipino bakery with Max’s neighboring bookstore would be the perfect opening chapter to their happily ever after. In her fantasies they fed each other bibingka and pandesal while discussing Jane Austen and cooing over her pet hamster, Pumpkin. Reality, however…is quite different. Her gallant prince turned out to be a stubborn toad who snaps at her in front of customers, dries his sweaty gym clothes in her oven, and routinely helps himself to the yummy pastries in her display case without asking.

But beneath Max’s grumpy glares, Joelle senses a rising heat—and a softening heart. And when they discover the real reason for the renovation, they’ll have to put both their business senses and their feelings for each other to the test.
Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | kobo | Google |

Meet the Author:

Sarah Smith is a copywriter-turned-author who wants to make the world a lovelier place, one kissing story at a time. Her love of romance began when she was eight and she discovered her auntie’s stash of romance novels. She’s been hooked ever since. When she’s not writing, you can find her hiking, eating chocolate, and perfecting her lumpia recipe. She lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband and adorable cat Salem. She is the author of Faker, If You Never Come Back, Simmer Down, and On Location. She is also one half of the romance writing duo Sarah Skye.
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30 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: The Boy With The Bookstore by Sarah Echavarre Smith”

    • Dianne Casey

      My Sister, we could tell each other if something was bothering us.

  1. Amy R

    If you had to share a tiny cramped work space with anyone, who would it be? Someone who is organized and doesn’t talk too much or loud.

  2. Latesha B.

    My friend, Charlene. We would have fun, but we both know the value of hard work.


    My friend. We never run out of things to talk about, we have a lot in common, and she gives good advice and recommendations.

  4. Leanna Hiner

    My dog Lola, she only weighs 10lbs so she wouldn’t take up much space.