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Powerball winner Josie Morgan has learned the hard way that dating, in her financial situation, will only lead to heartbreak. She's been perfectly happy living the single life and running the Pumpkin Everything country store. Too bad her mother can’t seem to take the hint. Unwilling to face another lineup of suitors and gold-diggers at this year's Thanksgiving dinner, Josie opts to stay behind in Autumnboro to host a free meal for anybody without a place to go.

When Josie’s family turns up in Autumnboro, faking a relationship with funeral planner Riley Parker seems like the only way to make it through the holiday. Like every other man on Earth, Riley’s only interested in her money. So what if she has a teeny, tiny crush? If he agrees to help her out, she’ll gladly write him a check.

But as Thanksgiving draws closer, turkey and stuffing aren’t the only things heating up, and maybe money isn’t the only thing on Riley’s mind. Josie’s already hit the lottery once, dare she hope for anything more?

Set against the scenic backdrop of the White Mountains, New Hampshire, Maple Sugar Crush is a small town, sweet romance, and the perfect way to ease into the Thanksgiving season!

188 pages, Kindle Edition

Published October 11, 2019

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About the author

Beth Labonte

18 books282 followers
Beth Labonte received a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She worked as an administrative assistant for fourteen years, turning to writing as her creative outlet in an excruciatingly mundane corporate world. Beth now writes full-time and resides in Massachusetts.

Sign up for her mailing list & receive exclusive access to Summer's photo albums! Sign-up on her website: www.bethlabonte.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 181 reviews
Profile Image for Carol [Goodreads Addict].
2,354 reviews24.7k followers
November 20, 2021
Maple Sugar Crush is book two in An Autumnboro Sweet Romance series by Beth Labonte. Both of the books in this series are sweet, clean holiday romances that take place in the beautiful little town of Autumnboro.

Spiced Pumpkin Maple Latte. - Half Baked Harvest

In book one, we met Josie Morgan. She is about thirty years old. A few years ago, she won the power ball for over four hundred million dollars! Now she is plagued with being constantly pursued for her money. It’s not something she would wish on anyone. She tries her hardest to stay hidden in Autumnboro and do as much good for her community as she can.

Josie has had her heart broken as a result of the money, so has vowed never to allow herself to be in that position again. Love just isn’t going to ever be in her future. But she still can’t help the crush she has developed for her friend’s brother, Riley.

This Thanksgiving instead of traveling to her parent’s home and having to suffer not only her relatives but her mom’s matchmaking attempts, Josie decides to stay home and host a Thanksgiving dinner for anyone who doesn’t have someone to spend the holiday with. Only of course, you know things aren’t going to go as planned.

This is a very sweet story of learning to trust again, of getting over your fears and opening your heart. Josie might be the one hosting the community Thanksgiving dinner but she and her family might be the ones receiving the biggest gift of all.

For more about this book and so many others, come and visit me at Carol's Crazy Bookish World.

Profile Image for Cara.
268 reviews197 followers
October 18, 2022
Maple Sugar Crush is the second and final book in the An Autumnboro Sweet Romance series written by Beth Labonte. I'll say it again, and i'll keep on saying it, BRING OUT THE ICED PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES!!!!! All the food that was mentioned in this book just sounded so delicious, so if you choose to read this book, don't read it without eating. Both of the books in this series are sweet, clean holiday romances. Both of these books take place in a small beautiful town of Autumnboro, New Hampshire. I loved every minute of this book, it was fun, sweet, quirky, and heartwarming. Maple Sugar Crush gave me all the feels of the fall festivities. All the characters are sweet, loving, and caring souls. I'm so sad this series has ended because it was one of the best fall books I have read this season, but now I can watch the Hallmark movies. If you haven't read this series, I totally recommend doing so because it was such a beautiful, heart touching story. Maple Sugar Crush is the perfect book for fall. Beth Labonte, you have my heart after writing this series. I wish there were more books to the An Autumnboro Sweet Romance series because the characters were so easy to fall in love with.

Maple Sugar Crush continues with Kit and Amy owning the new inn that they built, but we don't see as much of them as we did in the first book. Now, we continue with Josie Morgan, the power ball winner who is now the owner of Pumpkin Everything, the store that Amy's grandma owned. Josie has so much money after being the winner of the power ball, but she doesn't care after her mother's words and encouragement of retiring, Josie just wants to give back to her small little town of Autumnboro, New Hampshire. Josie has learned the hard way that dating men, in her financial situation will only lead to heart break. My heart absolutely broke for Josie after she told the story of how her ex-boyfriend Dean, was such a sweet man, but they went on vacation together and he just up and left with a ton of Josie's money. Josie, Amy, Kit, and Riley truly made my heart melt, they are such sweet people that I want to meet.

The previous year, Josie went home for Thanksgiving dinner, but it didn't turn out the way Josie hoped for, her mother kept trying to set her up with someone to date. This year, Josie is content with being single, and now she is unwilling to face another lineup of gold diggers, for this Thanksgiving dinner, Josie opts to stay behind in Autumnboro and host a free meal to those who are alone for Thanksgiving dinner. Josie has had a crush on Riley Parker, Kit's brother for a while now, but Josie doesn't know if Riley feels the same way about her. Last Thanksgiving dinner, Josie's whole family just wanted her money, but she's way too sweet to put her foot down. When Josie's whole family suddenly shows up in Autumnboro, faking a relationship with Riley seems like the only way to make it through the holiday season since her mother doesn't get the hint that Josie is perfectly happy being single.

Like every other man Josie has dated, Riley is only interested in her money. If Riley agrees to fake a relationship with Josie, she'll be more than happy to write him a check. Riley is obsessed with Pokemon Go, so when a trip to Japan for a Pokemon Go event comes up, Riley decides to bite the bullet and ask Josie for money, Josie will only give Riley the money if he's willing to help her out. After a little bit of this fake relationship, Riley turns a corner, and Josie realizes that he's not after her money, Riley just doesn't know how to let go of his phone and share his feelings with Josie. After a little bit, I found myself loving Riley. Maple Sugar Crush just left a smile on my face, at times my heart broke for Josie. Let me just say, the Maple Sugar Crush just sounded so delicious, I need to find a recipe for it because YUM!!!!! I don't want to be a debby downer, but Josie's mother annoyed me so much. She pretty much controlled Josie's dating life. But, I still loved the book so much.
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books353 followers
October 10, 2022
We’re back in Autumnboro, the New Hampshire autumn-themed town, just in time for Thanksgiving. Our lovey-dovey couple from book one in the series (the Halloween book—totally check it out) is doing great and about to open their inn, and Josie, who volunteers at Pumpkin Everything, is feeling a bit forlorn about her crummy romantic prospects and certain family members who see her as a meal ticket after she won the lottery. Josie decides to throw a Thanksgiving dinner for those who may not have any place to eat or family to eat with for the holiday, and also begins growing closer to Riley, Kit’s brother from book one. This is a great series, perfect for lovers of fall, holidays, and who want a cozy romance! I hope Beth Labonte writes more holiday romances!
Profile Image for Aoife.
1,293 reviews550 followers
December 2, 2020
Josie Morgan has an odd problem. She has two much money after winning the Powerball lottery, and now her life is a series of annoying relatives begging for cash and her mother trying to set her up on dates with men only after her money. Thankfully, Josie has set up her home in the cosy, peaceful town of Autumnsboro and this Thanksgiving she's giving back by hosting a public Thanksgiving dinner for everyone on their own or in need of a hot meal and company.

This was a really sweet book that is the spiced chai latte you want for the Autumnal season but not too Christmassy just yet. There's definitely a bit of a 'poor little white girl' vibe from it because Josie's problems are a bit laughable in that she simply has too much money but otherwise a charmed life with a family who are all hail and healthy. But at the same time, Josie is a lovely character and someone who (even without her money) you'd want to be friends with.

The fake dating part in the book was done just right (though I went through a stage wondering if the fake boyfriend was going to be Moose, and I got excited thinking it was the perfect Gilmore Girls Luke and Lorelai match) and while I didn't like Riley at first, I warmed up to him a lot. He's someone who will appeal to a lot of readers I think - shy, introverted with a love of all things geek.

The writing, the setting, the characters were all small town loveliness and I'm definitely going to be reading more of Beth LaBonte's writing with a Reindeer Falls book all ready to go for my Christmas reading!

I would love more books in the Autumnboro series!
Profile Image for Asheley T..
1,309 reviews118 followers
October 3, 2020
Another fun seasonal read that takes place in the fall-obsessed town of Autumnboro, NH. Josie moved to town after willing a massive amount of money in the lottery. She moved to find anonymity in hopes that people would see her for herself rather than her money. Riley grew up in Autumnboro and now works at the funeral home as a funeral planner. We got to know these two characters in the first book, but this story explores more of their backstory and how they came to be where they are right now. There is also a sweet, slow-burn romance that begins as a fake relationship. (I LOVE the fake relationship trope.)

I'm not sure that I loved the entire story as much as I enjoyed Pumpkin Everything in its entirety, but once the fake relationship gets going, I really enjoyed it. And the ending is wonderful. Just like with the first book, there are plenty of seasonal feels with the inclusion of Thanksgiving dinner preparations and cool, crisp weather. And there are plenty of quirky, interesting characters in the form of Josie's family members and the Autumnsboro townsfolk. Fun to look in to Amy and Kit from the first book. I like to see how well they're doing!

I read this one in one sitting with my morning coffee, after practically inhaling the first book when Amazon recommended it to me. I'm so excited that I took a chance on this series and hope the author writes more about these townsfolk featuring perhaps Christmas and maybe even Valentine's Day.
Profile Image for Aly.
2,332 reviews67 followers
October 27, 2019
We met Josie and Riley in the previous book. He's Kit brother and she's Amy's new friend. Even if Josie stayed the same kind and down-to-earth generous soul, her life changed at 25 when she won the Powerball. Or more precisely, people around her changed. Boyfriend's betrayal and relatives always asking for money or people acting jealous. It's no a matter of stop working for Josie nor stop offering her help to others. She's happy managing Pumpkin Everything, a country store in Fall themed town, Autumnboro.

She's been more than generous with her family, even extended, but after 5 years, Josie is still at a point where she often have to dodge requests for money. That's why she doesn't date and she's not interested in a fling either. Could be also because she's got a crush on the geeky funeral planner, Riley? But he doesn't seem to notice her, always his nose in his cellphone. They used to talk and walk together, but their meetings suddenly stopped one day.

This year, Josie intend to escape her mother's Thanksgiving matchmaking schemes and what a better way to do it in helping others? She decide to host a dinner for people who are alone for Thanksgiving. But when her family surprise her with their arrival, she blurt out that she already have a boyfriend. Since she learned the hard way (what an heartbreaking scene!) that Riley needs money, she convince him to play the part in exchange for cash.

There's details in this story that should have bothered me but I could easily forgive because I had fun with the story. But I didn't like the nickname Riley gave to Josie, he spend way too much time on his cellphone and I wish the romance was more present and arrive earlier. But surprisingly, maybe I like the fact that the characters, especially Riley, could have been people I'd meet in real life, even if it means a flaw hero who was not the most supportive nor sensitive in my opinion. But it also show how positive Josie is and that she still have faith in people.

I prefer books written at third person but in this series, the first person works really well and I like the humor.
Profile Image for Madeline .
1,641 reviews123 followers
November 4, 2019
The ending was a 4.

The middle was a 3 or less...I was pretty tired of hearing about her winning the power ball.

I was especially tired of her male friend calling her moneybags.
Profile Image for Shelley Lawrence.
1,626 reviews87 followers
November 8, 2022
Maple Sugar Crush, by Beth Labonte, is the second book in the Autunmboro Sweet Romance series. Whereas Pumpkin Everything, the first in this series, was set in October, Maple Sugar Crush is set in November and centered around Thanksgiving.

In this story we follow the friendly Josie Morgan who runs the Pumpkin Everything store and has a huge heart for others. She faithfully makes coffee runs for the citizens of Autumnboro, and is known for generously giving to worthy town causes after winning millions in PowerBall. This windfall has caused her to trust very few people since experience has taught her that most seem to want to befriend her only for a free handout, including her ex-fiancé. Josie is scarred from this experience, the way the money has changed her own family, and the way others judge her. She knows she should be grateful, but the price of winning is high.

Moved by a newspaper advertisement explaining that many spend Thanksgiving alone, and wanting a break from her needy family, Josie decides to host a dinner in town for anyone who finds themselves alone. It’s a worthy cause, but of course, things don’t turn out quite as planned.

This story is sweetly seasonal, promotes the spirit of giving, showcases family and all their gory and glory, and has a reluctant romance. It is a quick, easy, feel-good read and one you won’t want to miss.
Profile Image for Christine Spoors.
Author 1 book444 followers
October 16, 2019
This was another fun cosy autumnal read, though slightly more festive as it takes place around Thanksgiving (which I think is November maybe?? I’m not American so who knows!). In this story we follow Josie, a lottery winner trying to find meaning in her life, company and reconnect with her family. I enjoyed this book even more than the first.

These are such quick easy reads, perfect for getting you in the autumnal mood. It’s just slightly a shame that they went down the predictable everyone’s married & having babies route!
Profile Image for Jazmine.
670 reviews14 followers
October 3, 2022
3.5ish stars

I absolutely loved Pumpkin Everything so I couldn’t wait to start this one, but unfortunately this one just didn’t work as well for me.

I’m sure I would’ve enjoyed it more had I not wanted to shoot Josie’s ENTIRE family out of a cannon. I hated them. I didn’t always enjoy Josie either I thought she was dramatic at times. But I loved seeing the cast of characters again(especially Tom) and being in the picturesque little town.
801 reviews13 followers
November 25, 2019
A sweet Thanksgiving romance. If you’re a Hallmark fan then you will definitely love this one. Josie, the powerball winner had trust issues with good cause. Riley just needs to win her trust. Fake relationships are one of my favorite tropes.
Profile Image for Racheli Zusiman.
1,446 reviews47 followers
January 4, 2021
ההמשך של "Pumpkin Everything".
הפעם הסיפור הוא על ג'וסי, ידידה של טום (סבא של איימי), שקנתה ממנו ומנהלת את החנות שהיתה שלו ושל אשתו, ועל ריילי, אחיו של קיט מהספר הקודם.
ג'וסי היא מולטי-מיליונרית לאחר שזכתה בלוטו האמריקאי. משפחתה המורחבת מנסה (ומצליחה) לנצל אותה ולחלוב ממנה כספים, וכך גם בן הזוג שלה לשעבר. שאר האנשים סתם מנסים להידבק אליה בגלל הכסף שלה, או לחילופין - מתרחקים ממנה כי חושבים שהיא סנובית.
ג'וסי נדלקת על ריילי, אבל נראה שהוא לא ממש שם עליה והיא גם חושבת שהוא נחמד אליה רק כי הוא רוצה שתלווה לו כסף. אמא של ג'וסי מנסה לשדך לה גברים וג'וסי מבקשת מריילי שיעמיד פנים שהוא בן הזוג שלה, כדי שאמא שלה תרד ממנה, ובתמורה תממן לו את הטיול שהוא כל כך רוצה.
הספר חמוד אבל מאוד שטחי. הדמות של ג'וסי היא כזו חסרת ביטחון וחסרת עמוד שדרה וכל כך רוצה שכולם יאהבו אותה, ולכן גם משלימה עם היחס המזעזע שהיא סופגת מהסביבה, שבשלב מסוים זה כבר מתחיל לעצבן... הספר מאוד מנסה להיות משעשע, אבל בעיניי אין משהו משעשע בהשלמה עם יחס כזה... קריאה חביבה אבל לא יותר מזה.
Profile Image for Cherihy808.
346 reviews
December 4, 2020
5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. This is the second book in the “An Autumnboro Sweet Romance” series. I loved the first book and I loved this one just as much. I’m so happy that I read them back to back since they both had the same characters. This one focused on Josie (the Powerball winner) and Riley (Kit’s younger brother from the first book). The story was really cute and I caught myself smiling quite a bit as I was reading. This is another one that would be a great Hallmark movie. I highly recommend both books in this series if you’re in the mood for a sweet romance.
Profile Image for Alisha.
1,002 reviews64 followers
April 13, 2022
Very cute and genuinely sooo comical in many places… it’s very much a Hallmark movie kind of book except lots more quirky humor and lots more, um, Pokémon Go.

To be honest, I wish there was less Pokémon Go. A lot less.

So just consider my 4-star rating a testament to how much I enjoyed it even in spite of that unfortunate fact. 😂

If you want something super light-hearted that will make you laugh, you should try the two autumn-themed books by this author.
Profile Image for Emily.
574 reviews5 followers
February 2, 2021
Prompt 49 - A Flavor in the title

This was such a super cute story. It was predictable, cute, little bit of cheesy romance and ending. It wasn't my favorite book, but we all need this kind of story every once in a while.
Profile Image for Kerstin Reads.
137 reviews7 followers
October 11, 2022
Auch dieser Teil der Buch Reihe hat mich total verzaubert. Eine kurze aber richtig schöne und romantische Geschichte.
Im ersten Teil konnte man die Haupt Charaktere Riley und Josie schon ein wenig kennenlernen und die Beiden waren mir schon dort super sympathisch 🥰
Profile Image for Kelly.
68 reviews
November 16, 2022
The perfect hallmark book 🍁I loved both of the Autumnboro romance books, they left me wishing I lived there too! The cozy little town and happy endings full of love and family make for a sweet read 🎃
Profile Image for Angela.
44 reviews1 follower
September 29, 2020
This book, like the first, was an adorable easy read. It, like the first, reminded me of a Hallmark movie turned into a book. I was also really enjoyed reading more about Riley.
295 reviews
November 15, 2020
Cute and funny

I really enjoyed this second book in the Autumnboro series. I liked the first one about Amy, and this one about Josie was just as good. Sweet, funny, seasonal with a Hallmark ending. It also puts into perspective the downsides to winning an incredible amount of money.
Profile Image for shannon✨.
971 reviews42 followers
January 31, 2023
The beginning was a bit tedious and boring, but the ending was definitely heart-warming. I enjoyed reading this and I think that the length was just perfect.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
2,575 reviews125 followers
December 3, 2020
After winning mega millions, Josie is extra cautious about dating. She can't help but wonder if men are interested in her, or her money. Once burned, twice shy and all that. So when she develops a crush on Riley, she doesn't take it seriously and is determined to stay single... but wait, could he be interested in return?

Just like Pumpkin Everything (4 stars), the first in this series, I thoroughly enjoyed this fall-themed romance. I loved learning more about the characters from the first book, especially Josie, who was everything you'd want in a best friend: fun, quirky, friendly, and generous to a fault (not that I'd use her for her money like she's so afraid of, but she's so thoughtful that she just can't help but give back to her family, friends, and community). I teared up several times while reading this book so thanks to 2020, I have apparently turned into a sappy mess (pun intended hehe). If you're looking for a quick, heartwarming romance, then look no further than this hopeful, sweet, feel good story!

Location: Autumnboro, New Hampshire
Profile Image for Karyn.
122 reviews13 followers
October 30, 2022
I read this in the E-book format.
Its the second book in the Autummboro series.
Ms. Moneybags as Josie is called by Riley, is the main character of this sweet small town romance.
She has had a bad experience when it comes to dating and is wary of falling in love again.
But things take a twist and Riley comes along. Misunderstandings, are cleared over a Maple Sugar Crush *that's the drink Josie brings to Riley at the funeral home.*
Things begin to change as Josie organizes a big thanksgiving party for the town and everything comes together, in a proposal at the end.
Small and sweet story..
Profile Image for Catherine.
951 reviews29 followers
March 9, 2022
“I need you to be my fake boyfriend for the next week and a half.”
“Your what?”
Oh, for Pete’s sake. Had he never read a romance novel?
— Josie Morgan & Riley Parker

The ending is so so cute. Sweet and a wonderful pair for Pumpkin Everything. Riley and Josie and developed well from what we know, becoming more than stereotypes. Those stereotypes are the poor little rich girl and the best friend (also 'former' goth). I'm going to be honest poor little rich girl with a rags to riches backstory is truly oversimplifying Josie's societal position. Anyone who read Pumpkin Everything knows that Josie has more money than most of us care to even this about from her $458,000,000 Powerball jackpot won five years prior to the start of the book. But she is frugal with it, giving it to people who need it or ask for it politely and just wanting to help others. We get all the answers as to why Josie is how she is. The issues that the money has caused her that has formed her current self, the whole truth not the watered-down version.

My love for Riley didn't change between the books. Riley is a gorgeous character he's so death positive and aware of himself. His reason for going into his job is so endearing. He takes Josie's behaviours well, he reminds her of what is normal and builds her back up. Look goth boys are the best boys, and there really is no such thing as a reformed or ex goth they just learn how to blend better. There is one moment I really like "He met me halfway across the parking lot and immediately handed over his phone.
“What’s this?” I asked, laughing as I took it from him.
“This is one of those eyes on you and not my phone type of things.”
. Riley is a Pokemon Go addict. To me this is one of the most romantic things he could do. And the phone is a huge part of their relationship which is handled so, so well.

Josie and Riley are both likeable and I find them relatable on different levels. Their story suits them. It is anchored well in their personality traits. And their communication breakdowns are so human and so very millennial as much as anything else. Maple Sugar Crush took me far, far longer than it had any right to. But realistically this is readable in a day and is definitely worth reading as either a standalone holiday romance or as a companion to Pumpkin Everything.

Jawline of a Greek god, and a heart of gold to boot. Now he was picking out sweaters for my dog. — Josie Morgan (Josie has her priorities straight what can I say)

A representative gif:

Profile Image for Cynthia (Bingeing On Books).
1,645 reviews119 followers
November 28, 2019
This was a very sweet book. I was happy to revisit the town of Autumboro. We met Josie in the first of the series and I was glad there was a book with her as the main character. Josie won millions with the Powerball and has to deal with family members asking for money all the time. She is also wary of new relationships since she can never tell if they are in it for the money or not. I really liked her relationship with Riley and their chemistry. Great read!
Profile Image for Sandra Hutchison.
Author 10 books82 followers
November 16, 2021
This is a cute little romance that's right on the ball about how coming into a huge chunk of cash can make it harder to trust friends, family, and potential lovers (we have a family friend that happened to, and it really did cause serious problems!). The hero here possibly could have used a little more development, and at least one bit of the resolution was a little implausible, but over all it's a witty, well-written, warm-hearted read set in a charming, warm-hearted New Hampshire town.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 181 reviews

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