In the Weeds by B.K. Borison Spoilers Ahead
Once in a blue moon, a book arrives just as you need it most—sprinkled through every line with the words you want to hear and characters you find yourself closely relating to, it effortlessly brings magic into your ordinary day. That’s the case with B.K. Borison’s latest novel in the Lovelight series, In The Weeds.
In The Weeds follows the grumpy tatted farmer/cat dad, Beckett Porter, in his second chance at a romance with the ineffable Evelyn St. James, the influencer who’s searching for something more. It’s a romance between a grump and sunshine with a touch of forced proximity that hits in all the right ways, making the novel a pot full of emotions that’ll undeniably leave a mark.
Before diving into the novel, I was particularly nervous about Evie being a travel “influencer” because, personally, it’s always hard to connect with a book if I don’t find something grounded in the heroine. (And that’s sadly the case with most contemporary romances that tackle any sort of social media position.) But from the very beginning, I was delighted to find that Evie is not only incredibly grounded in reality, but she is deeply relatable to anyone who’s in the creative field. “I feel disconnected, I guess. Muted. Far away from anything that feels real,” Evie says at one point, and that’s where Borison gets to the heart of what happens after a while of constant work that no longer feels rewarding—”an endless loop of numb ambivalence.”
It’s from this moment where In The Weeds by B.K. Borison turns into the kind of love story where not only the characters will find the healing they desperately need, but the readers will as well, and the last time something of the sort happened with me, in particular, was with Emily Henry’s Beach Read.
It’s the kind of book where every word feels like the necessary breeze after staying in the scorching heat for far too long. It’s like holding your breath underwater for far too long before finding shore, knowing someone’s waiting there with a hand outstretched, ready to pull you up. It’s a novel worth celebrating because there’s so much vulnerability scattered into every corner you find yourself wishing, hoping, Inglewild was a real place.
Borison is a wordsmith, and none of this praise should be remotely shocking with the warmth conveyed in Lovelight Farms, but the magic of In the Weeds is otherworldly. The brilliant imagery and the palpable longing will tug on your heartstrings like nothing else. And while the debut novel primarily followed our heroine’s headspace, In The Weeds gives us a duel point of view, taking us through the secluded corridors for both Beckett and Evie, making the mutual pining process that much more delicious when they finally collide.
Further, the dual point of view heightens emotions so brilliantly that whatever you’re most fixated on becomes that much more believable to your core. And for me, it’s Beckett telling Evie to stop making herself smaller than she is. What Borison captures here is a feeling so achingly profound that the words jolt through the pieces of you that the world has forced you to dim. It’s a thing women are most guilty of, our reasons unique to our own experiences, but making ourselves small out of fears and frustrations until someone looks into the parts of us we hide and realizes what we’ve done. It’s not until someone (or something) inspires us to see that every element of our beings deserves a space in the world.
And that’s where the magnificence in their relationship lies because Beckett Porter never saw the influencer, but he saw a woman who’s able to capture the beauty in the ordinary things—the woman whose spark he never wanted to dim but ignite even farther. The glimpses of these desires that Borison allows us to see burst forward so fiercely, yet they still manage to evoke butterflies that arise from something surprising.
Borison rightfully focuses much attention on flowers, painting the kind of picturesque scenes that are so utterly captivating and soothing at the same time that it allows you to escape in a way contemporary romances generally don’t leave much room for. And that’s another reason why it’s easy to choke up when Evie first finds her happy in the weeds. It hits with the same vehemence as the raindrops after gruesome summer droughts. It feels earned, making it that much more heartwarming.
There’s also much to be said about the novel’s pacing and how the character arcs drive the story through the best kind of tropes. When mixing too much at times, the story can get a bit clunky if it’s not handled with care, but Borison manages these details seamlessly, intermingling the tropes in a dance you don’t want to look away from. The forced proximity works pristinely for Beckett and Evie, and the hurt/comfort comes in where you need it most, threading them together in a way that’s bound to trigger a tear or two. (Or, if you’re like me, you might start full-blown ugly crying.) To pepper these amidst the mutual pining makes In The Weeds so overwhelmingly joyous that it’s beyond description.
Beckett and Evie’s love story is an experience like the first time you see stars on a summer night in the country—the moment where the world’s immensity and beauty convince you that magic is real. It’s a story for the creative, anxious souls who are tirelessly wandering, searching for the place to belong—the person to belong with. It’s about two people who are so right for each other that you’ll be dazzled to believe in the idea of kindred spirits like never before.
Scars and memories, light and dark, grump and sunshine, the wildflowers in the book dance alongside the beauty of their love story. It’s about two people who consistently see the best in each other, wanting to do all they can to ensure that the other person feels their adoration beyond the walls in their hearts. It’s a book with so much staggering kindness that there are wonders in the soft edges of the profound longing consistently blooming within them both. There’s something utterly indescribable in a grumpy, tatted farmer calling a woman honey that makes you want to collapse into the jello you’ve resorted to.
It’s about the roaring waves of anxiety and the desperation to cling to the quiet comforts in another’s soul that’s dancing with yours. It’s about fears and ruts and the places we go to when it’s all too much; the waves that lull when we find a piece of comfort in something or someone that sees the parts of us we can’t even describe with words. As someone who thought she couldn’t relate to Evie, her arc consistently looked into the burned-out pieces of my exhausted brain, inspiring the words to come forth again. There is a light in her that Beckett sees, and Borison not only tells us this, but she shows it through movements and decisions that are soft and whimsical. She’s a character you want to write about for hours.
And then there’s Beckett Porter—the ultimate grump with a heart of gold and social anxiety so relatable that you can’t help but feel every ounce of what he does and what he tries to put out in the world. Borison’s characters not only feel grounded, but they feel genuine. He isn’t just a perfect man written by a brilliant woman, but his layers will match anyone whose anxious brain is too much almost all the time—you know there are people like him in the world who don’t say as much, whose stories aren’t yet told.
It’s about men who feel deeply and men who’d do anything to ensure that the person they love finds their happy every single day. And the thing with Beckett is, his vulnerable edges break through our own. I might not have sensory sensitivities, but I know what it’s like to have a panic attack in a crowded place, digging my nails into my palm to avoid bursting until I’m out. So many of us have been there (no matter how different a state of panic looks on each of us), and it’ll never get tiring to see that in fiction—to be reminded that we aren’t alone. Beckett Porter is one of the special ones, a rare, beautiful comfort character through and through.
The scenery, the dialogue, the exposition, all of it—In The Weeds is the healing kind of escape that not only feels like an embrace but it touches the edges of you that have lost all inspiration. There’s immense, indescribable strength in vulnerability and every part of this novel captures that. Borison brought to life characters that will touch us long after we close the book, characters we’ll want to revisit time and time again because they see pieces of us that long to hold onto the moments where wildflowers are in full bloom and the world all around us is just right.
B.K. Borison is a wordsmith, and her next book will likely hit in all the right places too, but it’s safe to admit that for me at least, In The Weeds stands where so few books will ever go—right at the very place where we need them most, cascading forth all the comfort and longing we’re searching for. These characters, their love story, the cabin, the cats, the flowers, the food, the humor, the love declarations, there’s magic in every word and the spaces between them. If you allow yourself, you could highlight more than 90% of the book. “A place where I can catch my breath and find my footing“—that’s it, that’s what In The Weeds brings to all its readers in a novel that deserves endless praise and adoration.
Beckett, Evie, Luka, Stella, Layla (+ Caleb), and the people of Inglewild and Lovelight Farms continue to be a safe space to venture to—a place to find one’s own happy with characters that will always feel like home. We could spend hours in this world and we will.
We could also spend hours gazing at the stunning cover by Sam over at Ink and Laurel. A novel as beautiful as In the Weeds needed a cover to match the heart of the inside, and it does so brilliantly.
Gissane (pronounced Geese-enny) or, as people often call her, "Goose," is a Christ fan above all and a romance enthusiast who's taken her Master's degree in English and love for essays into writing lengthy analyses about pop culture.
She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Marvelous Geeks Media and the co-host of Lady Geeks' Society Podcast. She drinks too much coffee, wants to live in a forest, and cries a lot because of her favorite characters. She's a member of The Cherry Picks and can also be found writing features for Looper.