Title: Baggage Check by M.J. Pullen
The Marriage Pact Series Book Three
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 301 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Baggage Check is the third in a charming series about a group of thirty-somethings in Atlanta making surprising discoveries about friendship, love, and happily-ever-after.
At 35, Rebecca Williamson is surrounded by happy endings.
Her friends Suzanne and Marci are living out their own personal fairy tales in Atlanta. But despite Rebecca’s best efforts four years ago, her adorable college friend Jake Stillwell has officially slipped through her fingers and broken her heart. When Rebecca gets a frantic phone call from her mother back in Alabama, Rebecca is pulled back to the tiny town she worked so hard to leave behind and forced to face the hard truths about her family and past. A past that includes Deputy Alex Chen, who thinks of Rebecca as more than just an old friend’s kid sister. Can Rebecca navigate the chaos and get her life back to normal? Will Alex prove himself to be the friend she’s always needed? Or will she discover that the door to Jake is not as tightly closed as she thought?
M.J. Pullen returns in this final installment to the same captivating group of lovelorn friends, this time following the girl group’s frenemy, Rebecca, as she’s forced to confront her past. Raising the stakes, Pullen delivers an absorbing, romantic novel that poses the question, what if everything you were looking for was right where you started?
Baggage Check, the final installment in M.J. Pullen’s The Marriage Pact series, is a redemptive, reflective journey for Rebecca Williamson. Readers of the series will be absolutely delighted with this insightful story of healing for this (previously) less than appealing character.
Now in her mid-thirties, Rebecca has a career she loves and friends she enjoys spending time with. Reserved and emotionally distant, she lives a quiet, organized life that sometimes feels little lonely. When she must return to her small home town to deal with some serious family issues, Rebecca begins to re-evaluate some of the choices she has made over the years. She immediately reconnects with old high acquaintance Alex Chen, and while she appreciates his friendship, Rebecca does not feel like she is emotionally ready to handle a romance with the handsome deputy.
Rebecca is so closed-off and unwilling to talk about herself or her past that none of her friends really know her very well. Although they are busy with their own lives, they offer to help her as she tries to handle the situation with her parents, but she is quick to refuse their offer. Now forced to deal with everything she has tried so hard to forget, Rebecca continues to hold everyone at arms’ length as she tries to understand how she ended up at this point in her life. She is definitely conflicted about Alex as they get to know one another but every time they get close, she pushes him away. Alex is an absolute sweetheart but how many times will he let Rebecca hurt him before he walks away for good?
While Rebecca is in the midst of dealing with the crisis with her family, her friend Marci’s marriage has hit a bit of a rough patch. Their friendship has been tense for several years due to Rebecca’s unrequited love for Marci’s husband Jake. So it comes as a huge surprise to Rebecca when Marci reaches out to her for help in dealing with her suspicions about Jake. Although Rebecca is not exactly looking forward to meeting with Marci, their somewhat awkward conversation turns out to be opportunity to clear the air between them. But will this honest discussion have any effect on their strained friendship?
Baggage Check is an absolutely heartwarming addition to The Marriage Pact series. Rebecca’s character is beautifully redeemed as she finally lays the ghosts of her past to rest while opening herself to the possibility of love. M.J. Pullen saved the best story for last and fans of this series will be delighted by Rebecca’s transformation in this poignant, yet uplifting, novel of healing.