Category Archives: Contemporary

Review: Ransom Canyon by Jodi Thomas

ransom canyonTitle: Ransom Canyon by Jodi Thomas
Ransom Canyon Series Book One
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
Length: 363 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

From New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas comes the first book in a compelling, emotionally resonant series set in a remote west Texas town—where family can be made by blood or by choice 

Rancher Staten Kirkland, the last descendant of Ransom Canyon’s founding father, is rugged and practical to the last. No one knows that when his troubling memories threaten to overwhelm him, he runs to lovely, reclusive Quinn O’Grady…or that she has her own secret that no one living knows.

Young Lucas Reyes has his eye on the prize—college, and the chance to become something more than a ranch hand’s son. But one night, one wrong decision, will set his life on a course even he hadn’t imagined.

Yancy Grey is running hard from his troubled past. He doesn’t plan to stick around Ransom Canyon, just long enough to learn the town’s weaknesses and how to use them for personal gain. Only Yancy, a common criminal since he was old enough to reach a car’s pedals, isn’t prepared for what he encounters.

In this dramatic new series, the lives, loves and ambitions of four families will converge, set against a landscape that can be as unforgiving as it is beautiful, where passion, property and pride are worth fighting—and even dying—for.

Review:

Ransom Canyon by Jodi Thomas is a wonderful novel of new beginnings and unexpected love. The town of Crossroads, TX and surrounding Ransom Canyon prove to be a fascinating and enticing backdrop for this first installment in the Ransom Canyon series.

Rancher Staten Kirkland has deep roots in the community and despite the heartbreak of his past, he would never leave the land his ancestors fought so hard to keep. In his early forties, he is a taciturn widower who closely guards his heart from further loss. When his memories are too difficult to bear on his own, he turns to longtime friend Quinn O’Grady and their shared past helps ease the pain of their tragic losses. However, even with Quinn, Staten is careful to maintain an emotional distance but a simple request from her becomes a pivotal point in their relationship.

Although she is also a bit of a loner, Quinn is a well respected farmer who is also deeply entrenched in the close knit town. A gifted pianist, she left town years early in order to study music in New York but she returned home twenty years earlier. She is quiet and unassuming but she has long been a part of Staten’s life. Quinn has been satisfied with their friendship but she finally works up the courage to make a request that takes Staten completely off guard and irrevocably changes the course of their relationship.

Newcomer Yancy Grey is fresh out of prison and although his ties to Crossroads are tenuous, the small town is his first choice to start over. His plan for his future is not exactly noble, but a chance encounter with a group of elderly retirees changes the course of his life. However, his past unexpectedly catches up with him and Yancy is forced into an untenable position that could destroy the progress he has made with turning his life around.

Lucas Reyes might be still be a teenager, but he has already decided what he wants for his future. In between going to school, he is working hard as a ranch hand for Staten so he can save up for college. He is quiet and hard working with a good head on his shoulders, but when one of his acquaintances talks his friends into exploring an abandoned house, Lucas goes along with them to keep an eye on Lauren Brigham, the sheriff’s daughter. His quick thinking saves her and another friend when their explorations turn dangerous, and an unlikely friendship forms between Lucas and Lauren.

The chapters in the novel alternate primarily between Staten’s, Lucas’s and Yancy’s points of view. The changes in perspective are clearly marked at the beginning of each chapter and each of the characters has a distinct voice. The characters are at different stages in their lives and their ages vary so the challenges each are facing are unique and quite interesting. Equally fascinating is the ease in which Jodi Thomas brings the various characters together with a suspense laden storyline that perfectly showcases their hidden strengths.

Staten’s relationship with Quinn brings an understated romantic element to the novel. Their longstanding, close friendship provides a strong foundation for their evolving relationship. Their scenes together are very touching and despite their ease with one another, they realize they have a lot to learn about each other. It is very gratifying watching their friendship grow and deepen into a real relationship on equal footing.

Jodi Thomas’s Ransom Canyon series is off to strong start with Ransom Canyon. The characters are multi-faceted and immensely appealing. The various story arcs are interesting and although not all of them are fully resolved, the major storylines and romances are completely wrapped up by the conclusion of Ransom Canyon. The sneak peek of the next book in the series, Rustler’s Moon, is quite intriguing and the introduction of new characters will leave fans impatiently awaiting its release.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Harlequin, HQN Books, Jodi Thomas, Ransom Canyon, Ransom Canyon Series, Rated B, Review, Romance

Review: A Taste of Sugar by Marina Adair

taste sugarTitle: A Taste of Sugar by Marina Adair
Sugar, Georgia Series Book Three
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 400 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

A blast from her past…

Charlotte Holden, Sugar’s favorite pediatrician, knows better than anyone that love only leads to heartbreak. Instead, she’s focused on creating the Grow Clinic, an outpatient center for children. All she has to do now is to host the best Founder’s Day Parade in the history of Sugar, Georgia, to win over a big-city donor. Easy as peach pie. Then sexy Jace McGraw blows back into town and utters those three words every woman dreads: we’re still married.

…leads to tantalizing trouble

Jace McGraw was making an offer on his dream business in Atlanta when he was told that his wife had some credit issues. Wait, his wife? The annulment went through years ago—or so he thought. He’d walked away only to keep his troublemaker reputation from ruining her dreams. But now that they have a second chance, Jace offers Charlotte a deal: he’ll grant a discreet divorce in exchange for 30 days and nights of marriage. Because this time he isn’t going to let her go without a fight.

Review:

In A Taste of Sugar, good girl Southern belle, Dr. Charlotte Holden, takes another walk on the wild side with her tattooed, bad-boy not quite ex-husband, Jace McGraw. This second chance at love romance by Marina Adair is a sweet yet scorching hot love story but it is also a beautiful journey of self discovery for the lead protagonists. Although it is the third installment in the sassy Sugar, Georgia series, it can be read as a standalone (but I highly recommend the entire series).

Jace and Charlotte impulsively (and secretly) tied the knot four years earlier and just as quickly, their marriage ended. Charlotte eventually returned to their small hometown to work in her family’s medical center while Jace steadily built his reputation as a high performance engine mechanic. Now, both are on the verge of fulfilling their longtime career goals when Jace discovers their annulment did not go through and they are, in fact, still married. Dismayed to discover it will take three weeks until their marriage is annulled, Jace and Charlotte decide give their relationship another chance. But with Jace planning on leaving and Charlotte firmly rooted in Sugar, will these two live happily ever after?

Charlotte is a highly successful and well regarded doctor who has worked hard to secure the funding for an outpatient center for children. She has finally bought a house of her own but she is still having trouble standing up to her parents. Despite having no interest in a relationship, she continues going out on blind dates arranged by her matchmaking mother. However, the biggest point of contention for her is the lack of professional respect from her father. Their working relationship is growing increasingly strained as he continues to treat her like daddy’s little girl instead of a capable adult. Afraid of disappointing her parents with her decision to keep their marriage a secret all these years, Charlotte agrees to work on her relationship with Jace, but only if he agrees to keep their marriage and current involvement under wraps.

Jace has mostly outgrown his bad boy reputation but he is afraid no one in Sugar views him as the successful man he has become instead of the wild child he used to be. He has a long history of running away from his problems and he continues to blame himself for his parents’ death. He has kept both an emotional and physical distance from his family for years but once he agrees to Charlotte’s terms, Jace knows he will finally have to face his past mistakes. Repairing his strained relationship with his brothers and reconnecting with his niece is easier than he thought but will it be enough to convince him to reassess his future plans?

Jace’s relationship with Charlotte also figures heavily into his decision about his future. Having barely recovered from her broken heart the first time he left her, Charlotte is not willing to risk getting hurt by Jace again. At first, he gives her the space she needs, but he slowly comes to the realization that she will avoid him until it is too late if he does not take drastic action. She reluctantly agrees to let him stay with her and while she would be more than happy to explore their scorching hot attraction, Jace wants more than a physical relationship. He is sweetly romantic but Charlotte resists his touching gestures until she grows weary of playing it safe. With their three week deadline looming over them, Jace and Charlotte agree to explore the possibilities between them, but outside interference eventually threatens their chance at happiness.

A Taste of Sugar is a light-hearted romance that is full of down home, Southern charm. Jace and Charlotte are well developed, charming protagonists and it is utterly delightful watching their personal growth as they make peace with their respective pasts. The secondary cast of characters is quite colorful and add to the novel’s overall appeal.  The storyline is well-written, unique and quite captivating. Sweet, sexy and oh so gratifying, this third installment in Marina Adair’s Sugar, Georgia series is an absolutely outstanding novel that I thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend to fans of contemporary, small town romances.

1 Comment

Filed under A Taste of Sugar, Contemporary, Forever, Georgia Series, Marina Adair, Rated B+, Review, Romance

Review: A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan

a windowTitle: A Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Contemporary, Literary, Fiction
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss

Summary:

Fans of I Don’t Know How She Does It and Where’d You Go, Bernadette? will cheer at this “fresh, funny take on the age-old struggle to have it all” (People) about what happens when a wife and mother of three leaps at the chance to fulfill her professional destiny—only to learn every opportunity comes at a price.

In A Window Opens, beloved books editor at Glamour magazine Elisabeth Egan brings us Alice Pearse, a compulsively honest, longing-to-have-it-all, sandwich generation heroine for our social-media-obsessed, lean in (or opt out) age. Like her fictional forebears Kate Reddy and Bridget Jones, Alice plays many roles (which she never refers to as “wearing many hats” and wishes you wouldn’t, either). She is a mostly-happily married mother of three, an attentive daughter, an ambivalent dog-owner, a part-time editor, a loyal neighbor and a Zen commuter. She is not: a cook, a craftswoman, a decorator, an active PTA member, a natural caretaker or the breadwinner. But when her husband makes a radical career change, Alice is ready to lean in—and she knows exactly how lucky she is to land a job at Scroll, a hip young start-up which promises to be the future of reading, with its chain of chic literary lounges and dedication to beloved classics. The Holy Grail of working mothers―an intellectually satisfying job and a happy personal life―seems suddenly within reach.

Despite the disapproval of her best friend, who owns the local bookstore, Alice is proud of her new “balancing act” (which is more like a three-ring circus) until her dad gets sick, her marriage flounders, her babysitter gets fed up, her kids start to grow up and her work takes an unexpected turn. Readers will cheer as Alice realizes the question is not whether it’s possible to have it all, but what does she―Alice Pearse―really want?

Review:

A Window Opens is a smart, funny and poignant debut novel by Elisabeth Egan. This entertaining story is fast paced with appealing characters that are flawed but easy to relate to. A heartwarming and touching story that will make you laugh and cry as lead protagonist Alice Pearse tries to balance a full time job with the demands of motherhood, marriage and aging parents.

Alice is a happily married mom of three whose peaceful life is about to undergo a dramatic transformation. After a change in her husband Nicholas’s career, she willingly trades in a part time job she loves for a new position job with a new and innovative company. A longer commute and full time hours mean less time with her family, but she is excited to about her new career. However, her enthusiasm soon wanes as her workdays spill over into family time and the company’s focus shifts into areas she is not comfortable with. At the same time, an unexpected and heartbreaking diagnosis for her beloved father adds to her stress when she helps her parents manage his care. Her relationship with Nicholas becomes even more strained when his drinking spirals out of control and their endless fighting takes a toll on their marriage and family life.

Alice’s excitement at her new job quickly wanes when she is thrust into a bewildering position that she knows nothing about. Just as she gets a handle on the demands of the job, the company switches gears, forcing her to once again play catch up. Her workload is overwhelming, her boss’s expectations are ever changing and the long hours leave little time for her spend with her family. She depends more and more on longtime babysitter Jessie to manage the day to day details of the children’s lives which eventually leaves Alice feeling like an outsider to her own life. However, with her family depending on her paycheck, she feels trapped in a job that she is beginning to loathe.

Alice is also heartbroken when her father’s health takes a turn for the worse. With her brother living out of state, her mom is counting on her to go to doctor’s appointments and provide moral support. Working for a big corporation whose main attention is their bottom line, Alice is soon pressured to up her productivity just as her parents need her the most. This story arc is one that will resonate with many readers who often find themselves trying to raise young children while also juggling aging parents and their health issues.

A Window Opens is a heartfelt novel that many readers will relate to. Elisabeth Egan touches on many issues facing women (and families) today in a straightforward and sensitive manner. The characters are well-developed with believable problems to overcome and the storyline is realistic and engaging. An incredibly moving novel that I highly recommend to fans of contemporary literary fiction.

1 Comment

Filed under A Window Opens, Contemporary, Elisabeth Egan, Literary Fiction, Rated B+, Review, Simon & Schuster Inc

Review: Starlight on Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs

starlight willowTitle: Starlight on Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
Lakeshore Chronicles Series Book Eleven
Publisher: Mira
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 384 pages
Book Rating: A

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

Join #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs on a journey to a charming Catskills town that feels like home and where a cast of brilliantly drawn characters awaits in a poignant story of reconciliation and the healing power of love.

Mason Bellamy’s world is fast, loud and decorated with the most extreme risks. Nothing can tempt him to give up his high-rolling Manhattan life and high-maintenance girlfriend—not even family. When he’s called home to upstate Avalon to help his quadriplegic mother in her deepest time of need, he sets his mind on temporary, determined to craft a way to care for her from a distance.

Alice Hayes is supposed to be his best solution. Hiring the gentle-hearted yet struggling caregiver as a live-in nurse gives Alice and her two daughters shelter, his mother companionship and Mason the freedom to escape to his adrenaline-pumped, no-attachments routine. But Alice’s beautiful presence promises to repair Mason’s frayed family ties. And his unstoppable attraction to Alice could lead to the most exhilarating thrill of his life.

Review:

Fan favorite Susan Wiggs returns with her beloved Lakeshore Chronicles series with her newest release, Starlight on Willow Lake. This heartwarming novel has a light romantic element but the deeper issues and personal growth of the main characters provide an extra layer of depth to the overall story.

Just as Mason Bellamy and his siblings are spreading their father’s ashes in New Zealand, they get news that their mother, a quadriplegic, has been injured in an accident at her home in Avalon. Even worse, they quickly discover their mom, Alice, has driven yet another caregiver to quit without notice. With neither his brother Adam nor his sister Ivy able to stay with her until a new home health aid is hired, Mason has no choice but to move in temporarily and help interview prospective employees. Although the two were once extremely close, Mason has kept both an emotional and physical distance from her for the past twenty years and he is not looking forward to extended visit with her.

In the years since her husband’s death, Faith McCallum has struggled financially and things have reached a crisis level for her and her two daughters Ruby and Cara when she is hired to work for Alice. Although they are unused to such elegant surroundings, the three settle in at the Bellamy estate and quickly breathe new life into the household. Faith is taken off guard by her reaction to Mason, but she has absolutely no plans or desire to act on her unwanted attraction for her employer’s son.

Faith is no pushover and she easily holds her own when Alice’s bitterness about her situation spills over into her treatment. She quickly recognizes there is more to Alice’s accident that a simple fall and she immediately takes her suspicions to Mason. Despite his reluctance to return to Avalon, his concern for his mother means a complete reorganization of his life until his brother returns from firefighter training. Mason is astonished by how much he begins to enjoy the slower pace of life in the small town and he begins to re-evaluate his future.

Alice shows a surprising interest in Faith’s daughters and although she is a bit gruff, the three share an uncomplicated friendship. Eight year old Ruby’s observations are insightful and she easily cuts through the nonsense to the heart of whatever subject they are discussing. Seventeen year old Cara has been forced to grow up too soon and she is rather cynical and jaded about her future. Alice challenges both girls to face their fears and in doing so, she becomes less prickly and more accepting of her new circumstances in life.

Faith and Mason bond over their shared concern for Alice. For the first time, Mason is able to discuss the precipitating event that caused him to pull away from his parents twenty years earlier. Their day to day lives overlap and an easygoing friendship slowly grows between them. When their feelings for one another run a little deeper than expected, Mason rethinks what he wants for his future while Faith must decide whether or not to risk her heart again.

Starlight on Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs is a beautiful journey of self-discovery and healing for Mason, Faith and Alice. The entire cast of characters are multi-faceted and immensely appealing. The storyline is realistic and blissfully free of unnecessary drama or conflict.  The romance between Faith and Mason is low-key and simmers in background as they each come to terms with their respective issues. A fast-paced and emotionally compelling novel that old and new fans of the Lakeshore Chronicles are going to absolutely LOVE.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Harlequin, Lakeshore Chronicles, Mira, Rated A, Review, Romance, Starlight on Willow Lake, Susan Wiggs

Review: Wildest Dreams by Robyn Carr

wildest dreamsTitle: Wildest Dreams by Robyn Carr
Thunder Point Series Book Nine
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 361 pages
Book Rating: C

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

With Thunder Point, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr has created a town where hard work and determination are all it takes to make dreams come true

Blake Smiley searched the country for just the right place to call home. The professional triathlete has traveled the world, but Thunder Point has what he needs to put down the roots he’s never had. In the quiet coastal town, he can focus on his training without distractions. Until he meets his new neighbors and everything changes.

Lin Su Simmons and her teenage son, Charlie, are fixtures at Winnie Banks’s house as Lin Su nurses Winnie through the realities of ALS. A single mother, Lin Su is proud of taking charge and never showing weakness. But she has her hands full coping with a job, debt and Charlie’s health issues. And Charlie is asking questions about his family history—questions she doesn’t want to answer.

When Charlie enlists Blake’s help to escape his overprotective mother, Lin Su resents the interference in her life. But Blake is certain he can break through her barriers and be the man she and Charlie need. When faced with a terrible situation, Blake comes to the rescue, and Lin Su realizes he just might be the man of her dreams. Together, they recognize that family is who you choose it to be.

Review:

Wildest Dreams, Robyn Carr’s latest stop in Thunder Point, pairs up Blake Smiley and Lin Su Simmons, both of whom were introduced in an earlier book in the series. The languorous romance between the hardworking single mom and the champion triathlete is sweet but it is teenage Charlie who manages to steal readers’ hearts.

Lin Su is working as a home health care nurse and she meets Blake when he moves in next door to her patient Winnie Banks. Lin Su’s fourteen year old son Charlie is immediately enthralled with him but her first few encounters with Blake are adversarial. She is extremely overprotective of Charlie due to his asthma and weakened immune system and although he is doing much better, she refuses to let the poor boy spread his wings. Lin Su is great with Winnie but in her personal life, she is secretive, inflexible and judgmental. She is also extremely proud and getting her to accept help from anyone is next to impossible. Quite frankly, Lin Su is frustrating, stubborn and almost impossible to like for much of the story.

Blake is a dedicated athlete but he knows his career is beginning to wind down and buying a house is just the first step for the next stage in his life. He has come a long way from his very humble childhood and he is committed to helping other underprivileged youths. He is a genuinely caring and compassionate man who might have overstepped with Charlie initially, but to be fair, Charlie was not exactly forthcoming about his health issues. Blake is pretty unflappable and while he understands Lin Su’s concerns, he presents a calm and well thought out rebuttal to her somewhat irrational fears for Charlie’s health.

Charlie is a super smart kid who has a good head on his shoulders. He is aware of his limitations but he is also ready to be an active participant in his life. He is also incredibly curious about his family but Lin Su flat out refuses to discuss her past with him. When his curiosity gets the better of him, Charlie takes matters into his own hands but he is ill prepared for his mother’s response to the information he uncovers.

The storyline of Wildest Dreams is interesting and unique but it is very slow paced. The triathlon aspect is well researched but these details sometimes overwhelm the rest of the story. There are multiple mentions of characters from previous installments of the Thunder Point series and while it is nice to catch up with them, these peeks are a bit of a distraction from the main storyline.

The relationship between Lin Su and Blake builds at a leisurely pace but their romance does not develop until nearly the end of the novel. Once Lin Su begins dating Blake, she begins to soften somewhat but she still remains tightlipped about her past.  Things are going smoothly between the couple until Charlie’s revelations and in the aftermath, Lin Su is quick to end things with Blake. The resolution of these issues occurs in an unexpected but realistic fashion and Robyn Carr wraps up Wildest Dreams with a heartwarming epilogue that is sure to delight readers.

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, Harlequin, Mira, Rated C, Review, Robyn Carr, Romance, Thunder Point Series, Wildest Dreams

Review: If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

if you onlyTitle: If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Romance
Length: 412 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley

Summary:

The drama, hilarity and tears of sisterhood are at the heart of the thoroughly captivating new novel by New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins—a funny, frank and bittersweet look at marriage, forgiveness and moving on 

Letting go of her ex-husband is harder than wedding-dress designer Jenny Tate expected…especially since his new wife wants to be Jenny’s new best friend. Sensing this isn’t exactly helping her achieve closure, Jenny trades the Manhattan skyline for her hometown up the Hudson, where she’ll start her own business and bask in her sister Rachel’s picture-perfect family life…and maybe even find a little romance of her own with Leo, her downstairs neighbor, a guy who’s utterly irresistible and annoyingly distant at the same time.

Rachel’s idyllic marriage, however, is imploding after she discovers her husband sexting with a colleague. She always thought she’d walk away in this situation, but her triplet daughters have her reconsidering her stance on adultery, much to Jenny’s surprise. Rachel points to their parents’ perfect marriage as a shining example of patience and forgiveness; but to protect her sister, Jenny may have to tarnish that memory—and their relationship­—and reveal a family secret she’s been keeping since childhood.

Both Rachel and Jenny will have to come to terms with the past and the present and find a way to get what they want most of all.

Review:

With her newest release, Kristan Higgins successfully transitions from the traditional romance genre to women’s fiction. If You Only Knew is an absolutely compelling novel about marriage, infidelity and new beginnings that is poignant, humorous and full of strong emotions. Written from the alternating perspectives of Jenny Tate and her sister Rachel Carver, it is a beautifully written story that is heartfelt and engaging and stars an outstanding cast of characters that manage to both charm and infuriate as they endure some very unexpected challenges.

Jenny was completely blindsided when her now ex-husband Owen asked for a divorce. She has remained close friends with him and his new wife but she has decided it is time to put some distance between them. Moving back to her small hometown and opening her wedding design shop is just what she needs to take her mind of her ex and his growing family. Upon settling into her new home, Jenny is charmed by her enigmatic neighbor Leo Killian who immediately warns her that he is not looking for a relationship. Their unlikely friendship is complicated by their mutual attraction for one another and despite Jenny’s conviction Leo will commit to her, the secrets from his past threaten their fragile bond.

Rachel is a stay-at-home mom of triplets and she is blissfully happy with Adam, her husband of nearly ten years. However, her idyllic marriage begins to fall apart after she discovers an explicit text on Adam’s phone. He adamantly denies cheating on her but Rachel’s suspicions are soon proven right when she discovers him in a compromising situation with his gorgeous co-worker. The couple decide to stay together but Rachel cannot completely trust Adam and when she catches him in another lie, the fate of their marriage hangs in the balance.

Jenny is gregarious, upbeat and friendly. Although quite close to Rachel, she is impatient with her mother’s histrionics and avoids her as much as possible. Jenny is quite capable of taking care of herself and very little flusters her. She is fiercely protective of Rachel and despite of her sister’s pleas to forgive Adam, she remains deeply angered by his betrayal. Jenny is immediately bewitched by Leo and their interactions are laced with humor and crackling with sexual tension. They easily and gradually transition from friends to lovers but Leo maintains an emotional distance from her.

Rachel is shy and her entire world revolves around her husband and daughters. She is shocked and hurt by his infidelity and she is very unsure about the future of their marriage. Not wanting to lose the life she has worked so hard to build, she agrees to stay with him but only if he agrees to counseling. Jenny is furious at his somewhat flippant attitude but she works hard at salvaging their marriage. She eventually becomes quite conflicted by her decision to stay with Adam and it takes until nearly the end of the story before she decides what she will do about their marriage.

Leo is an unbelievably complicated but intriguing man. He is funny, laid-back and easygoing but he is also completely closed off and quite secretive about his past. He reads Jenny like a book right from their first meeting and despite her obvious infatuation with him, he cannot seem to stay away from her. Leo is tragic, mysterious and so darned adorable it is easy to understand Jenny’s attraction and her hopefulness that he will step up to the plate and commit to her.

If You Only Knew is a deeply moving novel about love, marriage, relationship, forgiveness and loyalty. This captivating depiction of life’s messier moments is realistic and Kristan Higgins does not shy away from difficult or sensitive topics. Rachel and Jenny are lovable characters who will delight, charm and frustrate readers as they work their way through the various challenges life throws their way. It is an extremely heartwarming, sometimes heartbreaking and incredibly thought-provoking story that I highly recommend.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

1 Comment

Filed under Contemporary, HQN Books, If You Only Knew, Kristan Higgins, Rated B+, Review, Romance