Date published: August 11th, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Synopsis:Wedding planner Avery Crosslin may be a rising star in Houston society, but she doesn't believe in love-at least not for herself. When she meets wealthy bachelor Joe Travis and mistakes him for a wedding photographer, she has no intention of letting him sweep her off her feet. But Joe is a man who goes after what he wants, and Avery can't resist the temptation of a sexy southern charmer and a hot summer evening.
After a one night stand, however, Avery is determined to keep it from happening again. A man like Joe can only mean trouble for a woman like her, and she can't afford distractions. She's been hired to plan the wedding of the year-a make-or-break event.
But complications start piling up fast, putting the wedding in jeopardy, especially when shocking secrets of the bride come to light. And as Joe makes it clear that he's not going to give up easily, Avery is forced to confront the insecurities and beliefs that stem from a past she would do anything to forget.
The situation reaches a breaking point, and Avery faces the toughest choice of her life. Only by putting her career on the line and risking everything-including her well-guarded heart-will she find out what matters most.
What I Thought:
This book has been a long time in the making. I've known since I read Sugar Daddy that the Travis family was something special. Especially since I got to watch the Travis men and women fall in love with extraordinary women and men, all except Joe. I knew Joe needed to have his story told too. He was the one Travis male who didn't fit the mold. He was an alpha man with a softer side, and that created friction between him and his father who had certain expectations of his sons.
What can I say about Avery? She's spunky, determined, and a hard worker. She might not believe in happily ever after for herself but she will go above and beyond to make someone else's special day be everything they dreamed off, no questions asked. There is no problem is too big for her to handle. She's organized and meticulous. She's confident when it comes to her work but she's insecure about herself and her looks. That's something we can all relate to. All I saw was a very capable young woman who underestimated what she had to share with someone else.
I hated how Avery's family was unsupportive and belittling. The only one in her corner was was her half-sister Sophia. I loved her friends/employees. I loved their camaraderie. They really made Avery smile and laugh, and me as well. I loved the tension between Sophia and Steven. Their back and forth verbal sparring was truly exciting to behold and great foreplay as well. I was so hoping they'd get together. I also loved how they pushed Avery to leave her safe holding pattern. They provided both friendship and the boost she needed to relax sometimes and take risks she wouldn't have. Joe couldn't have had better allies to woo her if he'd tried.
Joe was exactly what Avery needed. He was supportive and challenged her to step out of the confines she'd put herself in to keep her heart safe. You could tell Joe was really into Avery, even when she was trying her best to push him away. It was easy to see how much Joe had changed in the years and the lessons he'd learned from what life had brought him. I loved Joe's overall attitude towards life. Life wasn't always kind to him, even being a charmed Travis, but it was admirable how he took it all in stride. It's amazing how Lisa Kleypas managed to make me fall in love with him through only Avery's eyes. We're never privy to his innermost thoughts, only his actions, yet they were enough to win me over completely.
I loved seeing Avery and Joe interact with each other. They had amazing chemistry. I can't tell you how turned on I was while reading this book. In terms of heat, it's all mostly suggestive, but the way it's written you can not only see it, but feel it. That takes true talent. Lisa Kleypas is a well known for writing great slow burn romances. She builds anticipation with precision and great technique.
I was so happy to see the Travis-Cates clan together. It wasn't just Gage, Liberty, Haven, Hardy, Jack, Emma, and Luke, but it was seeing their strong bonds with each other and how their families had grown with time. It's nice to know how much has changed while not changing at all. I also loved meeting Ryan, a cousin to the Travis'. I fell in love with him a little in this book, and I would love to read a full length story featuring him one day. That man needs some honest love.
Lisa Kleypas might have made us wait for this story, but the wait was so worth it. The story flowed beautifully and her writing bordered on poetic. I was able to "see" what she was describing in my mind. I devoured the story in handful of hours, but it felt like no time at all. I wouldn't have minded reading another hundred pages or two. I sincerely hope the wait between this book and her next contemporary won't be so long. I can never get enough of her writing and stories!
About the Author
Lisa Kleypas is the RITA Award-winning author of many contemporary and historical romance novels, including A Wallflower Christmas, Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor, and Love in the Afternoon. Her books are published in fourteen languages and are bestsellers all over the world. Kleypas graduated from Wellesley College and published her first novel at the age of 21. In 1985, she was named Miss Massachusetts in the Miss America competition. She lives in Washington with her husband and two children.
*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*