Here come the (Barefoot Bay) brides! They're experts at planning dreamy "I do's" but haven't found their own happily ever after...yet. Destination wedding consultant Willow Ambrose has fought a battle with the scale for much of her life, but she has finally won the war. She hasn't just cut calories - she's cut all ties to her past, too, and successfully carved out a new body and a new life. But when she comes face to face with someone who left an indelible mark on her heart years before, all that threatens to crumble.
Navy SEAL Nick Hershey is on medical leave, doing a friend a favor as a stand-in "man of honor" at a beach wedding. He might not be that interested in the nuptials, but the wedding planner catches his eye the minute they meet. When he realizes Willow is a girl he knew in college - and a girl he unintentionally hurt to the core - he knows he has some making up to do. Willow has learned how to beat every temptation...but Nick's sweet-as-candy kisses just might be the one thing she can't resist. However, the closer they get, the more their history threatens to tear them apart. Nick and Willow learn the hard way that they can't change the past, but does that mean they won't have a future?
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Obsessive reader of at least 5 kindle books a week. Only use audiobooks to survive my daily 90 minute walk to work.
I was not sure about this book in the first few chapters. The H rejected the very obese h in college when she asked him to take her virginity. There was no old romance here or unrequited feelings on his part. She fancied him, he liked her but was more interested in the connection to her famous rockstar father. So to start with, I was not too keen on the H. As a result of this rejection, among other things, the h was so uptight about her obesity that she was still a virgin at 29. But now the weight has gone, she is a successful and beautiful wedding planner, and she meets up again with the H who is writing a book while on military leave, having also been roped in help arrange a wedding.
I normally don’t like the “older virgin” storyline. If there is no religious or moral reason, I find it unrealistic that an attractive, intelligent woman is almost 30 and still a virgin. But when we find that our h’s obesity problems lasted well into her mid 20s, with constant emotional battering from her demanding, perfectionist, super model mother, it starts to become more understandable. She has managed to break the apron strings and take control of her life – and weight – over the past three years but still those feelings of insecurity run deep. Once the attraction between the H and h is established she reveals her virginity and asks him (again) to be her “first”. After the initial shock he decides to approach the whole thing like a military operation. Sounds weird but what it leads to is the most drawn out, erotic (and funny) foreplay I have read in a long time. She just wants to get it over with, he wants to take things slow and make it wonderful for her.
I loved the banter between the two leading characters. It could swing from sexy and funny to serious and emotional all in one page and while both have issues to deal with, they are both helping each other deal. I like this sort of mutual “back scratching” because dealing with the bad stuff is what changes a flirtation into a lasting romance.
Meanwhile, h’s estranged mother, who has had something of an epiphany and realised the damage she did to her daughter’s emotional well-being, is now trying to manipulate her way back into her daughter’s life. H finds out the plan and is somehow persuaded to go along with the deception. The resulting inevitable fallout leading to the happy ending is emotional and understandable. The closing scenes do read a little like a “made for the movies” sort of finish but fortunately the light touches of humour manage to stop it getting too overly sentimental.
All in all, this is a well written, satisfying romance, between two likeable characters, along with a good supporting cast.
I must admit that if I had started this series with this book I don't think I would have bought anymore. This couple got on my nerves all the will he won't he and the cloak and dagger of the wedding it was a disappointment after reading book two which I enjoyed immensely.
This was a great listen. Fun. Upbeat with an appropriate amount of sad background. I'll listen to this one several times.
For me this was a very touching listen bring the past forward and overcoming it. One family with so much hurt and pain that needs to heal become whole. Willow has her reason for turning to food and adding the pounds she has finally overcome that in doing so she has walked not only away from her past changed her name but her family and friends. When her old college crush walks back into her life but doesn’t know who she is as he hits on her she is crushed again. One night years ago she promised him everything she had as he turned and walked away from her. She never got over that night it changed her in more ways than one. Years later she has started up a new business, made new friends and lost a ton of weight. She has finally got control of her life or has she…..
The author gives a wonderful story of overcoming, forgiving, finding one self, finding what is truly important as she gives you a story of pain, sorrow, as not only Willow and Nick learn to love but her family as well.
What I loved about this book was the humor, smiles the author gave me with wonderful characters. Each of us has a weakness just a Willow does she shows us it is hard work but everything can be overcome as we deal with issues to make our lives better. I loved Willow with her attitude, her love for life how she learned to deal to make her world a better place for her. She is strong but weak which makes her easy to relate to. Nick is totally a wonderful man overcoming his hearing loss trying to find a place in the world. He is a gentle man who stand up for his beliefs who is strong, protective, tries to do what is right even if it means he will lose the one thing that is the most important to him. I adored Willows father with his wonderful sense of humor always giving the ear to listen as he works his magic to give logic to his daughter. Willows mother was a trying character but I did grow to like her. I adored Willows friends they are so giving and protective of Willow. For me this book made me sad as it made me smile. I even laughed a few times.
Dara Rosenberg as a narrator did a good job some of the voices didn’t change enough or at all but I still knew who was saying what. She did put the emotions into her voice you could hear the pain, excitement, sorrow and joy. Her voice is easy to listen to and I would enjoy listen to her narrating other stories. She pulled me in with her calming tones and her excited ways she hit the correct tones each time for the scene she was telling at the time.
I totally loved the scene where Willow meets Nick after so many years as he comes out of the shower and totally naked. Nick with his bad singing just made him hotter to me and some I could relate to. The characters are very down to earth and very loveable. With so many people dealing with the same issues I found the story to be believable and loveable. The author gives you some very heated moments from some very over heated characters. There is passion that is pretty hot leaving Willow confused at times. Nick tries his best to do what is right but Willow just doesn’t understand anything only that he turned her down again. Nick and Willow bond as their relationship grows each trusting the other with their deep darkest secrets which brings them closer as they overcome their fears together. The author throws a twist in the mix which could tear down their new found relationship before it has a chance to grow. Not all things are as they seem as the author takes you one a exciting ride along the shores of Barefoot Bay to a wonderful thrilling ending. I loved this story. This is the first I have read/listen to of this author I can’t wait to read/listen to the next book in this series.
"Good read !!"
I really enjoyed the story. Up beat and fun ! Good setting and moves at a good pace .
"Unrealistic premise and condescending"
A 29 year old virgin? She needs a psychotherapist not a Navy Seal. These books and author needs to be marketed for teens not for grown women. Completely unrealistic and ridiculous. The premise is demeaning to real women and their experiences in this world. I will not recommend this book or author to anyone.
This is my all time favorite story by Roxanne St Claire. Audible is ten times more powerful than the print version. The narrator made me feel part of the story.
"Not too bad"
The story was ok. The performance was enthusiastic but all the characters sounded the same. There were times when I didn't know who was talking. If you like soft slow moving stories then this the one for you. No tear-jerking laugh out loud moments.
"Cute story wrong narrator"
Dara Rosenberg was the wrong person to narrate the story. She over acted the story all voices sounded basically the same. Over pronunciation of many words. Was very annoying.
Basic story was cute but the drama and heartache caused by willow being over weight just didn't seem worth the drama compared to a navy seal dealing with a war injury and death of comrades yet willow was so self obsessed that's all she acted like her issues were sooooo much worse
"Narrator difficult to listen to."
It took me almost 4 days to get through this because I found the narrator difficult to listen to.
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