FicCentral received a free copy of this book from TKA Distribution (via NetGalley).
Series: Whispering Bay #2
Publisher: TKA Distribution on May 19, 2015
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
Lauren Donalan was once Whispering Bay’s golden girl—the rich, bubbly blonde cheerleader who married the high school football star. When her mediocre marriage falls apart, she returns home and starts a vintage clothing business, determined to prove she’s more than just a pretty face with a trust fund.
Nate Miller may have been a nerd in high school, but now he has a beautiful girlfriend and is set to take over Doc Morrison’s medical practice. Still, the good folks of Whispering Bay find his no-nonsense approach more than a little unsettling, leaving his future in town a great big question mark. And things go even further downhill when his well-intentioned marriage proposal goes awry.
Lauren doesn’t need a man to complete her, yet when she finds herself set up on a date with Nate, she can’t help but notice how sexy and confident he is. In fact, every time the former introvert kisses her, she sees fireworks. But, only a big love will make Lauren change her mind about commitment. As Nate attempts to win Lauren over, a real estate co-op threatens Lauren’s business—and Nate’s ex still has a thing or two to say about their previous relationship. Now Lauren has to decide to go big or go home, in business, as well as in love.
Can I just say I love this series? In fact, I’m a little pissed off that I haven’t received the third book yet, even though that’s completely ridiculous, since I should just count myself lucky to be getting any of them in the first place. But when I find a series as wonderful as this one, all sense of reason just sort of flies out the window and I turn into a greedy reader. Anyhow…
Going in, I wasn’t sure if I’d really be able to get behind Lauren. After all, she was the ex-wife in the previous book, all Barbie beautiful and perfect. Didn’t matter that she was the nicest human being ever (fictionally) born; those credentials right there make a character hard to love. But I ended up loving everything about her.
She may appear on the outside to be perfect, but even though she doesn’t have any skeletons in her closet, life’s not exactly simple. Pregnant just out of high school, all her plans were derailed, and the repercussions are still being felt. She ended up marrying her son’s father, trying to make a go of a life with the incredibly nice guy she’d just broken up with a few months earlier. But even though he was nothing but good to her, their hearts weren’t truly in it. Were it not for their son Henry, they probably would have gone their separate ways after high school graduation. But now she’s divorced, her ex-husband has moved on, and she’s struggling to make ends meet with a business that doesn’t necessarily command a large fan base.
Nate is… Well, he’s definitely different from most everyone else. His tactless honesty and apparent inability to emotionally connect to anyone or anything had me wondering for a while if he was based on someone in the Autism spectrum. But it’s really that he’s just a very logical guy, not without a heart but definitely unable to wear his emotions very well. His dry personality is leading to problems with his patients, though he truly does have their best interests at heart, and his need to approach everything with calculation and logic is what led him to propose to a girl he didn’t love. Speaking of…
My heart kind of broke for him when the proposal went down the drain. He seemed unable to understand why his potential fiance would say no, and she was simply the worst kind of selfish. And it’s that proposal that slowed things down with Lauren, even after they’d made a connection, since she couldn’t very well just assume he was over someone he had recently planned on spending the rest of his life with. But when it came down to it, Nate was kind of hot, and Lauren was really lucky to nab him. He was practical in his approach to everything, tried so hard to put her first and be understanding when things weren’t going his way, and really just wanted her to be happy. It didn’t help that his clingy ex decided to make a reappearance, but unlike so many idiots in romance novels, Nate wasn’t about to let her come between him and Lauren.
I have to admit that Lauren’s reluctance to call things serious really started to bother me after a while, but I think that’s just because I soooooooo wanted her and Nate to take the next step forward. When I think about it, I probably would have been just as cautious (if not more!) as she was, so her need to make sure Nate was ready to move past his ex wasn’t a stretch by any means.
One of the best parts, though, was the reappearance of all the characters I loved in the first book, each of whom had an important, if small, role to play in Lauren’s story. Rather than simply act as two-dimensional background characters, they all fit nicely into the story, and it would have been so much less without them. Now can I just get the next book already????