TITLE: Brown-Eyed Girl
SERIES: Travis Family #4
AUTHOR: Lisa Kleypas
PUBLICATION DATE: August 11, 2015
PAGES: 340 pages
RATING: 4 bows
Summary from GoodReads:
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.
Avery Crosslin was a character I could sympathize with immediately. She is overworked by choice and very hesitant to ever love again. She’s taken the once burned twice shy motto a bit too far. She won’t even contemplate the idea of dating again, much less more. She is also a curvy girl instead of a stick which had me rooting for her from moment one. She is smart and has a level head on her shoulders, which is a refreshing change from all the empty-headed idiots I’ve been reading about in YA.
Joe wasn’t my favorite male character, but he seems right for Avery. He’s smart and funny and goes out of his way to encourage Avery to follow her dreams. On my part, there was just nothing about him that stood out to make me swoon over him. He’s devoted to his family and he’s attractive, but there was no extra umph for me. Maybe he was a bit too cocky? I mean, I’m fine with swagger, but it just felt like he had nothing backing it up.
The rest of the cast was fairly interesting. I really enjoyed Avery’s sister and all of Joe’s family. The villain role was appropriately played. I knew something was up early on, but I didn’t see the full extent until it was revealed at the end. This novel opened my eyes, in a way, to some opinions of wealthy people. Bethany, one the brides for Avery’s wedding planning business, just absolutely floored me. The amount of money they can spend on extravagant things while many of us are left to live paycheck to paycheck is completely astounding. But that is a rant for another day.
Plot and writing-wise, this is everything you’d expect from Lisa Kleypas. Though her contemporaries aren’t quite as magical as her historicals, it’s still very easy to get swept away in her world. She has this fabulous way of writing that just ropes you in. My only really complaint was that the ending felt a bit forced. Once you get the big reveal, everything just flies by. You don’t get any falling action. You get a resolution, but I felt like it didn’t give you enough time to really absorb it before the novel ended.
Although, every time I read a novel about a girl who isn’t confident about her looks and her homosexual/metrosexual bestie gives her a make-over that makes her see herself in a different light always ruffles my feathers a bit. Seriously, when is Jack McFarland going to show up at my door with Karen’s credit card and declare that I’m fabulous and he won’t rest until I see it too? That would be nice. I love a good make-over as much as the next girl, but they always make me incredibly envious. Leaving out the whole shopping spree, it just fascinates me that someone can change their opinion of themselves that drastically in one afternoon. Please, someone, explain this sorcery to me because I’d really like to buy in.
If you are in the mood for a fun contemporary romance that shows you what you’ve been dreaming of all along may not be what you really need, then this is the novel for you. It’s smart and sexy and everything you could really want in a romance!
****Thank you to Piatkus for providing me with a physical in exchange for an honest review****