Review for Brown-Eyed Girl (Travis Family #4) by Lisa Kleypas

Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas

TITLE: Brown-Eyed Girl
SERIES: Travis Family #4
AUTHOR: Lisa Kleypas
PUBLICATION DATE: August 11, 2015
PAGES: 340 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Publisher
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****

4 bows
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Review for Rainshadow Road (Friday Harbor #2) by Lisa Kleypas

Rainbow Road by Lisa Kleypas

TITLE: Rainbow Road
SERIES: Friday Harber #2
AUTHOR: Lisa Kleypas
PUBLICATION DATE: February 28, 2012
PUBLISHER: St Martin’s Press
PAGES: 308 pages
FORMAT: Paperback
SOURCE: Goodreads First Reads
RATING: 4 stars

I started this novel they way I always start contemporary romances, with trepidation. I’ve read several bad ones and generally try to stick to historical because I just enjoy them more. However, since I loved Lisa Kleypas’s historicals, I’m always willing to try her contemporaries. She doesn’t disappoint. I had read Christmas At Friday Harbor so I was generally aware of the basic characters that would be in this book. My only complaint on that novel was that it was too short. Seriously, this author’s books typically run almost 400 pages so that measly 200 didn’t seem like enough time to fully develop the characters or the plotline. This book definitely rectifies that problem being slightly over 300 pages.

This story follows Lucy Marinn and Sam Nolan in their journey to love and happiness. [cue sappy music now]

Yeah, I know, but it’s a ROMANCE novel, really what did you expect? Battle the Huns for control of a futuristic society? Anyway, Lucy is going through a tough time. Kevin, her boyfriend of 2 years dumps her to be with her self-absorbed younger sister (not to mention they have been sleeping together behind her back for months) and also kicks her out of their house to move said sister in. Lonely and depressed, she moves in with a few friends until she can sort things out. Sam Nolan is happy in his life just the way it is. He is a bachelor who never gets involved beyond the physical and spends way too much time looking after his vineyard and caring for his niece. So when Kevin shows up asking him to take Lucy out on a date to help her move on, he reluctantly agrees. What harm could starting a new relationship do?

The story obviously gets more complicated than that, but that’s the gist of it. I instantly sympathized with Lucy because I’ve experienced several situations in my life where I work my damnedest to accomplish something and then it’s just handed out to people around me like fucking candy. So that feeling of resentment Lucy gets towards Alice (her sister) is something I can relate to completely. I was blown away by Alice’s sheer self-obsession and how she really didn’t see that what she did was truly wrong, saying simple “I did it to make myself happy and since you and Kevin were growing apart, I don’t see why it should bother you. I won’t apologize for working on my happiness.”

Seriously lady?!?!?!? You fucked your sister’s boyfriend and then basically kicked her out of her own house so you could move in! That’s wrong on more levels than I can comprehend. Then Sam shows up claiming her ex is pushing him to date her so she’ll move on and she is beyond enraged…but also charmed by Sam who just radiates charisma. I loved watching them interact and seeing their love spring up and grow despite their best efforts to stay out of an emotional relationship.

I only have one issue with this book. The first is that there are small bits of magic in the book which just felt out of place. Lucy can turn glass into animals when she is highly emotional and Sam can make plants grow and flourish simply by touching them. It’s not something they go into a ton of detail about or is ever really explained. It’s just kind of mentioned off hand and left at that. I felt like this is an adult book so unless we go into to witch and zombie territory, magic should stay out. It didn’t bother me a whole lot, I just felt it would have been better if that wasn’t present.

Anyway, this book is really good and if you like contemporaries or just love Lisa Kleypas’s work in general, this book is for you.

****Thank you to McMillan Publishing for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review****

Review for Christmas Eve At Friday Harbor (Friday Harbor #1) by Lisa Kleypas

Christmas Eve At Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas

TITLE: Christmas Eve At Friday Harbor
SERIES: Friday Harbor #1
AUTHOR: Lisas Kleypas
PUBLICATION DATE: October 26, 2010
PUBLISHER: St Martin’s Press
PAGES: 211 pages
FORMAT: Hardback
SOURCE: Goodreads First Reads
RATING: 4 stars

Generally, I try to stay away from contemporary romance (I’m more of a historical romance girl), but I love everything I’ve read by Lisa Kleypas, so I wanted to give this one a shot.

It was a great story, wonderfully written, with real emotional content. I enjoyed it completely. My only real complaint is that it was a bit to short for my liking. It felt a bit rushed.

****Thank you to McMillan Publishing for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review****