Author: Kim Boykin
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 4 Stars
After attending her baby sister’s destination wedding, Shelby Worthington decides she’s ready to do some husband hunting of her own. The only problem? She’s still insanely attracted to Declan Enright, her high school and college crush. He’s now a wildly successful painter who’s temporarily back in Magnolia Bay, but Declan should be Shelby’s last choice for possible husband material. He didn’t earn the reputation of runaway groom for nothing…
Declan has worked hard to make his mark on the New York art scene and has succeeded at everything he’s ever done…except love. But Declan has come back to the Bay to change that and care for his dying father, even if he’s still never forgiven Declan for leaving the family business. Shelby is determined to steer clear, but while her lips keep saying no, her heart is pounding out yes each time she and Declan are together. While she can’t deny her attraction, Shelby’s convinced that Declan’s track record means he will break her heart. Or has Declan changed for good, and made love worth the risk?
WARNING – SPOILERS MAY ENSUE BEYOND THIS POINT – REVIEW BELOW
This book was close to being a 3 star for me, but I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt because I did enjoy reading it. For the most part, the writing was excellent. There were a few places in the very beginning of the book where the dialogue stuck out as a little verbose and the narrative was awkward, but after the first few pages, that died down. For the remainder of the book, the narrative was easy-to-follow, believable, and fast paced.
The story itself was engaging, and I loved the characters. Declan was charming in a way that bordered on being pushy, but it didn’t come across as too high-handed. It was clear that he drawn to Shelby, and I was rooting for him to succeed. Shelby was pleasant—if a little too obsessed with shoes for my taste. She obviously cared about her friends and family, and she was head over heels in love with Declan—though she tried very hard to pretend she wasn’t. My only point of contention with the characters is that I wish they’d been a little more fleshed out. The book starts off making a big deal out of this friendship between seven women, and they rarely show up in the book. The past relationship between Declan and Shelby comes up numerous times but isn’t wrapped up except in passing in the epilogue.
My biggest complaint, however, is about the end. This book wrapped up quickly—too quickly. It felt like Shelby and Declan’s relationship had barely started when all the sudden it was the end of the book. I had a moment where I literally second guessed myself and wondered if I’d somehow skipped a few chapters—it was that abrupt. It was clearly rushed, and I wish more time had been taken to wrap up their relationship.
All of that aside, I genuinely liked the book. There were some laugh out loud moments between the characters that had me grinning from ear to ear. There were warm, endearing moments that made me squeal with glee. Though there weren’t a lot of hot sizzling moments (read absolutely zero), the romance felt real between the characters—if a little rushed. If you’re looking for a cozy, adorable romance, you’ll probably enjoy this book.