Romances about second chances are always worth reading and sharing. We bring to you today the first book in Elisabeth Barrett's A Return to Briarwood series, Once and Again. Enjoy!
Once and Again
Return to Briarwood # 1
By: Elisabeth Barrett
Releasing July 14, 2015
For readers of Shannon Stacey and Susan Mallery, the heartfelt new Briarwood series begins with a tale of forbidden love, broken promises, and second chances.
Growing up in Eastbridge, Connecticut, Carolyn Rivington was a young debutante who did whatever her parents asked. So when her father demanded that she break things off with the boy from the wrong side of the tracks or else, she did. Now Carolyn’s family is deep in debt. She’s no longer a member of the Briarwood Golf and Yacht Club, she’s an employee. And the tanned, tattooed, dangerously handsome stranger who saunters into her lobby isn’t just her new boss . . . he’s also her first love.
The last time he saw Carolyn, Jake Gaffney was in the back of a police cruiser, handcuffed and humiliated. But seeing her again stirs other memories: a blanket on the beach, the moon above their heads, and the most expensive bottle of wine he could afford. Now the tables have turned. As a real-estate magnate and Briarwood’s new owner, Jake doesn’t have to answer to anyone. But now that he’s back home, he’s finding it hard to live down his old reputation.
Before they can move forward, Jake and Carolyn must face their pasts. But it’ll take more than sizzling chemistry for them to heal old wounds and return to the love they once shared.
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Rating: 3 out of 5
Cover comment: Sweet
Book source: NetGalley
Stories about second chances, opposites attracting and reversals of fortune are always interesting. In Elisabeth Barrett's Once and Again, these factors all come into play for a certain couple. Once Carolyn hailed from a wealthy family, this debutante was just beginning her life, the future was all hers. Perhaps Jake, the boy she liked who lived in a different part of town, would be a part of what was to come.
Her parents, in particular her father, didn't approve in her choice in boyfriends and had Jake arrested. Then time passed. The two didn't see each other for years, fifteen in fact. Things drastically changed for both. Carolyn no longer belonged to the country club, she worked there, and well, Jake, let's say he made a name for himself. Both characters have had to struggle in life, and after this huge passage of time, that undeniable chemistry between them still exists. Will they have their chance to finally reconnect?
Though Carolyn and Jake's story had its tender moments, I thought there should have been more about them and less of the backstory and introduction of another character named Jane who wasn't as important to the general story line. This character's sections slowed the pacing down and took away from the main couple. If Jane was so important, she should be featured in her own book in the series, instead of detracting from the true couple of this one. Carolyn also had a lot going on, which I found distracting at times. For romance, give me the couple and their situations and the conflict keeping them apart and the resolution so they can reach some kind of conclusion. When we did receive that, the story greatly improved and I enjoyed my stay in Briarwood.
Elisabeth Barrett lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and spends her days teaching, editing, writing sexy contemporary romance, and enjoying time with her sometimes-bearded husband and three spirited children. She is constantly perfecting her home-work-writing juggling act, but in her free time she loves to hike open-space preserves, grow orchids, bake sweet things her husband won’t eat, and sing in grand choruses. For more about Elisabeth, please visit her website.
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Ebook copies of:
· CLAIMED by Stacey Kennedy
· MY OBSESSION by Cassie Ryan
· DEEP AUTUMN HEAT by Elisabeth Barrett
· TAKE THE FALL by Marquita Valentine
· YOUR TO KEEP by Serena Bell
· SWEET THE SIN by Claire Kent