Stephanie Fitzpatrick wanted out of the spotlight after her pro-golfer husband was caught on camera cheating. But when she returns to Michigan for a job interview and some much-needed R&R, a fib told by her well-meaning sister has her looking for a temporary fiancé, or she can kiss her new start good-bye. Desperate to hide the truth, she goes to the one man who can help—her former best friend.
Miles Masterson is relieved to see the Checkerberry Inn beginning to thrive once more. Not only does it ease his mind about his grandmother’s financial future, but also about his decision to finally escape town. But then one all grown up and sexy as hell friend from the past shows up needing to be rescued. Now the temptation to change the "temporary" arrangement into something more is making it harder to think about leaving.
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Read an Excerpt
Her Unexpected Engagement
A Checkerberry Inn Novel
By Kyra Jacobs, Alycia Tornetta
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Kyra Jacobs
All rights reserved.
Stephanie Fitzpatrick eased her rental car onto I-94 and headed due west. Hot weather be damned, all four windows were down in anticipation of the one thing that always reminded her of home — the scent of Michigan pines. It was barely detectable this close to Detroit Metro Airport, but the hint of it in the air urged her on. When at last the scent grew stronger, she drew in as deep a breath as possible and felt nostalgia wash over her.
Not the Honey, I'm home, what's for dinner? kind of home, or the So I guess you know by now I'm having an affair with Seth's wife? type. No, the real kind of home, where family came above all else, and no man in their right mind would dream of crossing any of the Johnson girls.
The kind of home she grew up in and should have known better than to leave so far behind. Her reward? The So I guess you know by now I'm having an affair with Seth's wife? home. Good thing her pro golfer hubby Liam wasn't such an arrogant jerk that he'd go around sucking face with any Botox-filled bimbos at his nationally televised tournaments, or Stephanie might well have ended up with a lifetime's supply of nationwide humiliation.
Oh, that's right. He was that big of a jerk.
And even now, six months after the infamous "PGA Kiss," a handful of southern Florida's infamous paparazzi were still camped out on their front lawn. Strike that — her front lawn. Liam hadn't bothered to come back. Which proved that, total jerk or not, he wasn't stupid. She'd never have married him if he were. The only mystery left was when exactly had she taken on the role of resident idiot?
The sounds of Fall Out Boy interrupted her mental stewing. One hand on the wheel and both eyes on the road ahead, Stephanie tapped her Bluetooth earpiece. "Yes, I got off the plane. No, I didn't turn around and hop on the next one back."
Her younger sister Livvy burst into laughter on the other end of the line. "Wow, and you even lived to tell about it? Go figure. Hmm, seems like you should be saying something else to me right about now."
Stephanie gripped the wheel tighter. "You were right," she muttered.
"What's that, darling? I couldn't quite hear you."
"You were right, okay? Man, cut your sister some slack, will ya?"
"Fine." Livvy's laughter subsided, and when she spoke next, it was in a softer voice. "You holding up okay?"
Stephanie took a deep breath and wished it would be enough to wash away the remnants of her most recent panic attack. She never should have agreed to fly. Driving would have been much safer — far less public interaction and worrying about effective disguises. "I'll live."
"You'd better. We paid a pretty penny for this little mini-vacation of yours."
A car flew by on her right, followed by a second with flashing lights on her left. Welcome to Michigan, where the center lane is your safest bet ... "Your idea, not mine."
"Of course it was. If we'd waited on you to decide to come back, it might have been another year or two. Good thing I stumbled across this job opportunity for you to keep you from stalling any longer than you already have."
Though Livvy's tone was teasing, Stephanie knew the concern that lay beneath the surface. Her family had wanted to swoop in and rescue her the minute the news story broke. When she'd requested they stay put, they'd grudgingly complied ... and grumbled about it every step of the way. But Stephanie hadn't wanted to be coddled, hadn't wanted her house full of nay-sayers and I told you sos. Even now, she wasn't sure if she was truly up to the task.
"I need this job, Liv."
"I know, sweetheart. Which is why I made sure to really talk you up when I bumped into Chris this week. He can't wait to meet you, says with the experience you'll bring to the table they should finally be able to clear these last few hurdles. Just think about how many kids' lives could be changed!"
Stephanie sighed. The camps she helped found in Florida had been a huge success, giving children from low-income families a chance to try a variety of organized sports. Some, for the first time in their lives. Leaving that job had been nearly as difficult as losing her marriage.
"That would be so wonderful," she said. "You really think I have a chance?"
"Are you kidding me? You're a shoo-in. Especially with the glowing recommendation I gave you. And I should probably give you a heads-up that — Oh, hang on."
Stephanie shook her head. Livvy breezed through days at a hundred miles an hour, always looking ahead, never looking back. Stephanie had been that way, too, once upon a time. But then came college. And Liam. So while Livvy's boyfriends tended to last about as long as her pet goldfish — which wasn't long, as she seemed to be at the pet store buying a replacement nearly every week — Stephanie had settled down in anticipation of starting a family of her own.
A family that'd never come to fruition.
"Sorry," Livvy said. "Boss needs me. I'll call you later. You know where you're going?"
Stephanie blinked away images of toilets and belly-up pet fish. "Um, not really, but I plunked the address you sent into my GPS app so the annoying computer lady is giving me directions."
"Good. Big yellow building, lots of windows, you can't miss it. I'll text Becka and let her know you made it okay, you just keep your eyes on the road. Because so help me, if you text and die before our lunch next week I will totally kill you."
"If I text and die you'll kill me?" Stephanie laughed. "I'm not back in our home state for half an hour and already feeling the love."
"Don't smear your car all over the median and I'll promise to go easy on you. Deal?"
Stephanie glanced toward the space separating eastbound I-94 from its westbound twin. A mini-forest stood at its center, dappled shade at its base. There would be no smearing here, only rental car pretzels around thick tree trunks. "Uh, yeah. Deal."
"Good. I should be done with the boss by the time you get there. Call me after you get settled in, let me know how you're doing, all right?"
Her throat tightened from the concern in Livvy's voice. "I will."
"You'll be fine, I promise."
Confidence rang clear in her sister's voice, and a pang of envy stabbed at Stephanie's heart. She'd been confident once, too. Thriving on attention, living life to its fullest. But this spring's disaster with Liam had stolen that from her. All of it. Some days, she wondered if he'd stolen so much she might never be whole again.
And it scared the heck out of her.
Lord, she needed this job. It was the perfect excuse to get her life back on track, give her a sense of purpose. Prove to herself that she can survive anything life dishes out, and do it on her own.
"I sure hope so, Livvy. I sure hope so."
"Of course you will. A little time away from Florida and all those loony photographers, and you'll be back to the old you in no time. Oh, and by the way? I might have told Chris that you were totally over Liam. And engaged. Okay, we'll talk more later see ya bye."
Stephanie's earpiece beeped twice, leaving her in stunned silence, white-knuckling the steering wheel.
* * *
Miles Masterson checked his watch for the fourth time in thirty minutes and frowned. Damn, another hour yet to go. Outside, the sun was bright, the wind was minimal, and a night with Amber "Channel 10" Jensen lay before him, full of possibilities. It'd taken him weeks to turn her head, let alone convince her to check out the newest Chinese joint in town. Now all he had to do was lay on the charm and hope their date extended well beyond the fortune cookies.
His cell phone went skittering across the top of his desk, bringing him back to the here and painfully boring now. He swiped it up, eyeballed the vaguely familiar number displayed on his caller ID, and leaned back in his office chair as he answered. "Masterson."
"Miles, it's Freddie. Did I catch you at a good time?"
Miles straightened in his chair. It'd been months since he'd put that call in to his headhunter buddy, long before his cousin's new flame had arrived on the scene and helped bring their sleepy inn out of the red and into the black. "Yeah, man. What's up?"
"Sorry it's taken a while to get back with you, but the type of jobs out there for guys with your background and qualifications aren't exactly a dime a dozen. And I'm not gonna send you crap leads, either."
"I appreciate that." Miles grinned. He and Freddie went way back, all the way to kindergarten. When it came time to go to college, though, Freddie's old money family told him to pick any school he wanted, so long as it was Ivy League. Miles's family, who epitomized "Middle Class America," offered to go halfsies with him at Central Michigan. Freddie was a good guy, though, and never pointed out the differences in their higher education experiences. He'd returned to Mount Pleasant to set up a successful headhunting shop, while Miles was still trying to get the hell out of Dodge.
"And you'll appreciate this more. I finally got a solid lead for you — six figures, full pension, opportunities for advancement. Techworks International is the company. They're up and coming in the telecom industry."
Miles whistled. "Sounds like a dream, Freddie. What's the catch?"
"No catch, man."
A couple appeared just outside Miles's office window, and the sound of laughter drifted in through the Checkerberry Inn's aging windows. He knew without looking who the musical sound belonged to: Kayla Daniels, which meant his lovestruck cousin, Brent, couldn't be far off. And if they were together, more laughter was sure to follow ... and now was not the time for distractions.
With a growl Miles stood and crossed the room to give the mini blinds a solid tug shut. He was happy that Brent had finally rediscovered love, truly he was. Hell, he'd been the one to help push the lovebirds together this spring. But couldn't they stand outside someone else's window looking all cute and starry-eyed while they shamelessly flirted with each other?
"Come on, Freddie. Great benefits, good pay — there's got to be a catch."
"I'm telling you, Miles, this job has your name written all over it. And even better? It's down in Columbus. You'll finally be able to get out from under that inn of your grandmother's, but still be within a few hours drive of everyone."
And there it was — a buckeye-laced catch.
Miles dragged a hand through his hair. Sure, he was burned-out at the inn. Had been itching to leave it and the constant worrying about whether it was going to sink or swim far behind him. But Columbus, Ohio?
"Wow, man. I don't know. I was hoping to stay a little closer. You know, in case Ruby needs me."
"Ruby's got Brent working for her now. And that cute girlfriend of his — she's helping out there now too, right?"
"Yeah, but neither of them know anything about bookkeeping." Which was only partially true, but Miles wasn't going to admit that. Brent had run his own construction contracting business up until this spring, and Kayla was tech-savvy enough that she'd be able to keep the accounting software up to date. But still ...
"Then Google 'Mount Pleasant accounting services' and find someone who does. It's not like you're irreplaceable."
Miles grimaced. Something told him his grandmother would disagree. Then again, she would understand his decision to move on, wouldn't she?
Yes, he decided after a moment. Ruby would support him no matter what he did. It was Brent who would give him hell for leaving. But Brent liked routine, familiarity. Miles, on the other hand, was dying for a change. And Freddie was handing him one on a silver platter. He'd be a fool not to take it.
"Right. I'm interested. So, what's our next step?"
"Great! Steven Rozario, their CEO, will be glad to hear it. He's requested a phone interview between him, you, and me on Monday at four. If that'll work for you, I'll email you some information on the company, so you can start preparing for the call."
"I'll make it work. Thanks for everything, man."
"You bet. Call me if you have any questions. Otherwise, I'll talk to you on Monday."
Miles hung up, then dropped back into his office chair and scanned the space around him. This office had been his second home since graduation. It was where he'd cut his teeth on finances, played accountant, payroll clerk, marketing coordinator — you name it, if it had to do with anything other than manual labor here at the inn, he'd done it. And now, at long last, that was finally all about to change.
It wasn't that he disliked the inn, or hated working for his grandmother. But the profits had been slim to none too often in the past, and keeping the old beauty afloat during the post 9/11 economic slump had taken its toll on him. And on Ruby. Every day she got a little older, a little more frail. But Brent was the responsible grandson, and he was on her payroll now as well. That meant the responsibility of watching out for their beloved Ruby could now officially be handed off, and no one would be able to misinterpret Miles's overprotective ways for her anymore.
He suddenly felt a great weight lifted from his shoulders. He stood, drew in a deep breath, and made an executive decision to cut out of work early. For years he'd put his time in and then some. To say he'd earned a little comp time would be an understatement.
Besides, what would Ruby do if he left early — fire him?
With a smile on his face and feeling lighter than he had in years, Miles headed for the hall. Halfway to the lobby, a ping sounded from his phone. An email was in his inbox, the subject Techworks Info. He opened it with a flick of his thumb, rounded the corner, and caught his foot on an unexpected object. Unable to stop his forward momentum, Miles tripped over a pile of gaudy pink luggage and landed painfully on his right side. His cell went skidding down the hall as a startled squeak rang out from the luggage's owner.
"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry! I stopped to adjust my grip and suddenly you were there and ... and, well, there just wasn't enough time to react."
An outstretched hand came into his peripheral vision. With a grimace, Miles pushed himself into a sitting position. This was just one out of a hundred — no, a thousand — things he wouldn't miss when he left the inn: awkward encounters with flighty guests. He took a deep breath and looked toward the responsible party, ready to lie that it was quite all right and he was just fine. But then his gaze locked onto a ball cap-wearing, heart-shaped face with auburn brows drawn together above dark, oversized sunglasses.
Recognition hit him like a freight train. No cap or sunglasses in the world could keep him from recognizing his childhood best friend. The one girl who'd unknowingly set the bar for all those who came after, and set it so high that Miles had given up trying to find someone able to reach it.
Stephanie froze. She knew those melted chocolate eyes nearly as well as she knew her own. Had laughed, cried, giggled, and shouted at them countless times when they were kids. But the boyish charm of the face around them was gone, replaced by strong cheekbones and a jawline dusted with a five o'clock shadow. Had they kept in touch over the years, his change in appearance might not have been as noticeable.
Correction — had he kept in touch over the years. She'd made the effort a handful of times that first year after she and Liam had married and moved to Florida. Tried reaching out on his birthday and Christmas the year after. But the response she got from Miles was always the same — nothing. A decade of resentment at being blown off threatened to resurface, and she retracted her offered hand before it went and did something crazy all on its own ... like smack the bejeezus out of him.
"Miles? W-what are you doing here?"
"Well, unlike some people, I was unlucky enough to grow roots in this lovely town." Grimacing, he eased his way back to standing and pressed a hand to the small of his back. "Question is, what are you doing here?"
That was a good question ... and one she planned to take up with her younger sister shortly. First the fib about her being engaged — something she wasn't dealing with quite yet — then sending Stephanie here, knowing darned well she'd likely cross paths with Miles? What was that girl up to?
"I came up for a ... business meeting ... I have on Monday. My family talked me into a week-long visit." She narrowed her eyes. "Had I known it'd be here, though, I might have passed."
Excerpted from Her Unexpected Engagement by Kyra Jacobs, Alycia Tornetta. Copyright © 2016 Kyra Jacobs. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Cute friends to lovers romance! Miles and Stephanie are childhood friends sho drifted apart after she got married. Miles has a reputation for being a playboy, but that's only because he lost his chance with the only woman he ever loved - Stephanie. Now that she's back in town, old feelings resurface and soon pretend relationship is all too real. It was a quick read and perfect for an afternoon if you're looking fore something light. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.
Once I started this book I couldn't put it down! It is a fantastic read with an incredible story line that makes you want to keep turning the page to find out the end. Until this book I have never heard of Kyra Jacobs but after getting invited to NetGalley to read her book in exchange for an honest review, this author will be permanently on my lookout list. She took an ordinary idea and turned it an extraordinary story. It took two longtime friends who turned into lovers. Kyra's writing style is truly amazing. I love how Kyra developed the characters and gave them a past together... this allows the book to really flow well. I have enjoyed reading this Her Unexpected Engagement and I am sure you will too!
This is the first time in a very long time that I've gone against my rule of not reading a book in the middle of a series when I haven't read the books that came prior. I think I was pulled in by the statement on Goodreads that reads: Each book in the Checkerberry Inn series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order. I think that this is what did the story in for me. I'm not completely sure why I wasn't a fan, but I really do suspect that it's my own damn fault for not sticking to my rules. It kind of goes without saying that I absolutely adore any book that comes from Entangled and any of their zillion imprints. I know that when I pick up one of their books that I will just love it but that most definitely didn't happen this time. I'm not sure why I didn't like this book ... the characters are okay, the plot was okay, I kept reading ... although reluctantly at times ... maybe it has something to do with the characters. They really didn't stand out for me. I read this book over a week ago and I honestly had to look up the names of the characters so that I could write this review. That's not a good thing. I want characters to grab me by my metaphorical balls and take me for a ride! That didn't happen. I want to be swept up in the story and lose track of time because I'm so immersed in the book. Now, that didn't happen either. I actually found the pace of the story to be VERY slow. Painfully slow. I just wanted to smack it on the butt and get it moving along. I guess I figured out why I didn't like the book, didn't I. The pace was too slow for me, the characters didn't stand a chance in my memory and the story didn't keep me coming back for more. And that's okay, some readers like a slower paced book that they can sink into but I'd rather have it moving a bit faster and drum up some excitement while the pages fly past me. I'm not too sure that this author is the right one for me. * I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *
Sometimes, a story just doesn’t work for you. It’s no one’s fault really, there’s certainly nothing wrong with this book, sadly it just didn’t do it for me. Stephanie, the very publicly cuckolded ex-wife of a pro-golfer, is back home after a decade. The paparazzi attention alone has pushed her from being a confident and lively person into a tired and anxiety riddled woman in desperate need of a reboot back to her old self. Miles has finally set in motion his plans to leave his job at the family inn and go for his dream career. Now he only needs to land the job and break the news to his family, but when his best friend since childhood comes back home and asks him to help her out… well, things start to fall out of line. Her Unexpected Engagement is a friends-to-lovers type of story, which, truth be told I’m not a huge fan of. Add to it that both main characters acted in ways I found annoying meant I didn’t really connect to either of them. Allison’s complete meltdown after she found out what a pig her ex was, I could understand to a point, then I just felt it was an over the top reaction that didn’t quite fit with what the person she was supposed to be before. Miles was a guy who didn’t realize he had feelings for his best friend until too late, and then he didn’t do anything about it. He had an aversion to relationships due to a situation in his past. In the end, while not a bad read, as it was hard for me to relate to either character and their lack of open communication drove me batty wasn’t the most enjoyable read. *I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book*
I don't think I could have picked a more perfect weekend read. After reading the first in the Checkerberry Inn series, I knew I'd snatch up any subsequent books and I wasn't disappointed with that call. This one revolves around the Checkerberry Inn and features Miles--the hunky CFO who nudged the HEA along in book 1--and it was sooo enjoyable to watch him fall. The heroine, Stephanie, was an equal treat to read. An intelligent and confident woman growing up, she's been brought low by the circumstances of her marriage and has headed to the Checkerberry Inn to lick her wounds. Then, low and behold, she runs into (or maybe I should say he runs into--literally) her high school bestie, Miles. I love, love, love friends-to-lover stories and this one brought all the goodness of a great trope as well as rich characterization, beautiful surroundings, and outstanding emotion. If you're in need of a getaway with heart, Her Unexpected Engagement is just the ticket.
This was a cute story, with some enjoyable characters. Stephanie is a great heroine and I loved her feistiness and humor. She was a fantastic match to Miles, who is a little rough around the edges while he figures out what exactly he wants. The setting of a smaller town in Michigan was a lot of fun and I really loved how it was described and how it worked with the story. This was my first Checkerberry Inn book, and first Kyra Jacobs book, and I adored every page. There wasn't all that much "fake dating" in this, despite the title and the fact that Miles and Stephanie are fake-"engaged." There was, however, history between these two that helped to flesh out their story and really make you root for them to finally get it together. All in all, a sweet and sexy story that was a very quick read!
4 stars Her Unexpected Engagement was a beautifully written and heartwarming read. I really enjoyed Her Unexpected Engagement, the storyline was sweet, entertaining and my interest from start to end. Miles and Stephanie were likable, relatable characters that I easily connected with. Loved watching them open up to each other, learning to trust and taking another chance at love. They truly were perfect for each other and I knew without a doubt they found their happily everafter. 'm loving the Checkerberry Inn series, author Kyra Jacobs has given us enjoyable storylines, with memorable and engaging characters that will leave you with a smile on your face. I highly recommend this book & series.
I was ready to check into the Inn by the end of this story!! Stephanie was humiliated when her husband cheated on her on television and went into hiding for a bit. Now ready to move forward, she's headed home to Michigan for a job interview. Little does she know that her younger sister has told her perspective employer that she's completely over her ex's indiscretions and engaged to another man to show how emotionally stable she is. There is only one person who could potentially fill the role and that is her childhood best friend, Miles. Miles is convinced that there is no such thing as happily ever after. He's feeling restless at the inn and waiting to hear about an amazing job offer that could fulfill all of his dreams. He's not expecting to see Stephanie again after distancing himself from her after she got married. He can agree to a brief, fake engagement to help his former best friend get back on her feet without getting caught up, right? I loved these two together. Their friendship allowed them to call each other out but also led to some miscommunication. This story was light on angst. It's a sweet, hopeful read that kept me smiling. I did not read book one in this series but will definitely be reading it soon! *This is my voluntary review of an Advanced Reader Copy*
"Her Unexpected Engagement" by Kyra Jacobs is Stephanie Fitzpatrick and Miles Masterson's story. Stephanie and Miles were best friends growing up. Once Stephanie got engaged, married, and moved away they lost touch. Miles stayed in Michigan to help turn around his grandmother's inn. Now, that's things are going great at the inn he is seeking his dream job but he hasn't told his family. After a public divorce Stephanie is back in Michigan to interview for a job, visit her family, and just get away. Stephanie and Miles path's cross again. Let's just say it wasn't a warm meeting. When Stephanie finds out that the job she wants they think she is engaged. So, she goes to Miles for help because is the only one she trusts. Will Miles agree to this? I enjoyed this story. Miles and Stephanie are great for one another. Hopefully, they will get their act together so they can have their happily ever after. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
I voluntarily read this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.I really enjoyed reading this book from Ms.Jacobs she wrote about my home state of Michigan for 1 the other reason is I love reading about friends to lover type stories.I will definitely recommend this book to my friends.
Kyra Jacobs takes us back to Michigan for the second book in her Checkerberry Inn series, bringing readers a romance between a couple who were once best-friends. "She was exactly the kind of temptation he didn’t need." Miles and Stephanie have a wonderful chemistry from the moment they're reacquainted and, despite Stephanie leaving her hometown to follow her pro-golfer and now ex-husband, she soon falls back into the comfort and familiarity of her surroundings and Miles' company. For Miles she was the one that got away, largely due to the fact that he never revealed his feelings as he doesn't believe love can last, but she's back...right when he's on the verge of leaving and she needs his help. "I’ve got a lot of learning to do, on how to love someone." "And I’ve got a lot of healing to do, learning to love again." Endearing characters who bring intimacy, humour and emotion, Stephanie and Miles have their insecurities but they're realistic and relatable and with Miles' family providing the family feel and interfering in the best possible way, Her Unexpected Engagement was an easy, enjoyable read. Kyra Jacobs has a lovely writing style and her stories are always a pleasure to read; I'm already looking forward to returning to the Checkerberry Inn.
This is a novel about best friends and second chances. Miles runs the family Inn alongside his grandmother and cousin. He feels "stuck" and is having itchy feet and wanderlust! He is all set for a job interview which will give him what he wants if he is offered the job. Stephanie is disillusioned as her marriage has just devolved due to her husband's indiscretions. Her ex being a pro golfer, this affair went public and Stephanie is being hounded by the press. Her sister arranges a job interview to give her a much needed break and a chance to regain her confidence. Stephanie and Miles are old time friends and they bump into each other, literally, when she goes to check in at the Inn. She has sworn off men after her ordeal with her ex but now that she has reconnected with Miles, she is unable to get him off her mind. Miles has been carrying the torch for Stephanie forever but past experience has taught him that there is no happily ever after. Besides, getting involved with Stephanie can only lead to pain and she is the last person that he would hurt. She has been through enough! It just so happens that Stephanie's sister told a white lie to the prospective employer. Stephanie is engaged! She can think only of one person who she can trust to play along as her pretend fiancé. Can they keep up the pretense or will they have enough courage to address what should have happened ten years ago? I like the comfortable camaderie between Stephanie and Miles. They understand and support each other. It's a sweet romance which shows that true love prevails but I would have liked to have seen a little more of what happens in the epilogue. I was kindly issued with an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest review.
I am so excited that we got a Holiday book by Victoria James!! I think that she has outdone herself with this one and that it is possibly the best I have read by Victoria James yet! This story is so heart warming and moving. I was moved to tears and just wanted to wrap poor Julia up in a big bear hug through most of the story! Julia is a young woman that has been down a hard road. When her husband and son get killed in a car accident, her whole world stops and she has to learn how to live again. The pain never seems to get easier for Julia and she is reminded of both her husband and her son everywhere she turns. When Julia decides to go visit her husband's family for Christmas this year, will she be able to focus while she is there or will the memory and pain be to much for her to bear? While Julia is there, she runs in to Chase, her husband's best friend, and they have some time together. Chase is in the middle of dealing with a hard time himself with his wife walking out on him and leaving him with his sweet little girl, Maggie. Chase is trying to help Maggie through missing her mom all while keeping it together for himself. When Chase and Julia begin to spend quiet a bit of time together, Julia begins to ease the ache that Maggie has for not having a female figure around in her life anymore. When the time comes for Julia to head back to her new home, will Chase be able to convince her that she is better off with him and Maggie? You have to read this one to find out. Such a great read that will get you in the Holiday spirit for sure. Thanks Victoria James for a great heart warming read!!
I really enjoyed the story between Stephanie and Miles. The long time friends who secretly had feelings for one another but never spoke up theme is one of my favorites. How many times have we seen that in movies and it is the sweetest? And this one played out like a movie in my head as I read. I loved how Miles encouraged Stephanie and seemed to help her get her mojo back. She found her fire, self confidence and determination. And she helped him realize he truly wanted love and family. I hope this is not the end of the series because the main characters along with the background ones were delightful and charming. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
ARC Review: Her Unexpected Engagement (Checkerberry Inn) by Kyra Jacobs I love stories that have a small town vibe to them. The sense of family, the beautiful surroundings all appeal to me because I live in more of the big city where things are more fast paced. Kyra Jacobs caught my attention even more with the setting Michigan. I have lived in Michigan all of my life, so it was nice to see it get a shout out. Her Unexpected Engagement is the story of a woman taking back her life after an epic betrayal. Betrayed by her husband, hounded by the media and needed a fresh start, Stephanie heads home for a breather and ends up finding her destiny. Small town living, close knit family and the chance to see my state through new eyes. How could I not enjoy this novel.