Once and Again: A Return to Briarwood Novel

Once and Again: A Return to Briarwood Novel

by Elisabeth Barrett

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For readers of Shannon Stacey and Susan Mallery, the heartfelt 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.

Praise for Once and Again

“Elisabeth Barrett’s Once and Again is a beautiful second-chance love story. A great summer read!”New York Times bestselling author Claudia Connor

“Engaging, sexy, and immensely touching, Once and Again is a wonderful start to a new series.”—Marina Adair, #1 bestselling author of Summer in Napa

“Elisabeth Barrett weaves true-to-life characters, sizzling sexual tension, and gripping emotional intensity into a heartwarming story of forgiveness, family, and second chances.”—Lia Riley, author of the Brightwater series

“A sexy reunion romance overflowing with second chances to make friends, reconcile with family, and rekindle lost love.”—Tracy March, author of Should’ve Said No

Once and Again is a fantastic read with a set of equally fantastic characters. It’s also a fast-paced, smooth-reading tale that is deeply rooted in honest emotion and filled with intriguing characters and crisp, rich setting details that so easily allow readers to picture the story, people, places, and events. I loved this book!”—Okie Dreams Book Reviews
Includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101883235
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/14/2015
Series: Return to Briarwood , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 302
Sales rank: 146,695
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

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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Once and Again: A Return to Briarwood Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book. Quick read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First book from this author but will not be last. Great read!
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Annie and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog Elisabeth Barrett kicks off a new series called Return to Briarwood with ONCE AND AGAIN. If you’re looking for a sweet, second chance love story, this one is for you. Carolyn Rivington was once a member of the Briarwood Golf and Yacht club. With her family ties and reputation, Carolyn has always been someone that held a high place in society but with her family in debt, she is no longer a member at the club, she is now an employee. This doesn’t really faze her very much though because it seems that she enjoys her new job and the people around her. It isn’t until the club gets a new owner that Carolyn panics. It’s not because she worries what he’ll do to the club. It’s because she knows him from her past – he’s the guy her father put in handcuffs. Jake Gaffney is a little bit bad boy and a little bit of a big shot. While on paper he has everything you want in a hero, I found it hard to get into his character and I’m not sure why. There’s a little bit of focus on money and their place/rank in society because of who Carolyn was and who Jake is and I’m not quite sure I liked that very much. I understand that because of the nature of their past, this was something that had to be addressed in the book but I could take or leave it if I’m being totally honest. It just wasn’t something that interested me. The secondary characters do have quite a bit of page time in this novel so I’m assuming that the next book in the series will follow more of these characters. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought it was pretty good , i have enjoyed many others by this author. Lookforward to Janes story .
Sailon More than 1 year ago
Carolyn was the rich country club girl who lost it all, ending up working at the very country club she use to belong to. Jake was the boy from the wrong side of town, who worked at the country club until Carolyn's father had him arrested and driven away from his daughter. Now he's back, a big wig on the real estate scene, purchasing the country club and becoming Carolyn's boss. The story had lots of potential with some interesting twists and turns but for the most part I didn't feel any character connection. Well, no character connection until the last 1/3 or so of the plot... Carolyn's strength of character was a major plus for the story but that seems to vacillate, which seems totally out of character, when things start to turn around for her. Once and Again was a story of bitter sweet reunions, second chances and making the most out of what life hands you. Overall, I found I liked it. It was an endearing and a cute contemporary romance. I received this ARC copy of Once and Again from Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept in exchange for a honest review.
JensReadingObsession More than 1 year ago
The author does a great job of introducing the characters for future books, but at times it felt like it was too much information about secondary characters instead of Jake and Carolyn. It starts out and ends strong, but the middle drags a bit. Both Jake and Carolyn have changed in the fifteen years they've been apart, but they are now more prepared to deal with their feelings for each other. I loved the way Jake takes care of Carolyn's needs - even if she doesn't know he's doing it. I only wish there would have been more of them rekindling their romance without so much of the extra information that seemed unnecessary. I still enjoyed the story and I am looking forward to the next book. 3.5 stars I received an ARC via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review, all conclusions are my own.
bhillson83 More than 1 year ago
BooksAndSpoons More than 1 year ago
A heartwarming story about second chances, new beginnings, youthful romance rekindled, and life at the Briarwood country club. Jake and Carolyn have history, the best, and the worst kind. And as the path of their lives run together again, after 15 years apart, there's electricity, and animosity, between them. As they work together, rebuilding the country club, they are also rebuilding the relationship between them. Long talks, helping each other, listening to each other, slowly they are building trust, friendship, and more, between them. The story shows clearly, how they grow, chance, and find their feet on the new ground, both as individuals and as a couple. But the book does not concentrate only on Jake and Carolyn, it gives insight into the lives of the other employees and owners as well. As a book one in a new series, it builds a solid foundation for the series, introducing lot of the staff, their family and life situations, and how they found their way to Briarwood. There are some surprises in the plot, unexpected turns of events, great friends, troublesome families, hard work, passion, and love ~ Four Spoons
Bookeroo More than 1 year ago
Young and wealthy Carolyn always obeyed her parents so when they made her break up with bad boy, Jake, she did. No longer rich, her family deep in debt, she doesn't know where to turn, but ends up working at the club, Briarwood. When the new owner shows up Carolyn is surprised to see it's Jake, her first love. He's back with a chip on his shoulder and expects Carolyn to keep everything going at Briarwood. What will Jake think when he knows she needs this job and her family is no longer wealthy? Will she be able to work for Jake, when she's already attracted to him and the man he's become? A great tickle-your-tummy, heartwarming romance you'll love to have on hand for every free moment you have to read. I enjoyed the characters and their self-perceived flaws and how they were able to overcome them and move on to take a second chance at love. They each had their own issues and plans for life and Ms. Barrett meshed their lives together seamlessly. Ms. Barrett gives the reader love, laughter, grief and loyalty within her story and I enjoyed every bit of it. Weaving the story together around the club, first love, maturity, and the trials of life made for a realistic love story. Once and Again was romantic, sexy, funny and sweet. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Barrett and in the meantime I'll be recommending Once and Again to everyone I know! 5 Stars!
booknerd81 More than 1 year ago
A beautiful beginning to a wonderful series! I really love Elisabeth Barrett’s writing style. She has an amazing way of creating these beautiful, flawed characters that are real and funny and amazing. When I read any of Elisabeth’s books I feel like I’m reading about friends or people I would want to be friends with and I get very invested in their lives and find myself thinking about them long after I have stopped reading. Once and Again is the first book in the Return to Briarwood series. It focuses on Carolyn and Jake. Carolyn is the epitome of uptown girl. She is from a wealthy family and has never had to worry about a thing in her life. Jake is from the “other side of the tracks” who has worked his whole life to make something of himself. Both of these characters are beautifully written. I loved watching Carolyn work through the realization that her youth was all a fake lie and work to figure out who she wants to be and overcome some pretty big obstacles. Then there is Jake who has his own struggles trying to overcome his childhood and prove to himself that he is worthy. I cannot say enough good things about this book! What I can say is you will not be disappointed. Also if you are just reading Elisabeth for the first time I would also recommend you read her Star Harbor series.
JeriTRyan More than 1 year ago
When I stumbled across this book I was intrigued by the storyline and I was not disappointed. I is a second chance novel with the extra twist that the characters find themselves at the exact opposite of where they started when they first met. This story was fluently and well written but still I have to admit it was not for me. There was too much cliché and even though the characters were interesting I could not feel with them. If you do not mind a little too much cliché I can recommend this book with its descend story to you and I will take a look at other books from this author too
Rockport_rocker More than 1 year ago
I would put Once and Again by Elisabeth Barrett against any contemporary romance on the top ten list this decade. It is a wonderful novel of second chances and self discovery. I have only recently discovered her books and was hooked on the first one so I had to grab this newest release. I can’t wait for the next books in this series. The connection between friends is as beautiful and the romantic connection between Jake and Carolyn. I especially love watching Carolyn’s grown and enjoyed seeing Jake encourage it.
ReneeEntress More than 1 year ago
4 star This is Carolyn and Jake’s story. Carolyn grew up with money but Jake didn’t. When her father told her to break it off with Jake she did. Now Jake has money and Carolyn does not have any. They were in love before but they were both broken in the past. Can they ever get that love back or is Jake out for some revenge as Carolyn is now working for him and not deemed better then him. Can these two ever deal with the past and overcome all the old hurts? The story was a great read. I recommend this book.
gaele More than 1 year ago
Combining a reunited couple with a reversal in circumstance is the set up for this story. In high school Carolyn was the rich ‘good’ girl with Jake the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Family interference is excessive: Jake is arrested after being caught with Carolyn, and this sets up the story as we enter it now. Carolyn’s father made some bad choices, and the family is destitute. Unused to living without the finer things, Carolyn has a job at the Briarwood country club, she is struggling with the changes in circumstance and another twist is ready to drop. Jake is now successful, and is the owner of the club. He’s still justifiably angry with Carolyn for family’s actions, but she’s still intrigued. I was missing some integral elements in this story: firstly the secondary characters are all too prominent, without real purpose beyond further installments. Carolyn was an “all tell no show’ character, with little emotional depth. Jake’s lack of depth was all too prevalent until about midway through the story, but his growth and depth was all present in his interactions with his partners, and none with Carolyn. We are told, repeatedly, about their connection in high school, but the lack of flashbacks or real emotional draw TO those times leave the story rather bland and the connection questionable. In short, far too much tell, focused on characters and relationships NOT relevant to the couple left me unsatisfied and uninspired. I’d hoped for fun and light, I got light and unfocused, leaning to boredom without a plausible connection to the characters, or them to one another. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Anlenhart1 More than 1 year ago
Carolyn Rivington family has gone from riches to rags when her father losses all his money and her mother dies. She is trying make ends meet by working at the local country club as an event coordinator. The club is languishing, and has been sold to a new owner, Jake Gaffney, who just happens to be Carolyn's first love. As teenagers, they dated until Carolyn's father found out and had Jake arrested. He left town and became a rich real estate developer. Jake realizes he need Carolyn to help him get the old guard to go along with his planned improvements for the club. They begin to work together, and old feelings are renewed. I always enjoy an Elisabeth Barrett novel, because they are realistic, romantic and well paced. I like both leading characters and plan to read the next books in the series. I would recommend this book to fans of second chance and contemporary romance. I was given a free copy for an honest review.
FromTheSouth More than 1 year ago
An enjoyable but mostly predictable country club setting romance featuring a formerly wealthy heroine, Carolyn, who finds herself working for her first true love, Jake, after he buys the aging establishment. Jake returned to their hometown not only to buy the club as an investment but also to a large degree prove how successful he had become. He was employed there as a caddy when he was a teenager. Carolyn, who had no other option but work as the club’s event planner after her father’s legal/investment problems, ends up being a major asset to Jake’s plans to renovate the business. Though there seems to be an overly large cast of supporting characters that too often highjack the main couple’s storyline, they were interesting and left the door open for sequels. I kept expecting Carolyn’s two girlfriends to end up pairing up with Jake’s two best friends and even a romance or two between the kitchen staff, but that never happened. The only romance was between Jake and Carolyn. Details regarding Jake’s business dealings did have me skimming pages at times. The hero and heroine were both likeable and believable. There were a few explicit, steamy love scenes and a touch of angst here and there. The ending was rather anti-climactic, but overall I did enjoy the book. (This review is a based on ARC e-book generously provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest, unbiased opinion.)
TheSassyBookster More than 1 year ago
Carolyn Rivington was a pampered country club princess who had it all until it was all lost. With the load of her father's debts weighing her down, she was forced to get a job at the country club. Now her past has come back in the form of the new owner of the club and her first love, Jake Gaffney. Fifteen years ago, Jake was the boy from the wrong side of the tracks involved with the society princess, an involvement that ended badly with him being carted away in the back of a police cruiser. Now the tables have turned and the boy from the wrong side of the tracks is a real estate mogul and the pampered princess? His employee. ONCE AND AGAIN is an easy and enjoyable story of strength, grace and second chances. Fifteen years ago, Caroline was a malleable young girl floating through life, secure in the knowledge that all was well in her world and she had everything - money, cars and access to all the right places. Then she lost it all and has spent the last year working her behind off to pay the family debts. Jake's return as her new boss shakes her foundation as she's concerned that their past history could cost her her job. But Jake needs her in his corner as he battles opposition to his plans for the club. And if working closely with him rekindles their old fire? Well, it doesn't hurt. ONCE AND AGAIN is not just a story about Carolyn and Jake's second chance but it's also Carolyn's story of personal discovery and growth. Before things changed, she was just a girl going through life aimlessly, unaware of who she really was but what happened has forced her to dig deep into herself and find inner strength that she didn't know she had. Now she's working at a job she loves and making friends who like her for herself and not her bank balance and her pedigree. Jake's return and their relationship is just the icing on a really great cake. This story does not have sizzle and steamy passion but is rather a mellow and easy tale of both characters rekindling their first love and exploring connections with other people. This is the first book in the series and it shows. There are also other side stories of secondary characters that set up the following stories and while they do distract a bit from the central story, they actually have me excited about the rest the series.There is also story arc of her father and his dealings that was unresolved and I would love to see the resolution in upcoming books. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
chucha_13 More than 1 year ago
Carolyn Rivington used to be one of the rich kids who would do everything to please her parents. When her father asked her to break it off with the boy she grew to love from the other side of the tracks, she did. Now, they were bankrupt. Her father accumulated debt she was making ends met by working in the Briarwood Golf and Yacht Club where her family were used to be members, she’s now one of the employees. And then here comes her past haunting her – because the guy whom heart she broke was now the new owner of the club. THE THINGS I LOVE ABOUT THIS BOOK: The Characters. Both have worked hard, perhaps in different ways and with different circumstances. Jake Gaffney came from the bottom, and worked his way up to survive and he even surpassed survival – he is now a very rich man. As for Carolyn – you can’t help but adore the girl who had once made a mistake. She gathered herself well, swallowed her pride and survived. She is an epitome of strength and courage. She might have suffered from losing everything, and yet she’s still doing her best to help everyone around her. I think this character of hers helped Jake in one way or the other in opening his heart. He saw that Carolyn was not the girl she was back then. Would they have a second chance? It’s not just the main characters that will capture your hearts, you will love the secondary characters as well. Families, enemies, friends have something to contribute to the story that make Once and Again an interesting read. The Plot. It may have been about second chances, but I was just glad that it focused more on the present, on the person that they are today. They were so different from who they were back then. Although some of the feelings might have rooted from the past, nevertheless it was still their current needs, wants, and emotions. The story went flawlessly with some unexpected surprises (good and bad) from different characters. Love is indeed sweeter the second time around. This is a great way to start a series, and I was glad I was given an advance copy of it. Once and Again is a heartwarming story of love, broken hearts, fortitude, survival and second chances.
disneytothemax More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! Boy on wrong side of tracks falls for rich girl when they were young. Fast forward, and the roles have reversed! Jake is now a HOT rich guys, tattoos and all!! Carolyn isn't the little rich girl she once was. This was such a charming, and, oh so hot, book! I was captivated from the beginning! It was a long story, but I loved every minute of it. I felt like I was part of the story!! Looking forward to reading more stories by Elisabeth Barrett!
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
This one is about Jake Gaffney and Carolyn Rivington being reunited after years of pain, anger, and hurt. Roles are reversed now though. He is rich and powerful and she is down on her luck. When Jake buys the country club she is currently working at, they both know that it is time to deal with their past and let things go. If only it was that easy! I've been looking forward to this new series from Elisabeth Barrett and after reading this book I am NOT disappointed! I can't wait to see how some of the secondary characters are developed and what their stories are. While parts of this seemed a little drawn out I think it was necessary to introduce all the characters and their roles. Can't wait for more! I definitely recommend this one!