Trapped in a cabin with the man who makes her want what she shouldn't have
Wedding photographer Briana Harper never expected to run into her ex at an engagement shoot! And when a blizzard strands them alone in a remote mountain cabin, she knows she's in trouble. She's never forgotten Ian Lawson, but none of the reasons they broke up have changed. He's still a workaholic. And now he's an engaged workaholic!
But Ian is also still a man who knows what he wants. And what he wants is Briana. Untangling the lies of his current engagement leaves him free to indulge. Yet proving he's changed may be this music mogul's toughest negotiation yet
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
"This is not good."
As though the universe had heard Ian's words, the tires on his Cadillac Escalade skidded on a patch of ice. He corrected the truck's erratic movement and steered it back into the lane and away from the deep ditch on the side of the road. Gripping the leather steering wheel with white-knuckled tension, he cursed and silently thanked his assistant for making sure he left first thing this morning. Any later and he might not have made it.
The snowflakes were growing increasingly difficult to see through and were collecting along the side of the road. On the freeway from Nashville toward Gatlin-burg, the weather had changed from rain to sleet to an icy slush. Now, in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, it was one hundred percent snow.
And a lot of it.
At the bottom of the hill that led to his mountainside community, he backed up slightly, put his SUV into a lower gear and started accelerating up the incline. Slow and steady, he made it up and around the long, winding curve to his driveway at the very top, then pulled into the garage.
Ian grabbed his bag from the passenger's seat and stepped out. He walked to the door to his cabin, pushed a button and watched the snow continue to fall until the garage door closed and blocked out the inclement weather he hadn't planned for.
He should've known this would happen. It was just one more thing in a string of screwups that had plagued his life the past few months. He knew that he should think of them as happy accidents, but he couldn't help but feel trapped by his circumstances. This weather was no exception.
Ian never came to the mountains in January or February. The weather was always too unpredictable this time of year. Living at the top of a mountain was luxurious and the view was incredible, but you could only benefit from it if you could get up there. He wouldn't be here now except that his fiancée, Missy, had insisted they take their engagement photos at the mountain house. Against his better judgment, he'd agreed.
Ian set his bag on the granite countertop and glanced out the bay window to the valley below him. It was a sea of white out there. At this rate, the few inches on the ground would easily reach half a foot or more. "No accumulation of note." He snorted after mimicking what the man on the news had said last night. Missy had left from Atlanta, so maybe the weather was better from the south, but likely it wasn't. He was pretty sure Missy wouldn't be able to make it up the mountain in her little Jaguar.
And the photographer Who knew what kind of car he or she would be driving. If this storm had surprised him, it had probably surprised everyone.
Thank goodness he'd had the cabin stocked with supplies. Ian walked around the kitchen, opening the cabinets and the refrigerator to inspect the contents. There was enough to feed them for several days, as requested. His caretakers were a married couple who lived down the hill. They kept the grounds tidy and the cabin clean and well maintained. Before he made a trip to the house, he would give Rick and Patty a list of food and supplies and they would see to it that everything was there.
Sometimes Patty would even do a little extra to welcome Ian home. Today there was a bottle of champagne chilling in the refrigerator door and a pair of flutes sitting on the counter by a vase of fresh flowers. Neither had been on his list, so that was Patty's way of congratulating him and his new fiancée on their engagement.
She must have somehow missed the announcement that Missy was eight weeks pregnant. Missy had gushed about their newly forming family to anyone who would listenfrom her two million Facebook fans to the journalist at some tabloid magazine. Ian didn't think there was a person left in the United States who didn't know about his personal business.
They would wed in March at a venue in Nashville that Missy had chosen. Ian had not been involved with the details. He had told himself, and Missy, that he was busy with work so she could plan whatever she liked. It was her big day, after all. The truth was that he was still coming to terms with all the new developments in his life. But he was hoping to turn that around.
He wanted this baby to be welcomed into a happy, loving family and he was willing to make the effort to turn that into a reality in the next seven months. It would take work on both their parts. Missy wasn't the easiest woman to be with. She was demanding, spoiled and used to people constantly telling her how wonderful she was.
They weren't a love match by any stretch of the imagination, but Ian was beginning to think love and the trappings that went with it were just a myth, anyway. Any marriage took work. Their situation might not be ideal, but she was going to have his baby and they were getting married.
He should make the most of a complicated situation. A romantic weekend together was just what they needed to stoke the fires. After all, plenty of men would love to marry Missy Kline. Her sultry voice and hard body had been a staple in Top 40 radio for the past few years. She was the star of Ian's record label.
At least she had been. Her most recent record hadn't done that well, but Missy wasn't worried. She had the wedding and baby to keep her relevant. Her manager had arranged to sell the exclusive story and pictures from their wedding to some magazine. They were working on making their upcoming ceremony into some television special. It was going to be invasive, and Ian hated the idea of the whole thing, but Missy was pretty business savvy. They couldn't pay for this kind of publicity. The day their engagement was announced and photos of her ring hit the gossip blogs, her latest song hit the top ten on iTunes. As her label, he couldn't complain. As her fiancé, he wasn't as thrilled.
This weekend they would take their engagement portraits and project the image of the happy power couple to the world. Then they would spend the next few days together trying to make it into a reality. A crackling fire, a stunning view, hot cocoa on the deck while snuggled under a blanket together It would be a romantic music video come to life. He hoped.
Right now, he couldn't guarantee that any of it was going to happen. Missy had said the snow would be romantic. He had no doubt she'd changed her mind by now.
Frowning, Ian walked to the front door, opened it and stepped out onto the front porch. The snow was sticking in earnest now, piling on the grass and creating a solid blanket across the road. You couldn't even see the pavement. Or the layer of ice likely forming beneath it. In the South, it was rarely snow that was the problem. It was the ice that sent you skidding into ditches and sliding backward down hills.
As he watched the snow fall, a little white SUV rounded the corner and headed in his direction. His house was the last on the winding path, so once the car passed his closest neighbor he knew it had to be the photographer. If the photographer could make it from Nashville despite the weather, maybe Missy would make it in from Atlanta. At the very least, he knew the roads hadn't closed yet.
The SUV pulled up by the steps to the front porch. Ian pasted on his smile, readying himself for a day of Academy Award-winning acting. He took careful steps down the stacked stone stairs to greet the photographer and help bring in any equipment.
A woman in a tight pair of jeans and a fitted tur-tleneck with a fleece jacket over it got out. She was dressed for a January day in Nashville, not the mountains. The snow had obviously been a surprise for her, too. She had no heavy coat, no gloves and no scarf, and her red Converse sneakers would offer about as much traction on ice as baby oil.
At least she had a hat. Her long blond hair peeked out beneath the knitted cap pulled down over her head. She was wearing wide, dark sunglasses, so he could see very little of her face, but for some reason, she seemed familiar to him.
The woman slammed her car door shut and slipped off her sunglasses. "Hi, Ian."
In an instant, the face, the voice and the memories slammed together and socked him in the gut. It was Bree. Briana Harper. His freshman romance. The one who distracted him from his classes with her young, firm body and adventurous spirit. The one who dumped him at the lowest point in his life.
Ian swallowed the lump in his throat. "Bree? Wow. I had no idea you were, uh, that you would be "
Bree winced and nodded. He could tell from the visible tension in her neck and shoulders that this was equally awkward for her. She was strung tight as a drum, and the familiarity of their past urged him to reach out and massage her neck the way he used to. But that was just nostalgia talking. He sincerely doubted touching Bree would help this situation.
"You didn't know I was coming?"
"No, I left all the details to Missy. She didn't mention who the photographer would be."
"I knew that I should've said something," she began, "or given you some kind of warning in case you didn't know, but I'd hoped not to make a big deal of it. My business partners didn't know you and I were acquainted."
Acquainted. That was one word for it. Touched every inch of each other's bodies was another way to phrase it. Once the shock of her arrival faded, Ian let his curious gaze run over the rest of her once-familiar curves. There were more than he remembered, but they'd practically been kids then, still teenagers. Now she was a full-grown woman in a pair of jeans that looked painted-on.
"Is this going to be a problem for you?" she asked. "It's not for me. I intend to keep this very professional. Your fiancée doesn't even need to know we've met previously, if that's what you prefer."
"Yes, that's probably for the best." Although Missy claimed she had little competition, she was at the same time insanely jealous. She had made headlines for starting catfights in night clubs and industry parties. She'd snatched the extensions out of her supposed rival's hair for just talking to her ex-boyfriend at a promoted event in Las Vegas.
Ian hadn't given Missy any reason to be jealous, but he knew how easily that switch could flip in her. The last thing he needed was Missy throwing a fit about the photographer. They needed these pictures done and released to the magazine for the scheduled issue. They couldn't wait for someone else to come up here and replace Bree.
That is, if anyone else could even make it up the mountain. The snow was falling faster than ever now. "We'd better get your things inside," he suggested.
Bree nodded. When she turned to head toward the back of her car, her shoe skidded on the slick pavement. Her eyes widened and her arms shot out for something to steady her, but it was Ian's lightning-fast reflexes that saved her. He reached out, his arms encircling her waist and tugging her up and against his body.
Ian instantly knew he'd made a mistake. The whole length of her was pressed into him. The scent of her favorite lotion mingled with the baby shampoo she'd always used. The familiar combination rushed to his nose, bringing back flashes of hot nights in his dorm room and in the back of his car. His entire body tensed, the cold unable to dampen the sudden arousal that being near Bree had so easily caused.
Bree clung to him, her ivory cheeks flushed pink from the cold and a hint of embarrassment. Her baby-blue eyes met his for a moment and the connection between them snapped like a current flowing freely through a copper wire. It had always been like this. Even minutes after he'd had her, he'd want her again. Back then, if she wasn't in his arms, she was all he could think about.
He tore his gaze from hers, letting his eyes settle on the pink pucker of her mouth. That wasn't much better. Her lips had been the softest, most welcoming lips he'd ever encountered, before college or since. Kissing Bree had been one of the divine pleasures of his life. Losing that had been almost as hard as losing his music.
That thought brought him back to reality. Ian steadied her on her feet and then disentangled himself from her before he did something stupid like kiss her. Bree reached a hand out for the side mirror of her car, taking a solid step back from him.
"Thank you," she said, her cheeks now crimson. "That was really embarrassing."
"That was nothing," he said, more to himself than to her, but he followed it up. "Embarrassing would've been bruising your hind end on the driveway and getting your pants soaking wet and muddy."
"True," she said, looking around, apparently unwilling to meet his gaze again.
"Are your things in the trunk?" he asked.
"Yes." Bree perked up, seemingly happy to focus on her work again. With one hand on her car she stepped cautiously to the back and opened the hatch on her Honda. She slung a green backpack over her shoulder and then pulled out a few black bags and a tripod.
Ian took as much as he could from her and escorted her up the stairs into the cabin. He let her focus on setting up her equipment and turned to his phone as a distraction. Hopefully reading a couple emails would help dull the raging arousal that still pumped through his veins and clouded his mind.
He hadn't had a reaction to a woman like that since He thought back and frowned. Since the last time he'd held Bree in his arms. Not even the belly-baring diva of his record label could match the need Bree built in him right now. He didn't want that to be the caselife would be so much easier if things were reversedbut there was no denying it.
Missy would have a glass-breaking fit if she knew.
Bree focused on setting up her equipment even though she knew it was a pointless exercise. An hour had gone by without any sign of his fiancée. If she didn't show up in the next half hour, the odds were that she wasn't coming. One glance out the window made it perfectly obvious that the drive in would be next to impossible.
She had barely made it up the mountainside herself. Her tires had spun a time or two, lodging her heart in her throat. But that was nothing, nothing compared to the collision she'd just had with Ian.
It had been nine years since they'd been together. She should be over him by now. Long over him. Yet, when she was pressed against the hard wall of his chest and staring up into the dark green eyes she'd once lost herself in, the years apart seemed to vanish in an instant. All the reasons she walked away, all the heartache and the doubts, gone.
She thought he felt it, too. For a moment, she sensed a connection between them. An instant of attraction and longing had flickered in his eyes, a soft smile curling his lips. And then he'd looked away. A hard glint had shone in his eyes as he gently pushed her out of his arms.
And just as quickly, she'd realized she was a fool.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this second chance romance by Andrea Laurence! It is the first book in the Brides and Belles series. I most definitely want to read more books in this series. Briana Harper and her business partners are all about business and getting the job done and that even included Briana having to do a photo shoot for an engaged couple that includes her ex from college. When she gets snowed in with only Ian at his remote mountain cabin she knows she's in trouble because her feelings for him haven't changed. Ian Lawson doesn't love his fiancee, but there is no way that he will walk away from his responsibilities until he finds out there are more lies than truths. Getting snowed in with Briana brings back all of those feelings that they had never gotten past, but proving their problems are a thing of the past takes a little bit more work. I was given an ARC for an honest review. All conclusions are mine and mine alone.
It was great to see how Bree and Ian's relationship rekindled. Being stranded in a mountain cabin during a blizzard can sure work wonders for clearing up misunderstandings after a bad breakup. They had both buried themselves in their careers to try to avoid disappointments in other areas of their lives, so it was interesting to see if they were willing to make changes to get what they wanted out of life. This first book in the Brides and Belles series has me wanting to read more about each of the four women involved in the wedding planning business. The next book introduced in the epilogue sounds like an intriguing story.
Loved this book The characters of Brianna and Ian are great.....could not put the book down and now I can't wait to read the other three in the series.....
Loved this book. It was a second chance romance that was well written and drew you in from the begining. A little added drama was thrown in and it gave it the perfect balance. Looking forward to the other books in this series.
Brianna and her three friends have setup a company called From This Moment, an elite wedding one stop in which Briana is the photographer. Only in her meeting she learned that they had booked a big celebrity wedding for Missy Kline and Ian Lawson. Not knowing that Ian was her college sweetheart, now she is expected to take the engagement and wedding photos. Ian used to be everything to Bree, until he became such a workaholic he forgot everything and reminded her so much of her father that she could not do it anymore. Now nine years later she has managed to get to his cabin on the mountain side through the treacherous weather, and comes face to face with him once again. Only once she arrives he receives a call from his fiancé that the roads are closed and she cannot make it. Leaving Bree and Ian stranded, alone and unable to leave. Now being cooped up together will bring back the memories of when they were together and the sparks that never went away. While Ian has tried to forget the bad memories of his past, he was never able to forget her. But will be able to make up for the mistakes of his past and get back what he lost?
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Laurence tells a unique & captivating second chance romance that kept me on my toes. I found the storyline to be original & very well put together. The plot was about so much more than two people coming together. Change and compromise are essential to this tale, as is life and love. The last few chapters were amazing. I couldn’t put the book down for a second. Laurence’s story went from great to absolutely, unbelievably, unforgettable. But above all, this novel was fun, plain and simple. This pair of main characters was perfect for the story at hand. Laurence developed them extremely well. Not only did we see how he became a workaholic, but we also understand why she can’t tolerate it. The explosive chemistry between these two contrasted with their separate wants and desires adds to the complex yet completely satisfying relationship between them. Laurence develops these characters’ pasts as well as their present for that in depth view of what it means to be them. This is my first novel by this author, but it won’t be my last. This was a fantastic, light, yet intricate romance that left me with a smile on my face. Would I recommend it to others? Definitely. Will I be reading the sequel? You can bet your bottom dollar I will. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
Snowed in with Her Ex is Andrea Laurence’s first book in her Brides and Belle series. Wedding photographer Briana Harper is thrown into a past she didn’t want to have to face. Ian Lawson her college sweetheart, whom she hasn’t seen in nine years, is getting married. His fiancée has contracted with From This Moment a wedding planning business that she owns with her friends. By fate, Briana is forced to spend the weekend snowed in with Ian. Not only do they face their past but they are also shocked by events that will change their future. I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it. It was a great start to the series. I’d like to disclose that I received a copy of Snowed in with Her Ex in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Andrea is the reason I started reading romance again. Snowed in with her Ex is one of my favorites. I started reading it and couldn't put it down till it was done. Bree & Ian's story was fantastic, can't wait for the rest of the Brides & Belles stories. Andrea knows how to write strong characters and build them up throughout the book. She makes you a part of her characters lives and when the book ends you want it to keep going. The great thing about a series is you get to catch up with your old friends throughout the remainder of the books. And that is the way I view Andrea's characters at the end, as new friends I've just met. Don't miss out on this one. Enjoy!
Andrea Laurence is kicking off a new series called Brides and Belles where we meet four friends who went into the bridal business. Each friend has a special talent, and we are about to tag-along the journey as they find love. Basically, Briana Harper (Bree) is the photographer for From This Moment and she had been given the assignment to photograph the happy couple at his cabin in the mountains. No problem up until she finds out that it's Ian Lawson and Missy Kline. Now Ian was an ex-boyfriend, and the relationship didn't end well. After all, he was starting to become like her father, and she didn't want to end up like her mother. Reasonable; except they never cleared the air. Ian is a workaholic, who found himself knocking up one of his clients and decided he wasn't going to be like his father, and be in his child's life. However, this client is a tad bit manipulative and conniving. Here's my problem with Ian, he just accepts Missy words about him being the father of her baby. First off, if he knew she was conniving and manipulative wouldn't you want a paternity test. That's one the first things I would want, because whose to say she didn't hire some Joe off the street to knock her up. Now feel better getting that off my chest. Anyway, Bree and Ian ended up getting stuck at the cabin. Eventually, everything comes out into the open while they are at the cabin, and it starts to look brighter for Bree and Ian. When they get back to reality things start to unwind, and will they be able to handle the cards they are dealt? I enjoyed Snowed In With Her Ex, because you bring together past lovers that have unresolved issues and they are able to work it out. They both still had chemistry for one another, but trying to compromise is hard each of them. I already mention my one gripe about Ian. Overall, a pretty good read. Copy provided by author
My Thoughts: Oh, Harlequin Desire, how I love you. I read the synopsis for this one and immediately had to get my hands on it... because SNOWED IN. I thoroughly enjoy reading these kind of romances, watching two people who are trapped try to find a way out and discovering love along the way. Briana and Ian have a past, and now they're together again with her taking pictures of him and his soon-to-be wife. Bad combination, right? It gets worse when the snow storm hits and it's just the two of them trapped at the cabin since Ian's fiancée, Missy, can't make it. Their past comes to the surface when she hands him his guitar, leading them to a not-so-innocent kiss. The guilt is short-lived when a lie comes to the surface about Missy...but what's next for Briana and Ian when the snow melts? Snowed In With Her Ex was the perfect take on this kind of romantic tale. I loved seeing Briana and Ian come to terms with everything they're facing, past and present. Everything ties together, making the ending worth the journey. I'm very interested in seeing what's next in Andrea Laurence's Brides and Belles series! My Rating: Very Good
Rating: 4.5/5 Snowed In with Her Ex was such a quick story about second chances, and love. As a wedding photographer, Briana Harper, has taken pictures of thousands of happy couples that are in love, something that she finds herself lacking now. But when she is called to take the engagement pictures of the latest celebrity couple, she is shocked to see the name of the groom, because is non other than her ex, Ian Lawson. Being the professional that she is, she agrees to take the engagement photos, and heads out to the mountains without knowing that a blizzard was going to get her trapped in a cabin with the one she once had a relationship with, and still loves. Ian has always wanted to be successful, he works hard for what he wants, and that somehow got him caught in an engagement with famous singer, Missy Kline. Now he is about to be a dad, and a husband to a women that he doesn't love at all. When he drives to his cabin in the mountains of Nashville, he is surprised to see that his wedding photographer is non other than his ex, and the one who still manages to hold his heart after been apart for so long. Willing to put their romantic past in the past, both Ian and Briana brave through the night, which then become days trapped in a cabin. Spending time together, playing games, and even talking about their past, starts to bring them closer instead of apart. But when a surprising call gives Ian news of what his fiancee has done to him, he lets passion between him and Briana take over their days in the cabin, as they try to figure out if they can work together as a couple again, or say good-bye for good this time around. There are definitely decisions that both need to make in the book. While Ian owns a successful recording studio, Briana has come a long way with being part owner of her own wedding business. Both characters have a lot to learn from their past experiences in order to move on with their lives, and that's what Andrea Laurence delivers. I liked the character's personalities, but at times Ian was too stubborn to face his fears, and it felt rushed in the book once everything got resolved. I liked the theme of second chances in the book, it all came together nicely at the end, which immediately follows with the start of the second book. I'm not sure if I liked the idea or not, but I actually read the second book first, and found myself liking it a lot. The characters are different, so there is no follow up with this book's characters in the second book. Overall, I enjoyed reading Snowed In with Her Ex, it was a quick read that has the perfect dose of romance, and drama (when the big news is revealed) that definitely keeps you wanting to know more. I highly recommend it :) ***ARC provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***
Andrea Laurence has done it again. She has written a love story that sucks you in from the very beginning and keeps you guessing as to what is going to happen. Bree is a young lady working hard to keep her dreams alive with her 3 friends that run an all in one wedding business. They have created a unique business like no other and have to all pull their weight to keep it successful. Bree is fulfilling her dream of photography and is the photographer for the business. She is assigned to a couple to do their engagement photos and realizes that it is her ex from college. She had no clue that he was even engaged. Bree has to travel a bit out of her way to do the photos and ends up hitting some bad weather that steadily gets worse by the minute on the day of the photo shoot. When Ian sees her for the first time in 9 years, all the feelings rush back to him and it is like time has stood still for him. The weather causes issues for Ian's fiancé, Missy, and she ends up not making it up the mountain to where the photos were going to be taken. Ian and Bree learn that they are not going anywhere either since all the roads have been closed. The time that Bree and Ian spend alone give them both time to think about where they have come in their lives and to really reevaluate what they want for their lives. The back and forth of both Ian and Bree in their struggles within themselves to figure out what they want from each other and in their lives keeps you guessing as to how the story will end for these two. This book ends with a HEA but makes you long to know more of what becomes of these two. This is such a well written love story that I read in one sitting!!! Thanks Andrea for another great read!!! I was given a copy of this book for an honest review.
I'm going to lie I was a little iffy because the hero is engaged to another woman when the chemistry between him and Brianna flares up when they got snowed in together, but I shouldn't have worried Andrea Laurence had it. The way the events played out it made the story work so well. Ian is Brianna's ex so there is a lot of history there. Has Ian changed or does he still have his workaholic ways.
Brianna is the photographer and part owner of the company called From This Moment on an elite wedding one stop venue, she and three friends set up their wedding company to help brides out there get the wedding they want. At one of the Monday meetings when the four friends meet up to discuss new clients and the previous weekends weddings she finds out that they have booked a big celebrity wedding for Missy Kline and Ian Lawson. What her friends did not know was that she was Ian Lawson's college sweetheart, and she was expected to take engagement portraits and then the rest of the wedding photos. Ian was once the centre of Bree's universe until he started to work all hours and forget dates, birthdays etc so they split up because he reminded Bree so much of her father and she was not going to put up with that behaviour again. So nine years later, Bree manages to get to Ian's cabin on the mountain side even though the weather had turned treacherous and she steps out of her SUV to finally come face to face with him again. Shortly after arriving at the cabin Ian gets a phone call from his fiancée saying that they have closed the roads and she can not make it. So that leaves Ian and Bree stranded alone and unable to leave until the roads are cleared. Bree can still feel the attraction between them and she is worried about being couped up with him for days, but their is nothing she can do about this so she decides to enjoy her time at the beautiful cabin and to try to keep out of Ian's way. Ian is the owner of a successful recording studio now but when Bree knew him he was a struggling musician, but his tutor told him to give it up as he would not aspire to anything so that is when he started to work at a recording studio all the time and this is how he lost Bree. So seeing her again brings up and reminds him of all the bad things that he has wanted to forget even though he has never been able to forget Bree, no matter how much he tried. This is a beautiful story of deception, lies, forbidden attraction, second and possibly third chances. You are kept entertained through out this book and you learn about the characters past's and present. I love this, the first book in the Brides and Belles series and I can not wait for the next instalment A Definite Must Read for all you romantics out there.
"Snowed in with her Ex" written by Andrea Laurence is the first book in a series called Brides and Bells. Andrea Laurence has yet again written another truly excellent book. Brianna finds it heartbreaking that her business partners (unknowingly) excepted a job where she was expected to take engagement portraits, followed by wedding photos of her ex boyfriend Ian Lawson and his pregnant music celebrity wife to be. If that isn't enough misery to bear, she finds herself snowed in alone with Ian. The attraction between Briana and Ian is phenomenal and Bree realises that she never stopped loving him. This is a heartfelt story that keeps you turning the pages as you get wrapped up in chemistry and forbidden attraction between Ian and Bree. I look forward to reading the following books in this series.