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  • A really lovely book full of humour and emotion

    I loved this book! The characters were great, I especially loved Kinsey who was definitely the most prickly of the group and didn't like to let anyone too close. Brynn has just returned home to Wildstone after her personal life fell apart. Once there she bumps into Eli and then Kinsey, both of whom she used to go to summer camp with when they were all younger. Kinsey used to torment Brynn and Eli was always the peacemaker. Brynn is staying with both her Moms who love her to bits, but they do smother her, so Eli offers her a room as a lodger in his house, which she eventually accepts. Of course this was before she realised Kinsey also lived there and was Eli's best friend. As it turns out Brynn and Kinsey are half-sisters, but Brynn doesn't know this (at first), but of course it eventually comes out and there's a lot of emotion involved for various reasons, not least of which is the fact the Kinsey is fighting a serious health issue but trying to involve her friends as little as possible. One of the side characters, Deck (Kinsey's boyfriend - but she doesn't want to call him that or get too involved), was such a great character he should have had a book on his own! The relationships between all the characters were great, Brynn needed to get more assertive, Kinsey needed to get less assertive and accept help more, and Eli needed to get more of a life and stop covering for Kinsey so much, and by the end of the book they had all balanced themselves out. I must admit the last Wildstone book whilst still good just didn't quite hit the usual perfect spot for me, but this one is back to Jill Shalvis at her best. A really lovely book full of humour and emotion, loved it!

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  • Romance and found family

    It's been awhile since I've read a Jill Shalvis book, but I'm glad that I picked this one up. It was exactly what I was looking for, strong family relationships, strong friendships, hot caretaker alpha heroes, an adorable dog, in short, everything I needed to give a big happy sigh as I read it. Plus, there are not just one, but two romances. The primary one is between Brynne and Eli. There's always been a spark between these two, from the moment they met at summer camp when they were 10 or so, and the spark is still there when Brynne returns to town after a long absence. If anything, the relationship between them was almost too easy. They never dated when they were younger, but their interactions had the feel of a long-time relationship. Also they were both "people pleasers" who wanted nothing more than to smooth everyone's way and in that, they were equally matched but the drama between them felt almost manufactured. The secondary romance in the book was between Kinsey and Deck, and to be honest, I almost wished that these two had more screen time as there was far more tension and drama between them than between Eli and Brynne. Due to her upbringing and health issues, Kinsey was truly a prickly character who made plenty of mistakes in her relationships. She was slow to warm up to others, fiercely loyal when she did, and in the hands of a less skilled writer could have been quite unlikable, but because her motivations and her good heart were clear right from the start, it was easy to like her even as she pushed everyone (including Deck and Brynne) away. You definitely can read this as a standalone. I don't think there is any crossover in characters from other books, just the setting is the same. I missed the other books in the Wildstone series but now I want to go back and catch up. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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