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    The wait is over!

    I have been waiting for the Joe & Mac story for what feels like forever (alright it wasn't really). I begged for my ARC copy to read & review! 😂 I wasn't disappointed, as an avid reader of the Due South series I had noticed them in the periphery of some of the stories and couldn't wait t see what was in store for them. Mac owns a bridal store in Invercargill so she has popped up here and there in previous stories and Joe is the resident Irish Dr for Stewart Island. There is some history between the two which has caused some animosity, friction & avoidance of each other. Tracey teases out their story with just the right amount of steam and some bumps in the road. Mac is prickly and antagonistic & Joe is charming and intense. Both of them are commitment phobes. This book takes place in a few more locations than the previous books in the series which is a nice twist. This is a great fun read and I found it hard to put down for when real life interrupted. If I hadn't received my requested ARC copy I still would have gone out & bought this book. So do yourself a favour & buy this and escape for a couple of hours to a beautiful island, parts of NZ & Vegas!
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    Pot-hole-filled road to love and marriage!

    I have loved all of Tracey Alvarez' Due South books because they always included almost everyone in the town of Oban along with whichever couple fell/was pushed/got knocked on the head by love. But I have to admit that Saying I Do is my favorite (so far!) even though it is much less “community based” than all the previous ones. This book is more thoughtful, or maybe I should say thought-provoking, than most of the others. I hesitate to say “angst-ridden,” but the main theme running throughout the story is very much the emotions regarding relationships and love—how they are perceived, really felt, hoped for, avoided, acknowledged, and finally accepted. But getting there is in no way guaranteed! These two are not “storybook” romance characters—they seem to be real people with real hang-ups and issues that go through a lot before they can end up together. And what a great trip Tracey takes you on to get there! Joe and Mac's story appears to be an “enemies to lovers” tale at the beginning. But you soon realize it is more of a “Joe's most humilating experience in his life” and Mac's being a witness—or rather catalyst, of that humiliating experience. His move to Oban on Stewart Island to become the town's doctor was pretty much a reaction to that situation, to get away from Invercargill on the mainland, to put it out of his mind. So it seems reasonable that he would avoid Mac, who's cousin and good friend, Holly, turns out to be one of the town's residents. Unfortunately, four and a half years later, Holly is getting married, requiring more frequent visits from her cousin who happens to be a wedding planner and up-and-coming bridal gown designer. With a little push from the town's busybody/matchmaker, Joe and Mac at least start talking, and finally address the issue that has kept them from getting to know each other all that time. And then the dance begins, from not liking each other very much (or at least THINKING they don't like each other very much) to becoming very involved and unable to stay apart. The sex is great, yet they both have a long way to go, due to unresolved issues about love and relationships before they can acknowledge that they are a couple to themselves, much less to family and friends. Timing is everything they just can't seem to get in sync when it comes to accepting love. Joe's problem with love is the more recent “humiliating experience,” whereas Mac's has been brewing in her head and heart since she was a little girl. Mix in the drama of Joe trying to stop his baby sister's wedding, causing her to “elope” to Vegas (not truly an elopement when their families are invited, is it?), insisting that Mac bring her dress, with or without Joe. And that is when the story shifts to Las Vegas, via a road trip from Los Angeles, and the story takes a few more twists and turns, some unexpectedly more twisty than others, on the way to Joe and Mac's HEA. Which does end up involving pretty much everyone in Oban's participation in the end.
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    Romance Down Under

    My, oh my, oh my! What a dreamy main character is Irish Joe Whelan! And, MacKenna “Mac” Jones? Well she is nothing to be sneezed at, either! Two successful, attractive and strong individuals who have friends in common but also have a past experience that has defined their reason for avoidance over the years. Well, in this book things change and what was dislike flips to a lot more than like. The fact that both have issues pertaining to the belief in love and happily forever after makes this an interesting story but then throw in a side story dealing with Joe’s sister, a trip to Vegas and catching up with some of the Stewart Island folk and you end up with a story that I could not put down. Oh, and…introducing Reid, Laura and Joe’s brothers? Well, now I want THEIR stories, too! Thank you to the author for the ARC – This is my honest review.
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    Another Great Visit to Due South

    Dr. Joe has been an interesting background character in the case that makes up the Due South friends & family group. In “Saying I Do” we finally get to know the good doctor – and what a joy that is! Once again, Tracey Alvarez gives us a character study that is fun, warm, deep, and loving. We can laugh with, empathize with, and enjoy the ride with Joe and Mac. They care deeply for each other, in spite of themselves. This series has continuously drawn us in to live the lives with the inhabitants of Stewart Island. If you love a good read that is full of imagery, lively conversations, fantastic character development, that leaves you anxious for the next dose of life on Stewart Island, then hurry and get “Saying I Do”.
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    A great addition to a wonderful series

    MacKenna Jones is a wedding dress designer from Invercargill, she has come to Stewart Island to send time with her cousin Holly in the run up to her wedding to Ford (the couple from Playing For Fun). When Stewart Island's meddling octogenarian matchmaker claims she is having a heart-attack shortly after seeing a cake which is meant to look like a spanner but is otherwise described as looking like a zombie's penis, Mac is sent to get the Island's Dr Joe Whelan. Aka Oban’s Doctor Sexy McSexface. Joe and Mac have been avoiding each other for over four years, for reasons which unfold during the book, the two of them can't help sniping at each other although secretly they each also find the other verra attractive. But Joe is forced to seek Mac's help when his little sister Kerry announces her sudden engagement to a tattooed bus driver. As one of the heirs to a million dollar brewery started by their parents, Kerry is a prime target for fortune hunters and her big brother isn't going to let her heart get broken by some guy on the make. Joe offers to pay for Kerry's dress from Mac's bridal boutique, the fantastically named Next Stop, Vegas, but secretly asks Mac to persuade his sister that this rushed marriage to a guy she has only known for a few months is a bad idea. As Joe and MacKenna revisit what happened four years ago, can they build a relationship or will their pasts come between them? And can two people who have become cynical about love ever take that big step? There's way more plot than that, there's a trip to Vegas, covert espionage, impressive breakfasts and all set against the beautiful backdrop of New Zealand, where they breed the men young and gorgeous. I love Tracey Alvarez's books. The people of Stewart Island are like friends to me now, with their beef pies for breakfast (is that really a thing?) and their pub, Due South and the ferry to the mainland. Each of the characters is distinctive in his or her own right and comes with a backstory all to their own, some happy, some sad. This book is a great addition to the series, Joe is a kind and caring brother and doctor and MacKenna is a feisty, strong-willed and principled woman. Between the sheets they are scorching hot but it is what they bring to each other that makes this a romance. Recommended for fans of small town romances featuring a smokin' hot doctor, lots of beautiful scenery and a talented heroine. I requested a free ARC copy of this book and I’m writing an honest review of it. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
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