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    great group of friends

    I’m really disappointed to say this is the first of the Shore Secrets series that I’ve read because these friends are fantastic together. They are so supportive and caring for each other, but they aren’t afraid to give each other a hard time when needed (and sometimes when not :) ). You can definitely read Back To Us as a standalone – there are a few references to the previous stories … but they just taunted me with the goodness that I had missed. Barth could have easily been lazy on the relationship between Piper and Ward, using their history as an excuse to not craft decent interactions between the two, but lucky for us she doesn’t. We don’t get the back and forth of them getting to know each other, but she’s able to show their connection and attraction. As they tiptoe closer, I found myself happier and happier for them, waiting for them to get to a point when they finally bury their past and look toward a future together. I think my only complaint is how much both Ward and Piper let that past influence their choices now. I’m going to tell you what he did so if you don’t want to know then stop reading now … last chance …. He kissed another girl, when he was 18, on his own for the first time at college, feeling lonely, and Piper saw it … Yes, I’m sure that was awful – they’d been friends for ages and he broke her heart, plus the wounds at that age can definitely have far reaching effects – but it was just a kiss. Granted they never talked about it, so she didn’t know that was all it was. He did, though, and should have manned up and taken care of this before now. Except they let it fester and turn into a big deal and now they have to work thru it. Maybe this is where not having the history of the other books plays against me because I’m sure that Ward and Piper and their feelings are a pretty big part in the other stories considering how close these friends are. I will say that Barth does a fantastic job setting it up and having them work thru it. So while I think that they allowed themselves to blow it all out of proportion, the trust issue is handled very realistically and she gets them to a satisfying HEA. If this is your first Shore Secrets (and you don’t want to go back and start at the beginning), you’ll be OK but based on what I see here I think you’ll want to get the other two as well, just so you can spend more time with this great group of people. (Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review)

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