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4.6 out of 5
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  • Emotional installment in Ribbon Ridge series

    When Love Happens is another emotional installment in the Ribbon Ridge series. The author invites the reader back to Ribbon Ridge, where Tori is hiding a big secret from her family - her marriage to TV producer Sean Hennessy. I really enjoyed how the author brings Sean back into Tori's life. I could feel Tori's discomfort when Sean arrives and it was clear she and Sean weren't on the same page with regards to their relationship. I love Sean. The author did a fantastic job of "making him British". I usually don't like reading novels written by Brits or set in Britain because the terminology is different enough from American English to make it difficult for me to understand. That was not the case here. Sean has a few expressions and things that he says that are clearly British (brilliant is a common phrase for him), but its not overwhelmingly British. It's enough to help me hear Sean's voice with a gentle, British accent, but not overwhelm me with terms that I don't understand. Sean's got a great sense of humor and a very likable personality, and there's no question as to why Tori's family likes him immediately, even as she was trying to get rid of him. But, he's no pushover. Sean tolerates great deal from Tori as they attempt to navigate their current relationship but when she pushes too far, he protects his own integrity and leaves her to wallow in a life of her own making. And that was probably the one part of the story that I didn't like. I've read other reviews that enjoyed the "Operation Divorce Me" section of the book, but I really disliked that part of the book. I understand why Tori has decided that her marriage to Sean shouldn't continue, but the way she went about it was juvenile. Her attempt to create a hostile living environment for Sean was immature. I wanted to reach into the book and smack Tori upside the head. Sean is a good sport and recognizes quickly what she is trying to do, but as a mature adult, Tori should have been honest with Sean instead of continuing to lie to him, and manipulate him with childish games to get him to give her a divorce. I was happy when Sean decides that he's had enough and leaves. But of course, we know that's not the end. Tori redeems herself somewhat in my mind by the end of the book, but she lost a few points in my book due to her behavior with Sean. My 4 star rating is primarily based on my dislike for how Tori handles her relationship with Sean. Alex's legacy continues in When Love Happens. I think I felt more urgency around knowing his thoughts about his suicide in this book more than the others, perhaps due to Tori's connection to his final moments. Tori is driven by extreme guilt that Alex reached out to her before the end and she has spent most of the time since his death living in grief, but not really living. Alex's death affects everything she has done since and it took Sean, and her family, to dig her out of the hole of grief she was slowly burying herself in. I like that each sibling is getting a letter from Alex when its most important in their story, and I feel like I'm getting to know Alex through these stories. Despite my overall concerns regarding how Tori handles her relationship with Sean, When Love Happens is another great chapter in the story of the Archer family and Ribbon Ridge. Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Beautiful Romance!

    Tori Archer seems to have her stuff together. She has a great job, she is beautiful but humble, and she has a great family. Her brother's sudden suicide has hit her very hard, but she thinks if she can keep focused on work and the family's new venture called "The Alex", she can get through it. Tori does not realize she has shut her feelings away and also shut out her loved ones. One person, in particular, feels her cold brush off. Her Husband Sean Hennessy. She married a man she barely knew and then her brother Alex dies the next day and Tori shut down. She never even told anyone she was married. Sean is a television producer so his job takes him out of the country quite a bit. He has spent the last few months on the other side of the world. Trying to give Tori the space she wanted to heal. What he does not know is how he can win her back after she told him she wanted a divorce. His boss want to do a "where are they now" show about the Archers who had a short show about the kids being sextuplets. So Sean sees this as an opportunity to get back with his wife. He loves her and is very serious about the vows they took. Tori is a hard woman to get close to these days. You can tell she is hurting but wants to try to keep herself together. Sean just wants his wife back and after meeting the Archers, he would love to be a part of this family. You can see that grief has hit them all in different ways and some of them are dealing with it, some are just shoving it in a box to deal with later. Tori does nothing but push Sean away and pretty much everyone else. She blames herself for Alex's death just like they all did at one point or another. Her brothers and sisters try to help her, but it is Sean who can help her if she will let him! But she is convinced a divorce is the only way to move on and forget the pain of losing Alex. So she tries to make Sean want a divorce. This part is hilarious! Some of the things she does are so funny! It reminds me of "How to Lose a Guy in 10 days." There were 6 kids born at once so, just like in the real world, some of them have medical issues, and I am so happy to see the author never glosses over these issues, but they are included in the story and make the characters who have these issues more human and real to me. This story is a great continuation of the Ribbon Ridge family. The heartwrenching after effects of losing a loved one that is so close to you are evident here. The writing is superb! Having read all 3 books and the novella, I feel like I know these people and would love to hang out with them for a weekend! Everyone has flaws, but they are a genuine, loving family who only want what's best for everyone else. I simply can not wait for the next book! *I received an advanced copy of this novel for my honest review*

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