Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Blog Tour Excerpt & Review: The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

November 21st, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Edelweiss

Publication date: November 20, 2018

Publisher: Avon Books

Series: Rokesbys #3

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

She was in the wrong place…

Fiercely independent and adventurous, Poppy Bridgerton will only wed a suitor whose keen intellect and interests match her own. Sadly, none of the fools from her London season qualify. While visiting a friend on the Dorset coast, Poppy is pleasantly surprised to discover a smugglers’ hideaway tucked inside a cave. But her delight turns to dismay when two pirates kidnap her and take her aboard a ship, leaving her bound and gagged on the captain’s bed…

He found her at the wrong time…

Known to society as a rascal and reckless privateer, Captain Andrew James Rokesby actually transports essential goods and documents for the British government. Setting sail on a time-sensitive voyage to Portugal, he’s stunned to find a woman waiting for him in his cabin. Surely, his imagination is getting the better of him. But no, she is very real—and his duty to the Crown means he’s stuck with her.

Can two wrongs make the most perfect right?

When Andrew learns that she is a Bridgerton, he knows he will likely have to wed her to avert a scandal—though Poppy has no idea that he is the son of an earl and neighbor to her aristocratic cousins in Kent. On the high seas, their war of words soon gives way to an intoxicating passion. But when Andrew’s secret is revealed, will his declaration of love be enough to capture her heart…?

My Thoughts

You honestly can’t really go wrong when it comes to Julia Quinn. Her books are delightful, funny and full of great romance. She has a flair for developing entire casts of characters that will make you fall in love with them. The Other Miss Bridgerton definitely lived up to expectations.

Poppy isn’t your typical husband hunting miss and instead is busy exploring the world around her and pondering questions that make her a bit eccentric amongst the rest of society. I loved that about her and that she didn’t let others opinions keep her from questioning and being independent. She also has a bit of sass that made her interactions with Andrew fun to watch. Andrew was also a great character and I loved seeing him puzzling out how to react to Poppy and eventually falling for her.

Considering a good deal of the story takes place on a ship I never felt the story was moving too slowly and the pace of Poppy and Andrew’s relationship development was spot on. This book makes an excellent addition to the series and I’m hoping at some point we see an extended family tree of the Bridgerton family to include Poppy and the rest of the crew.

Find it online

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EXCERPT

He motioned with his arm, urging her a few more steps forward. “Careful,” he murmured.

Poppy looked to her toes. The deck came to an abrupt halt in front of her, its elevation dropping by several feet.

The captain hopped down. “The beakhead, my lady,” he said with a gallant wave to the triangular deck that formed the pointy front of the Infinity. He reached up and placed his hands on her hips to help her down.

But when she was steady, he didn’t let go.

“This is as far forward as one can stand on deck,” he told her.

She pointed to a spot a few feet ahead. “What about—”

“As one can stand safely on deck,” he amended. He adjusted their position so that he was standing behind her. “Now close your eyes.”
“But then I can’t see the stars.”

“You can open them later.”

She tilted her head to the left, right, and back again, as if to say, Oh, very well, but she closed her eyes.

“Now tilt your head up. Not all the way, just a bit.”

She did, and maybe it was that motion, or maybe it was just because she’d closed her eyes, but she felt instantly off-balance, as if something far greater than the ocean had stolen her equilibrium.

The captain’s hands tightened on her hips. “What do you feel?” he asked, his lips coming close to her ear.

“The wind.”

“What else?” She swallowed. Licked her lips.

“The salt in the air.”

“What else?”

“The motion, the speed.”

He moved his mouth closer. “What else?”

And then she said the one thing that had been true from the beginning.

You.”

ABOUT JULIA QUINN

JULIA QUINN started writing her first book one month after finishing college and has been tapping away at her keyboard ever since. The New York Times bestselling author of more than two dozen novels for Avon Books, she is a graduate of Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges and is one of only sixteen authors ever to be inducted in the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family.

Posted in 5 Star Books, Books, Historical Fiction | No Comments »

Review: Between a Highlander and a Hard Place by Mary Wine

November 15th, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Netgalley

Publication date: November 6, 2018

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Series: Highland Weddings #5

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

Athena Trappes thinks she’s in love…until she discovers the scoundrel only wanted her as his bit on the side. Enraged, she does what any spirited Englishwoman would do: set fire to his belongings, incur his dangerous wrath, and flee—immediately. With nowhere else to turn, she seeks freedom in the wilds of Scotland.

Highland Laird Symon Grant lost his wife years ago, and it’s his duty to find another. Athena is not exactly what the clan has in mind for him, but Symon’s heart burns with unexpected passion for the woman who would risk everything to be free.

My Thoughts

I didn’t realize this was book 5 in a series but I didn’t feel like I had any trouble settling into the story. Mary Wine is a new to me author but after finishing this book I definitely want to read more of her works.

I loved Symon’s character and I was rooting for him all the way. His cousin and the other clan members all made me smile and fall in love with them. Athena was a bit harder to like as I felt like though she was strong and independent she sometimes took it too far and didn’t make the smartest choices. She seemed to find it more important to make go her own way just to show she could even when logically it didn’t make sense. Still it was great watching the interaction between her and Symon and watching their relationship develop.

Despite my misgivings about Athena I couldn’t put this book down and cannot wait for Brenda’s story!

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Blog Tour: The Christmas Layover by Robert Tate Miller Excerpt + Giveaway

November 12th, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

About the Book:

The weather forecasters said the snowstorm would miss the eastern seaboard. They were wrong. When Ally Henderson’s flight from Southern California to finally marry her fiancé in New York City on Christmas gets diverted to the tiny Midwestern town of Bethlehem, she’s desperate to get back in the air and to the Big Apple. But with all the airports closed, she’s forced to rely on Midwestern hospitality to wait out the storm.Living with a welcoming stranger is one way to spend a snowed-in Christmas, but when she meets the local diner owner, the kindhearted and surprisingly sexy Jake, sparks fly. Only, Ally’s a big-city girl with big-city dreams, and Jake will always be a Bethlehem boy.

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EXCERPT

“Let me get this straight,” Ally said. “You sneak over here every December 22nd and build a snowman in the yard?”

“Pretty much,” Jake said. “Each year I have to wait a little longer because Maddie’s bedtime keeps getting later.”

“But what if there’s no snow?”

“Yeah, we did have that problem a couple of years ago. Luckily, I have a buddy who works at Echo Mountain Ski Resort. I drove two hours one-way to load up my pickup with manmade snow. Had more than I needed, so I spread the rest in the yard.”

Ally smiled. How sweet that he would go to all that trouble.

“Does Maddie know you’re the culprit?” Ally asked.

“She pretends she doesn’t,” Jake said. “Though I did catch her peeking out the window one night several years back. To be honest, I think she enjoys the fantasy more than the reality.”

“Don’t we all?” Ally said. “So,” she added, “let’s get started.”

Jake swung open the gate. “I like your attitude.”

He retrieved a canvas bag of supplies that he kept hidden beneath the porch steps, explaining that he stowed the bag at his sister’s so that he’d have the materials on hand year in and year out when he stole over in the night to do this snowman-building deed. As she worked side-by-side with Jake constructing the surprise snowman, Ally noticed that he seemed a bit chattier than usual. She liked it. He was getting more comfortable with her.

“So anyway,” Jake said, “when this all started, Maddie was into Bob the Builder. That’s why she named him Snowman Bob. One year, I put one of Mom’s wigs on him just to test that, and she still called him Snowman Bob.” Ally laughed as she packed some icy snow onto Bob’s mid- section. “Been doing it every year since she was four. And, tomorrow morning, she’ll wake up, remember what day it is, run outside and…here he’ll be.” Ally stepped back and took in their joint venture. They’d been at it for about a half hour, and she thought they’d done a pretty fair job.

“I bet this one’s the best yet,” she said.
“Yeah,” Jake said. “And it’s all because of you.” “Oh really?” Ally asked. “Are you patronizing me?”

“Maybe a little,” Jake said.

“Well, that won’t do.” Ally picked up a clump of snow and flung it at him. “That’s what you get.”

“Oh, it’s on now!” Jake said. He went to retaliate, quickly packing some frozen snow into a ball, while Ally worked furiously to beat him to the punch. Ally’s shrieking laughter echoed down the street, bouncing off the houses.

“You’re going to wake the whole neighborhood,” Jake teased.

“It’s your fault,” she said. She picked up another handful of snow and plopped it on his head, then let out another cackle of laughter that reverberated down the block.

“Nice,” Jake said. “Real nice. How would you like it down your back?” Jake grabbed a chunk of ice.

“Don’t you dare!” Ally said. She made a halfhearted attempt to avoid capture, but Jake grabbed her around the waist as Ally laughed so hard she could barely catch her breath. “Jake, you’d better not! Ahhh! That’s cold!” Jake managed to slip a chunk of ice down her collar, and Ally felt the freezing cold against her bare skin. As she squirmed trying to dislodge it, Ally realized that, for the moment, at least, her troubles were miles away. She felt girlish and euphoric. So, this is what fun feels like, she thought.

The snow battle lasted no more than a couple of minutes, but Ally felt like she’d had a real workout. If there had been ringside judges, she felt she would have held her own, gotten a split decision at the very least. Jake had just as much snow on him as she did.

The bout ended like some clichéd romantic comedy with the participants tumbling into the snow, Jake ending up on top of her, looking down into her face, which Ally could feel was pink with flush. Her head rested on the firm snow, and she could feel the cold on her exposed neck. They were both laughing and breathing hard, and then Ally realized they were all alone and face-to-face. She felt calm and happy as she looked up into his sea-blue eyes. He’s got specks of brown in his pupils, she thought. She also picked out a few light freckles high on his cheeks that she hadn’t seen before.

His eyes were locked on hers, searching. She could sense him wanting to kiss her, and she felt a sudden warmth rush through her. Ally recognized it instantly. Desire. She wanted that kiss, wanted his lips on hers. She wanted to reach up and grab him by the lapel and pull him down to her, but, instead, she waited. It was his move.

 

Meet the Author:

Robert Tate Miller was raised in the North Carolina mountain town of Hendersonville and began writing at an early age. He began his writing career with homespun essays of small town life that were published in such publications as Reader’s Digest, The Christian Science Monitor and the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. He moved to Los Angeles in the late 1980s and wrote hugely successful family-oriented telefilms for NBC, ABC Family and the Hallmark Channel. Robert lives in Northridge, CA..

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway:

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Blog Tour: War of Storms by Erica Cameron Excerpt + Giveaway

November 8th, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

Happy release day to War of Storms by Erica Cameron! If you haven’t read this amazing YA fantasy series you really need to go out and grab the entire series.

About the book:

The immortal mages have risen, and they’re out for blood.

Khya arrived at the Ryogan coast too late to stop the invasion. Now, cities are falling before the unrelenting march of an enemy army, and Khya’s squad is desperately trying to stay ahead of them. Warning the Ryogans, though, means leaving her brother imprisoned even longer. Time is running out for everyone.

But how can her squad of ten stand against an army of ten thousand?

Calling in help from every ally she’s made in Ryogo, Khya tries to build a plan that won’t require sacrificing her friends or her brother. It’s a tough balance to find, especially when the leadership role she thought she wanted sits heavy on her shoulders, and her relationship with Tessen is beginning to crack under the strain.

The end is coming, and there’s no way to know who’ll be left standing when it hits.

Link to Goodreads

Purchase Links:

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EXCERPT

“I also saw Sanii and Yorri moments after their bond.” His quiet words take a few seconds to land. When they do, they hit like a boulder.

I’d forgotten that. How had I forgotten? Tessen was the one who told me about the bond, and when he did, he admitted that he’d known since the day it happened.

“Your brother always felt like he had to chase everyone else’s progress, and it made him wary. He was on guard with everyone but you.” He shifts closer. “That day though, he looked… I don’t even know how to describe it. It isn’t an expression I’ve seen in any other moment.”

Closing my eyes, I turn away, not because I don’t want to see him, but because I don’t want him to see me. Everything he’s saying is true, and yet it doesn’t ease the fear knotting my stomach when I think about bonding myself.

I’ve talked about it before, but only in offhand comments as nebulous as heat waves. I’ve thought about it, but only the good parts—being able to hold on to someone I loved even beyond death. In a daydream, the pain that death brought never came; I didn’t have to consider how easily a sumai bond could tear a soul apart.

“Nothing is certain, Khya, but when has that stopped us?” Tessen shifts, something he’s wearing scraping against the rock. “Why are you letting it stop you now?”

“This is different! I’m not afraid of suffering. I’ll gladly throw myself into a maelstrom if I need to.” My hands are tight fists against my thighs, but my words flow like a waterfall once I start. “How can whatever joy someone finds in a sumai be worth the inevitable agony? And it is inevitable. Even immortality isn’t forever. We’ve proven that. A sumai means one day tearing someone I love in half and leaving them bleeding from the inside out. Because of me.”

Silence. My own breathing is shockingly harsh in the stillness. When did I start sucking in air like I was sprinting?

Why isn’t Tessen saying anything?
 “What if I told you I was willing?” he asks after so many breaths I’d stopped counting. “What if, for me, suffering that kind of agony is worth it for everything that came before?”

Purchase Links:

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Review: Cowboy Christmas Jubilee by Dylann Crush

October 30th, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Netgalley

Publication date: October 30, 2018

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Series: Holiday, Texas #2

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

Merry Christmas from your new friends in Holiday, Texas:
The most celebratory town in the South!

When Jinx Jacobs’s motorcycle breaks down outside Holiday, Texas, the last thing she wants is to get stuck in the cheery little town, especially during the holidays. The whole place has gone Christmas crazy, but all she has to do is stay out from under the mistletoe–and do her best to keep that unnervingly attractive cop off her back.

Single dad and sheriff’s deputy Cash Walker doesn’t have time for romance, and yet something about the tempting loner twists his stomach up tighter than a tangle of tinsel. He may have finally found the missing piece in his life…but with Jinx so determined to avoid putting down roots, convincing her to stay may just take a Christmas miracle.

My Thoughts

If you love a feel-good holiday romance this is a great one to pick up. Jinx may not initially strike you are the typical holiday romance heroine but you will quickly fall in love with her, the hero Cash and Cash’s adorable daughter. Both Cash and Jinx are dealing with ghosts from their past and it’s heartwarming to watch them each overcome their issues and eventually find love with each other. This is book 2 in the series but I haven’t read book 1 and didn’t have any problem slipping into the story. This is a great romance to get you into the holiday spirits!

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Blog Tour: A Brand New Ending by Jennifer Probst

October 28th, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

Today we are celebrating the release of A BRAND NEW ENDING by Jennifer Probst. This book is the second standalone title in her Stay series, and it is a contemporary romance title that is available to read for FREE in KindleUnlimited.

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Available Now to read for FREE in KindleUnlimited:

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Purchase in Paperback | Audio

A BRAND NEW ENDING (Stay, #2) by Jennifer Probst

Available Now to read for FREE in KindleUnlimited:

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Purchase in Paperback | Audio

 

Synopsis:

A love story will be rewritten in this heartfelt romance from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.

Ophelia Bishop was a lovestruck teenage girl when she and Kyle Kimpton chased their dreams to Hollywood. Kyle’s dreams came true. Ophelia’s did not. When Kyle chose his career over their relationship, Ophelia returned home to rural New York to run the family’s B & B—wiser, and more guarded against foolish fantasies. Now Kyle has come crashing back into her life, and all her defenses are down.

Kyle can’t think of a better place to write his latest screenplay than his hometown. After all, that was where he met the heart of his inspiration—his first love. He knows the damage he’s caused Ophelia, and he wants a chance to mend their relationship. If anyone can prove to Ophelia that happy ever afters aren’t only for the movies, it should be him.

As much as Ophelia’s changed, she still has feelings for Kyle. But her heart has been broken before, and she knows that Kyle could run back to Hollywood at any time. She gave up her dreams once, but maybe she can dare to change her own love story…one last time.

Add the book to Goodreads

 

EXCERPT

 

“You don’t have to clean up,” she said. “I got it.”

“No, you’ve done enough this morning. Let me.”

With his tight ass cupped in jeans and a soapy sponge in his hand doing dishes, the scene was total porn. Her knees grew a bit weak. “Thanks. Who are you having dinner with tonight?” she asked.

“No one. Just not her.”

Pleasure shot through her. “Not interested, huh?”

He gave her a stunned look. “Are you kidding me? Definitely not my type.”

“Oh yeah? What is your type?”

He gave a low laugh, moving the sponge in perfect circles. “Not someone with perfectly manicured fingernails. I like a woman who knows how to get dirty and messy.”

Laughter bubbled inside. She glanced at her own hands, which hadn’t seen polish in years. “Hmm, interesting. What else?”

“Let’s see . . . a woman who doesn’t agree with everything I say. That gets old. I prefer a challenge.”

“Does a woman who calls you a controlling asshole count as a challenge?”

“Definitely. That just turns me on.”

She cocked her hip and pursed her lips. “You are definitely an odd man. Anything else?”

“I do have a fetish not many can satisfy.”

“Hmm. Fetish, huh? I hope it’s not feet. That’s just wrong.”

“Nope. Freckles. I love freckles scattered across pale skin. They’re like a Picasso painting I can’t stop staring at.”

Pleasure flushed her cheeks. “More like paint-by-number, but I won’t judge.”

“Then there’s sex.”

She stilled. Her heart beat madly in her chest. “Sex?”

“I have certain needs that many would find difficult to satisfy.”

An image floated past her vision. His body pressed over hers, his tongue diving deep into her mouth with a tender fierceness that shook her to the core. He’d always had an insatiable appetite in the bedroom. Their sex life had never been an issue—it had, in fact, kept the fragments of their relationship together longer than she imagined possible.

“Kinky stuff?” she asked.

“More like particular. I need a woman who’s able to handle me.”

Her gaze dropped. “Cocky much?”

“I need the scent of lavender and honey in my nostrils, and the sweet taste of her essence sticky on my lips. I need to look into blistering blue eyes and know I belong to her.”

Her vision misted over. She swayed on her feet. He turned off the sink, dried his hands with slow, deliberate motions, and faced her. “I need to slide into her sweet body and be welcomed home. Touch her body and make her moan. I need a woman strong enough to let me fall apart in her arms, then put me back together. Do you understand, Ophelia?”

She tried to speak, but nothing came out. Her entire body was on fire, nerves on edge, ready to explode. His raw words stroked her ears—and between her legs.

“Ophelia? Do you understand?”

“Y-y-yes.”

“Good. Then you know why I’m not interested in Devon.” He gave her a naughty wink and spun on his heel. “Gotta get to work on that saggy middle of the book. Catch you later.”

He left her flushed, off-kilter, and practically throbbing with need.

Bastard.

Damn, she was crazy about him.

PURCHASE THE PREVIOUS TITLE IN THE SERIES

PURCHASE THE START OF SOMETHING GOOD (Stay, #1) – available now!

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Purchase it in PRINT | AUDIO

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AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Jennifer Probst

Jennifer Probst – Bio:
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.
She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

CONTACT LINKS:

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Review: Not Quite Over You by Susan Mallery

October 23rd, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Netgalley

Publication dates: October 23, 2018

Publisher: HQN Books

Series: Happily Inc. #4

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

Silver Tesdal has a head for business and a mouth made for kissing, and banker Drew Lovato has his eye on both. But ever since he was dumb enough to let her go, she’s kept him at a distance. When the bank turns her down for a loan, Drew sees a double opportunity—he can finance her brilliant, unique idea to rock Happily Inc’s wedding industry and win back her trust.

Despite her reputation, Silver’s not as tough as she seems. Losing Drew nearly destroyed her. Still, his kisses are as tempting as his offer to invest in her business. If she can’t quite get over him, maybe she should get under him and knock him out of her system once and for all.

But her best laid plans begin to unravel as Silver finds herself falling even harder than when they were high school sweethearts. Which means that she’ll have to come clean about the secret she’s been hiding from him for years—and risk losing him forever.

My Thoughts

Fool’s Gold has been one of my favorite series but I haven’t quite gotten into the Happily Inc. series. Not Quite Over You may be the book that won me over. I love Drew and feel bad for him because his mom is quite the piece of work. Somehow he still ends up being normal, caring and kind despite his mom’s behavior. Silver was also a fun character and while I get she has insecurities I really wish she would stop pushing Drew away at the drop of a hat.

The story was sweet and trademarked Susan Mallery style. It did make me want to go back and read the earlier books in the series but the story I’m really waiting for now is Jaspar. We get a glimpse of his story during this book but we’re left hanging! I can’t wait for his book.

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Review: Promise Me You by Marina Adair

October 23rd, 2018 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Publication date: October 23, 2018

Series: The Eastons #2

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

Mackenzie Hart has made a career out of writing about eternal love, so when she finds her perfect match in Hunter Kane, she decides to put it all on the line. Irresistibly charming and drenched in alpha-male swagger, Hunter isn’t just the catch of the town—he’s Mackenzie’s best friend. Only someone beats her to the altar. After a fresh start and three years to recover, the last thing Mackenzie expects is for her old life to come knocking…

Recently divorced, musician Hunter Kane wants to reconnect with the woman he left behind. Admitting his biggest mistake comes first. What comes next is up to Mackenzie. He hopes she’ll give him a second chance. He may have been the one to break her heart, but he knows he can also be the one to mend it.

As a tenuous friendship turns into something more, Hunter’s life on the road beckons once again. Will love be enough to keep them together, or will their wildly different worlds be too much for them to overcome?

My Thoughts

I have a short list of authors who no matter what they publish I pick their books up without even having to read the blurb because they are just that good. Marina Adair is on that list and Promise Me You didn’t disappoint.

My heart broke for Mackenzie having to watch the guy she loved go marry someone else and then to have to face the trials life throws at her on top of that to boot. I don’t want to spoil what happens to her but I really admire her strength and that she still goes on to have a very successful career. I do have to admit I had a harder time with Hunter’s character and he was the main reason I gave this one a 4 instead of 5 stars. His character is portrayed as pretty self-centered and even after his divorce and his meeting Mackenzie once again I felt like he didn’t have much character growth. While you can’t deny he loved Mackenzie I felt like often his own desires and needs came first to him even if it was couched in terms of him wanting to help Mackenzie. Despite that I did enjoy watching the journey of Mackenzie and Hunter getting to know each other again. Marina Adair just has a way of tugging at your heartstrings and falling in love with the community she builds.

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