Another great Lucky Harbor book! This is my favorite series of her and this one definitely does not disappoint--I read it in one night I liked it so much. This is the third of this particular group of folks--Luke, Jack and Ben. Ben is a definite hero and Aubrey a damsel--but one who fights for herself--so it was a great combination. Only downside from reading it so quickly was now I have to wait so long for the next one!
This was a page turning delight that moved me to tears. Ben is practically perfect - good with his hands, good with children, a good friend, a beloved nephew. Aubrey is not quite so good, but she's working off a list of amends she needs to make, and the more you learn about her story, the more likable she becomes. Plus, she's opening a book store in a contemporary romance novel, and if that doesn't make her an optimistic fighter who will be liked by readers, I don't know what will!
Very good book. Ben is back in Lucky Harbor after years away, trying to outrun his grief. He had lost his wife and losing himself in work seemed the best way to go. When he runs into Aubrey he can't believe he's attracted to her. He remembers her from high school as the girl with the wild reputation. Aubrey is trying to live down that reputation. She's opening a bookstore that she'd like to have become a local gathering place. She's also trying to make amends to various people she feels she has wronged in the past.
I really liked Aubrey. First, I loved her plans for the bookstore. She loves books, but she also wants to use those books and her store to give a place for other people to connect with each other. She's also trying to repair her own reputation. While she was in high school she was rather wild and not a very nice person. Having recently stumbled into an AA meeting by accident, she is intrigued by the idea of making amends to people you have hurt in the past. She makes a list and begins going through it.
Ben has been asked by a friend to help Aubrey with the renovations to her bookstore. As he spends time with her, he realizes that her reputation may have been somewhat exaggerated. He likes spending time with her, but when he stumbles on her list he wonders why he is on it. I loved watching him help her with her list and seeing him getting closer to her. The attraction is strong, but she is definitely not his type, being nothing like his late wife. Even various people around town tell him that she's not the woman for him.
The romance that develops between them is pretty sweet. Aubrey knows she's falling for Ben, but the guilt of what she did to him tells her that there is no future for her with him. She knows she needs to tell him, especially once they start acting on their attraction, but she knows she'll lose him when she does. Being with Aubrey eases Ben's pain, but he's not ready to think of a relationship with anyone. I got a bit frustrated with Ben and the way he had put his wife and their marriage up on a pedestal, looking at it as the perfect life. It made it harder for him to move on with his life. I did like seeing the way that he got to know Aubrey and see that she wasn't as bad as people said. His resistance to his feelings made him a great target for his friends Jack and Luke to point out when he was being an idiot. Considering they had had their own moments of stupidity in their romances, I loved seeing them try to share their experiences.
I thought Aubrey had done a terrific job of getting her life back together. She had been involved in a scandal that wasn't her fault, but people are still down on her because of it. Her reputation in high school had come about because of the way she dealt with her family life. Her parents' divorce and splitting up of she and her sister had had a terrible effect on her. I thought she was pretty brave to be facing people she had hurt in the past, not knowing how they were going to react to her apologies. It was interesting to see some of those reactions. Her biggest fear was falling for Ben, knowing that he would probably not react well to what she had to tell him. I couldn't blame her for putting it off as long as she could. She also had another secret from her past that reared its ugly head, putting her new life at risk of failing before it even got started.
When the big reveal came, Aubrey's fears were realized. I felt so bad for her when Ben was so horrible. I wanted to shake him, or hit him with something, when he walked away from her. I liked seeing Lucille take him to task and point out some things he didn't know and that made a difference to what he thought he knew. His appearance at her grand opening and his "go big" moment was really sweet. Loved watching him grovel.
*copy received in exchange for honest review.
Ben's wife died 5 years ago. Ever since, he's taken jobs that put him far away from his hometown. Now he's back in town and staying. Aubrey, unhappy with the path her life has taken, accidentally stumbles into an AA meeting. One thing she takes away is the desire to make amends for her past mistakes.
I liked that Aubrey was a reformed "bad" girl. I do think the residents of Lucky Harbor were too quick to judge her, without getting to know who she was now. Ben, on the other hand, was well liked and couldn't do anything wrong. Overall, I liked this one. An excellent addition to the Lucky Harbor series! The "star" of the next book was introduced in this one. I can say I'm interested in Sam.