Nash Barron may be cynical about love, yet even he likes a good wedding. But the only good thing about his brother’s wedding is Kelly Moss. Nash can’t help but admire her confidence and beauty, but he’s forced to keep his distance because getting involved with Kelly could destroy his relationship with his newly discovered half sister, Tess…
Kelly came to Serendipity to give Tess–her half sibling as well, thanks to an illicit affair–a second chance at life. She learned long ago not to rely on anyone but herself. Besides, she doesn’t want to upset Tess’s life by pushing for a fling with Nash. Except the more she gets to know him, the more vulnerable she becomes to the kindness beneath his gruff exterior, and the less she’s able to stay away. But she has other reasons for keeping her distance. Like the secret from her past she knows Nash will never forgive…
*Blurb from Goodreads*
I’m a big fan of both Carly Phillips and small town romances, so the Serendipity series is right up my alley. After reading the first book in the series, I was hooked. However, I was also a little worried that Nash was going to be too emotionally immature for me to enjoy as a hero. I am so happy to report that this was NOT the case!
Nash is the middle brother and holds a lot of guilt and resentment towards his two brothers. He also hasn’t had the easiest time getting to know his younger sister Tess. And despite that fragile relationship, he can’t seem to stop thinking about Kelly and how much she turns him on.
Kelly settled in Serendipity to make sure that Tess could stay with Ethan, and to start over for herself. But every moment she spends with Nash just makes her want to spend more and more time with him. But she worries that between her recent illicit past, and Nash’s inability to let people go and Tess, they might never be able to make a relationship work.
I love books about families. The dynamics between everyone involved can be so beautiful and amazing if it’s done right. After having read a series recently where it felt as if the siblings never grew up, I was a little hesitant as to where Phillips would take the characters. I was so happy to see Nash really make an effort to grow up and change and develop as a character, instead of hold onto those resentments and guilt. While things aren’t exactly hunky-dory at the end of the book, there is also a vast amount of emotional progress, and I couldn’t be happier.
Both Nash and Kelly aren’t exactly portrayed in the best light in the first book. Kelly is Tess’ half-sister from her mother’s side who drops Tess off at Ethan’s doorstep. Nash is the angry brother who can’t seem to let go of the past and move onto a new future. But I am so happy that we got to see things from their perspective. I ended up cheering for them both about a quarter of the way into the book. Kelly is having to deal with a very embarrassing and hard situation from back home, and the only friend she makes ends up having a history with Nash, causing even more discomfort for Kelly. But I loved the way those two developed a friendship despite that. It was sweet and wonderful.
Nash is a complex hero, and his struggles were so fun to watch. He went back and forth with his emotions so many times, and watching him have to work through everything and grow as a character was so awesome. Although there were times I wanted to smack him for taking two step forward and then one step back, his overall growth as a character just blew me away. It was really refreshing to have to watch the hero go through such an emotional roller coaster, and come out victorious.
In true Phillips style, the romance between Nash and Kelly was great. They had moments that made me laugh, made me want to cry and had me fanning myself from the heat they generated. I’m such a huge fan of Phillips’ and she is, in my opinion, one of the best contemporary romance authors out there!
All in all I loved Nash and Kelly’s story. Their courtship was so fun to read, the characters became so alive and animated throughout the story that they dragged me into their lives and had me wishing I was there with them. I can’t recommend this series enough!
I give Destiny an A-