Destination wedding consultant Willow Ambrose has fought a battle with the scale for much of her life, but she has finally won the war. By putting her past behind her and cutting off all contact with anyone who knew her before and, of course, controlling everything she can, Willow has carved out a new body and a new life. But when she comes face to face with someone who left an indelible mark on her heart years before, all that threatens to crumble.
Navy SEAL Nick Hershey is on medical leave, doing a friend a favor as a stand in “man of honor” at a beach wedding. He might not be that interested in the nuptials, but the wedding planner catches his eye the minute they meet. When he realizes Willow is really a girl he knew in college—and a girl he unintentionally hurt to the core—he knows he has some making up to do.
Willow has learned how to beat every temptation…but Nick’s sweet-as-candy kisses just might be the one thing she can’t resist. But the closer they get, the more the past threatens to tear them apart. Can they finally let go of a painful past in order to find a forever future?
When I picked up this book, I thought it was going to be a cute little romance. I don’t read books with graphic sex scenes, but I did manage to get through this entire book.
The romance was done really well. Nick was so swoon worthy, and it was lovely seeing how he helped Willow come out of her shell. I also liked that this was the second time they’d met – he’d rejected her years ago when she wanted to lose her virginity to him. Since then, she’d never really had a serious relationship, because she was so hurt by the rejection. Unrealistic maybe, but very sweet. It made the relationship even better. Yes, I would have preferred the book without the sex scenes, but that’s just my personal taste. I think that was done well, if that’s the sort of book you’re looking to read. The system they had with the writing (a step further every five chapters) was clever, and it meant we were really invested in how Nick’s writing was going. The love was predictable, the ending was exaggerated but sort of necessary, and it was exactly what you look for in these sorts of books.
“Once a year, take her somewhere she’s never been. Once a month, do something new that melts her in the sack. Once a week, stop everything and just listen to her. Once a day, catch her doing one thing you love. Once an hour, kiss her on the mouth. And every minute of every day, be grateful that you got her.”
The characters, not so great… Willow wasn’t anything other than someone who had weight problems. Yes, she also had problems with her mother, but that was mostly because of her weight. She lost a lot, and was now super healthy and thin. Yet she still went on and on about it… I wish she had something else about her that made her a character, like Nick did with his writing. She was pretty good at her job, but that wasn’t enough for me. Nick was a lot better. Like I said, he had his writing, and he really brought out the best in Willow. He was a soldier, and was pretty messed up from something that had happened on the field, which I thought gave him a lot more depth. Honestly, I thought he was way too good for Willow, but I also can’t imagine him with anyone else… And let’s not even talk about the rest of the cast. A mother who had gone through the most ridiculous change, girls who only ever pestered Willow about Nick, a girl with high ambitions and no consideration for anyone who got in her way… They were all there to advance the plot, but they were usually just there to make me mad. They really let down what could have been a good romance.
“Because if there is one simple, single lesson I can impart to you, it’s this: Don’t waste time, because you don’t have any time to waste.”
Despite being a romance, there were still some other things going on that made the book a bit different. I can’t go into it too much, because a lot of it isn’t revealed until later in the book. Let’s just say the ambition seeking girl (who I can’t even name), and the mother are way closer than you’d expect them to be… And it does wrap up really nicely in the end, making me almost glad for all the not-so-great stuff we were being bombarded with during the book.
Overall, I’d say this was a pretty good romance. Not something I’d usually pick up, but I’m not regretting I did. I’d recommend it if you’re looking to just not think, and aren’t feeling too critical. It was a perfect holiday read for me