Description: Elizabeth Shaw is the preeminent, and only, wedding planner at the historic beach resort on Jekyll Island. She's sure she'll land the newly created role overseeing all major events. Then she’ll get a raise and won't be forced to leave. Mark Edwards doesn't need any more stress. He's ready to slow down and enjoy the tiny seaside town he calls home. His boss pushes him to apply for the new management position and he agrees. After a decade in catering, he's sure he can do the events job without any trouble. Neither counted on the other getting in the way.
Maggie's Review: 3 Stars The idea of this book caught my attention - two people overcoming two very different losses in their lives, and finding someone new that made a good team once together - but the actual execution of the book didn't quite meet the mark. For the characters, I really liked Rose and Phil - they were well developed with their own personalities and voices, and I appreciated the villain character of Frank Cade (I loved to hate him). However, Mark and Lizzie were a different story. There was a lot of inner monologue for these two characters, and it often sounded like the same person, even repeating similar phrases that the other used. At one point, Mark was thinking to himself about how he liked the cut of Rose's hair and how it fell across her face, which is something I couldn't believe a grown man in his 30's would ever think about to himself about a grandmother type figure; it seemed like more of a feminine comment about a friend's nice haircut. So much of the story was within the two main characters' inner thoughts that I was taken aback with the ending declaration of love on Mark's part, and then quite shocked at his proposal and Lizzie's agreement. I saw them getting together in some way, but so much of their "relationship" was just thoughts to themselves, when their actual interactions were heavily detailed in their work activities. From a writing perspective, I didn't feel that an actual conflict was created until 75% into the book. Yes, there was an ever present stress of applying for the job/dealing with the new job/who should keep the job/etc, but the inner struggles of the two characters (Lizzie's loss of parents and economical situation and Mark's failed relationship) were kept low-key to the reader for a large portion of the story that it was easy for the reader to just feel "work stress" for a long part of the narrative and not get pulled into the story until the real conflicts of the characters had been revealed. The writing was well done for the scenery and locations of the book; I felt like I was on the beach with the ocean nearby, or feeling the wind whip around me with the threat of the storm.
I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to the author for sharing your work!