by Jennifer Ryan
This is the third book in the series. I’ve previously read and reviewed the first two. There may be spoilers about those books in this review, so reader beware.
Return of Brody McBride
This is soap opera in novel form, so if that isn’t what you are in the mood for, you probably won’t enjoy this story. There’s over the top plot lines, calamity after calamity, characters monaloguing at each other rather than actual dialogue, and an oblivious hero who can’t see that two plus two equals four. That’s not to say I didn’t like it, I did, but having read the previous two I knew what I was in for.
Dylan McBride (cousin to the previous two McBride boys) thinks that Jessie Thompson, the woman he loved in high school, is dead and that her father killed her and got away with it. When Mr. Thompson drops dead, Dylan and the whole town finally learned that Jessie is actually alive, has been living in the next town over, and actually DOES BUSINESS in her hometown. See, as I said, total soap opera. Much like in Return of Body McBride, we have a heroine who has practically been in stasis since he left, and a hero who wasn’t quite so pure. This isn’t thrown in our faces quite as much with Dylan, and frankly, Dylan wasn’t quite so bad (but then he also didn’t have that sort of history that would make me forgive him as much so it evens out), and Jessie kind of had more reason than most to shut herself away from men. What I really liked about this story was how much each of them, but particularly Jessie, had accomplished on their own. They had lives, and careers, and friends and families of sort of their own. Yes, they have secrets and mis-communications and Dylan has to have an anvil dropped on his head because delicate hints that are like two by fours across the head just were not helping him discover her secrets, this is soap opera land after all. Still, I enjoyed reading about them and how they got together and dealt with their pasts. And this book, being the closing of the trilogy also clears up a lot of why the McBride brothers’ pasts were the way they were. And while this particular book doesn’t have the same kind of dangerous villain the previous two did, the villains were satisfyingly over the top bad and the resolution was equally satisfying and I was pleased with the happily ever after, as even with all the soap opera-esque elements, that part felt real to me.
3.5 stars and I’d recommend this series to anyone with a yen for soap opera on paper.