I really wanted to love this as much as I did the first two books in the series but I didn't. It took me quite a while to finish this. The pacing of the story was really slow and I felt was dragged out forever. It didn't have that intensity that was there in her other books, it was completely missing in this one. I kept losing interest while reading or getting bored with the dialogue which is a first for me w/ a SEP book. This was my least fav from her Chicago Stars series that I've read.
Here we have Phoebe's younger sister Molly Somerville all grown up. She's an author of children's books who's determined to make it on her own with no help. She's even given away her inheritance to cut all ties with an unhappy lonely childhood. She's had a crush on Stars quarterback Kevin Tucker and tries very hard to ignore it but something happens that has Molly and Kevin's lives forever changed and effected.
I wasn't crazy about the plot of this book. I love drama and unexpected surprises as much as the next person (I'm a drama/angst junkie) but given what the heroine Molly does in this book in a early chapter, it left me completely floored and unsettled. Molly is known to pull stunts triggered by moments of panic but for the life of me I couldn't grasp or understand how she could go about doing that then trying to explain it away as an 'accident'. Huh? Someone who does that clearly needs therapy pronto and a good dose of growing up. I really felt she had big issues that couldn't be just brushed under the rug or excused away as another one of her 'incidents' which was done here. The whole incident reminded of a really bad soap opera plot where a couple are stuck together after the consequences of a bad sloppy mistake where they are forced together to deal with it. I don't like set ups like that. It made me cringe. It made her look like a reckless crazy harpy. Ick.
I liked Molly Somerville from her introduction in It Had to be You. A fifteen year-old intelligent girl who's all alone and doesn't trust people very easily when it comes to love. I felt I understood the troubled teenager more then I did here as a 27 year old woman. She's known to have 'incidents' where she rebels and does outlandish stunts because she's unhappy or wants attention. She kept accusing Kevin of needing to grow up and I felt she needed to take her own advice first. I mean she does grow up in this and learns a lot of things about herself but she drove me nuts at times. Her reaction to Kevin asking her to help him out in running the B&B was just ridiculous. Ugh. Talk about unreasonable and just selfish.
And I have to say I noticed the same pattern in here that I did in It Had to Be You and Heaven, Texas the sexist stereotype where the women quickly wrote off the guys as typical 'dumb jocks'. I mean really? I usually don't ever like to categorize characters as 'sexist' because POV's change and characters change overtime but here I've been noticing a pattern. Yeah the women end up being proven wrong but here Molly kept mentioning that she was smarter then Kevin. She jokes and teases him a lot but at times I didn't find it cute or funny. It gets really tiring and makes the women in these series look like sexist judgmental bitches. Which they aren't and let me clear up that Molly definitely isn't but just the overall tone gets really tiring and redundant and just makes the woman look like even bigger stereotypes.
That all being said, I do think Molly and Kevin made a cute couple. Their adventurous personalities fit perfectly. Their bickering and teasing was kinda sweet I just wish the story was focused more on THEM and not dragged out for unimportant reasons. I felt through more than half of the book they were at a standstill, not moving forward, not moving back just stuck where nothing really happens. It was underwhelming in that sense for me. It's like they kept sidestepping each other. A big chunk of the book nothing really happens between the two, you just get lots of dialogue and see them coexisting to run the campground and B&B. It's nice to a point but gets tiring and boring to read about. I just found myself wanting more.
There is also a side love story with Kevin's birth mother Lilly falling in love with a tempermental artist Liam Jenner. I found them to be really adorable and refreshing. Very realistic portrayal of an older couple finding love where they least expect it. Decent book over all but not SEP's best.