OMG this book!!!! I feel like this could almost be categorized as Romantic Suspense. The elements to Richie's past put me on edge, and I just couldn't stand not knowing what happened. In a way I think that's why HE couldn't remember. I loved EVERYTHING about this book besides the fact it needed to end and I CLEARLY needed more. It somehow felt different than Sarina's books. I don't remember something as dark and suspenseful. I hope it's something she explores more and if I can suggest - PAUL! But I'm getting ahead of myself as this is Daphne and Richie's story. These two.. ~sigh~
Have you met the Shipleys? If the answer is no WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? or rather what have you been doing with your life since 2016? I'll be the first to admit me and Griffin had our issues way back then but I'm a Sarina's fan through and though so I'm long passed it. Also now we have the True North World with so many authors and sub-genres all taking place in the same area. I'm saying there's A LOT to read but don't be overly intimidated, the series is seriously AWESOME and I truly think it would be better getting to know the other members of the family before delving into this one (though it's not an absolute must). But if you can't commit to 7 books I'd say at least read the previous one "Heartland" of Dylan (Daphne's twin brother) where Rickie is introduced as well.
Daphne Shipley as the last sibling in the family left without a sweetheart. She is the kind of good girl who studies hard with no play, thinking about her future rather the present. Maybe that's how she found herself with a douche of a boyfriend who made EVERYTHING she worked for fall apart, now needing to start over - returning home and enrolling in "Moo U" for her last year of college. She isn't thrilled about being home again especially as she sees the question marks in her family's eyes and she simply CANNOT open up and explain how she basically destroyed her future. Richie's presence in the room next door (where her twin brother used to sleep) doesn't help either. He is a DISTRACTION. Playing interested now only annoys her more considering how the last time he showed interest ended..Richard "Rickie" Ralls is trying his best to impress Daphne but it doesn't work as well as he hopes. The frustration is double sided. When he was "first" introduced to her by Dylan he knew he'd met her before but when? and what happened? That he can't answer. There a whole year missing from his memory and though he feels like he NEEDS to know what happened, in some ways he doesn't. Also explaining his amnesia is not something he likes to do. Being "that guy" isn't fun and surely isn't impressive. But what's worse is all the additional conditions he has to deal with ever since he got hurt. He wants her SO MUCH but with all his issues what does he really have to offer?
Yet with all his little misgivings about himself he is a charming guy and so it doesn't take him THAT long luring Daphne little by little. She is reluctant because of her own past (with her ex) as well as what they COULD have shared if he hadn't disappeared 3 years ago. But he is back now and she can see how much he is trying to deal with his issues. He is fun and games but he is also a good friend who listens and doesn't judge, who sees her for who she is. It's hard not to fall for someone like Richie, I totally did as well.
I ADORED the connection between Daphne and Richie and the whole buildup. These two are really meant to be. Both had a lot on their plate but at least they had each other as well as the whole Shipley clan who took Richie in as their own in no time. It was so much fun getting the other couples from the previous books as well as Grandpa Shipley. His shenanigans are ALWAYS hilarious. Also was great reading about Ruth (Daphne and the other siblings' mother) she had a little surprise herself.
I actually don't want to write anything more about the plot as I TRULY enjoyed the suspense and how it all played out bit by bit. There is a BIG villain in this one and he needed to be dealt with though we don't get a strong closure on his line of story. I hope it means we'll get more about the whole thing in another novel. I'm aiming for Paul and I have a feeling anyone reading this book would feel the same. I can't stand the thought he won't get his own HEA.
This book was simply AWESOME. It had everything. A beautiful heartfelt romantic tale, a whole lot of family shenanigans as well as second chances all around matched with suspense that made all the other aspects even better. I feel like this was my absolute favorite of them all and honestly one of my absolute favorites of Sarina's books in general.
HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
I kindly received this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.This book is will be out - 20 July 2021 - Pre-order it now through the links below.
14-17 July 2021
* If the name Dave Beringer sounds familiar it's probably from another great series by Sarina - Brooklyn Bruisers. He plays for the team but finds his HEA someplace else ;)
1. Bittersweet [Griffin Shipley & Audrey Kidder] (Published 14 June 2016) ★★★
2. Steadfast [Jude Nickel & Sophie Haines] (Published 12 July 2016) ★★★★★
3. Keepsake [Zachariah "Zach" Holtz & Lark Wainright] (Published 26 October 2016) ★★★★½
4. Bountiful [Zara Rossi & Dave Beringer*] (Published 20 October 2017) ★★★★
5. Speakeasy [May Shipley & Alec Rossi] (Published 29 May 2018) ★★★★★
6. Fireworks [Benito Rossi & Skye Copeland] (Published 13 November 2018) ★★★★
7. Heartland [Dylan Shipley & Chastity Campbell] (Published 28 January 2020) ★★★★★