Will she get her wish when she blows out Forty Candles?
Chloe Walker did everything right. She went to college, got a good job, dated the right men—everything. Peering at forty from a bit too close, she realizes she can be miserable that she didn’t end up happily married to the handsome prince…or she can count her lucky stars. She tries to go with stars, but the universe seems to have other plans.
Jack Leonard has loved Chloe since they were kids. He’s stood by her through all life’s little messes, been her shoulder to cry on, and figured one day they’d wind up together. He figures he’s just waiting her out. When her life goes swirly, he’s got to convince her that some men are worth risking it all for.
Can Jack make Chloe rethink her birthday wish or will she get just what she asked for when she blows out Forty Candles?
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: ARe Books
Date of Publication: November 1, 2015
Word Count: 28,500
Cover Artist: Erin Dameron-Hill
As she ends her 39th birthday, Chloe Walker can't help but project her future turning forty as she also reflects on where is she is now. She came from a broken home as a child. After she decided to commit to a man, Chloe's former and late husband was in the process of leaving her for another, younger woman. She's certain that there is something wrong with her, making her undesirable; therefore, she's unwilling to commit to anyone else. Men just keep leaving her.
That is, except her best male friend, Jack Leonard. He's been Chloe's rock ever since she moved to town. He's also another one of her ex's. They were young and he made some mistakes that also cemented her lot in life to be a single woman. What she doesn't realize is that Jack has loved her - been in love with her - since they were kids, and has been waiting for her to notice. Now, he's done waiting and has devised a plan to show her how much he loves her while simultaneously making her recognize her feelings for him. Unfortunately, plans don't always work out the way you want them to and Jack may learn this the hard way.
Will Chloe wake up and realize that the person she wants has been right in front of her the whole time?
Forty Candles is a fun and easy read with depth, emotion, and basic character development. The author provides the reader with enough back story to understand who Chloe and Jack are, how they met, and some of the drama that has plagued their lives. Chloe has a lot of issues that she refuses to deal with, causing her self-esteem to almost nil. This kind of baggage prevents her from truly opening up to anyone and going all-in. She's a nice character but has a skewed view of life, love, relationships, and commitment.
Jack, on the other hand, might be a big, bald, tattooed police officer but he has a heart of gold. My heart melted when he brought the stray dog into the veterinarian. I love protectors of animals, children, and elderly so I found his character wonderful. His rescue of Stark just exposed one part of his compassionate nature. His heart-wrenching confrontation with Chloe brought tears to my eyes.
There were a few things that seemed out of place but the biggest one happened between Chloe and one of Jack's sibling . Jack's sister confronting Chloe was awkwardly inserted, discussed, and never mentioned again. Protective family members are an excellent edition to any story but this one was just sort of out in left field. I didn't find it necessary to the story - but that's just me.
I did enjoy the chemistry and banter between Chloe and Jack. The ease in which they interacted made the book a wonderful read. Another great thing about the book is, while it has sexy moments, that wasn't the focus of the story. All-in-all this is a nice and quick read for a lazy Sunday afternoon (I can attest to this since I read it on a lazy Sunday afternoon).
About the Author:
Virginia Nelson, USA Today bestselling author, likes knights in rusted and dinged up armor, heroes that snarl instead of croon, and heroines who can't remember to say the right thing even with an author writing their dialogue. Her books are full of snark, sex, and random acts of ineptitude—not always in that order.
For more information on other books by Virginia, visit her website: www.virg-nelson.com
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