ARC-Book Review! A Blogging Reader’s Review after reading ‘Once And Again’(Return To Briarwood Series #1) by Elisabeth Barrett.
(This review will also be posted on Amazon.com and Goodreads.com)
Title: ONCE AND AGAIN
Author: Elisabeth Barrett
Series: Return To Briarwood Series – book #1
Publishing date: July 14th, 2015
(Review based on an ARC-early copy)
(Click the Cover below to order a copy of ‘Once And Again’ Now)
For readers of Shannon Stacey and Susan Mallery, the heartfelt new Briarwood series begins with a tale of forbidden love, broken promises, and second chances.
Growing up in Eastbridge, Connecticut, Carolyn Rivington was a young debutante who did whatever her parents asked. So when her father demanded that she break things off with the boy from the wrong side of the tracks or else, she did. Now Carolyn’s family is deep in debt. She’s no longer a member of the Briarwood Golf and Yacht Club, she’s an employee. And the tanned, tattooed, dangerously handsome stranger who saunters into her lobby isn’t just her new boss . . . he’s also her first love.
The last time he saw Carolyn, Jake Gaffney was in the back of a police cruiser, handcuffed and humiliated. But seeing her again stirs other memories: a blanket on the beach, the moon above their heads, and the most expensive bottle of wine he could afford. Now the tables have turned. As a real-estate magnate and Briarwood’s new owner, Jake doesn’t have to answer to anyone. But now that he’s back home, he’s finding it hard to live down his old reputation.
Before they can move forward, Jake and Carolyn must face their pasts. But it’ll take more than sizzling chemistry for them to heal old wounds and return to the love they once shared.
My ‘Blogging Reader’s ARC-Review’ after reading ‘ONCE AND AGAIN’ (Return To Briarwood Series – book #1):
This is the first novel I’ve read by author Elisabeth Barrett titled “Once And Again” This novel is of the new adult and contemporary romance genres. Once And Again is the first novel of a new novel series called the Return To Briarwood Series. This novel is written from three main character’s P.O.V.’s(point of views), Carolyn Rivington, Jake Gaffney, and Jane Pringle.
Carolyn Rivington grew up in a huge mansion, a privileged lifestyle and with parents who were both rich. When she meets a guy a few years older than her as a teenager, they fell head-over-heels for each other and their feelings seemed to be so strong. It was a mutual adoration and romance that seemed promising…it was until Caro’s father found out about the relationship and had Jake arrested and Carolyn was sent away so there would be no more connection between the two of them again. This was how it went and Carolyn didn’t argue. She just let it happen since she always wanted to please her parents. Without having a chance say goodbye, Carolyn and Jake went their separate ways.
Many years have passed and life has handed them many changes. Carolyn still resides in the huge expensive home her mother left behind after passing away but not much else remains the same. Her sisters have moved away and she’s left picking up the pieces of the life that they once used to live. Her father made a bad business relationship that left him broke and in debt. Carolyn had to pick up a job as an event director at Briarwood, the club that her family once used to be members of. The same place that she met Jake at…once upon a time. Life is different now. Carolyn had to learn about working hard and surviving on her own which didn’t come easy after growing up never needing to learn that. Now that Briarwood has been purchased by a new owner, she must try to help keep business as usual. When a stranger shows up one day she has no clue who he is and why he’s there. He doesn’t fit in to the usual members of the club broody good looks and cold persona. Who is this man and how can she get him to leave? When she finds out who he is, she realizes that everything isn’t always what it seems to be.
Jake Gaffney came from an average home with a family who didn’t have a bunch of money. His job as a caddy at Briarwood was how he earned his money. When he meets the young Carolyn, he can’t help but want to get this beautiful girl to look his way. When she does, he gets lost in their growing connection. After things go bad, he leaves that town feeling angry, hurt and ready to prove something to himself and everyone else he treated him like he was a nobody.
Once And Again is a story about falling in love, losing touch and finding your way back to where you belong. Will Carolyn never get out of her father’s debt? Can Jake return to his old hometown and give it all another try or will his bitterness get the best of him? What secrets are being kept from Carolyn? This story was a sweet and romantic story of finding your independence and possibly love again. Yes, the story was great but it through me off a bit when the third P.O.V. of Jane Pringle came into the story. The characters did get to know each other and interact but for a few chapters it felt like I was reading two separate stories. That was only until the character’s stories finally merged into each others lives. Other than that, this was enjoyable. If you are looking for a pleasant romance novel to read, give this one a read.
MY BLOGGING READER’S STAR RATING: ‘ONCE AND AGAIN’ 3 1/2 out of 5 stars:
How I imagined the characters while reading ‘ONCE AND AGAIN’:
★★★MEMORABLE QUOTES & LINES FROM ‘ONCE AND AGAIN’★★★
Carolyn’s thoughts: He removed his sunglasses, and familiar deep-blue eyes swept the room, sizing up everything and everyone. When his gaze finally met hers, his lips curled into the merest hint of a smile and his eyes narrowed.
At that moment, her heart stopped.
It had been the best summer of her life -until everything had come crashing down.
Carolyn’s thoughts: He never used to be like this. Commanding. Hard.
Instead, she searched for a hint of the old Jake -the Jake who’d helped her into the rowboat that starlit night. The Jake who’d been achingly gentle when his lips had touched hers for the first time in the gazebo in the rain.
That Jake was long gone.
In his place was a man accustomed to getting what he wanted, when he wanted.
Jake’s thoughts: He needed her. God damn it, even after everything she and her family did to him, he still needed her to make nice with the members and the Board while he worked them from the other end.
Yeah, he needed her, bad. He’d even told her so. But he’d be a fucking liar if he said he didn’t want her, too.
Jake and Carolyn: “Did you ever think about me? You know. After?”
“Did you ever think about me?” She whispered.
Jake was quiet for a long time, and when he finally met her gaze, he wouldn’t let go. “Every fucking day, Caro,” he said.
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