Title: Meant to Be
Series: Sweetbriar Cove #1
Author: Melody Grace
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 24, 2017
Come take a trip to Sweetbriar Cove: the small town where true love is guaranteed.
Poppy Somerville believes in happily-ever-after. It’s the reason her romance novels have won devoted readers all over the world – and why she’s broken off her engagement just weeks before the wedding instead of settling for less than true love. Escaping to her aunt’s beach cottage in Sweetbriar Cove, Poppy is looking for inspiration to break her writer’s block and finish her new book. She just wasn’t counting on the handsome, gruff contractor making such a racket next door…
Cooper Nicholson doesn’t believe in soul-mates. He thought he’d found his forever once, and the world proved him wrong, so when the cute brunette comes storming over and demands he keep the noise down, romance is the last thing on his mind. But his new neighbor is full of surprises, and soon, their chemistry is too hot to ignore.
As they grow closer, they discover fiction has nothing on the plot twists life has in store. But will Cooper find a way to let go of the past and risk his heart again? And can Poppy find her happy ending – on and off the page?
Find out in the new sweet and sexy small-town romance from New York Times bestselling author, Melody Grace!
The Sweetbriar Cove Series:
#1 Meant to Be – Feb 2017
#2 All for You – May 2017
#3 The Only One – August 2017
NYT bestselling author, a SoCal transplant, and sexy romance junkie ;) I never say no to ice-cream...
What if the love in her books were just fiction? What if she’d thrown her shot at happiness away on a fantasy?
Cooper Nicholson is the owner and contractor of the house next door, making an ungodly amount of racket from the moment she arrives. After storming over to give him a piece of her mind, she realizes that they are already well acquainted. During her summer visits as a child, he used to pick on her and call her pipsqueak to her everlasting annoyance. It seems he's going to continue his habit of ruffling her feathers as an adult as well.
Cooper has no animosity towards her, in fact he finds her pretty cute, if a bit delusional. As far as he's concerned, the type of love she writes about is unrealistic and misleading. The loss of his father and his mother's abandonment have left him bitter to the concept of love. But his main issue ended up being that he wasn't able to make his one serious relationship work. He laid all the blame for the break up on himself for years, simply because she told him that "A relationship shouldn't be so hard" before giving up on him. I can understand being hesitant to try again, but his self-recrimination didn't really make sense to me.
A reluctant attraction grows and moves towards flirtation. But she is just fresh from a broken engagement, and he's still hung up on the mistakes of his past. Not only that, but once her book is completed, she has no reason to remain in town. They tried keep their boundaries in place, but they soon found that things don't always work out as planned.
He’d lost his mind even reaching for her in the first place, but damn if it hadn’t been the best ten seconds of temporary insanity he could remember.
I could empathize with Poppy, I thought her struggle to have faith in her career after her failed engagement was a valid one. She also wasn't one to pity her own situation, she didn't lick her wounds for long before she was working to overcome her setback. Cooper was a bit gruff at first, but her influence soon softened him up and brought out his more affectionate side. I thought their drive-in date was really cute and really enjoyed their interactions with some of the townspeople.
Overall, I did like the first installment in the Sweetbriar Cove series, I just didn't love it. I'm used to some considerable heat and butterflies from this author and in this case I wasn't completely feeling the spark. Additionally, the conflict at the end left a little to be desired.
(view spoiler)[After seeing her talking to his ex, he gives her the brush off for days and eventually dumps her because he thinks they are doomed for disaster.
He was going to hurt her in the end. He didn’t want to, he’d do anything to keep her from the pain, but how the hell was it going to turn out any different? He already knew this was how it ended: with fights and recriminations. He’d loved Laura; they’d been happy once upon a time, but sure enough, the bickering had turned to yelling, and the connection between them had crumbled away until they were just two strangers in the same house staring at each other from across an unbridgeable canyon. He couldn’t bear it if he did that to Poppy, too.
So he cuts her off without an explanation or any honesty on his part. But what bothered me more was the fact that after a painful week of silence, he comes to apologize and she doesn't even hesitate to take him back. Two seconds later she's in his arms and offering to move to town to be with him. She didn't even feel the need to ask him to explain himself? It all seemed rushed, but that could just be me. (hide spoiler)]
I will admit that these two had me feeling a tad underwhelmed. Despite my few frustrations, it was still a sweet little light read. And this new set of characters certainly intrigued me enough to follow future installments so I will be keeping the next in line on my radar.
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