I’ve read Lisa Kleypas before, but I had not ventured into her contemporary romance novels before. I’m a fan of contemporary and it’s never too late to start, so I began with Brown-Eyed Girl (2015). This was a quick, generally fun read, but nothing grabbed me. Ultimately, it was pretty forgettable.
Avery Crosslin is a wedding planner who started a business with her half-sister Sofia. She meets Joe Travis, a friend of the groom, at a wedding she’s planning. He is very rich, very sexy, and very interested in Avery. But Avery’s been hurt in the past and isn’t ready to take any chances on love. She rebuffs Joe again and again, but sometimes a guy is just too sexy to resist.
There isn’t too much drama in this book. Joe has to convince Avery to open up to him. Avery meets his family, has a moral dilemma with another wedding she’s planning, and has to make a decision about a new job opportunity. Along the way there is a quick side romance with Avery’s sister Sofia and another co-worker. I enjoyed it while I was reading it, but I never got too emotionally involved.
Joe and Avery are likable people, and I wanted them to get together. However, there wasn’t much to them. Joe is rich, famous, and sexy. For some unexplained reason, he pursues Avery despite her constant rejections, lack of self-esteem, and unflattering, baggy clothes. Avery is still damaged from a fiance who left her at the altar, which is why she doesn’t trust Joe.
My main problem while reading this book was I couldn’t understand why Joe was attracted to Avery. And I definitely couldn’t understand why Joe continued to pursue her when she rejected him. Sure, that may be romantic in a romance novel, but someone who does that in real life is unbalanced. Kleypas sets it up that Joe can see through all of Avery’s defenses and knows that he likes her, but it didn’t work for me. I guess it can be something of a fantasy that a man will appear and force you to become emotionally available, but I couldn’t imagine a man with a shred of self respect falling for Avery.
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