After a one night stand, however, Avery is determined to keep it from happening again. A man like Joe can only mean trouble for a woman like her, and she can't afford distractions. She's been hired to plan the wedding of the year--a make-or-break event.
But complications start piling up fast, putting the wedding in jeopardy, especially when shocking secrets of the bride come to light. And as Joe makes it clear that he's not going to give up easily, Avery is forced to confront the insecurities and beliefs that stem from a past she would do anything to forget.
The situation reaches a breaking point, and Avery faces the toughest choice of her life. Only by putting her career on the line and risking everything--including her well-guarded heart--will she find out what matters most.
He began to kiss me slow and deep, as if the world were about to end, as if it were the last minute of the last hour of the last day. The things he did with his mouth, his tongue…it was like a conversation, like sex, the way he found what I wanted and gave it to me. There was more pleasure in that kiss than in any act of physical intimacy I had ever known.And now finally, the book I feel like I’ve been waiting years for – Joe Travis, the forgotten brother! I wasn’t sure if Lisa Kleypas was ever going to write his story and she posted online a few years ago that she didn’t have plans to ever write his book. COME ON now! You can’t have a series based on a family and not give all the siblings a book – my series OCD couldn’t have handled that. But thankfully Lisa heard our cries and now we have Brown-Eyed Girl, Joe and Avery’s story.
Avery is running a wedding and event planning business with her half-sister, a woman she just recently met thanks to dear old dad running around on his women and never staying in one place for too long. Avery met her sister Sophia in the hospital where their dad eventually died. They lost their dad, a man neither of them knew very well, but found each other and are trying to make a go of their business as they’re gaining exposure and things are picking up. It’s at one of the weddings Avery is planning where she meets Joe.
“Now it’s my turn to talk.” The sound of his voice in my ear was pure sin. “I’m the guy who’s right for you. I may not be what you’re looking for, but I’m what you want. You’ve been alone long enough, honey. It’s time for you to wake up with a man in your bed. Time for the kind of sex that lays you out, owns you, leaves you too shaky to pour your morning coffee.”
He pulled me more fully against his thigh, the intimate pressure making me weak with desire. “You’re going to have it every night, any way you want it. I have the time for you, and I sure as hell have the energy. I’ll make you forget every man you ever knew before me. The catch is, you have to trust me first. That’s the hard part, isn’t it? You can’t let anyone get too close. Because someone who knows you like that, he could hurt you – “From the start Joe is attracted to Avery and wants her, but he’s going to have a battle on his hands. She’s locked her heart away after having it crushed by her former fiancé when he left her the morning of their wedding. For Avery, it hurts too much to love someone only to have them disappoint you in some way, so that’s not a game she’s going to play. But good luck trying to resist a Travis – impossible! Joe sweet talks her with that southern charm and while I would have fallen all over him within about 5 seconds, he has to take his time with Avery to get her to start to come around.
I have to admit, my expectations were sky high for this book. Not only was it the final book in my favorite series ever, but I’ve been waiting years to get my hands on it. After my first read through, I was a little underwhelmed. Now, that’s not to say the story is bad, no way. Joe is quietly charming and Avery is a likable heroine. I was just expecting something a little bit…more. With Sugar Daddy we have the entire life, good and bad, play out for Liberty and watching her fall in love with the brooding Gage. Blue-Eyed Devil is the heaviest story-wise dealing with abuse for both Hardy and Haven and seeing them, especially Hardy in helping Haven, rebuild her life again. Smooth Talking Stranger with fun loving, charming Jack getting Ella to lighten up, eat a burger and help her deal with the potential loss of raising her nephew. Brown-Eyed Girl didn’t really have that hook for me. Sure Avery has some big career choices to make, and she has trouble letting anyone get close, but there wasn’t that thing that really made this book stand out as the prior books did.
That said, the Travis charm was still sparkling on page and we get plenty of Travis family scenes. True to their original story, Hardy and Haven have some heavy drama going on in their lives and I admit, when they came into the scenes in the background, I really wanted the POV to switch to Haven so I could get their story told through her eyes. Instead, we stay with Avery as she’s with Joe through all the family drama and it’s fine, but I still really wanted to see first hand what Hardy and Haven were feeling as they were going through something very scary.
Brown-Eyed Girl brought a satisfying end to the Travis series and this is the type of contemporary series I hope Kleypas brings back to life in the future. She has a way of writing southern, family stories that just make the characters and the scenes come to life and her writing makes this reader fall head over heels into the story. I can’t recommend this series enough and I’m so happy to now have Joe’s book for the shelf to round out the series.
Much later, Joe showed me the photo after he’d loaded it onto his laptop. A bright wash of light had imparted a pearly glow to my skin and turned my hair ember red. The eyes were heavy-lidded, the lips full and slightly parted. The woman in the photo was seductive, inviting, radiant.
As I stared at the image in wonder, Joe wrapped his arms around me from behind and whispered in my ear, “Every time I look at you…this is what I see.”
Release Date: August 11, 2015
Publisher: St. Martins Press
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*eARC provided by publisher for review*