May 18, 2013

Book Review: Meant To Be by Terri Osburn

At First Sight: Beth Chandler has made it her life's work to please other people: she became a lawyer to please her grandparents, lives in Richmond because it was close to them, agreed to marry to her boyfriend Lucas - even though he's a workaholic - to make him happy... and she found herself alone in the ferry, going to visit his family because he was called back to the office and sent her along. 

At the ferry going to Anchor Island, and in the throws of a panic attack, for she does not like the water at all, she meets a dog named Dozer and, more importantly, the dog's sexy owner Joe. He talks her down, and stays with her during the crossing and they even flirt a little. All perfectly harmless, until Joe reveals his last name is Dempsey, same as Beth's fiancĂ© Lucas; and she realizes they are brothers. 

Upon officially meeting Lucas'-Fiancee-Elizabeth, Joe is none too pleased to discover she's the same Beth he had been flirting with earlier. Joe might not see eye to eye with Lucas in a lot of things, but he loves his brother and would never flirt with his brother's girl. Yet, the damage is already done, the attraction is there and there is no denying it.

And when Lucas has to return to Richmond and leaves Beth alone in the island for two weeks, things get very complicated. Beth knows she shouldn't feel the way she does with Joe, but in Anchor island she feels at home, and she feels like her self for the first time ever. Joe doesn't ever want to hurt his brother, but Beth seems to fit his life, love his island and drive him crazy more than any other woman he has ever met.

Second Glance: Meant to Be turned out to be a delightiful surprise for me, and look that I was a little iffy about it because from the get go it's pretty obvious that the romantic pairing is Beth and Joe, not "Elizabeth" and Lucas; yet they remain engaged or pretty much the duration of the story. 

That can be quite tricky to pull off but Meant to Be manages pretty well. I think that one of the author's smart moves is that you never actually see Beth and Lucas together doing couple-y things, Lucas is off being a workaholic most of the time, and Beth is pretty aware that's not going to change anytime soon, she's just not ready to admit to herself that they aren't going to work out in the long run. 

So, as you see Joe and Beth hang out and Beth making herself at home in Anchor, you start buying it pretty early on. Plus, Joe and Beth have good chemistry together, they argue and the flirt and they care about each other. Joe is kind of surly, but Beth doesn't take it personal. 

There are a few subplots of this story that also keep things interesting: mostly, Joe's ex Cassandra is trying to buy the Island and make it into a luxury resort, so everyone is banding together to keep that from happening. 

Bottom Line: I really had a great time reading Meant to Be, I liked the characters, even workaholic Lucas (props to the author for not making him an asshole just to make it okay for Beth and Joe to be together) and I loved the setting of Anchor Island, it sounded like an adorable place. The only bad point in all of this is that the second book of the series (featuring Lucas) won't drop for another year.

Meant to Be comes out May 21st.
Love, Alex
Ps. Review copy provided by the Publisher via Net Galley in exchange of an honest review

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