Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Review: Put a Ring on It by Beth Kendrick

Sometimes it's the little things that send you, or someone else, right over the edge. And sometimes that edge is one you end up not wanting to climb back up onto, not that you realize it to start with. Beth Kendrick's third novel in the Black Dog Bay series, Put a Ring on It, opens with just such an edge.

Brighton's fiance has asked for the engagement ring back. For him, their argument about the efficiency of the zipper merge during their morning commute was the last straw. Feigning sickness to leave work once she realizes that Colin isn't going to call and repair things between them, Brighton, a buttoned up insurance actuary who carefully weighs the pros and cons of everything, calls an old friend and invites herself to stay. What she doesn't know is that her old friend has just relocated to Black Dog Bay, Delaware, the break-up and broken hearts capital of the country. Once there, Brighton acts impulsively and also rediscovers her creative side through her love for jewelry design. First, she meets Jake Sorensen, who would be the perfect rebound relationship.  He'd be perfect, except they actually end up married after former fiance Colin calls Brighton and tells her that he's married a woman he just met. Her spontaneous revenge marriage to Jake is just tit for tat. And in her case, Jake knows the score. They'll stay married for two weeks to allow Brighton to cut loose in ways she never dreamed (not too loose though as two weeks is all the vacation time she has from work). But what if the life she's living is the one she wants to keep? And what if the cons she uncharacteristically didn't take time to consider could derail this happiness?

Although this novel is the third in the series, it stands alone just fine. Characters from previous books do make appearances but not knowing their back stories is no detriment to the reader. Brighton has allowed fear to dictate who she's become in life. She's too financially scared to do what she loves and feed her creative side and so she subsumes all of that to the boring and measured practicality of being an actuary. Going to Black Dog Bay and acting so incredibly out of character allows her to reconnect with the person she's hidden inside herself for so long. Learning who she wants to be and how she wants to live her life brings her happiness as well as insecurity and it is in the acceptance and embracing of that insecurity that she really starts to live. Jake is drawn as a sexy, stoic character whose past history, while not entirely secret, is not mentioned until it threatens the budding relationship he and Brighton are building. It turns out that the pasts that shaped both of them have a very similar base, even if they've reacted to that base in wildly different ways.

As in the previous books in the series, Kendrick has written a frothy, cute romantic story that just happens to have a woman who is finally being empowered to be who she wants to be, one who finds happiness and success and love because she is determined to follow her own heart. This is light and fun escape reading with an ending that won't disappoint.

1 comment:

I have had to disable the anonymous comment option to cut down on the spam and I apologize to those of you for whom this makes commenting a chore. I hope you'll still opt to leave me your thoughts. I love to hear what you think, especially so I know I'm not just whistling into the wind here at my computer.

Popular Posts