Series: Blackberry Island (Book 2)
After Andi Gordon is jilted at the altar, she
makes the most impetuous decision of her life -- buying one of the famed
Three Sisters Queen Anne houses on Blackberry Island. Now the proud-ish
owner of the ugly duckling of the trio, she plans to open her own
pediatric office on the first floor, just as soon as her hunky
contractor completes the work. Andi's new future may be coming together,
but the truth is she's just as badly in need of a major renovation as
When Deanna Phillips confronts her husband about a suspected affair, she
opens up a Pandora's box of unhappiness. And he claims that she is the
problem. The terrible thing is, he's right. In her quest to be the
perfect woman, she's lost herself, and she's in danger of losing her
entire family if things don't change.
Next door, artist Boston King thought she and her college sweetheart
would be married forever. Their passion for one another has always
seemed indestructible. But after tragedy tears them apart, she's not so
sure. Now it's time for them to move forward, with or without one
Thrown together by fate and geography, and bound by the strongest of
friendships, these three women will discover what they're really made
of: laughter, tears, love and all.
Incredibly emotional book. Andi has come to Blackberry Island for a new start. She has purchased the middle of three houses and it's in bad shape. She has hired a contractor to fix it up and get it ready for her to open her pediatric office and live in. She has sworn off men and plans to concentrate on her house and her practice, feeling that as she fixes the house she can fix herself. I loved the way that she is happy with her job in spite of the pressure from her parents to specialize in something more prestigious than "fixing scrapes and giving vaccinations". As she settles in on the island she finds herself attracted to her contractor, but not wanting to make the same mistakes she made with her ex-fiance. As they start a relationship she has to deal with her trust issues, plus Wade's problems with feeling inferior to her thanks to issues from his own past. She also starts to make friends, including her two neighbors.
Boston is her neighbor on one side. She is a free spirited artist, married to her high school sweetheart. Everything was going well for them until the death of their infant son. She hasn't been able to actually grieve for her son and spends her time making drawing after drawing of her son, shutting her husband out. He too is having trouble but it seems to be pushing them further apart rather than bringing them together. Boston's art has stalled as she can't get past the darkness of her grief. I ached for her loss and her inability to connect with her husband over their shared tragedy.
Deanna is Andi's other neighbor. At first she comes across as a really snobby bitch. Her house is a showplace but her kids have so many rules that they are terribly stifled. She thinks her husband is having an affair but when she confronts him she finds out that he isn't but feels that she is causing so much stress in their home that no one wants to be around her. As we see more of her and her life it becomes obvious that her past has caused her to have some serious control issues that she has to learn to deal with. As she gets to know Andi and Boston she starts to feel some hope for the future.
I loved the way that the three women came together, cautiously at first but with an increasingly important bond. They learn to open up with each other about their feelings and their problems and find that their friendship is able to support without judging. Boston's offer to paint murals in Andi's new office helps her begin to heal, while Andi and Deanna are there to support her as she tries to deal with her grief and repair her relationship with her husband. Deanna is able to go to Andi and Boston as she recognizes her need for help with her OCD and her control issues. Their support enables her to start making the changes that are needed. And finally Andi has female friends that support her choices without judging her or trying to change her. They are able to support her with her budding romance with Wade while helping her to see that she can still be herself.
The men in the story also had their own issues to deal with that helped create the stresses that the women were under. Zeke felt the increasing distance between himself and Boston and didn't know what to do about it. His attempts to push her into moving on only made things worse. Colin loved Deanna but felt shut out of her life and that of his children because of her need to control everything. I felt that he should have seen at least some of the signs of her problem and helped her rather than distancing himself the way he did. Thanks to the problems he had had with his late wife's attitude toward his work Wade had some self worth issues to deal with. He had a hard time believing that Andi would actually want him for himself and not try to make him into something he wasn't. He also wanted to protect his daughter from getting attached then losing Andi if things didn't work out, which added another layer of stress. Although each of these guys could be pretty clueless at times, they all came through when it really mattered.
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