Friday, June 12, 2015

REVIEW: "Wedding Favors" by Anne Tenino

Wedding Favors (Bluewater Bay, #7)
Wedding Favors by Anne Tenino
(Bluewater Bay #7)

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Male/Male Contemporary

Riptide Publishing -- Published on April 13, 2015
eARC, 325 pages
Read in May 2015
Received from Netgalley

Rating: 4 Stars

Small Town Setting, Reunited Lovers

Lucas Wilder’s best friend is a traitor. First, Audrey moved back to their hick-infested hometown, Bluewater Bay, and now she’s marrying a local. His own brother, in fact. And as her Man of Honor, Lucas gets coerced into returning for an extended stay. Although, between his unfaithful ex-boyfriend and his artist’s block, going home isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Even if the Best Man is Gabriel Savage, Lucas’s first crush, first hookup, and first heartbreak.

The only reason Gabe hasn’t been waiting for Lucas to return to Bluewater Bay is because he never thought it’d happen. Not that it matters now that Lucas is back—Gabe’s still a logger who’s never been anywhere (Canada doesn’t count), and Lucas is now a famous sculptor who’s been everywhere twice. Plus, there’s that shared past.

When Audrey asks Lucas to make her wedding favors, the only place to set up a kiln is at Gabe’s tree farm. Soon, they pick up where they left off twelve years before, then blow past it, discovering why neither of them forgot the other. Now they have to choose how much of their history they’ll repeat, and what future they’ll make together.

"So.  Much.  Stuff."

I received a free e-ARC of this book from Riptide Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Lucas Wilder and Gabe Savage's story started off in the "Helping Hand" novella from the Lights, Camera, Cupid anthology.  In that story, Lucas is approaching the end of his high school career and what he wants more than anything is to escape Bluewater Bay, Washington despite the fact that it means leaving behind the guy he has been crushing on forever.  Gabe and Lucas have a brief and very sensual moment together, but Gabe quickly leaves which causes Lucas's heart to break.  Wedding Favors takes place twelve years after that event and forces these two to face one another again.

These two were just so adorable together.  Both proclaim that they have moved on by sleeping with other guys, but it is obvious that they are still hung up on that one time hook-up and the potential that it showed them.  Lucas is dealing with the end of a difficult relationship and the fact that he is back in Bluewater Bay, a town he had hoped never to see again.  Gabe feels like he lost his chance with Lucas and doesn't know if he can convince him to stay based on a possible relationship with him.  There were some misunderstandings that were frustrating to me as the reader, but, thankfully, the author didn't rely on them to move the plot along too much.

Besides the love story, there are also some subplots revolving around Lucas's return and the future of Gabe's family farm.  I loved Lucas's best friend, Audrey, whose wedding finally convinced him to come back even for a short time.  Their friendship was very well-written and helped soften Lucas's character a bit.  I also liked the evolution of the Wilder family's dynamics especially the relationship between Lucas and his dad.  For Gabe, he is forced to realize that it is okay that he made mistakes early on when he took over the farm.  That wasn't as much of a focus in the story, but I thought it was powerful nonetheless.

Wedding Favors was another cute story in the series that shows the difference that a high-profile TV show can have on a small town.  Lucas and Gabe were a great couple that I was rooting for the entire time I was reading.  Bluewater Bay continues to be a character of its own and I look forward to reading more about its inhabitants...past, present, and future.

1. Starstruck
2. There's Something About Ari
3. Hell on Wheels
4. Lone Wolf
5. The Burnt Toast B&B
6. Lights, Camera, Cupid
7. Wedding Favors
8. The Deep of the Sound (Coming 2015)
9. When to Hold Them (Coming 2015)

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Author Website

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