- Release Date
- May 2013
- Book 1 of Secret Wishes
Kissing her best friend's brother never felt so right…
Sela Sullivan is resolved to be the best maid of honor ever, even if it means tolerating the best man. Insufferable, too-handsome Luke Watters is not only the guy who humiliated her at a kissing booth in high school, but he also happens to be her best friend's older brother. Positive he's the same arrogant jock, Sela vows to focus on her duties and steer clear of the frustrating—and frustratingly tempting—Luke.
As a world-renowned extreme-sports photographer, Luke is used to undertaking life-risking adventures. But risking his heart for the beautiful Sela Sullivan, who clearly still hates him for his rejection all those years ago? He didn't see that coming. Sela inspires a passion he's never known, and the more time they spend together, the more he craves her. But can he prove to the maid of honor he's become a man of honor?
May 22, 2013 [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
147 people found the following review helpful
Robin Bielman's first Secret Wishes book is a terrific blend of the heat and heart, providing a blissfully satisfying read for Entangled Publishing's Bliss line of sweet romances. Though some aspects of the plot were stronger than others, this story features a wonderfully strong couple, and their romance is thoroughly engaging from beginning to end.
Years ago, Sela Sullivan harbored a crush on her best friend Vanessa's older brother. But after Luke Watters publicly humiliated her at a kissing booth, Sela vowed to stay away from him, no matter the cost to her own heart. Now, however, Vanessa is getting married, and Sela, now a pediatric nurse, has vowed to be the best maid of honor ever—even when she realized that Luke is coming back home to be the best man. Convinced that the arrogant jock she remembers has never changed, Sela vows to keep as far away from Luke as possible.
Nevertheless, when Luke, now a highly respected extreme sports photographer, sets eyes on Sela again, he simply can't keep away, even if she is still nursing a grudge over his rejection years before. As wedding plans and small-town life bring them closer and closer together, Luke begins to appreciate all that Sela has become, and to fall completely for the woman she has become. But with the stress of a wedding and the complications of their wildly different lives bearing down, will Sela and Luke be able to grasp their second chance at happily ever after?
The chemistry between Sela and Luke was sensational. Whenever they were in a scene together, the tension and emotion were tangible. As much as their story is a fairy tale romance, this is also the story of two people battling their own demons, both past and present, and their journey together took both the fantasy and the reality into account. Sela has become a wonderfully compassionate nurse, as well as a ghostwriter for the local paper, and an admirably strong woman. Even when her own inhibitions and insecurities threaten, she never lets them get the best of her. I could sympathize with her struggles and at the same time, cheer for her as she found her happiness and learned to savor the second chance fate threw in her path. Similarly, Luke may be living a charmed life, but a recent accident has left him with scars and fears that make his homecoming a much more difficult and emotional trip than he intended. The scars that both characters carry make their journey together that much more complicated and ultimately rewarding.
However, the world around their relationship was a little confusing. The supporting cast was consistently telling Sela and Luke to keep their distance from each other and not to make the mistake of getting involved, but in the next breath throwing them together as if unaware of the tension between the two. This led to some very fun scenes, especially a cake tasting scene that was simply delicious, but it also made the plot feel forced in places, and made it difficult to really understand all the characters. This is also a story with a very large cast of secondary characters, so sometimes remembering who's who got a bit tricky, but it also contributed well to the small-town feel of the story and didn't detract too much from the flow of the plot.
While some parts of this story were uneven, I was thoroughly charmed by the romance at its heart. Sela and Luke are terrific characters and a very well-balanced couple, and I truly enjoyed watching them come together. Robin Bielman's humor and sympathy with her leading characters shines through, making her an author worth remembering and making this a memorable series opening.
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