Title: Her Unexpected Engagement
Author: Kyra Jacobs
Series: Checkerberry Inn #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Short novel
Available: 7th Nov
Sometimes you’ve got to fake it ‘til you make it…
Stephanie Fitzpatrick wanted out of the spotlight after her pro-golfer husband was caught on camera cheating. But when she returns to Michigan for a job interview and some much-needed R&R, a fib told by her well-meaning sister has her looking for a temporary fiancé, or she can kiss her new start good-bye.
Desperate to hide the truth, she goes to the one man who can help—her former best friend.
Miles Masterson is relieved to see the Checkerberry Inn beginning to thrive once more. Not only does it ease his mind about his grandmother’s financial future, but also about his decision to finally escape town. But then one all grown up and sexy as hell friend from the past shows up needing rescue. Now the temptation to change the “temporary” arrangement into something more is making it harder to think about leaving.
Source: ARC from Entangled: Bliss via NetGalley
Having enjoyed the first Checkerberry Inn book (Her Unexpected Detour), I was excited to read the follow up. Firstly, although Miles featured quite heavily in the first book, you don’t need to read that to enjoy this one. Largely because the inn itself doesn’t feature all that much and nor do other characters. Mostly because Miles is in the process of trying to leave the inn and his family, because that’s what he always wanted to do and has low-level resented the place for holding him back all these years.
While Miles is thinking about moving on, Stephanie might be back to stay. After a terrible six months, with her publicly cheating ex leading to a hounding from the press that put her out of her dream job, Steph’s struggling a bit. Not that she wants to admit it, but anxiety is definitely making things hard for her. Until she reconnects with her childhood pal Miles. Cue a bit of matchmaking here and there, some fun nostalgia and the occasional musing on love, life and what dreams really mean and you get this fun, enjoyable read.
I liked Steph, even though I was a bit baffled as to why the press showed much interest in her. Sure, her husband made a public statement of infidelity and divorced her, but I wouldn’t have thought she’d be all that interesting to anyone since she’s not independently famous and doesn’t outwardly react in any showy, attention grabbing way. It should only be a minor point, but it did impact on her job and her mental health, so I couldn’t help thinking about it and wondering why it turned out that way.
Away from that, though, I liked how different she is with Miles and how her relationship helps her regain her previous strength and confidence. They make a great couple, especially with their shared history. They know each so well and their relationship is often full of fun as well as sweet moments.
Not that everything is easy, because of course it isn’t. Miles has a few issues he has to deal with (and get cleared up dubiously quickly), while Steph has her scars to heal, plus they seem to be heading in completely different directions with their lives, but this book is also low on fuss and unnecessary drama, which helped a lot. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the inn and also a bit more about Steph’s job, but on the whole I found this a fun, enjoyable read and I look forward to spending more time at the Checkerberry in future.
Her Unexpected Engagement is out November 7th.
Visit Kyra Jacobs for more details.