ARC Review: Brown-Eyed Girl by Lisa Kleypas

» 10 August, 2015 » B Reviews, Lisa Kleypas » 3 comments


Wedding planner Avery Crosslin may be a rising star in Houston society, but she doesn’t believe in love–at least not for herself. When she meets wealthy bachelor Joe Travis and mistakes him for a wedding photographer, she has no intention of letting him sweep her off her feet. But Joe is a man who goes after what he wants, and Avery can’t resist the temptation of a sexy southern charmer and a hot summer evening.

After a one night stand, however, Avery is determined to keep it from happening again. A man like Joe can only mean trouble for a woman like her, and she can’t afford distractions. She’s been hired to plan the wedding of the year–a make-or-break event.

But complications start piling up fast, putting the wedding in jeopardy, especially when shocking secrets of the bride come to light. And as Joe makes it clear that he’s not going to give up easily, Avery is forced to confront the insecurities and beliefs that stem from a past she would do anything to forget.

The situation reaches a breaking point, and Avery faces the toughest choice of her life. Only by putting her career on the line and risking everything–including her well-guarded heart–will she find out what matters most.

my thoughts

“What do you like to read?”
I glanced at the pile of candy-colored novels on the nightstand and replied with self-conscious amusement. “Love stories. The kind with happy endings.”
“Do you ever get tired of knowing how the book’s going to end?”
“No, that’s the best part. Happily-ever-afters are hard to come by in real life, even in the wedding business. But at least I can count on one in a book.”

When you have a Lisa Kleypas book in your hand, you can be sure of a couple of things. One, you’ll get a well written romance between two flawed characters. Two, you get interesting second characters, add in some humor, a bit of drama and scorching chemistry, and viola—you’ll have a winner in your hands.

Brown-Eyed Girl is the highly anticipated fourth book in her Travises series. The story follows the youngest Travis brother Joe. We met Joe in the previous books but we never knew anything substantial about him except that he’s Travis HOT and is a photographer.

Brown Eyed Girl gives as more than a glimpse of Joe. Despite not spending time in his head, we get acquainted with his character through Avery Crosslin, the heroine in the story. Avery is a wedding planner who doesn’t believe in happily ever afters for herself. She has good reasons though. She was dumped by her fiancée at the altar and her father was a lying, cheating bastard. It made her insecure and frankly, it colored her views on men and relationship.

“If it’s real,” Joe said quietly, “it doesn’t go away.”
“How do you know?”
“Because that’s what real is.”

Avery met Joe during one of the weddings she was working on. After a scorching night in the sheets, Avery was backpedaling. She doesn’t think Joe is the guy for her, and she’s done with relationships. But Joe isn’t easily deterred. He pursued Avery relentlessly. And I gotta tell you, there’s nothing hotter than a hero in pursuit, and Joe embodies those qualities to a tee. Avery didn’t stand a chance.

While Avery did frustrate me with her insistence that Joe is bad for her, etc. etc., I enjoyed her drive and her ambition. There were times though where she really tried my patience. But I can’t complain too much because…Joe is everything. He’s the perfect Lisa Kleypas hero. I really do wish we get a glimpse inside his head though. But again, what the author gave us is enough for me.

“I’m the guy who’s right for you. I may not be what you’re looking for, but I’m what you want. You’ve been alone long enough, honey. It’s time for you to wake up with a man in your bed. Time for the kind of sex that lays you out, owns you, leaves you too shaky to pour your morning coffee.”

Now here’s why this wasn’t a full five star for me. The romance between Joe and Avery was just okay. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed reading about the chase and the push and pull between them. But the resolution to the conflict—which wasn’t really much, in my opinion, left me wanting more. Thankfully, there’s a secondary romance in the book between Avery’s half-sister Sofia and Steven, and it was enough to make me feel invested in the story as a reader.

Then there’s the writing. I just love Lisa Kleypas’s writing. She made it look effortless. Effortless dialogue, effortless characterization…everything. As a reader, I could get use to that kind of top-notch writing. It’s clear that she’s one of those authors who’s on a realm of her own.

He had a lazy, easy way of talking, as if every word had been simmered for hours over a low flame.

Overall, while Brown-Eyed is not my favorite in the series, that still belongs to The Blue-Eyed Devil—which I should reread again soon—but it still delivers the kind of romance that Lisa Kleypas is known for.

Recommendation Notes:To be honest I’m conflicted whether I’d recommend this or not. On the one hand, it’s Lisa Kleypas. On the other, it’s $12.99 for a Kindle copy. The hardback is $17.75. If you have cash to spare, better get the paperback or the hardback than spend $12.99 on the Kindle copy.

All I’m saying is: READ this book but WAIT for a good deal.


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