Faking Forever

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 26 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

Shannon Wentworth wants a baby and feels time is running out. Mexico seems to be the perfect place to find a willing baby daddy, especially since no-one knows her and she won't run the risk of ever seeing the man she chooses again. However, when the bride of the wedding party whose photographs she'll be taking decides to flee before saying 'I Do', Shannon finds she could be in trouble with the groom since he believes she sabotaged his wedding. Will Shannon be able to convince Victor that he's lucky the wedding was called off or will they lose their shot at happy ever after because his ex-bride-to-be wants him back?

Ms. Bybee always impresses me with her writing style, which encompasses enthralling dialogue that keeps me entertained from start to finish; hot and delicious heroes that know how to please the woman they want while battling tough obstacles to get the girl; and amazing friendships between strong women where their motto should be something similar to 'All for one and one for all', as they support each other through thick and thin. 

The way this story started had me immediately hooked, as the heroine has a plan and I loved how that plan goes totally awry and she finds herself falling for the groom whose wedding was called off. Then again, it felt like Victor dodged a bullet in having his wedding called off since his bride-to-be was an immature brat and Shannon is the perfect match for him. Moreover, the main characters are relatable, likeable and I loved their growing relationship because there's instant chemistry between them, but that doesn't mean either are going to give into it. Not when Victor is a workaholic and Shannon deserves a man that would put her first in his life instead of work. 

As for the dialogue, it was intense due to the main characters back stories and had me sympathizing with the heroine because her divorce hit her hard. Yet, in all honesty, she's better off without her ex-husband and is lucky to have such good friends in Lori, Avery and Trina. So, what more could she ask for, especially when she's looking to become a single mother? Furthermore, the heroine had me smiling constantly throughout this story with her sassiness and the way she speaks her mind, especially in the moment when she and Victor first meet and how Shannon tells the hero what women want from a relationship. Which made me think, 'Take that, Victor' and I liked how he began to realize how right Shannon is when it comes to his personal and professional lives. Certainly, being all work and no play makes Victor 'Mr. Monotonous' and having Shannon in his life definitely shakes things up. I also liked how resilient and courageous the heroine is because having a plan doesn't always work out and being spontaneous can sometimes be a good thing. And, in the heroine's case, meeting Victor is a very good thing. 

While the hero, his character progression is brilliant, as he goes from Mr. All-work-and-no-play to Mr. Play-and-less-work. Really, Shannon brings out the best in him and makes him realize that there's more to life than work. Furthermore, I enjoyed the tight knit relationship the hero has with his family. It's as close as the one Shannon has with her friends and I loved how the hero's brother teases him. Yet, what I liked most of all about the hero was his determination to win over Shannon because they're meant to be. Certainly, there are a few hiccups along the way, as trust is important to Shannon and without trust their relationship couldn't possibly survive. Yet, I'm glad that he never gave up, even when the going got so tough that the heroine might not forgive him. 

Overall, Ms. Bybee has delivered another spectacular and highly entertaining read in this fourth book of her First Wives series where the chemistry between Victor and Shannon was off-the-charts; the romance was sizzling and heated up the pages at the right moments; and the ending had me loving the hero's determination to show Shannon that she's the one for him and nothing will keep them apart. However, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up perfectly, as the four women are so lucky to have each found their Mr. Right and be as happy as they are after everything they've been through individually and together as friends. I would recommend Faking Forever by Catherine Bybee, if you enjoy the opposites attract trope, the enemy to lovers trope or books by authors Marina Adair, Jill Sanders, Jill Shalvis and Miranda Liasson.
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Faking Forever is the fourth book in the First Wives series by the talented Catherine Bybee. Catherine writes such strong, independent, women and I look forward to her series' and books. We've met all the women in the First Wives Club and I personally have been waiting with bated breath for Shannon's story. Unlike her friends, she actually fell for her husband. But it wasn't meant to be. It's been years and she's finally ready to move on. Alone. But she wants a baby. A trip to Mexico is perfect timing. Except she meets the groom, dislikes him, then is there to help when he's left at the altar. They have amazing chemistry and they each loosen up and have fun, together. After sun, relaxing, cocktails and actually learning they like each other, one hot kiss has them rethinking what they thought they wanted. Victor works too much, wasn't really heartbroken when his fiancée walked out and now he's on his honeymoon alone. Well, except for the sexy wedding photographer, Shannon. He gives himself the week to forget about his future and live in the moment. Except he wants Shannon in his future. He learned he needs to make more time for life instead of just work. He wants more from her, but she thinks he's on the rebound. He asks for three months. Wait for three months and see if their attraction was a fluke. Guess what? It wasn't. Now Victor has to get Shannon to take a chance on him and love. It's the hardest thing he's ever had to do. Will their pasts come back and haunt them before they can find their happily ever after? I loved this story! I loved seeing Shannon open up, be herself and not just please everyone. Victor is buttoned up, but once he sheds the suit, he shows his sexy, sweet side and I loved him! The other women and their men are always a fun treat! The drunk singing is by far my favorite part!
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Faking Forever was the first book I read in The First Wives Series and it could totally be read as a standalone but I loved each and every character so much that I regret not starting from the beginning! Now, I am going to go back to the beginning because I absolutely LOVED this story!

I devoured these pages, I was sucked in as soon as I read the first page and I never looked back. Shannon and Victor’s story was so great from the very beginning that you couldn’t help but feel the need to get to the end ASAP.

I loved how graceful yet sassy Shannon was and her need to start a family without a man in the picture. She was bold and confident in this story and I admired the hell out of her every step of the way.

Victor was grumpy and a workaholic who didn’t have a clue what he really wanted, that is until Shannon literally “fell” into his lap. I loved watching his walls crumbling down with the need for her and the need for love.

Faking Forever was so charming and even funny at times, I felt myself chuckling more than once while reading this. If you love character driven stories and heartwarming but funny romance’s then I have found the one for you!

Now excuse me while I go devour the other three books in The First Wives Series because I definitely need more of these ladies and these incredible romance novels!
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This was a great conclusion to the First Wives series by Ms Bybee. One of the things I enjoy about Ms Bybee’s work, is that even though the series are connected with heavy character overlap, each book is a complete stand alone and it is easy to jump into the series. 
Shannon and Victor are both interesting characters with a very unique meet cute. I appreciated the time to get to know them and see them get to know each other as well. 
Friends, family, and exes made for an interesting secondary cast and great source of conflicts. This well written story wove everything together in such a way that we saw both Shannon and Victor experience emotional growth in their own as well as a couple. 
I have missed the first books of this series, but that did not hinder my enjoyment here. I look forward to going back to those book as well as seeing what Ms Bybee has in store for us next.
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Catherine Bybee is fast becoming one of my auto-buy authors. This is book four in the First Wives Club series. When I received an invitation from the publisher, via Net-Galley, to read and review, I immediately accepted since I loved the other books! My opinions are my own and not influenced by anyone.

Faking Forever is real with flawed characters who are able to own up to their mistakes and learn from them. As with all of Ms. Bybee’s novels, Faking Forever captured my attention from the first page and kept until the last. The pacing is fast, the characters are entertaining and well-written, and the plot is fantastic. 

Shannon Wentworth’s character underwent a change for Faking Forever, making her a more complex individual than she’d been in the previous books. I liked the changes and it made for a more interesting read. She exhibits a willingness to speak up for herself and the ability to call out the hero on his less than desirable characteristics, making him a much better man.

In the beginning of Faking Forever, Victor Brooks appears to be solely driven by his work as CEO of his company to the point where he chooses a meeting over flying with his fiancée to their wedding destination. When he ends up seated next to Shannon, she lets him know his behavior is severely lacking toward his girlfriend/fiancée. I really enjoyed how he recognizes his mistakes and goes about correcting them when his bride leaves him at the altar.

His decisions are motivated by his conversations with Shannon. While normally I would not like Victor’s character, Ms. Bybee handles it so well, I fell in love with him. He makes major changes in his life and understands his ex-fiancée was not the right woman for him. 

While the romance moves slower than in most of Ms. Bybee’s books, it is nonetheless satisfying and perfect for their love story. It is believable and appropriate. Once they do come together, the passion between them is emotionally motivated, and I loved them together. I’m so glad Shannon finally found her happy ending. She deserves it after what happened in her marriage to Paul.

If you enjoy character-driven romance novels with engaging characters and a great plot, then you will enjoy Faking Forever. While this book can be read as a stand-alone, I do recommend reading the other books in the series first. You will thoroughly enjoy the paths these four women travel as much as I. Happy reading!
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With strong characters and emotions that could be felt on the page, Catherine Bybee has once again delivered a story that grabbed me from the first page and never let go. 

Having only seen one side of Shannon in the previous books, I wasn’t too sure about how I would relate to her, but from her first interaction with Victor I knew she and I were going to hit it off just fabulously! There was so much sass and snark buried under her quiet exterior and I just loved it. I was a bit unsure how Victor and Shannon’s romance was going to play out given their circumstances, but Catherine Bybee is a master storyteller and I should have known she would create just the right path for these two to come together in such a way that there was no way I wouldn’t fall for these two. There was a little drama towards the end that added a bit of angst, but it ended up being the perfect set-up for a wonderful ending.

One of my favorite parts about reading a series is having other characters from other books make an appearance, and I just loved how the ladies from the First Wives Club were there to support Shannon no matter what, even if they did meddle just a little bit, for all the right reasons. It was also fun to see the men get involved as well and help Victor out, even if that was not what they were instructed to do! There were also some other great supporting characters that I just loved, including Victor’s brother Justin and his parents, and even Corrie – at least until she turned into a bit of a psycho.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you haven’t read a book by Catherine Bybee you are truly missing out and need to put her on your TBR ASAP!
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Sandy M’s review of Faking Forever (First Wives, Book 4) by Catherine Bybee
Contemporary Romance published by Amazon Digital Services 12 Mar 19

This is my first Catherine Bybee book, and I’m very pleasantly pleased by the story. I enjoyed both lead characters, even when they didn’t care for each other all that much. Shannon is on a mission while in Mexico; however, Victor is in the for surprise of his life. Actually, a couple of surprises.


Shannon is single and successful, but with no boyfriend/husband prospects in sight, she decides it’s time for her to become a mother. She’s set to photograph a wedding in Mexico, so what better place to find a baby daddy who won’t have any worries being an absent parent. What she doesn’t count on is coming face to face again with the jerk she had to endure on the flight.

That jerk ends up being the groom. Victor is marrying a much younger woman. And because he can’t leave his work at home even for his wedding, his fiance finally pulls the plug and leaves him at the altar. So here he is on his honeymoon with no bride. He does, however, run into the interesting photographer from his non-wedding. He has his work cut out for him to win her over, though, because she remembers him from their interaction on the plane and is not impressed one bit.

Victor does work for it. Little by little he begins to win Shannon over. Enough that she starts to second guess her baby daddy plan. But where can a relationship between them go? Especially because Victor is on the rebound? So he proposes they wait three months, then connect again and see if the spark is still there. Of course, the sizzle doesn’t die and more fun is to be had when they meet up later.

She’s the former first lady of California – what interesting part of the story that is! – and he’s a workaholic. She loosens up to complete her quest and even to have some fun banter and sexy times with Victor, and he’s about to learn how to let work go more than ever. At the time I read this book, I didn’t know it was part of series, so obviously it can be read as a standalone. The writing in places in a little simplistic, but overall Ms. Bybee has an enjoyable voice and style. So much so that I will definitely read more of her in the future.

Grade: B
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Shannon and Victor are older and way more mature. It is so refreshing to experience it. I didn’t read the other books in the series but I plan to go back. I’m curious to get to know Shannon before Victor. All of her friends found love and are breaking out to start families. Shannon is still reeling from her divorce. She knows she is older and her biological clock is ticking. She informs the girls that she is going to pick a random baby daddy.

The girls are protective of her and they don’t want her to get hurt. Avery agrees to join Shannon in Mexico during her work trip to help her with the baby daddy search. The trip goes completely unplanned when the bride Shannon is hired by stands up the groom. The groom is an extremely attractive jerk who bumps heads with Shannon.

Victor knew that his fiancé was not the one but he went through all of the steps to securing the bride. He didn’t anticipate her bailing out on the wedding.  At the advice of his brother, he decides to stay a few days to reflect about life and unwind. It is kind of hard to do so when he is having lustful thoughts every time he runs into Shannon and her friend.

This is just a fun read. I liked that Victor and Shannon had this tug of war without putting in too much of an effort fighting. They knew when to flirt and when to fight. They both knew they were attracted to one another. Shannon gives in a bit during their time in Mexico but to challenge herself, she informs Victor that if he could wait 60 days when they return, they if it real.

Victor surprises me. He discovers himself. He is so suited for Shannon. They are perfectly balanced. There is a bit of drama from the past that hit them. It is resolved quickly but is still a bit predictable.  The epilogue is cute and I’m happy I got a chance to experience a part of this series.

~ Samantha
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After Shannon's divorce she was always the reserved one. Now this woman wants a baby and doesn't need a man to have one. She sets a plan and gets her girls behind her. One problem things don't always go as planned. This like a jilted groom named Victor, left at the alter and in his opinion Shannon is to blame. 
Avoidance isn't easy on a small island and with a little help from their new friends maybe these two can see eye to eye.


** I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review**
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Shannon’s biological clock is ticking, divorced for a couple of years with no man on the horizon she decides she will be a single parent. However her plans are thrown awry when she mets and at first dislikes, workaholic Victor. I liked that the couple were in their thirties, that the relationship was allowed to develop a bit before the fell into bed with each other and that there was not strong language.
I haven’t read any of the other stories in this series but on the basis of this one, I may look to read one of the earlier stories.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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As we've taken this journey through the lives of the First Wives Club members, we've watched as one by one, the women found their true loves. And through it all, Shannon has held a torch for her ex, Paul. So, when she informs the group that she's decided to become a single mother, they're all more than a little surprised. 

As Shannon heads off to Tulum as the photographer for a destination wedding, the plans is to spend the days after the ceremony finding herself a baby daddy. But when the wedding ends before it even began, Shannon finds herself spending time with the jilted groom.

Shannon's very first impression of Victor is that he's a royal jerk. And Victors first impression of Shannon? Sassy, constantly calling him on his crap. Which Avery points out is far more than annoyance.

During the week in Tulum, the one thing that cannot be denied is their attraction. But the last thing Shannon wants is to be a rebound fling - so they agree to catch up after some time and distance has passed.

These two, their chemistry is constantly sparking. They seem to bring out the parts of each other that have been sorely missing - Shannon humanizes the inconsiderate, workaholic Victor. And he brings back the fire that's been missing from Shannon's life since her marriage to the governor ended.

I really loved this story. Shannon has always been the steady nurturer of the group, but she was always sad, and trying to hide it from the other First Wives, so it was beautiful to see her come out of herself and find the person that she was before losing herself at some point during her two year marriage to Paul. Victor and Shannon truly bring out the best in each other. Faking Forever is definite must read.
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“Faking Forever,” the final book in the First Wives series. I’ve been waiting for Shannon’s story. Why? Because, unlike her Alliance divorcée friends (Avery and Trina), also members of the First Wives group, Shannon was the only one who lost her heart to her ex-husband, Paul. That wasn’t supposed to happen, but midway through their contract she and Paul changed the rules. They agreed as consenting adults that satisfying their physical needs would be harmless. Unfortunately, Shannon fell in love, Paul didn’t. Her heart shattered when he handed her divorce papers as stipulated in their contract. 
Fast forward, three years later, Shannon decides she’s tired of faking. Faking smiles for friends, faking happiness for her parents, but most of all, waiting for Paul to wake up and realize she was the best thing that ever happened to him. No more faking it! But one thing she realized wasn’t fake in her life, her relationship with her three friends of the First Wives group. Over the years the women became very close and protective of one another. They’re like sisters. And since Shannon is the youngest in the group, the others make it their mission to protect her most of all.
Within the group, three of the four women remarried, finding that special someone who showed them the second time around was so much better. Shannon is happy for them, but at the age of thirty, she feels her biological clock ticking. Feeling time slip away from her, Shannon does something out of character at the next monthly meeting. She surprises her friends with an announcement, “I’m going to have a baby.” Three sets of eyes stare at her. Mouths fall open. Wait, this is Shannon. She has been in mourning for three-years, after her divorce. She doesn’t date. She’s quiet, shy, not flirty. What did we miss? How could she be having a baby? 
Yes, the reader sees a new Shannon. It’s time she goes after what she wants. She’s tired of waiting. Shannon wants to have a baby and she’s not going to let tradition stand in her way. She’s going to find a father for the baby, have a one-night stand, and get on with her life. She doesn’t want a relationship, nor a husband. She doesn’t want to put her heart out there, to have it trampled on, once again. However, there’s just one problem. He’s tall, handsome, and he brings out the worst in her. And, he’s on the rebound. Meet Victor Brooks. Both main characters come with baggage, but they can’t ignore the buzz that goes off when they are around each other. 
This book is my favorite in the series, by far. Both Shannon and Victor are trying to break out of a cocoon of sorts. Both from different worlds, but both seeking the next step that will put them on the right path toward their future. But both have people in their past determined to sabotage their efforts at all cost. I was quite impressed with this book. Catherine wrote the perfect closing to this series. A good read!
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​​​​​Faking Forever by Catherine Bybee will keep you engaged from the moment you are introduced to the lively bunch of characters. Each personality is wonderfully executed, and getting to know them is an enlightened experience. This novel primarily takes place in Tulum Mexico, a beautiful location for a destination wedding or a tropical night of passion. The author brilliantly combines a complicated yet sexy romance, emotional moments, and unique individuals into this slightly suspenseful romance. This is the fourth book from the First Wives series and it can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
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This book really surprised me in the best way possible. With a jilted groom and a heroine who is looking for a one night stand to be a baby daddy, I wasn’t sure if this author could make me love these characters. I should’ve never doubted her because I did. Every step of the way.


When Shannon plans to lengthen her working trip to include a hunt for a baby daddy, she had one iron clad rule in place. He must never be able hunt her down after the fact. In order to accomplish that goal, it would mean finding a man that who would never want to find her. With her plans firmly in place she heads out. Unfortunately, the a-hole seated next to her riles her to before unknown heights and acting completely out of character for her, she lays into him. 

Victor is a busy man but the woman seated next to him is quick to point out how terribly rude he is as well as informing him what she would do if he were her boyfriend…and it’s not friendly. Surprises abound when this couple meet again and realize that he is the groom and she is his wedding photographer. When his bride to be takes off, Victor remembers her caustic words.

I loved watching this couple work through their individual issues even as they try to avoid the chemistry brewing between them. 


Watching both of these characters grow in the best ways possible was soo good! When they were together I could feel the sizzle even as I was smiling from ear to ear. They were both so charming and endearing and together they were magic. I loved that the time constraints they had placed on their relationship was tenuous at best. 


This is a lengthier book but is actually a fast read as things are constantly moving. The drama is relatively low angst despite the breakup of Victor’s wedding and some other outside forces that want to tear them apart. Their conflict is handled rather quickly and we are given a great epilogue that not only shows us this couple down the road but a bit of the other couples as well.

Dual POV
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Catherine Bybee is just a great author. This book took a woman, Shannon, who had fallen in love before and had it go nowhere and put her in a situation where she ended up having to trust what her heart was telling her in order to actually give love a chance again.
She and the hero, Victor, start out really, really annoyed by each other. Shannon finds nothing about him to appreciate. He's a workaholic who can't even give his time to his supposed-to-be wife long enough to go on the honeymoon. He's inconsiderate and obnoxious...and Shannon tells him so. 
An exotic location lends a certain different feel to the book. Shannon's friends and Victor's brother are awesome secondary characters and the slowly developing attraction and love between Shannon and Victor is just perfect. This is just a great book!
I
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I have been waiting for Shannon's story since the beginning and did not disappoint me. You always need to worry about the reserved person in the group and Shannon found her voice and strength in this story. After her divorce she has finally moved forward and her next desire is to have a baby, so now she just needs to find a baby daddy. With her wedding photography business she arrives in Mexico and meets Victor, a jilted groom. From enemies to lovers you will love this story!!

Once again this book is filled with so much emotion, steamy romance and a wonderful group of women friendships. Loved this series, but can be read as a stand alone but recommend reading from the beginning.
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I LOVE THIS SERIES!  We are now going to finally get Shannon's story.  Shannon wants a baby but she absolutely does not want a baby daddy to go with it.  In fact, she wants the one night stand with the knowledge the daddy will not be able to find her or want to find her.  However, she didn't plan on Victor.  He is a workaholic and just happens to be the groom of the wedding she is the photographer for.  Add in a runaway bride, a destination wedding in Cancun, and enough sparks between Shannon and Victor to burn down the surrounding jungle and we have a recipe for another perfect story by this author! I didn't think it was possible but Bybee has done it again.  I definitely recommend this one.  This may be a lengthy read but it is a quick read. 

**Received this ARC from the publisher via NetGalley**
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Ruthie – ☆☆☆☆☆
This is the fourth book in the series and is one of my favourite – although they are all really good, and I would definitely recommend that you read them in order, to get the full background to this engaging group of women. I am going to assume that you have in my review.

Shannon has always been the outlier in the group, as she fell for her husband and was devastated when the time came for her divorce. As the others have been finding their happily ever afters, she has been stuck thinking about Paul. But finally, we get her deciding it is time to move on and because she has no intention of the pain of falling in love again, she is now looking for a one-off to give her the baby she so wants! As you can imagine, this gives the rest of the first wives considerable anxiety, but good friends that they are, they offer wingwoman services.

As we see Avery join her on a destination wedding photo job, little could we imagine how an encounter on a plane could unfold into quite such a delicious and meaningful romance. I really enjoyed how the story developed at just the right speed. Bybee is a very good writer, and I was turning pages long into the night as it was really difficult to even contemplate waiting to find out what happened next. I was delighted with how they worked together on both their hang-ups and their desires.

I am quite sure that I will be rereading this series of books in one go sometime soon, as I am sure that there will be subtleties that I have forgotten due to the passage of time which will bring even more richness to the story. Great idea for a way of telling four very different women's stories.
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3.5 stars.

I’ve been looking forward to Shannon’s story since the start of the series, and I am so relieved it didn’t turn out to be a second chance reunion story between her and her jerk of an ex. I like this author, I like this series, so I knew I was going to enjoy this book. Which I did. It didn’t bowl me over, but it was enjoyable. It was also nicely unusual for the genre and gave me a happy ending that neatly tied up the rest of the series. Job done.

Okay, I’ll admit I found Victor’s voyeur tendencies pretty sleazy and there is a sort of suspense plot (like the rest of this series) that completely failed to go anywhere. Throw in a rushed up ending and perhaps I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I maybe could have done.

But Bybee does such a great job of writing female friendships and mature relationships, where people actually talk to each other (mostly), while not falling into the worst cliché pitfalls this sort of plot might lead to, that I didn’t mind too much.

In all I liked it, I liked this series and I will definitely be looking out for whatever this author writes next.
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I have been really looking forward to this book.  I love this author and I’ve loved this series.  Shannon has been the most reserved one of the group.  Because of this I had a feeling her story would be very interesting, and this book does not disappoint.  I loved everything about this book.  The story progression was interesting and effortless.  It did not seem forced as sometimes stories tend to get.  Both Shannon and Victor were amazing.  These were complex characters who had a learning curve about themselves and each other.  Their chemistry was sizzling from the beginning.

If you’ve read the other books in this series, we also get to check in with all the others.  I love seeing where they are now.  If you haven’t read the others, don’t worry.  This is a complete standalone.  You will not be lost.  Each book has overlap with interconnected characters, but each storyline is complete.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  I definitely recommend it and this entire series.  Who am I kidding…just read everything from this author!
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