Cover Image: Meant to Be

Meant to Be

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Member Reviews

So this book mainly follows Sebastian and Chiara, who are dealing with the death of their wife and best friend respectively, in their own ways. Both had feelings for each other at one point but that was over and done with a long time ago.  When they meet again, old emotions resurface along with a heart-wounding past that haunts them both. 

We explore feelings of attraction, guilt and love, all at once, but I don't think the author delivered it well.

The preview sounded good and I was intrigued but 20% in and there's a roofied main character having s*x with the female main character and doesn't even remember in the morning then there's a baby in the mix. Just NO. Chiara's morals went down the drain and I couldn't read it after that. Like how can someone do that with a person who is drugged?
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The series title says it all... Twisted fate... A good good about two people and fate playing in their lives but a good story..
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Meant to Be is a story of friendships and the one who got away.   I really enjoyed Sebastian and Chiara’s relationship.  I liked how they both had feelings for each other but were very aware of what they could offer and what they wanted from each other.   They respected each other, they respected their relationship as friends and as more, and they respected themselves.   My big struggle was how much Rory was brought up.   I know she was Sebastian’s wife and Chiara’s friend until she passed away, but it was like she was a third person in their relationship. I did not want them to ignore her part in their lives, but they did not have to make every decision with her in mind.

I really like the friendships.  They were more than friends, they were family by choice.  I loved how supportive and protective they were of each other.   When Chiara told them about her and Sebastian there was no judgment.  They helped Chiara make choices but never pressured her to decide one way or the other.    Everyone needs friends like that.

Meant to Be is a fun story, it is easy to read, the characters are real, and the storyline entertaining.
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I received this ARC for honest review

This book will pull at your heart strings all the way through the entire book. I mean I did feel an emotional connection to the characters even though it was a bit confusing at times going back and forth. There were twists and and some great moments. I cannot wait for the second book.
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3 Stars

I'll keep this short...

This one was alright, but sadly, it just did not pack the utter magic that was The Secret Love Letters of Olivia Moretti.

Basically, the MCs met once years ago but decided not to act on their mutual attraction at the time. Instead, the hero ends up marrying her best friend. They end up bumping into each other again years later after said best friend died in a tragic car accident and have a one-night stand. There were some good parts and some emotional ones that I enjoyed, but overall, this seemed like it was YA type behavior. Not the behavior of two people in their early forties. There was just too much drama in this story for me to fully connect with either character.

If accidental pregnancy is your thing, this book might totally work for you. It just missed the mark for me.
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Meant to Be was an emotional story full of grief, laughs, secrets and been able to move on after loss. This is Sebastian and Chiara's story.

Two years ago Chiara lost her best friend Rory. Unbeknown to Rory years before she knew her husband he and  Chiara had spent the night together. It wasn't anything physical but they connected on an emotional level but never saw each other again. Now two years after Rory's passing something happens and Sebastian and Rory find themselves in each others lives once again. Chiara and Sebastian could be each others forever if only they can both open up their hearts and release their guilt over their relationship with Rory.

I would highly recommend this book.
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Meant to be is the first in a new series by Jennifer Probst that follows the lives of 3 best friends, with a book dedicated to each. This book called to me because I love a surprise/accidental pregnancy trope!

For the most part I think this book was fine. It was a quick, easy read. Plenty of lovable characters that showcased the found family trope that really stands out a lot in the story. A lot of women supporting women. But I find that I don’t have a ton more to say in regards to the story and what stood out to me. It didn’t necessarily leave a lasting mark.

I do have a few issues that kept me from loving or REALLY enjoying Meant To Be. First of all (and this is me being petty, it’s small things my brain attaches too) the word “jerked” was used too many times to describe people’s body reactions. It annoyed me. But I couldn’t help but notice it every time. I know, most people probably won’t notice or care.

Secondly, everyone was basically perfect all the time. No one questioned each other, or argued (aside from our MC’s), everyone fully supported everything… it was all just too easy. Aside from blaming himself for his wife’s death, Ryder was near perfection. Almost annoyingly so.

Then, the biggest conflict for the two MC’s both came down to not knowing if they would be enough for each other. Oh and the CONSTANT repetition of bringing up the dead best friend and comparing every little thing to her. I know that is a plot point, but I still feel like it was repeated far too often and made Chiara seem wishy washy every few pages.

Also sometimes it didn’t feel like this was happening in 2022, it felt strangely older. Weird, I know.

I also read a lot of other reviews after finishing this that did not like the way the BIG NIGHT went down, it could be considered non-consensual in the eyes of some people, and while I think it was super weird and unrealistic, I just accepted it as storyline and moved on. I am not easily triggered. This may not be the case for some so I encourage readers who may be affected to check reviews for Content and Trigger Warnings.

Not all was lost with this book and I don’t want it to sound so. This was a journey through grief, love, loss and acceptance. I love the strong female friendships (even if too perfect) and I think I would continue the series, I would love to see what happens with the other ladies love lives after getting to know them in this installment.
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Who doesn't love a second chance romance?

This book is the first of a trilogy series and it starts off with a second-chance, slow burn romance to get things started! This book was high on emotions and full of love and passion. What a great start!

Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake for the earc in return for an honest review.
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Meant to Be is the first book in Jennifer Probst's newest series, Twist of Fate.
This series follows best friends who come together to start their own female based company. Book 1 features Chiara, the editor-in-chief and Sebastian a high school guidance counselor.
I really enjoyed the dynamic between the friends and how they are working hard to be there for women- all shapes, sizes.
However, this book was just not for me. A part of me really wanted to stop reading, but I pushed on. And while it did get better, the situation that presented itself early on in the book was just hard to get over.
I love a good second chance romance and I was glad at how the book ended. There are a lot of mixed reviews on this book, so while I didn't love it, you might.
Thank you @valentine_pr_ for this ARC in exchange for my honest review
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❤️❤️❤️❤️ out of 5
The start of a new trilogy and I’m already hooked and invested. It’s about 3 friends who run a company all about women empowerment (super cool) and finding love along the way.

Our heroine has a secret she’s never told anyone- she once met a man and formed an instant connection but never got his details. A couple of months later her best friend introduces her new boyfriends and it’s none other than instant-connection man. Seeing her best friend so happy she pretends they have never met and her best friend falls in love and gets married and then tragically dies. Years later they come into each other’s lives but they both refuse to act on feelings…. Until one night something happens that draws them together for the rest of their lives.

I was unsure at first how I would like the whole best friend’s widower trope but Jennifer Probst never steers me wrong and this was so full of heart you couldn’t help but love their story. Their story definitely has some angst but really fully explores how their relationship builds to a point where you can believe in their story.
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I really wanted to love this one as much as I've loved other Jennifer Probst books in the past. Meant to Be is really angsty and almost a slow burn. I do think it's well written, and the characters are well developed it just was a bit too heavy and a bit too slow for me.
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A lovely story about love, friendship, and second chances. I adored Sebastian and Chiara’s strength and bravery to take a leap of faith. This book was emotional and heartwarming. I can’t wait for more in this new series.
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo – ☆☆☆
I honestly don't know which genre or trope I would slide this into. Jennifer Probst is an excellent author; however, the story seems to be a bit overplayed at times.

Chiara happens to meet Sebastian at a club, they have a great night of talking and getting to know each other and go their separate ways at the end of the night. No kissing, no sex, and no exchange of numbers. Truly a great night of talking about dreams, love and loves lost, and where the universe would take them next.

Still, Chiara uses this "perfect night" as a standard as to what she wants in a longtime partner, and even on occasion thinks, "What if?" As crazy as it sounds, when Chiara runs into him again, it's because one of her besties, Rory, has introduced him as her fiancé. Rather than telling everyone, including her bestie, that she had met Sebastian before, she pretends not to know him and spends the next several years being rude, if not hostile, towards him.

I don't understand why Rory, or their two close friends, didn't confront Chiara about her blatant dislike of Sebastian, nor do I understand why Chiara felt the need to conceal the fact that she knew Sebastian from before. Then Rory dies and Chiara is quick to place blame on Sebastian. Again, not sure why or why her friends let her get away with it.

Sebastian is another story. He allows himself to be the villain in Chiara's story. For whatever reason, he doesn't tell Rory that he spent an innocent night talking to Chiara, yet instead takes the rudeness and hostility from Chiara. And as for Rory's death, he gladly takes on that guilt as well.

The reader is well into the book before Chiara is able to see outside herself to consider Sebastian's feelings regarding his wife and her death. While it doesn't change much, it does allow for a bit of growth in character.

I'm not sure why Sebastian decides he wants to have a relationship with a woman who has treated him badly for so many years, but as they said back in the day "love makes you do the whacky."

I'm not sure I'll read the next book in the series as this one just didn't hold my interest.
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Jennifer Probst
Meant to Be (Twist of Fate Book 1)
Sebastian & Chiara 
So many emotions in this book! Dealing with loss, and second chances, this is a fabulous book!
I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
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I always love Jennifer Probst’s stories. So when I see an arc on Netgalley, I always request them.

My last one of the Sunshine Sisters was already from more than a year ago, so I was happy to dive into a new series Twist of Fate. Of course, Jennifer’s stories are always cozy and heartwarming. But whereas the Sunshine Sisters are cute and funny, this first story has some more sad elements in it. Because we meet Chiara, Malia and Tessa, who have just buried their best friend and co-owner of Quench, an online women’s magazine: Rory. So, safe to say, the start of this book is a little more emotional.

Furthermore, Rory’s husband Sebastian is struggling with guild over Rory’s death-.. During this story, we see how Chiara and Sebastian grow from an awkward relation into more.

Maybe it was due to the sad start, or due to the story a bit dragging on, that I’m not rating this one the total of five stars. It is, still, a wonderful story about people, who are learning to overcome grief, mistakes and loss. So, pull out your tissues and dive in! Thank you Netgalley for providing the arc.
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3/5 - #1 of Twist of Fate Series; Available on Kindle Unlimited (Book and Audiobook available) 

So my biggest qualm of this book was it was veryyyy cliché (which isn’t a bad thing) but I was waiting for something to happen that I didn’t predict. It was a nice, simple second-chance romance, with a (ugh) pregnancy trope. Don’t get me wrong, typically a Pregnancy isn’t a DNF for me, but again, it was sooo cliché. The best part of the story was the challenge to the relationship with Sebastian having been Chiara’s best friend’s husband, but the plot was so dang sweet, I wanted at least a little chaos. Again, it was a cute book, but just nothing different about it. 

Brief Plot: Years ago, Sebastian and Chiara met in a bar, and bonded throughout the night. But they weret in the same place to continue talking. When they re-unite, because Sebatian is dating her best friend, Chiara pretends they haven’t met, and their relationsip is strained. Now, years later, Rory, the best friend/ wife, tragically died, and after a chaotic night in a club + a horrifying drugged drink, the two have a one night stand that leads to Chiara becoming pregnant. Now, the two are left addressing those events to their friends and family, and trying to figure out how their relationship will continue. 

Thank you NetGalley, and Montlake Publishing, for an eARC copy of Meant to Be, by Jennifer Probst, in exchange for a honest review!
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So many emotions...

I was skeptic about this book after reading the blurb. But went ahead and read this... 

I liked Chiara and Sebastian and all the other characters. The story line was interesting and well written - in spite of some predictability. 

Note - The book deals with topics which might be heavy for some of us. 

Overall, this was an emotional read for me...
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Tons of emotion in this first story in a new series by a fabulous author. This author gives us such beautiful friendships between women that are inspiring and uplifting like the group in this story, Chiara, Tessa, Malia and Rory. The prologue deals with one of the women when she meets her soulmate but it’s the right guy at the wrong time. There’s a beautiful connection between dream hero Sebastian and powerhouse Chiara but he takes her at her word that she’s not ready for any type of relationship because she has big plans for her life. Fast forward and we find the four friends chucking their jobs to make their dream come true of starting a business together that’s about women and for women. Oh, and Sebastian has popped up as Rory’s forever love. Yikes, Poor Chiara!  The friends work hard to achieve their dream while Chiara and Sebastian keep their distance but just when their work pays off and the dream becomes a reality tragedy strikes. Such heartbreak!  Chiara and Sebastian find their way to each other in an unlikely scenario and suddenly life is upside down again. It was a weird twist that has the couple getting too cozy in the same bed and we’re looking at a nine-month addition to the group. The friends step up to support Chiara and the dream hero comes through. But it’s far from smooth sailing as Chiara’s life plan is upended and Sebastian strives to as involved as possible. There were a couple of things I didn’t really buy into in the story but I overlooked them because this is a spectacular friendship story and a sexy romance all rolled into a terrific read with lots of heart and emotion. I can’t wait for the next installment in this fabulous new series. Loved it!
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This was a nice start to the series. I did find Chiara to be up tight and rigid at times. Can’t wait to see what’s next.
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This story had a great opening meet up and an interesting concept but also dealt with some pretty hard topics. 

I loved the strong sense of female empowerment and loved the good the ladies in the book did with thwir company. I also loved Ryder's job as a high school counselor. He helped a lot of kids.

The romance premise was very unique and I don't want to give spoilers but check trigger warnings for why they get together...

But I loved how Ryder worked to woo her and loved watching their relationship develop. It was also fairly steamy and had some really great passion.

This might be my favorite book by this author to date.

I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley. This is my honest review
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