Nov 13, 2017

Book Review: before I knew

On the second anniversary of her husband’s suicide, Colby Cabot-Baxter is ready to let go of her grief and the mistakes made during her turbulent marriage. Her fresh start comes in the form of A CertainTea, the restaurant she’s set to open along Lake Sandy, Oregon, with help from her family. But when her executive chef quits just weeks before the grand opening, Colby is pressured to hire old family friend Alec Morgan. His award-winning reputation could generate buzz, but their friendship has withered since her husband’s reckless dare cost Alec’s brother his life.

Distracted by guilty secrets concerning the tragedy that changed his and Colby’s lives, Alec self-destructed and lost his famed restaurant. With his career in tatters, he’s determined to use this opportunity to redeem his reputation and to help the woman he’s loved from afar find happiness again.

But secrets have a way of coming out. When Alec’s do, they might destroy the new life he and Colby have rebuilt together.

* * * * *
I want to say first off that I am a sucker for books set in a location that I am familiar with though I tend to be pickier as the author also has to have a good handle on the streets and even the general attitudes of the people living there.  Ms. Beck did a fabulous job with portraying Portland and the surrounding towns.   Her descriptions of the sunsets are enough to bring me back to the time I spent living there.

I find that second chance contemporary romances really satisfy my need to believe that there is someone for everyone and you don't have to find that person on the first try.  Colby and Alec have a long history as friends but some deaths have put their families on the outs.  Regardless, Alec finds that he is still in love with Colby but they both have a lot of baggage to work through.  I found myself cheering both of them on as they struggle to find the right note so that their changed relationship will be able to grow stronger.

I really enjoyed BEFORE I KNEW.  The story and the characters engrossed me and made me believe in happy ever afters do come about with a little work.  I would recommend this book to my readers who enjoy contemporary romance.  There is some sex in this book but nothing explicit so all ages could enjoy the story. 

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.


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