Review by: Alexander
SERIES: Bluewater Bay book 7
AUTHOR: Anne Tenino
NARRATOR: Nick J Russo
PUBLISHER: Riptide Publishing
LENGTH: 8 hours, 14 minutes
RELEASE DATE: April 13, 2017
Lucas Wilder’s best friend is a traitor. First, Audrey moved back to their hick-infested hometown, Bluewater Bay, and now she’s marrying a local. His own brother, in fact. And as her man of honor, Lucas gets coerced into returning for an extended stay. Although, between his unfaithful ex-boyfriend and his artist’s block, going home isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Even if the best man is Gabriel Savage, Lucas’s first crush, first hookup, and first heartbreak.
The only reason Gabe hasn’t been waiting for Lucas to return to Bluewater Bay is because he never thought it’d happen. Not that it matters now that Lucas is back – Gabe’s still a logger who’s never been anywhere (Canada doesn’t count), and Lucas is now a famous sculptor who’s been everywhere twice. Plus, there’s that shared past.
When Audrey asks Lucas to make her wedding favors, the only place to set up a kiln is at Gabe’s tree farm. Soon, they pick up where they left off 12 years before, then blow past it, discovering why neither of them forgot the other. Now they have to choose how much of their history they’ll repeat, and what future they’ll make together.
From the moment the story began, I was immediately transported back into the world of Bluewater Bay and realized that these stories now feel like “coming home”. Unlike other stories, Lucas and Gabriel’s story does not prominently feature the characters from the previous stories, but rather kept them in the background, reminding us of the locale and allowing our minds to recognize the connections to the previous books.
Like slow burn? You will like Wedding Favors. Now I don’t mean that Gabe and Lucas don’t get together until the end of the story, but rather their history had a definite impact on the speed that they let the past go and allow themselves to give in to their attraction. Normally I don’t comment on sex scenes in a story, but I felt that Tenino did such a good job of weaving the intimate moments naturally into the story, letting the characters grow and evolve, be tempted, and tempt. Overall a good balance of plot, character growth, and intimacy.
The various character voices were extremely well done, allowing me to follow the story and know which character was speaking without needing to think. This allowed me to settle in and enjoy the latest Bluewater Bay story with ease. Russo was given the opportunity to add some heightened emotion and variety to his performance and he did so without it sounding or feeling fake or awkward. I noticed a few instances of sloppy diction, but noting that was too detrimental to my enjoyment.