Advanced Reading Copy
Published: August 12, 2013, Random House Publishing
My rating: 4 of 5 ⭐
After losing their mother at a young age, as the oldest of four brothers, Val Grayson took on a role as caregiver. Since his father's passing and now that his brothers all seem to have settled into a good life with significant others, he finds himself looking at the world around him with a different interest. Focusing more on himself, which is how he suddenly notices that there is more than meets the eye in the beautiful, high society shop owner, Cameron Stahl.
Cameron has fought hard to find her own way in the world. Never quite comfortable with the circles her parents like to parade her in, she prefers to stay as far away from those status obligations as she can. That is part of the reason she opened her second antique store in beautiful Star Harbour. She loves the little cottage she is able to rent for when she is in town, and she has made some amazing friends there. But inevitably, those family obligations keep pulling on her, and she is summoned back to Boston to appear at one or other charity function to smile and make small talk.
Except this time, when she slips out for a breath of fresh air, she bumps into Val Grayson, who is just as surprised to see her there. He is there in part in his capacity as DEA agent, working on a rather large drug trafficking bust, that has been months in the making, involving some prominent people, but of course he can't divulge that. He escorts Cam back to her seat, where her parents make it very clear they are not very impressed with the company their daughter keeps. Val's interest is peeked though, and so is Cameron's, so when Val collects her for a dance a bit later, she ignores her parents' glares and happily finds herself in his arms.
Cameron feels absolutely liberated when she is around Val. She is happy and free, and likes the person she is with him. At first Val had his doubts, he wasn't sure he would be enough for someone with Cam's background, but after having spent some time with her around his brothers and her friends, he knows she is right for him. Especially after Cam goes out of her way to help Val on the big case he is working on, there can be no doubt in his mind that he is falling for this woman, fast!
Cameron herself doesn't have any doubts, but her parents sure do! It will take a shocking revelation about one of their close friends, and a life-saving rescue, before they are able to appreciate how perfect a man Val Grayson is for their daughter.
This is the 4th and last book in this series about the delicious Grayson brothers and their hometown of Star Harbour. I have read them all and have loved each and every one of them! They are unpretentious, light-hearted, sexy and fun, with a bit of suspense threading through each individual story, touching each of the couples as they stumble their way to each other.
In the story of Val and Cam, it is the appearance of unsuitability in the characters that makes the story very appealing. Cam shows herself to not be the society princess one might have expected and actually revels in the more laid back and less obligatory life that Star Harbour allows. Val, although a quiet strong hands-on kind of guy, more at home in jeans with a beer in his hands, turns out able to move among the 'upper echelon' comfortably and without breaking a sweat. Any reservations that may have existed around their suitability, is fast extinguished.
Despite her supposed top-notch upbringing and education, the most noticeable and enchanting thing about Cam is her air of innocence. Val is my kinda guy.......strong, tough, silent, brooding and let's not forget hot!
Elisabeth Barrett has the ability to write wonderful, warm, well-paced and steamy yarns that make you want to disappear into one of her books!!!
**ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Random House Publishing in return for an honest review.**