Blue Hawaiian (Blackwood Cellars #1) by Carla Luna
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The first rule of serving as the maid of honor at your perfect sister’s destination wedding?
No mistakes. The second rule? No drama.
For Jess Chavez, a week in Maui is hardly a dream vacation—not when her sister expects her to be the perfect maid of honor. Not only does Jess have to fake perfection, but she can’t let anyone know she’s unemployed and barely scraping by. Above all, she needs to steer clear of Connor Blackwood, the sexy groomsman who broke her heart five years ago.
A family wedding offers Connor the ideal opportunity to convince everyone he’s no longer an irresponsible playboy. If they see he’s changed, they might support his decision to leave the family winery and strike out on his own. With so much at stake, the last thing he needs is an alluring distraction like Jess.
When Jess and Connor end up together, exploring the island’s lush, tropical beauty, the sparks between them become impossible to ignore. Throwing caution to the wind, they decide to make their own rules.
Five days of passion. No strings. No tears. No promises.
What could possibly go wrong?
I’m always a big fan of underdogs and Jess and Connor have it in spades. After all, you can’t pick your controlling, judgmental, overbearing family members, and jeez, these two have some doozies.
Jess hadn’t seen Connor in five years ever since he ghosted her and broke her heart. She’s loved him since they were kids. As good friends growing up they gave into passion one beautiful summer and apparently, it meant nothing to Connor because he cut off all communication afterward. Now she will be seeing him again at her sister Gabi’s Hawaiian wedding. But that’s the least of her problems. She’s lost her home, her job, her ex-boyfriend, and she’s broke. Things she has to keep from her overbearing Bridezilla of a sister to keep things on an even keel before the wedding. Little did Jess know that staying away from Connor would be easier said than done.
Connor is not looking forward to seeing his father at his cousin Marc’s wedding. He cowardly dropped a bomb before the wedding that he plans to leave his family’s company and branch out on his own. But that isn’t all. His guilt over ghosting Jess five years ago is eating him alive. He plans to apologize and try to make it up to her. He wasn’t in the right place for a relationship after that summer. Perhaps he can convince her they can be friends again. Yep, that didn’t go as planned.
Wow! Jess and Connor definitely set themselves up for failure while agreeing on a fling with an expiration date. First of all, they tried to keep their relationship secret from their families only to have it blow up in their faces. Not to mention Jess didn’t tell Connor she was moving back to California, and they both kept their true feelings from each other. There was so much negativity and angst leading up to the wedding. No wonder there was so much anxiety. I would have been a nervous wreck. Between Gabi the freaking nasty Bridezilla who treats her sister like crap and Connor’s father who degrades his son while the mother does nothing, I was ready to scream. It’s amazing Jess and Connor were able to come away from that whole shitshow in one piece. I do think they made a good decision after the wedding to plan on meeting up again months later after getting their lives in order instead of jumping into a relationship right away.
Not all the family members were bad. In fact, I think the groom, Marc, was a saint after all Gabi put him through. I also liked Connor’s sister, Victoria, and Connor’s cousin Brody who supported both Jess and Connor when they needed it.
Overall, this is a delightful summer read filled with passion and humor, well-developed characters, and a beautiful setting in Hawaii. I can’t wait to read more in the series.
Thank you to Ms. Luna for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carla Luna writes contemporary romance with a dollop of humor and a pinch of spice. A former archaeologist, she still dreams of traveling to far-off places and channels that wanderlust into the settings of her stories. When she’s not writing, she works in a spice emporium where she gets paid to discuss food and share her favorite recipes. Her passions include Broadway musicals, baking, whimsical office supplies, and pop culture podcasts. Though she has roots in Los Angeles and Victoria, B.C., she currently resides in Wisconsin with her family and her spoiled Siberian cat.
Follow Carla on her website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
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