I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.Reserved by Tracy Ewens
Published by Amazon Publishing on February 9, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Women's Fiction
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Makenna Rye Conroy was living the dream—with an amazing husband and a beautiful new baby daughter—when one night changed everything.
Almost six years after Adam’s death, Makenna and her daughter Paige have built a solid, happy life together. Makenna manages her brother’s trendy restaurant, The Yard, and helps out at Ryeland Farms, the family business, all while navigating the world of private school parenting. Sure, being a single mom has its challenges, but she hardly has time to pack her daughter’s lunch in the morning, let alone think about dating.
Travis McNulty, the middle child and biggest disappointment of the McNulty clan, is a chef at his best friend’s new restaurant. He gave up apologizing for not being the football hero his family wanted a long time ago. In fact, Travis apologizes for very little these days. He loves creating great food—it’s more of a passion than a job—and he lives life on his own terms with few complications.
For the past couple years, Makenna and Travis have worked side by side at The Yard, bickering, teasing, and never taking each other very seriously. That is until Makenna has her usual reoccurring dream; but this time, instead of her late husband as the featured man, Travis stands in his place. Travis may be attracted to his best friend’s sister, but she’s a widow and a mother, which tops the charts for complicated in his book.
As the game changes, Makenna and Travis, with a little help from Paige, have to figure out what they are willing to risk to reserve a table for three.
Oh, Tracy Ewens, you did it again. I do so enjoy her books. Reserved is now the third book I have read in the Love Story series (fourth book in the series) and I can say that I have enjoyed them all. Makenna is a harried single mom who spends way too much time with her brothers to even think about dating. Travis is the womanizing chef at her brother’s restaurant, and while he is amazing to her daughter she knows there is no future with him. Travis noticed Makenna the moment he first saw her. He knows she is way out of his league but he can’t get her out of his head. The added bonus of her amazing little girl just makes it harder for him to ignore her. Breaking through both of their comfort zones will give them a chance at a happy ending, if they can deal with the painful past.
Reserved is a well written, smart romance. The writing is nuanced and full of emotion. The pacing was spot on and the story never dragged. The plot was solid and the situations were believable. The world created was well structured, although it may be confusing to those who have not read the others in the series, as much was built off of them. The only thing that bothered me, was it was never stated how Makenna’s husband passed. I could not remember if they touched on it in any of the other books, but when a driving force behind a lot of the emotion is the death of a spouse, it would be helpful to know what happened. The characters, oh the characters. This is where Ewens truly shines. She creates real people. Full of emotional depth and heart that elevate what could be a generic romance to something special.
Yes, this is a romance. So, yes, you know that in the end the two main characters will get together; just like the majority of all other romance novels. The difference is in the way the story is told. Tracy Ewens is able to wrap her characters with a realistic viewpoint, and that makes a huge difference in the scope of the story. You root for her characters, you feel with them, you ache with them and you fall in love right along with them. Romances can be very cookie cutter but Ewens is able to put a spin on them that makes them rise above the other entries in the genre. Reserved shone, and I will happily read whatever Tracy comes out with next.
Favorite lines – Relationships could work on the fringe; they didn’t all have to be dive in head first or cannonball leaps of faith. People fell in sensible, safe love all the time, but at the moment, Travis was kissing the sensible right out of her. Apparently, sensible wasn’t in her cards.
Biggest cliché – “I was fine with your past until I thought about it. Now I’m not sure.”
Have you read Reserved, or added it to your TBR?
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2016 New Release Challenge
- The Goodreads Challenge