Monday, July 13, 2015

Back to Us by Christi Barth


Title: Back To Us
Author: Christi Barth
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Shore Secrets #3
Main Characters: Ward and Piper
Release Date: July 2015
Publisher: Carina
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Ward Cantrell always went for the long shot. But that recklessness cost him his college scholarship and his chance to play pro ball, and—worst of all—it ended his relationship with the girl next door. Neither the town nor the girl has ever forgiven him. Now he's taking one last long shot by opening a boutique distillery on the family farm he inherited.
Piper Morrissey spent high school in Ward's shadow, but she's come into her own in the years since. Maintaining her spotless image, and that of her family's winery, is priority number one. Nobody knows that she still yearns for her golden-boy ex. Or at least they didn't—until Ward agrees to sell Piper the land she needs to start her precious port line. The caveat? She'll need to date him for one month.
Ward hopes a month is all it'll take to convince his former sweetheart that while he's changed, his love for her hasn't. But when the chance arises to thumb his nose at the town that turned its back on him, he can't afford not to reject Piper's offer. Will that make her reject him and his love—for good?
My Review:
I know, I know...how have I gone this long without reading a Christi Barth book? I'm kicking myself, because I really, really enjoyed this one. But I will admit, I'm not sure how much of my love for this book was for the story and how much of it was for a region of the country which I absolutely adore...the Fingerlakes region of NY state. Oh, heck, let's face it...it was all good. And it did feature my favorite trope...friends to lovers.

Ward and Piper have a complicated history. They were friends, then dated in high school...until Ward went to college and cheated on her, then they broke up. There was a 3 year time period after that break-up where they didn't speak. That was really tough because they are a part of a small group of four best friends....3 girls and Ward. For the last couple of years, they've gotten better although they've never reached that fully comfortable level of comfort they had before. They are still bff's though.

But for Ward that day meant much more than the mistake he made with Piper...that was also the day he lost ALL of his dreams. He screwed everything up and has been trying to fix that for the last ten years in this small town with a long memory. And the majority of the way he's been doing that is with his distillery. And that brings us to another theme I love...alcohol...specifically, Ward runs a distillery and Piper runs a winery. LOVE. 

I need to just take note here though...wow, this guy really did not do anything all that horrible (a single kiss), but he paid for it in the most awful, long-lasting ways. My heart broke for him and that loss. Such a tiny mistake cost him so much and he's such a good guy. I also felt like he was so much more invested in him and Piper than she was. I understood her being gun-shy, but I thought she should have been more in earlier in the book than she was. I had a harder time liking her character because it did take her so long to make that commitment.

There's so much happy in this book...it's like it was written exactly for me. The setting, the characters, the trope, their careers. As a writer, reading this book made me itch to write. As a reader, I wanted to go out and buy every single one of Christi Barth's books (besides, she spells her name RIGHT...I love that about her.) 

I really did love reading it and definitely recommend it. This is the third book in the series, but not once was I confused because I haven't read the others, so it works amazingly well as a stand-alone. But now I need to go read the others. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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