4.25 Lovely, Satisfying Stars
I pre-ordered this book because I love the whole Barrington Billionaire series, and could barely wait to read Kent/Kade's story. However, when the book downloaded I waited a day...and was so glad I did. I saved it to read on a long, tedious flight from Dallas, TX to Tucson, AZ via LAX (yes, the airlines' "hub" thing is so frustrating when you live in a small market like Tucson) because I knew Ms. Cardello would whisk me away to the world she creates, and that's exactly what happened.
FOREVER NOW whiled away the hours, and I finished it with a satisfied smile shortly before we landed in Tucson.
Kade Thompson (aka Kent Barrington) is an appealing, down-to-earth hero who's not impressed when he finds himself an unexpected heir to billions. He's also completely devoted to and protective of his "real" parents, (i.e., the ones who raised him), and I loved that about him.
As much as I loved Kade/Kent, however, I loved the heroine, Annie, even more. She has always loved Kade, but when he left town after college a few years ago to build up his father's business (without realizing he's in love with her), she didn't wait around, sitting like Patience on a monument, smiling at grief. She built her own business from the ground up and created a life for herself. Not perfect, because her love for Kade is a grief she still carries inside, but it's a worthwhile life of purpose.
When Kade and Annie finally do connect, it's a revelation for Kade but he still doesn't quite get it until Annie slams the door shut on their physical relationship in an effort to protect herself from what appears to be a self-destructive pattern. I wanted to shake him at times, but then he finally saw the light. Convincing Annie, however, wasn't a sure thing. How he managed to do that was so sweet.
I was reading this book in public, and therefore had to severely restrain myself from crying a couple of times (okay, there were sniffles but definitely no tears!) One of those moments was when his birth mother met him for the second time in his life (the first time she'd held him right after he was born, and she was always firmly convinced that had really happened and wasn't a figment of her imagination, even though her husband didn't believe her). Another was when his birth father apologized to Kade for not believing his wife that Kent (aka Kade) hadn't died at birth.
As always, characters from previous books made an appearance in this one, which helped set the stage. I particularly loved Kenzi (Kent's twin sister), who has always been a favorite of mine, alone with her husband, Dax Marshall.
All in all a completely satisfying read and well worth the wait. Next up...Ian Barrington's story, and you may be sure I'll be waiting by the pre-order button!