As I pull into the driveway of this beautiful beach front house, I am starting to get a little nervous. I am in North Carolina to talk with Brooks and Laura about the recent events in their lives. I ring the doorbell and a gorgeous Laura and Brooks open the door with a perfect smile.
Laura: Thank you for coming, Becca! *as she pulls me in with a hug* I’m so glad you could finally make it!
Brooks: She’s been talking about it for weeks. We’re bothglad you’re here!
Well, thank you Brooks and Laura for inviting me to your lovely home. We walk through the house as Laura is the perfect hostess, offering me something to drink before we head out to the back deck over looking the ocean. We settle in with Brooks and Laura sitting side by side, snuggled up and I am sitting directly across from them. I pull out my notepad and get ready to begin. I offer up my best smile, take a deep breath and start.
So the two of you met and fell in love in a very unconventional way, Brooks what were your first impressions of Laura?
Brooks: Oh, I was in a horrible mood that day. She rolled up in front of the house with the flat tire, and I was already drained, physically and mentally. So, I wasn’t too happy about changing a tire . . . until I saw her. She was . . . wow. *reaching for Laura’s hand as the slightest blush creeps into her cheeks* She seemed sweet and genuine, which was a rare quality for me to have the privilege of seeing those days. And then, of course, I got the bonus of handling her underwear, so my day got a lot better after that.
*Laughing* I bet it was the highlight of your day! Laura, how about you?
Laura: *rolling her eyes* He’s never going to let me forget that! My first impression was the same, really. He was this insanely gorgeous,*Brooks points to himself with a big grin while mouthing ME? as she swats him on the arm* brooding man, covered from head to toe in dirt. What woman wouldn’t love that? But, since I had just broken up with my boyfriend the night before, I just chalked it up to me falling for the wrong kind of guy—again!
I can imagine! Laura being surrounded by all the emotions of your mom, with her journal and then you taking this parallel journey – did you go into it expecting to find love or did it start off as a different kind of journey for you?
Laura: It started out as a completely different kind of journey, and I really did try to keep it that way. I had spent the last few years sucked into one bad relationship after another, and I had no idea what I really wanted out of my life. So, I knew it was time to find myself and find that little shred of happiness that I know my mom had found. In taking that journey and following in her footsteps, I was led down the same path she took, but it essentially became my own. I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back, I know that the path was steering me toward that one true love the entire time. And it was Brooks who showed me that happiness I’d been searching for all along.
Your Nana seemed to be that small still voice, gently nudging you.
Brooks: And she still is. But if it wasn’t for her, we might have given up on each other long before we ever got started.
Laura: Yeah, he’s right. She’s still nudging, and sometimes not so gently. That’s why I went to her in the first place. Even though she didn’t have any life-changing advice when I got there, without me even realizing it, she forced me to take a long, hard look at my life and made me want more from myself.
Laura, what were your thoughts on Brooks stalking you J
Brooks:*throwing hands up in the air* I never stalkedher!
*Laura stares blankly at Brooks as I clear my throat saying STALKER – then give him a big grin*
Brooks: Stalking would imply I did it on purpose, and it was all purely accidental. Well . . . except for that one time.
YEP! So hiding in the shadows, watching her from the beach…
Laura: I’m still not convinced it was all accidental, but to be honest, I loved every minute. I think we subconsciously stalked each other, actually. We knew we couldn’t be together, but we couldn’t be apart.
Ok Brooks, looks like Laura let you off the hook there. *Smiling at Brooks* so, what were your initial thoughts when you were approached with the picture and the last entries of the journal?
Brooks: I. Was. Floored. I still can’t believe that the one thing that had the power to turn everything upside down was right under our noses the whole time. I just don’t know that I would have figured it out if I had read it on my own, though.
Did you think your plan with giving Laura the note would work?
Brooks: Well, I hoped so. I was so distraught, knowing that it could be the end of the road for us. * he puts his arm around Laura’s shoulder watching her* I had to do something. But I knew that she would shoot me down immediately if I just said those things to her face. She’s stubborn enough that she has to come up with ideas on her own.
Laura: *nodding* I really am, but don’t let him fool you . . . he’s also stubborn enough that he doesn’t give up on anything too easily, including the television remote.
Laura do you think your mom helped guide you to your true love?
Laura: That’s a tough question because my answer changes daily. Sometimes, I think it’s silly to believe that she had a hand in leading me to Brooks. But at the same time, too many things that happened were far too coincidental. *she reaches up and rubs her locket around her neck* I guess I will always wonder, but I like to think she was there every step of the way.
How is your relationship with your dad now?
Brooks: *Laura grabs hold of his bicep and gently rubs it* Still rocky, to say the least, but far better. He’s still an opinionated old man, but he’s doing everything he can to make it up to all of us. We go fishing like we used to, and he comes up to visit a lot. We actually talk about our lives beyond the business now, and that hasn’t happened since I was very young. He’s my dad now, not just my boss.
Brooks are you still working with your dad?
Brooks: I do, but I rarely go back to Texas these days. I made an office here in the house, and I still do everything I did back in the Fort Worth office. My pretty wife likes to keep me close, and I like to keep her even closer.
It was great visiting with you both today and I appreciate both of you taking time out of your schedule to talk with me.
Brooks: It’s been a real pleasure. We hope you can come back soon.
Laura: Yes, we must get together again. There’s so much going on for us right now, and Will and Ashton’s wedding is coming up in a few months, so we have a lot to talk about! Thank you for caring enough to stop in and check on us! We both adore Becca the Bibliophile!
Love this debut by Tasha Ivey! Laura is unlucky in love. She just can’t seem to make the right connect, always falling for the wrong guy and the right time. After another failed relationship Laura leaves Baltimore to head back home to Alabama. Along the way she decides to stop by her Nana’s house in North Carolina. Almost to her destination, she gets a flat tire but is soon rescued by a gardener for the house where she broke down. The only thing is the gardener is not really a gardener but Brooks Tucker, a wealthy son of an Oil Tycoon. Brooks is in NC with Jacqueline, his “fiance”, and not by choice. He has been forced into a marriage in order for his dad to overtake her family’s business. Jacqueline is cold and heartless and could careless about Brooks and his feelings.
Laura finds herself running into Brooks on more than one occasion and even those they have an attraction, they decide to just be friends. I really can’t say too much more without giving the book away. But I loved this book. Laura uses her mother’s old diary in search of her own love making this a heartwarming, lovable book. There is laughable moments, moments of heartache and redemption. Making this a well rounded book in my opinion. The book also wraps up nicely not leaving you hanging (although I hear there may be a book 2 in the series) Full of characters that hook you from the start (including Brooks best friend Will and his sister Ashton) it is a book that will not leave you disappointed! Go buy this book!
*I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a honest review*