Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Reunited with the Lassiter Bride - Barbara Dunlop (HD #2324 - Sept 2014)

Series: Dynasties: The Lassiters (Book 6)

In the fight sparked by her late father's will, Angelica Lassiter has come out on top -- deposing her former fiancé as CEO. She's won control of her birthright but lost the fiancé she loved. The cruel irony is that she and Evan must now pretend to be a couple to make their best friends' wedding work.

Evan McCain quickly warms to his role in this fake reunion, and the kisses are much more than a ruse. But can he trust this woman enough to give her a second shot at being his bride?

Good conclusion to the series. It all started when Angie's father, JD Lassiter, had a heart attack and died the day before Angie and Evan were supposed to get married. Angie and Evan worked together for the family company, Lassiter Media, where Angie has been giving it her all to show her father that she deserves to be the next CEO. When the will is read, she is devastated to learn the JD has left leadership of the company to Evan. She is sure that Evan worked behind her back to steal the company from her, so she breaks their engagement and spends the next five books trying to overturn the will and get her company back. At the end of the last book, JD's machinations are revealed and Angie is back in. But her future with Evan is gone.

Evan has left Lassiter Media, of course, and is restarting his own business, trying to make a clean break. But when his friends, Matt and Kayla (Beauty and the Best Man) need his help with getting their wedding set up, he has to work closely with Kayla's maid of honor, Angie. Not just work together, but pretend that they are getting back together. Evan is still hurt and angry over the way Angie treated him, and her lack of trust after the reading of the will. He'll fake the reunion, but trusting her with his heart again is something he doesn't want to risk.

Angie isn't happy about having to work with Evan either. She is also still dealing with the feelings of betrayal she felt over the details of the will. But now that it's all over, she also has a few twinges of guilt over the way she treated Evan. Faking a reunion with Evan is also showing her that what she felt for him isn't dead after all.

I really enjoyed seeing Evan and Angie together. The chemistry between them is still hot, and the love they felt for each other is still there, but the hurt feelings and broken trust are going to take some work to repair. Neither of them is really willing to risk their hearts again. I liked the way that they were willing to put their animosity aside to make their friends' wedding happen. They thought that they could get away with their pretense just with the wedding venue owner, but he called their bluff and soon they had to make it public. Evan accepted his feelings much more quickly than Angie did, and started to use their deception to turn it real. The only issue is that Lassiter Media is still coming between them. Evan sees that she is having problems and wants to help her, but she won't accept it. 

Angie really fights her feelings. They are strong and real, but she can't forget what happened with the business. It takes some time, but she and Evan start talking and spending real time together. She wants to believe they have a chance, but the company keeps getting in the way. Angie is very stubborn and tends to get very focused when something is going on. She starts to slip back into old habits when a crisis with some of her leadership happens and shuts Evan out. When he calls her on it, pride takes over on both of them and harsh words are exchanged. She has to decide if her pride is worth losing the man she loves all over again. I loved the scene in the sports bar when she made her move.

There were some really fun parts in the book. I loved seeing Evan push some of Angie's buttons and get her really stirred up. I had a great time seeing the relationship develop between Evan's playboy friend Deke and Angie's friend Tiffany. She really made him work for it. Seeing Angie finally come into her own and face down her three VPs had me really grinning. The epilogue was fantastic.

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