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40 Reviews
5 star:
 (17)
4 star:
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3 star:
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2 star:
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional and Intelligent
Pardon me while I dine on a healthy dose of crow. Normally, (and I've never hidden the fact) I dislike the "I'm in love with my brother-in-law" trope. And yet...Sydell Voeller did the impossible. She made me love her characters and believe they belonged together. It's a testament to the emotional pull she created that I couldn't stop turning pages. Joanna is a plucky...
Published on August 9, 2012 by V. Ardito

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Idea, But Lacking
The idea behind the storyline of this book held promise, but the story fell far short. Instead, it seemed to be a book with a political agenda. Much of the dialogue was about environmentalism, and though that could have been worked into the book effectively, it felt too stilted,unnatural, and forced. I kept thinking no two people, friends, or lovers would have those...
Published on September 12, 2012 by Suzanne Williams


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional and Intelligent, August 9, 2012
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This review is from: Free to Love (Books We Love contemporary romance) (Kindle Edition)
Pardon me while I dine on a healthy dose of crow. Normally, (and I've never hidden the fact) I dislike the "I'm in love with my brother-in-law" trope. And yet...Sydell Voeller did the impossible. She made me love her characters and believe they belonged together. It's a testament to the emotional pull she created that I couldn't stop turning pages. Joanna is a plucky heroine in a tough situation: her firefighter husband, Kyle, died saving kids from a fire. She's now moved to a small town in the Pacific Northwest to rebuild her life and create a new normal. Enter Kyle's brother, Austin, who made a promise to his brother he's intent on keeping, despite the difficulty of being in close proximity to Jo.
The author makes these two work hard for their HEA and there's an underlying reminder to the reader about the fragility of nature and mankind's often senseless destruction.
A wonderful love story, told with sensitivity and intelligence.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick, Easy Read, September 13, 2012
By 
J. Hopkins (North Carolina) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Free to Love (Books We Love contemporary romance) (Kindle Edition)
Joanna Sullivan's was deeply in love with her husband, Kyle, a firefighter. When he was killed, while trying to rescue some children from a burning house, Joanna is heartbroken. To try to get through her grief she makes a desperate attempt to start over and moves to a new town, finds a new job, and attempts to refurbish a dilapidated duplex one year after the tragedy. Then, Austin, her husband's brother, shows up and offers to stay and help her with the much needed repairs. At first Austin looks so much like his brother, Joanna is pulled back to memories of Kyle, but soon Austin emerges as his own man, a man she is falling in love with. When she learns Austin had promised Kyle he would look after her if anything happened, Joanna realizes she is just an obligation to Austin.

I really enjoyed this novel. I finished it almost too quickly, but I appreciated the clean, easy read. It was light and entertaining.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful love story, July 18, 2012
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This review is from: Free to Love (Books We Love contemporary romance) (Kindle Edition)
Anyone who reads any of Sydell Voeller's romances is aware of several things. One is that she is an outstanding writer. Her characterizations are excellent, not to mention she has a special way of appealing to the senses. The reader feels as if she is there. I've never been to Oregon, but after reading Ms. Voeller's story, I want to get on the next plane and visit.

"Free to Love" is the story of Joanna, who lost her firefighter husband Kyle in a deadly fire. When Kyle's brother comes to visit, she develops an attraction for him but fights this attraction. She feels that it would be a betrayal of her love for her husband to develop any warm feelings for his brother, Austin, who is a veternarian. Joanna and Austin share a love for Oregon sea life, and this brings them together. But the more circumstances bring Joanna and Austin together, the more she finds herself drawn to him.

This romance cleverly reveals the conflict between Joanna and Austin, but above all, the reader sees the enduring power of love.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Free to Love, August 13, 2012
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This review is from: Free to Love (Books We Love contemporary romance) (Kindle Edition)
Kyle & Jo are a newly married couple when Kyle a firefighter is killed in a fire. Jo trying to struggle through the loss can no longer live with the loss living where it happened & moves back to her hometown where her aunt & support is. Kyle's family has thrown themselves into work to survive. So, before moving back she secures a job in her field of study & buys a fixer upper on the beach. Within weeks though Kyle's brother Austin appears after months of no contact. It instantly stirs raw feelings within her & many question of why he is there, why he would track her down & feelings of guilt for not telling anyone she was going. Emotions run high for them both & sparks fly. This is such a raw emotion at times & others just a peaceful experience. I did feel at times I was getting a Eco lesson but it wasn't heavy handed. Overall, totally enjoyed this story.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Idea, But Lacking, September 12, 2012
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This review is from: Free to Love (Books We Love contemporary romance) (Kindle Edition)
The idea behind the storyline of this book held promise, but the story fell far short. Instead, it seemed to be a book with a political agenda. Much of the dialogue was about environmentalism, and though that could have been worked into the book effectively, it felt too stilted,unnatural, and forced. I kept thinking no two people, friends, or lovers would have those conversations. Also, not enough was done to put me in the scene and thus inside the characters' heads. I didn't care if they got together or not, but simply wanted to reach the end of the story. I do appreciate the author keeping the story clean. However, some - any - tension would have been nice. Sentence structure was good. There were a few glaring editing errors, but nothing remarkable. In the end, a so-so story that I could have done without.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clean, easy read and such a happy love story about second chances, August 3, 2012
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This review is from: Free to Love (Books We Love contemporary romance) (Kindle Edition)
It was nice clean story about two people who mourn the lost of Kyle who is Joann's husband and Austin's brother. It was so nice to see that Joann got her second chance. Nice romance and definitely worth reading!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars unique, October 19, 2013
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This review is from: Free to Love (Books We Love contemporary romance) (Kindle Edition)
I really, really like how the author includes such well-informed details about rescuing wild animals. Gives the story reality and depth.

Both main characters are actually likeable people who do nice things for others. I would enjoy spending time with any of the characters n the book.

There were several quotation errors (characters' words not in quotes properly) which made this annoying to read.

The story is shallow and the characters fall in love abruptly. There are several hokey, contrived scenes - she gets the flu, so he has to take car of her and her aunt is sick at he same time and her big work project is all in the same day but he manages all three problems easily.

The woman's younger sister has no real character development or purpose in the book.

The characters' parents are all conveniently out of the way, to not get in the way.

If this story were fleshed out a little by a good editor, it would be amazing. As is, it's cute enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Feel bad giving a negative review - 2.5 stars, October 19, 2013
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This review is from: Free to Love (Books We Love contemporary romance) (Kindle Edition)
This is an Amazon freebie and as I like romance, I downloaded it. All I can say and I'm not sure I've ever said it before, this book is boring. I wanted to copy and paste some of the endless details, but it would've taken too long.

+++Spoilers+++
The idea of the book seemed good, the H being the brother of the h's late husband. There being an attraction but the h feels guilty. At times I thought the H was clueless and although he kissed her twice, he didn't put it down to any deep feelings he had for her. In fact when he left town he spoke about popping in to visit an old girlfriend.

Maybe if you are into the whole environment thing and like stories about saving animals, you might get into this one. For me it was tedious, though mercifully short. There really wasn't anything happening at all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well written but boring and unbelievable, October 20, 2013
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This review is from: Free to Love (Books We Love contemporary romance) (Kindle Edition)
This is well written as the author paints a clear and compelling picture. However, the premise that a widow would so soon fall in love with her brother-in-law does not work for me. I finished it but I had no connection to the characters and therefore it does not ring true for me. I can not recommend this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, but..., September 23, 2012
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This review is from: Free to Love (Books We Love contemporary romance) (Kindle Edition)
I was left wanting more detail and more struggle from him to fall in love with his sister in law.

I liked how he took care of her and her relatives.
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