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It's Always Been Us (Wedding Planners Book 2) Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B07VM4759W
- Publisher : L.L. Diamond (July 21, 2019)
- Publication date : July 21, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 3195 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 249 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1734278323
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #528,210 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Time Frame: Modern: Rating: VMA: very-mature-audience, this was excessively graphic, language [contains modern cuss words]. *** This review may contain spoilers ***
There was a nod to Jane Austen’s work with names and situations from her various stories. A reader would not have to be knowledgeable of any of Austen’s work to enjoy this. It would just be pleasing to those die-hard Austen fans to run into situations, names, and similarities to her stories. This book could be read as a standalone; however, it would be a more enjoyable read if you had read book 1 first. That book sets up the foundation for those that follow. The background information would be established and the logistics of the house where they live, their wedding planning business, their families and their friendships would be better understood.
Place: Marysville, South Carolina. Characters: Jena Barrett, younger sister Ellie and her fiancé William [see book 1] and their almost-two-year-old daughter Freya. Ellie was pregnant with their second child and they were planning their upcoming wedding. William’s father, Grant Davies and his girlfriend play a minor part in this story. Charlie was the third partner in the wedding planning business and her elder brother was Brandon Taylor.
I first started reading teaser installments of this WIP back on 6-25-19 at the Austen Variations website. Over a period of several weeks, I became hooked with this second book in ‘The Wedding Planners’ series. I looked forward to following the story from the first book that featured Ellie, William, and their Freya.
“Men most often know what they want, yet they are not always sure how they feel. Women most often know how they feel, yet they may not always know what they want.” –Ken Poirot, Mentor Me: GA=T+E-A Formula to Fulfill Your Greatest Achievement
We opened with a Fourth of July picnic where I and others noticed the sparks popping between Jena and her best friend’s brother Brandon. Looks like she was finally over her ex, Conner. Good riddance. Jena had no idea her boyfriend Conner Willoughby was a cheating rat, instead of the Prince Charming he portrayed. When he dumped her by informing her that he had found someone else [Lacey]. He would be the thorn in her side in this story.
“She: We broke up.
Male Friend: You okay? You need to talk? Shoulder to cry on? You want to come over? Go to dinner? Sleep with me finally?” –Nitya Prakash
What I liked: I loved all the characters [especially Brandon] and their relationships with each other. I loved the descriptions of the locations and I enjoyed reading about places I had been or may not have been but would like to see.
What I didn’t like: too much sex. Seriously, this was excessively graphic. I had to skip over parts of it. It was just too much. It was like a story created to wrap around the sex scenes. Something like that. Actually, I didn’t enjoy this second book as much as I did the first. I think it was all in my mind, a cognitive dissonance, so to speak. I had Jane Bennet in my head and Jena was no Jane Bennet. Her character kept clashing with what I thought Jena vs Jane would do. However, I didn’t enjoy being in Jena’s head as she took forever to clear up her mind and heart of what she wanted in her dealings with Brandon.
Her injury was another niggling problem. I felt she was doing way too much for someone with an injury of that kind. When she went shopping, she should have pulled one of those little wire shopping carriers on two wheels at least. To walk that distance and expect to carry groceries back was not realistic. People in coastal towns would be accustomed to those carriers especially if people did a lot of walking to the market or to the shops. Things like that kept pulling me from the story. I liked Jena in the first book and I started out liking her in this one but as the story progressed… I began to dislike her for some reason. I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was the way she tugged at Brandon. I can’t put my finger on it. It just felt off. This was like I was given a ham sandwich without the lettuce, tomato, or the meat and was left only with the mayo. That is the way it felt. I love this author and her work… maybe it was just me. Maybe I’m off today.
I am REALLY looking forward to reading book 3 which is Charlie’s HEA. I LOVED her in both books and can’t wait to read her HEA adventure. Maybe that is what I was wanting, Charlie’s story. I still recommend this book 2 as a lovely story. There is a lot going on with the other characters for this to be an enjoyable read.
Through fear, anxiety and doubt, she eventually does realize she loves him more than just friendship.
This is the second novel in the series and I read the third novel first and am putting the whole story plot line together as I go. This is a remarkable series involving five best friends from the same town and neighborhood that have known each other all their lives. Things happen as they grow up, are separated and find each other again.
I am thoroughly enjoying this modern day romance series.
The Wedding Planners by L.L. Diamond is a fun and flirty contemporary romance series that takes place in the small-town of Marysville, South Carolina. Sisters Ellie and Jena Barrett run a wedding/event planning business with their good friend Charlie Taylor. Each story in this series focuses on a specific heroine and is loosely inspired by a different Jane Austen novel. It’s Always Been Us has some lovely Sense and Sensibility vibes (just a little bit) and follows Jena Barrett, who has had some bad luck with romance lately, and is looking at her dear childhood friend Brandon Taylor in a new way…
As I mentioned in my review of book one of this series, It’s Always Been You, some of what I love most about this series is its charming small-town setting in South Carolina and the fact that these three friends work together and are savvy and successful women business-owners. I was so happy to return to this cozy and warm setting L.L. Diamond constructed, and I thoroughly loved her details and descriptions of southern living, summer fun, and weddings…I kinda wish I can take a week-long trip to Marysville to hang out with these characters and explore all the places mentioned in these books – including the plantation home in Beaufort!
But what I loved most about this story is Brandon Taylor – oh my goodness – dare I say it? I loved him more than William Davies (from book 1)! I loved everything about Brandon. Everything! He is genuine, gentle, and patient. I love how he understands his own heart, and like Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility, he selflessly and patiently waits for Jena to be ready for his love. And one last point in his favor is that he works as a veterinarian alongside his dad – I mean c’mon…if he isn’t the unassuming, dependable, yet swoon-worthy boy next door, I don’t know who is!
While Brandon Taylor has Colonel Brandon written all over him, we don’t see many other Sense and Sensibility connections. Although Jena did have her heart-broken by Conner Willoughby, she is more reserved in her emotions and has grown more cautious when it comes to her heart (she seems to have more in common with Jane Bennet than she does Marianne Dashwood – which is an interesting twist!)
I am so happy L.L. Diamond chose to explore a friends-to-lovers romance with these characters. And while I loved many aspects of Brandon’s and Jena’s relationship together, I found myself wanting a little bit more. They had the chemistry and the history, but it felt like maybe they were missing some depth and dialogue. Both characters have a habit of avoiding each other or isolating themselves when faced with obstacles, and I would have liked seeing some internal reflection and analyzation happen in those moments alone and honest discussions together afterwards.
2nd NOTE: Similar to It’s Always Been You, this story has several intimate romantic scenes and uses of strong language – I’d recommend it for Mature Audiences.
It’s Always Been Us is another vibrant and engaging contemporary romance by L.L. Diamond – perfect for summer! Ms. Diamond has a wonderful talent for creating likable characters, capturing charming small-town vibes, and crafting together a captivating modern-day romance! I cannot wait to read the last book in this series, It’s Always Been You and Me.
Top reviews from other countries
The first book was fabulous and I couldn’t wait for this one, I wasn’t disappointed! I love these people and now only have to wait for the third and final instalment.
These will definitely be on my re read list - just wonderful!