Series: North Carolina Highlands #5
Release Date: January 25th, 2022
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Keep the bride happy.
Keep the wedding party out of trouble.
Never let anyone know you’ve been in love with the groom for years.
I lived by these rules. Until Nate Kingsley.
The Capulets and Montagues have nothing on the Beauregards and Kingsleys. Our families have feuded for centuries, and Nate was always forbidden—which made fooling around with him that much more delicious. But then I fell for him, and he fell off the face of the earth, ghosting me without so much as a goodbye.
Fast-forward two years: as an expert in romance, I’m a wedding planner to the rich and famous. I never expected Nate to show up at my office, least of all with a shiny new fiancée on his arm. She’s got money to burn, and she wants me to plan the most extravagant wedding of my career.
It’s a make-or-break moment for my business. I convince myself I can do Nate’s wedding and keep my feelings for him in check, even if he does look good.
Really, really good.
But when the secrets we buried years ago come to light, what kept us apart suddenly binds us together. Even if my heart belongs to Nate, and his belongs to me, he belongs to someone else. And that’s a rule we absolutely cannot break.
I don’t think there are enough words for me to express how much I loved this book. I’ve always loved and admired Milly Beauregard, the only daughter of the family, and after spending four whole books watching her be loved on and teased by her big brothers, it was so great to finally experience her story. And what a story it was! I’ve been so curious about the Kingsley-Beauregard drama and while we got quite a bit of it over the course of the books, there was something special about seeing it all come to head in Southern Bombshell, especially with how deeply Milly and Nate love each other. Gah, this book. It did everything for me and I am so glad that it exists.
The book kicks off two years ago, to a time when Milly and Nate are sneaking around and having a relationship that they’ve kept from everyone. With an incredibly hot scene to set the ball rolling, you don’t expect Nate to walk away from Milly by breaking her heart. And he rips it to shreds! Fast forward to two years later and Nate is walking into Milly’s office on Blue Mountain Farm for a meeting to plan his upcoming wedding. His fiancée, Reese Noble, has dreamt of having Milly plan her wedding and despite knowing about the history between Nate and Milly (which he says will not affect anything), she’s there with Nate and her father to nail down the important details. Except, for Milly and Nate it’s a tension filled meeting that could have gone worse. But it sets the ball rolling for the rest of the book.
Guys, Milly is amazing. All the Beauregard’s are amazing, but Milly might be my favourite. She’s tough, hardworking and passionate about her job. She doesn’t take the title of the best wedding planner lightly and she works her butt off to deliver the best weddings known to womankind. But she’s also loving and generous, she’s strong and sensitive, she’s warm and friendly. I loved how despite sitting across from the man she loves and the woman he’s about to marry, Milly holds it together. She’s strong in her resolve to not let that affect her job. I don’t think I could have stared into the eyes of someone I loved while planning their wedding to someone else, but that’s what makes Milly the best and truly so awesome. I felt all of her pain, her struggles and her need to constantly be perfect. There was so much about Milly that I related to and I loved how she worked through her problems one step at a time. But also how her love for Nate was so strong and so deep that moving on became a bit of a hindrance that she had to work through in whatever way she could.
Nate was pretty great too, complicated and hard headed. We’ve heard about the Kingsley drama over the course of the books, but to really see his struggles and to see how much he’s overcome and what he’s fighting against every single day is quite something. One thing I love about Jessica’s books is when a character has a job in food and beverages, we get a deep dive into that job. And Nate’s love and passion for whiskey, his deep rooted investment and interest in the business comes across so clearly. I’m not a whiskey drinker, but I desperately wanted to drink the whiskey that comes from Nate’s hands. He’s a strong, but damaged character and while he’s got a lot going for him, there’s so much more to Nate than meets the eye and to see that properly really added to his awesomeness.
Like in all of the NC Highlands books, the steam is off the charts! We start off with a beautifully steamy scene and when Milly and Nate get a second chance at their love, it’s even more explosive. While not as wild and insane as Samuel and Emma (because who can beat them and their incredible banter?), Milly and Nate have a ridiculously hot relationship. There’s so much history between them and that reflects in every kiss, touch and scene of them stripping each other naked. Their scenes are also far more emotional, in my opinion, with so many things to be discussed, so many secrets to be unveiled and so many hurdles to overcome. But that’s really what makes their relationship so incredible. I love it when the characters have lots of dialogue and conversation, because it really builds their relationship more!
With the Beauregard family, Jessica Peterson has created a group of characters that will stick with me for a long time. Mama June is so special and each of her kids had a story that was filled with love and so many emotions! And with all of the teasing that’s happening in this book….I can’t wait to see what Jessica Peterson has in store for us next!
Thanks to Jessica Peterson and Valentine PR for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.