The Bachelor Takes a Bride (Those Engaging Garretts!) - Brenda Harlen

Series: Those Engaging Garretts (Book 8)

"You don't know me…but will you marry me?"

 

It strikes him like a lightning bolt when he lays eyes on Jordyn Garrett. Just like his grandma always says, You'll know her when you see her. Now restaurateur Marco Palermo knows he's just met his wife -- if only she'll date him!

 

Jordyn's heard every line…and deflected them all. She's walked through heartbreak and come out stronger, albeit lonelier. She'll never love again. But the scrumptious Italian with the melted-chocolate eyes is nothing if not persistent. And sexy. So sexy. Just her luck to find the only man in the world who wants marriage and a family. Things Jordyn can't give. But can he convince her that he's everything she's ever wanted…forever?

 

I loved this book. The guys in books are usually the ones who are avoiding marriage, have been hurt in the past, or are just plain cynical about love and marriage. Marco is part of a big Italian family with lots of examples of happy marriages, and he wants that for himself. His grandmother has always told him that he'd know the right woman when he saw her, but he's been wondering how long he'll have to wait. He's even stopped dating because they all seem to be dead ends. Then he sees Jordyn and his grandmother's prediction comes true. He just has to find a way to get her to go out with him.

 

Jordyn has avoided men and relationships for three years, ever since the death of her fiance. She had her love and lost him, and isn't interested in risking that pain again. She tries to make that clear to Marco, but he won't give up.

 

I loved the development of this relationship. Marco knows that Jordyn is the one for him. He understands her reluctance, but he's determined to convince her. He starts out slow and easy, just by showing up where she works and talking to her. She enjoys his company and begins to miss him when he isn't there. I loved the way he got her to go out to dinner with him by telling her it wasn't a date. The whole time the attraction between them is building and there is an explosive kiss after the non-date. I loved seeing how his patience slowly broke down the walls she had around her heart. There were some terrific scenes with him easing her back into enjoying life. I also loved the way that he gave her so much encouragement about her art and the results of that encouragement. It was wonderful to see a man who has no trouble expressing his emotions, and I rooted for him to be able to break through her resistance.

 

Jordyn had locked her emotions away for three years. Though she admitted to be lonely, and envious of her sister's family, she resists all attempts to get her back in the dating pool. She's attracted to Marco when she first meets him, but she can tell he wants more than she's willing to give. As the attraction grows and they spend more time together, she's more than ready to get physical with him, but that's as far as she's willing to go. The closer they get the harder it is for her to deny her feelings, but the fear won't let her go. After pushing him away almost as much as she wants to hold him close, she nearly pushes once too often. I loved seeing her grab her courage and ask for help to show him that she's willing to fight for their relationship, even though she can't quite take the final step.

 

I loved seeing their relationship really start to move forward from there. Marco continues to support and encourage Jordyn, and just be there for her. I also loved her support of Marco and his family as they get the new restaurant ready to go. There's a not too surprising twist to her job at O'Reilly's that changes some of her plans. And when trouble hits Marco's family, she's reminded that life is short. I loved the ending and seeing them both embrace their future.

 

I also loved the strength of the family ties in this book. Jordyn and her sisters are close, and are there to support each other. I really enjoyed seeing the way that Tristyn added her voice to getting Jordyn to give Marco a chance. I also loved seeing Jordyn do what she can for Lauryn, who has a stinker for a husband. Marco's family is also lots of fun. I really loved his two nieces and seeing how good he was with them. His grandmother is sweet and sassy at the same time. I loved her part in helping Jordyn. I liked the teasing among them, and that they also always have each other for support.