I kind of had a feeling that this was part of a series or at least a spin-off of Eve and Preston's story. The beginning chapter made allusions to their story without actually divulging details about their rough patch. I do appreciate the author's restraint in not telling too much about the hardships that Eve and Preston had to endure to get their happy ending. But I would have liked to know that there was a book that had Eve and Preston's story before reading Jace and Sydney's in ab-so-lu-tion. I would have still read this novel because I love Jace's dark, broody and slightly depressed side. Sydney's happy go-lucky personality. The character have the perfect balance of flaws. Sydney knows that she never dates men who are available to her. Sydney has a type--unavailable men. The last loser was literally unavailable--he's married. Of course, she didn't know that until later which is why she broke up with him. Then there was Richard, her boss--the man who meant more to her than he should have. He is also the man who took a chance and hired her. Oh and the married ex, William is still calling her trying to win her back. She only wants to focus on her best friend, Eve making Eve's wedding the best wedding possible. But there is a dark cloud hanging over the wedding--his name is Jace Montgomery, Eve's future brother-in-law and best man. Jace Montgomery is a widower with two children. His wife was tragically taken from him a little over a year ago. He still hasn't properly grieved her death.
I cried, laughed, was angered, and disgusted--disgusted by the actions of the characters. Ok, two characters in particular. I do think that I would have had a better understanding of the characters had I read the previous four books--which are now in my Amazon list. Some of the content was a bit difficult to read--the details from Clara's abusive marriage and the things her husband did to her. But these horrific events shaped Clara into the strong and independent woman that she is. I did have to walk away from the book a few times when some of those scenes were particularly graphic or when children are involved. It was gratifying to see how much Clara changed and became a stronger woman. In the end, she stood up for herself and the children. Something that not every abuse victim is able to do. Clara is a woman trapped. For years she was trapped in an abusive marriage to Colin with her two little boys. She did everything to protect her angelic boys from their father. She made sure that she took all of Colin's anger. Finally, she was able to leave and live into a battered women's shelter. The shelter saved her life. Saved her boys.