Spotlight Review: MEANT TO BE by Jennifer Probst

Twist of Fate, Book 1

From the publisher:

Two broken hearts discover an unpredictable path to healing in an emotional romance about fate and second chances by New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Probst.

It’s been two years since Chiara Kennedy lost her dearest friend, Rory. Chiara misses everything about her. Rory’s widowed husband is another story. Sebastian Ryder is a man Chiara had secretly wanted, let slip away, and hoped to never see again. Then fate throws them together for an unexpected one-night stand and a morning after of new challenges.

Sebastian had a soul mate in Rory. Shutting down after his tragic loss, he kept a cool distance from everyone—including Chiara, with whom he once shared a deep if fleeting affection. That was over and done with a long time ago. But when they meet again, old emotions resurface along with a heart-wounding past that haunts them both.

As Chiara and Sebastian grow closer, finally getting to know each other, Chiara struggles with feelings of guilt even as she cherishes her second chance with Sebastian. Will fate allow them to overcome the past, or are they destined to always wonder if they are truly meant to be?

This is a terrific start to a new series! Chiara and Sebastian met a bar and spend the whole night just talking. But Chiara was not looking for any kind of relationship; she, along with her three best friends, were starting up a new business. They created a website for women, a sort of lifestyle/self help kind of place, and Chiara was completely devoted to making it successful. A year or so later, her best friend and business partner, Rory, introduced her boyfriend to the group. It was Sebastian, and in a moment of bad decision making, Chiara pretended she was just meeting him for the first time, and he went along with it. After that, Chiara tried to keep her distance, leading her friends to think she didn’t like him much.

In actuality, she thought he was perfect for Rory and thought if Rory knew they had any kind of history, she would push him away. Rory and Sebastian got married, then tried to start a family, but were unsuccessful and immersed themselves in the treatments available to them. Then Rory suddenly dies. Drowning in grief, Sebastian walked away from her friends and family and drowned himself in his work as a high school guidance counselor and volunteer at a youth center.

Two years later, Chiara was at a bar, trying to help a co-worker with research on a story about how to get rid of creepy guys in a bar while not actually leaving. It wasn’t going well, the creepy guy wouldn’t take a hint. But Sebastian happened to be there that night and saw what was happening. He swooped in, grabbed the drink creepy guy bought for Chiara, and downed it. Creepy guy took off, so mission accomplished. Except the drink was roofied, and Sebastian was going down.

This was no meet-cute but Chiara spent most of the night watching over him, making sure he was breathing. She finally goes to bed and a short while later dreams she is having amazing sex with Sebastian. It turns out that it wasn’t a dream, and guess what happens next.

Chiara and Sebastian both have a lot of issues with their families and difficult childhoods, and they bond over that. Eventually their relationship deepens, but Chiara is ever mindful that he was Rory’s husband, and they both have a lot of guilt.

This book was unputdownable – I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I loved these characters and can’t wait to see what happens next. But no worries, Chiara and Sebastian get their happy ending.

Just have to add that I hate the cover of this book. If I saw this on the shelf, I wouldn’t touch it. It’s just so generic and boring, and the book is anything but! Amazon Publishing needs to step up its cover game.

4/2022 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

MEANT TO BE by Jennifer Probst. Montlake (April 19, 2022). ISBN:‎ 978-1542034807. 319p.






One Response to Spotlight Review: MEANT TO BE by Jennifer Probst

  1. Just met this lovely author at an author conference and book signing event in which I also participated! Thanks for the great review…and the cover discussion is good food for thought.

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