Moonglow Cove, Book 4
From the publisher:
A wedding brings a shocking surprise in New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde’s newest Moonglow Cove novel. Perfect for fans of Susan Wiggs, Jill Shalvis, and Robyn Carr.
It wasn’t the wedding night she’d expected!
When Samantha said “I do” to Luca Ginelli, she knew she’d found a reliable soulmate—a strong, sexy man who’d stand beside her through thick and thin. And so she’d started her wedding day filled with joyful expectation, only to have her dreams shattered when the man she married years before shocking, unexpectedly, reappears, insisting she was still his wife!
Seven years before, Luca’s brother, Nick, had stubbornly set off in a sailing adventure, ignoring the pleas of his young bride and all common sense. He’d disappeared without a trace; everyone thought he was dead—but now he’s expecting to pick up where they’d left off. He’d once been Samantha’s “lightning strike,”—the person you know is the one from the moment you first see them.
But seven years is a long time and so much has changed. Now Samantha is faced with an impossible choice and no matter which decision she makes, it threatens to shred the very fabric of the one thing she holds most dear—family.
“Fans of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery will relish the complex family relationships Wilde creates.” — Booklisthttps://amzn.to/3FB7vbt
Lori Wilde is an author I always read, and this unusual story was unputdownable. Samantha is all set to marry Luca Ginelli in a beach wedding in this small town, which would be an unconventional way to start a romance – except this is not her first wedding. Her first wedding was to Nick Ginelli, Luca’s younger brother. But this isn’t a book version of While You Were Sleeping; Nick has just been declared dead after being lost at sea for seven years.
Turns out Luca has been deeply attracted to Samantha since she was in high school, but he was several years older and his brother had declared his intentions the first time they met. Luca stepped aside, and after Nick married her, Luca moved as far away as he could get, to Alaska. But with Nick’s disappearance and his father’s subsequent stroke, Luca has moved back to Moonglow Bay to take over running the family restaurant. Samantha does the books, and over the seven months or so that they work together, they start dating, and they fall in love. They decide to wait for their wedding night to consummate the relationship, and the wedding is scheduled right after Nick has met the legal standard to be declared dead.
I don’t think it is a spoiler to say that Nick is rescued and returned home that night, sending Samantha spiraling down an emotional rollercoaster. Nick was her first love, and she is torn between what she felt for him and what she currently feels for his brother. This is a complicated triangle, to say the least, but in Wilde’s competent and creative hands, we are led gently along for the ride. It was an engrossing read that leads to an ending that is not a surprise but is satisfying. Family relationships can be fraught, and I really liked the way this was handled. While this is the fourth book of a series, it easily stands alone. Highly recommend!
I also want to add that I loved that every chapter started with a quote about love – some were really meaningful to me and some were sort of sad. I especially loved these two:
The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves. – Victor Hugo
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own. – Robert A. Heinlein
3/2023 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
THE WEDDING AT MOONGLOW BAY by Lori Wilde. Avon (March 21, 2023). ISBN: 978-0063135901416. 368 p.