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I Belong

Review: Destiny by Carly Phillips

Title: Destiny

Author: Carly Phillips

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Serendipity (Book 2)

Publication Date: January 3, 2012

Format: Mass Market Paperback, 304 Pages

ISBN-10: 0425245748 (Penquin/Berkley)

ISBN-13: 978-0425245743 (Penguin/Berkley)

Reviewed by: Michelle


Nash Barron may be cynical about love, yet even he likes a good wedding. But the only good thing about his brother’s wedding is Kelly Moss. Nash can’t help but admire her confidence and beauty, but he’s forced to keep his distance because getting involved with Kelly could destroy his relationship with his newly discovered half sister, Tess…

Kelly came to Serendipity to give Tess–her half sibling as well, thanks to an illicit affair–a second chance at life. She learned long ago not to rely on anyone but herself. Besides, she doesn’t want to upset Tess’s life by pushing for a fling with Nash. Except the more she gets to know him, the more vulnerable she becomes to the kindness beneath his gruff exterior, and the less she’s able to stay away. But she has other reasons for keeping her distance. Like the secret from her past she knows Nash will never forgive…

Quick & Dirty: A light-hearted contemporary story about love between two completely different people, one who held onto his integrity, and the other who embraced the unexpected.

Opening Sentence: Nash Barron might be cynical about life and more recently about love, but even he normally enjoyed a good wedding.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Nash Barron and Kelly Moss share a connection. Within their unusual and dysfunctional family, they both feel like strangers. Theirs is a family amidst the process of healing and mending, mainly for Tess, the young teen who is a common thread for them both. Individually, they are doing the best that they can raising Tess, allowing her to become a part of everything. Ethan and his newly married wife, Faith, just went on their honeymoon, leaving Nash and Kelly to take care of Tess.

Nash is the middle brother in this family of Barron boys. Ethan, Dare, and he were all raised separately, and Nash cannot come to grips for his forgiveness towards Ethan. The sudden death of his parents, and the abandonment of Ethan, left Dare and himself to live in separate foster homes. Nash only sees the black and white of their situation, not allowing himself to grow from the pain. Instead, Nash festers on it, finding it hard to accept and embrace that Ethan isn’t the young teen who tore his life, and family, apart.

Kelly raised Tess on her own. Their distant mother went into one marriage after another, eventually taking off without so much as a care in the world. Kelly lives in shadows of her past, her mother’s past, and their secrets. Love and desperation forced Kelly to leave Tess on Ethan’s doorstep, and now she has finally followed to become a part of this unusual family.

Nash and Kelly’s love is simple amongst the intricacies of their world. Their attraction was unexpected, and maybe even a little complicated because of their families. But they find solace in being with each other, and a sense of peace. While it took a while to be sure of what they have, they found their relationship to be filled with friendship and a commitment towards Tess. Nash was different around Kelly, making him much more enjoyable as a character. I found that he was a little more human, than the brass and aggressive brother that he is towards everyone else.

Phillips’ world is familiar, especially with a contemporary setting. Maybe the familial situation isn’t normal, but the feelings of betrayal, solitude, love, and kinship is. Each character in the Serendipity series has a depth to them that doesn’t always exist in contemporary romance. Phillips always paces Destiny really well, despite the many bits of information for the reader to take in. As a reader, I felt a part of their town, their family, and their lives, easily a part of everything.

Love is a huge part of Destiny, and the series. Phillips talks about many different forms of love, from the ups and downs of brothers, to the complications of unexpected love. Destiny is a great contemporary romance fitting for a weekend read. Phillips will take you on a roller coaster of emotions, ending with happiness and joy.

Notable Scene:

I can’t get you anything?” he asked.

She shook her head and smiled. “Just you.”

“Now that I can give you.” He stepped forward, pulled her into his arms and all her anxiety dissipated in a rush of heat.

She tipped her head back, expecting him to lower his lips to hers as he’d done before. Instead, he slid her shirt off one shoulder and pressed his mouth against her skin. She shivered and her entire body responded, her breasts grew full, her nipples puckered, and flutters picked up deep in her belly.

Nothing that felt this good could be wrong and she tilted her head, giving him better access. The smart man took advantage, trailing his tongue over the sensitive flesh of her neck. He was gentle, which somehow possessed to come alive under the arousing strokes of his tongue. A soft moan escaped her lips and she felt a responding shudder go through him as well.

“Let’s go somewhere more private,” he said roughly in her ear.

The Serendipity Series:

1. Serendipity

1.5. Kismet

2. Destiny

3. Karma

FTC Advisory: Penguin/Berkley provided me with a copy of Destiny. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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