Note: This ebook was provided by Riptide Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Twelve years ago, Lucas Wilder and Gabriel Savage shared one memorable, life-changing moment together. But Lucas's dreams weren't in Bluewater Bay and Gabe knew his best friend's younger brother was meant for bigger things, so he made sure that nobody and nothing would hold Lucas back...not even him or his hidden feelings for Lucas. Since then, Lucas comes back to visit his parents and older brother every now and again, and Gabe makes it a point to be around the Wilder household just to catch a glimpse.
Lucas prefers to remain distant from Gabe, still feeling hurt by what he believes was Gabe using him. The less contact he has with the guy he's had feelings for since he was a teenager, the better...until his best friend Audrey informs him that she's engaged, to his older brother Zach of all people, and that Lucas is her man of honor. The distinction of being Audrey's MOH requires him to return to Bluewater Bay and spend the next six weeks helping the bride-to-be with preparations, as well as be around Zach's best man--Gabe.
Gabe has never forgotten that one moment he had with Lucas and he thinks it's now time to clear the air about what happened that night. Lucas thinks it was all a ploy for Gabe to use him but when Gabe makes him see that his feelings for him ran deeper than Lucas originally assumed, they give in to the connection that's been there for more than a decade. Will everything come to an end as soon as the wedding is over and done with or will Gabe finally hold on to Lucas instead of letting him go like he did twelve years prior?
Wedding Favors, written by Anne Tenino, is the seventh novel in the multi-authored Bluewater Bay series from Riptide Publishing. This is one of my favorite series and one of the best things about it is that the books are written by different authors and can be read as standalones but still feel connected to one another. Book six has a prequel entitled Helping Hand and is about what happened between Lucas and Gabe twelve years ago and can be found in the Valentine's Day anthology entitled Lights, Camera, Cupid.
Having read Lucas and Gabe's beginning in the anthology, I'm glad I finally got to find out what happened to them afterwards, even if there is a twelve-year gap between the prequel and this novel. I always felt there was more than meets the eye when it came to these two and that Gabe had his reasons for doing what he did back then. Every person they had been with since that time couldn't quite measure up to not just the memory of each other but the possibility of what life could have been had things gone differently.
Lucas and Gabe seem like two different people. Lucas has always wanted to experience life away from Bluewater Bay, especially since he leaned more toward the arts and didn't see how he could flourish in the small town. Gabe has never seen himself leaving Bluewater Bay and has a strong connection to both his family and the land. But they also both like to work with their hands and are passionate about the work they do. Lucas and Gabe were meant to be together, even if it did take a dozen or so years for it to happen.
This was a great story about second chances with the person you shared a lot of firsts with, about true friendship going beyond gender, and about family being able to surprise you. It's also about learning to look back and truly seeing with an open mind and heart where you came from and appreciating it. Lucas and Gabe, along with Audrey, Zach, Seth, and their respective families, were characters who made me smile and swoon and left me one satisfied reader. Wedding Favors deservedly gets five out of five stars. ♥
Date Read: 08 May 2015
Learn more about Anne Tenino here.