An all-new emotional and romantic standalone from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Carly Phillips is NOW AVAILABLE!
Fall for the missing Ward sister…
Juliette Collins is privileged and isolated from the world by her over-protective father. She thinks she knows the truth about her history until a file in her father’s safe reveals she has sisters she never knew about. A family she’s never met. Betrayed, she realizes there’s a life waiting for her outside the walls of her daddy’s New York City penthouse and Juliet is determined to live it. Against her father’s wishes, she heads to a small beach community to meet her siblings… and finds herself way out of her depth instead.
In the personal protection business, Braden Clark thinks nothing of taking on a job to watch over a city girl in town for the summer. If her father wants to know his daughter is safe, it’s no problem and an easy way of earning a paycheck. Except Braden doesn’t count on falling for the sheltered Juliette. Watching her experience her firsts, getting an apartment, finding a job, meeting up with her lost sisters, soon Braden’s brand of protection becomes a little too personal. He’s mixing business with pleasure and lying to a woman he’s coming to care deeply about.
Sexual attraction burns bright between them and Braden is by her side as she finds herself, her family, and what it means to love… but what happens when she discovers his secret? That he’s been paid to watch over her all along?
A Standalone Novel
I’ve quite enjoyed my journey through Rosewood Bay with the Ward sisters, and this jaunt with Juliette was no different. These books are all on the shorter side and lighter than my typical reads, but I’ve found myself looking forward to reading each of them and can’t wait to delve into some of the secondary characters as the series continues.
After reading Halley and Phoebe’s stories, I was eager to find out more about the mysterious third Ward sister. Juliette was just as fantastic as her older sisters and had the same magnetism that seemed to draw people to her with little effort. I appreciated how she never took her fortunate past for granted, even when she realized how deeply manipulative her father had been throughout her life. She always seemed to appreciate what she had and still give herself the room to be angry about other circumstances of her life. For someone who had been incredibly sheltered throughout her life, Juliette seemed to be quite well-adjusted when she finally struck out on her own two feet.
Braden’s story was just as devastating as Juliette’s. His losses may have been different, but they were no less profound. I did struggle – as did he – with his reluctance in telling Juliette the circumstances surrounding their initial interactions, though I understood why he was hesitant to lose either of the things that were becoming vitally important in his life. Otherwise, he was a flawless partner to Juliette; he let her spread her wings without inhibition but was there to provide her shelter when she needed a safe place to land.
One of my favorite things about these Rosewood Bay stories is how Ms. Phillips puts her characters in each other’s lives when they are both struggling with something life-changing. Giving Juliette and Braden each their own journey to acceptance and healing independent of their story together added an opportunity to demonstrate how wonderfully they worked together and supported each other in the hardest moment of their lives. I particularly loved the subplot with Braden’s dad, it was heartbreaking and lent an interesting dynamic to the book.
My only wish for this book would be a more impactful climax. Considering everything that happened in such a short time, it seemed lacking to me. I had hoped for a much more significant fallout and resulting reconciliation.
FREED is the third book in Carly Phillips’ Rosewood Bay series. These books are interconnected standalones and do not need to be read in order or comprehension. Each book gives enough information on the other characters to pique an interest in reading their stories without giving enough away to spoil them. FREED is written in third-person limited perspective, alternatively following Juliette and Braden.
Carly Phillips continues to impress me with her to the point writing. I easily fall in love with her characters and find ways to connect with their struggles and triumphs. Though I would have loved a little more closure at the end of this book, I still find her pacing appropriate for the stories she tells.
Carly Phillips is the NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.