Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Review: "Vacancy" by Tracy Ewens (Romance, Romantic Comedy)

by Tracy Ewens

Publisher: Tracy Ewens
Genre: Romance, Romantic Comedy
Publication Date: August 16th 2016

Series: Love Story, #6
Standalone: Yes

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Other Books in the LOVE STORY Series

#1 Goodreads

#2 Goodreads

#3 Goodreads

#4 Goodreads

#5 Goodreads
Description from Publisher:
If only life were as simple as filling a vacancy.

Hollis Jeffries is a “dynamo” as her father likes to say. She’s the youngest vice president at Dobbins Capital. She wows investors, runs marathons, and speaks three languages. As the oldest, Hollis is always first to try and first to succeed. According to the other Jeffries sisters, she’s practically perfect. . . until she’s not.

Matthew Locke grew up in the shadow of his brother’s death and with the added pressure of his parents’ expectations. They want him to take over the family coffee shops someday, but Matt has other plans. Despite the grumblings of his working-class parents, he has found success in Silicon Valley even after dropping out of Stanford a semester shy of graduation. Matt has spent most of his life under the radar and there’s not much he’s willing to rock the boat for. . . until there is.

Hollis and Matt met on Tomales Bay the summer they both turned twelve and during the summers that followed, they grew up and fell in love. One night, after an unexpected test, they fell apart.

Now, twelve years later, Hollis, who seeks refuge at her uncle’s seaside cottages to ride out a storm of her own making and Matt, weighed down by obligation to his parents, both return to Tomales Bay. Forced to share another summer in the small town that brought them together, will Hollis and Matt be able to move beyond the echo of their past and into a future filled with ever after?

My Rating:
Heat Rating:

My Musings:
In this latest book in the Love Story series (I have read almost all of them so far), we get to know Hollis, a driven, workaholic who is having a breakdown of some sort and staying at her uncle's beachside vacation rentals. Often, when a heroine is too career-oriented and too "Type A," I have a hard time relating to her. This wasn't at all the case with Hollis. She, like so many of Ewens's characters, is incredibly well-written and easily relatable. Even when you want to smack her for overreacting. :)

Her ex-boyfriend, Matt, who is also back in the beachside town, is also a great character. He is almost as stubborn as Hollis, but throughout the story is able to get over himself quite a bit and be honest... and hang back when he sees he is pushing too far. I especially loved that he got emotional about things, which is not often the way of romance heroes.

There are several slow reveals in this, which helps you get to know the characters more and you actually care about the reveals more as a result. Flashbacks are partially used to explain how the characters got where they are, and why they belong together, and they were used in a way that worked. The issue that drove these two apart in college is well-handled, and, having gone through similar myself, I really appreciated that and the fact that it was included. The other problems are also very real life.

Something else I really liked about this, and the series as a whole, is how we see siblings and how their various roles and family dynamics affect them and have molded them into who they are. Hollis is the eldest sister of four, daughter of very driven people and has a unique perspective as a result. Her perspective being very different than her sister's the book before makes this standalone, but creates a nice connecting thread.

This story is a well-blended one with some serious topics and a lot of fun and humor as well. You can't help but love these characters and be rooting for them to figure their sh- irttails out (little joke there ;) ).
I received a digital ARC from the publisher for an honest, unbiased review. This in no way influenced my review. My opinion is my 100% own.

About the Author: Tracy Ewens
Tracy Ewens is a recovered theater major and author of the A Love Story Series.

She shares a beautiful piece of desert with her husband and three children in New River, Arizona, where she walks her dog Jack, drinks copious amounts of tea, and reads well past her bedtime.

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