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Liz Loves Books

I love to read and to talk about books. I review many of the books I read. I do not accept any author/publisher submissions for reviews. I do not read or review ARCs. I do not enter any giveaways or contests. I obtain the books I review by purchasing them at the same price they are offered to the general public at the time of purchase. My reviews are intended for the use of my fellow readers. They are not advertising or promotion. They are not beta reads or constructive criticism or editing or advice to the author. My only obligation to the author is to pay the price charged for the book at the time of purchase. My reviews are sometimes critical and I will not stop posting critical reviews just to spare delicate authors' feelings. I am happy to make new friends, but friend requests from authors or promoters who have few or no books (and/or friends) in common with me and write or promote categories I do not read (especially new adult) will be ignored. I used to read more self-published books. After recent meltdowns by self-published authors, I now only read self-published authors I've previously read or who have been recommended to me by fellow readers I trust. I also used to read young adult/new adult books but rarely do so now.

Ready for Love (The McCarthys of Gansett Island, #3) - Marie Force Grab a box of tissues...Ready for Love is a bit of a tear-jerker but it is also a lovely and sincere second chance romance. The book begins by addressing both the reason Luke and Sydney went separate ways as teenagers and the tragedy in Sydney's life that has brought her back to Gansett Island to heal. Both of the lead characters are very likeable. In fact, the one problem I had with this book is that they are both too good to be true. Luke has stayed single and now that he's back with Sydney vows to wait forever for her to commit. I have to hope his emotions have got the better of him and he's not really willing to devote his life to pining for her. Sydney, on the other hand, spends a little too much time and energy apologizing for the (admittedly awful) manner and reason she dumped Luke 17 years ago. There is also a golden retriever who will completely steal your heart. But he actually gets away with being almost perfect.Fortunately this is a well-written romance and those two issues don't completely dominate the story. There are other conflicts and both Luke and Sydney have to finally outgrow the class and money issues that are the real problem between them. They also both have to deal with Sydney's very real and understandable grief. There is a deceased spouse in this story (and children as well -- my tissue warning should not be taken lightly!). However, Sydney is already partly through the grieving process and, as the title indicates, almost ready to open her heart to another love. There's nothing instant here. Sydney goes back and forth, has good days and bad. I felt this was a realistic depiction considering the events in Sydney's life and the book's timeliness. On the other hand, she does not dwell relentlessly on the past and her loss.The book covers the month or so prior to the wedding of the hero and heroine of the second book in this series. The full cast of characters from the first two books returns for this book and a few other family members and friends trickle in and are introduced for future books but this works well with the story and is never overly obvious. The second-chance theme is emphasized by the addition of two additional storylines. Cab-driver Ned has a potential second-chance romance with a mystery woman he's loved for years and McCarthy sibling Grant returns both for his sister's wedding and to try to win back his former lover, Abby, who left him a year ago and is now engaged to Gansett Island's new doctor. Even with all these second-chance storylines, the plot stays firmly in the here and now and moves forward rather than getting mired in the past.The plot also stays centered on Luke and Sydney. The other storylines enhance theirs rather than detracting from it. There is plenty of emotion and chemistry between them and their love scenes are both hot and heartwarming.I feel this series is improving as it grows. Even the secondary characters seem to have moe depth and nuanced in this third installment. I do wish the lead characters had been just a bit less good, but that's a minor complaint. Overall I enjoyed Ready for Love enough to jump right into the next book in the series and I rarely do that.