Winning my Best Friend's Girl (The Baileys, #8) by Piper Rayne
Publication Date: July 21, 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Second chance love
Pages: 271
Format: kindle book
Source: purchased
Rating:

Kingston loves a lot of things about being a smoke jumper. Number one is that it gets him out of Lake Starlight during the summer. He doesn’t much like to relive the past and there’s memories in every corner of his small town. But being away means he’s the last one to find out that his high school crush, the same high school ex-girlfriend of his best friend is back in town until she pulls back the curtain in the hospital to nurse him back to health.

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I feel like I’ve been waiting for Kingston and Stella’s story since I first met the Baileys.  And, not only have the authors have been hinting at their epic tragedy, but they’ve also ensured that Kingston was elusive which, of course, made me all that much more curious.  I have to say that this story lived up to they hype I’d built up in my head about these two.  Their background is both sweet and terrible and their present is heartbreaking and yet hopeful.  This story takes you back to where it all began and lets you experience everything these two have gone through…and, once you’ve done that, you can’t help but cheer them on.

I adore Kingston and his determination.  He’s loved Stella since they were kids and he’s never really given up hope that their story will be a happy one.  He wears his heart on his sleeve and yet uses his “brokenness” like a shield.  He’s certainly one of the most complex Baileys.  I really enjoyed Stella’s vulnerability and her attempts to shield her heart.  These two had a lot to work through and, of course, they also had the Baileys to deal with.  I loved their banter and their small, almost tentative, moves towards each other.  They both knew what they wanted, they just feared reaching out for it.  I think these two were perfect for each other and my heart really enjoyed their happily ever after.

As I’ve come to expect, the Baileys added the fun and laughter when the story became too somber and they added the support when the characters lost their way.  It would be wonderful if everyone had some Baileys in their corner.  We’re reaching the end of this series and it does make me sad.  I love this Alaskan family who are all so different yet so committed to each others’ happiness.  I will definitely miss them when they’re gone.  Lucky for me, there’s still one more book on the way.  If you haven’t met the Baileys, do it today…you won’t regret it!

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