Wedding planner Avery Crosslin meets Joe Travis—of the Houston Travises—at a society event and convinces herself that he’s good for business but a bad romantic bet; rebel Joe has other plans, however, and he usually gets what he wants.
When Avery confuses Houston society favorite Joe for a wedding photographer, she catches his attention, and they have a one-night stand. Avery never expects to hear from him again, but he follows up, genuinely interested. She resolves to keep the popular bachelor at arm’s length, convinced that he's way out of her league and only intrigued because he doesn’t like rejection. Meanwhile, Avery’s company is on the rise, and when Joe’s family hires her team for some event planning, she sees his down-to-earth nature and sincerity. Avery falls for him, but she mistrusts love. She tells herself she's focused on her career and keeps people at arm's length, but Joe wants her to acknowledge that she's both worthy of his affection and more connected to people than she will admit. After some unexpected professional opportunities arise and family secrets are revealed, Avery must decide what really matters and take a stand for her own happiness, jeopardizing her career and risking her heart in order to win the life she can’t quite believe she deserves. To a skeptic, the plots of romance novels might sound formulaic, and that's true to a degree. But, really, it’s the journey more than the destination that makes each book unique. Kleypas is among the crème de la crème of romance authors, and this novel illustrates why. Avery’s complex reasons for resisting Joe falter against the trademark Travis combination of hardscrabble Texan and urbane playboy, to which Joe adds his own artistic sensibility. Kleypas’ characters manage to be both larger-than-life and friend-next-door accessible, and it's hard not to be seduced by her breathtaking romance, believable yet wrenching plot twists, and pitch-perfect worldbuilding.
Fans have been waiting a long time for Joe Travis’ story, and they will celebrate this book.