By Lilliana Anderson
It’s never easy to go back. That’s something chef, Bradley Rae is sweating bullets about as the date of his kayaking team’s reunion draws near. When his old school friend and teammate, Elliot Roberts, convinces him to go, he thinks he’ll be fine going back there. After all, chances are, she won’t be there at all. It’s been almost ten years. Maybe she she’s moved away. Maybe he won’t see her at all…
Dakota Morgan is a girl with many regrets, and Bradley Rae is on top of that list. You see, she did something – she didn’t wait five minutes, and that tiny amount of impatience changed the course of her life forever.
When her father sets up a fundraising reunion for their family owned kayaking club, her heart beats out of control when she sees Brad’s name on that list. Part of her wants to refuse to go so she doesn’t have to face him. But a larger part of her needs to see him, even if it’s just a window into what might have been…
When Brad and Dakota meet again, will sparks fly, or will the past remain firmly in the past? And what about secrets? Can they survive the reality of what that one split decision, made all those years ago, has done? Or will they let it all go again?
Brad and Dakota first met at her family’s kayaking business one summer and the attraction was instant on both sides. But when Brad found out that Dakota was only thirteen, three years younger than him, their blossoming friendship quickly stalled until Dakota, then sixteen, made a move on Brad he simply couldn’t (and didn’t want to) refuse. But after sharing that wonderful moment, she made a very innocent decision that had disastrous results and the pair were separated for the next seven years. Both meet again at a reunion and Brad is hoping to get answers, but instead he’s left devastated when he learns the truth of what happened all those years ago. Slowly, the pair start to rebuild a relationship that had so much potential, but that died before it ever got the chance to be something great.
I think the only problem I had with A Beautiful Taste is that I never really felt emotionally invested in the characters or the story. Brad was very nice, very patient, very loving and very understanding, but I didn’t swoon for him. Dakota suffered horribly, but I didn’t really feel anything for her while reading what she went through. And then at the end, when a chance encounter allowed Dakota to close that horrible chapter in her life? I’m glad it all worked out for her in the end, but it felt a little too simple and too perfect to me.
I did like A Beautiful Taste and it was a nice story about love and second chances. This book can be read as a stand-alone, and I really do mean that. While this is part of a series, previous characters and events have no impact on this book, so not once did I feel lost or like I was missing something important. I thought the pace of the book and the relationship between Brad and Dakota moved very well and I’m glad they finally got their HEA.
Brad: “Love doesn’t fade, Cody. It gets put on hold and pushed to the side at times, but it never fades. Not the real thing anyway.”
A Beautiful Taste (Beautiful Series # 6)
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