Jean-Christian “J.C.” Rousseau’s reputation as a charming flirt has been well-established in Philadelphia, and he’s never had trouble winning a woman’s heart. So, when Libitz Feingold, the best friend of J.C.’s sister-in-law, Kate, comes to Philly over the holidays to help out during Kate’s final weeks of pregnancy, J.C. is shocked to discover that the prickly New York-based gallery owner and jewelry designer is completely immune to his charm. Recruited to help her set-up a local gallery during her visit, it’s not long before he starts to fall for her, but he’s going to have to rely on more than mere flirtation if he wants a shot at winning her heart.
4 stars — I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.
That was a delightful ending to the Rousseau phase of the Blueberry Lane series!! I didn’t really have any leanings one way or another about how I would feel about J.C. or Libitz, though I really enjoyed the brief glimpse we got of Lib in Kate and Ten’s book…and she lived up to those few expectations I had of her. She was feisty and blunt and really took no prisoners, but with a soft heart beneath it. Honestly, I really loved her, but I didn’t feel like I got to know her as well…I didn’t really get glimpses into her past as much as I might have wanted to. Not that they weren’t there, but they didn’t have as big an impact on me. It was almost like she held herself apart from even the reader a bit. And I was less than impressed with her handling of the Nice Neil situation…but that’s because it’s a bit of a button topic for me. It was definitely not as bad as I was expecting when I saw it being set up, and obviously I still enjoyed myself immensely reading this romance, but it’s the kind of thing that I’m just never going to be super satisfied with so it probably affected my enjoyment a bit.
I had no expectations of J.C. I know that he was alluded to as being a bit of a playboy wastrel in previous books, but I hadn’t really formed any solid opinions on him (not like I had his brother). So my impression of him was all clear and ready to be made based on this book alone. I mean, I did enjoy his bantering with his siblings in the previous 2 Rousseau books, but that was about it. And he kind of starts off the book with a bit of a typical playboy vibe, a wee bit smarmy…but almost immediately we get glimpses into why he is the way he is, and how his childhood shaped him and the way he views love and relationships. And quite frankly my heart just broke. I do not have similar experiences, but I just really felt for him. I could see how he would make those choices, and how confusing it would be to be surrounded by people who believe in HEAs and then faced with someone who makes him want his own. He was a delightful character from start to finish, and I really felt like his growth and struggle was realistic and well paced.
I thought J.C. and Lib had amazing chemistry together, and although it took time for them to get to the steamy bits, it was worth the wait. One of the things I loved most about them as a couple is that they had similar playing the field type histories…it was nice to have a girl who was comfortable in her sexuality, and was kind of an equal to all the playboys we read about so often. It made it so that I really believed how they could understand one another, and they sort of went on this journey into love together. I really really loved that.
I will say that while I adored the prologue and epilogue, I was a bit disappointed not to get a bit of closure with Kate and Ten before that epilogue…that’s what I had been anticipating would be in the epilogue, so while I loved it, I did want just that little bit more in the HEA of J.C. and Lib. Maybe it’s because it felt like the ending was a bit unbelievable given both of the characters, like it was a bit rushed…I couldn’t help but wonder how they would resolve some of their issues (including religion, culture, etc), but I guess I will have to be satisfied with perhaps an occasional glimpse of them in the upcoming Story and Ambler phases.