~~~~~5 AMAZING STARS~~~~~
All Braden novels may be enjoyed as stand-alone books or enjoyed as part of the series.
If you have not read any of Melissa Foster’s Love in Bloom series books. I suggest you pick up the first on and get started. I promise you once you start reading them you will not want to put them down. They are so heartfelt and full of love, laughter, and so much romance. Even though each book can be read as a stand-alone it is better to start from the beginning so when they mention people from previous books you will be caught up to date on them.
In this book Nate is living with survivor’s guilt his best friend died while they were in war overseas. He was sent on a supply run and was shot by a sniper. Nate was the one who gave the order for him to go, so it is eating him up inside. Nate is also in love with Rick’s (his buddy) sister Jewel. He has been for a very long time, but was older than her and he didn’t know how to tell his best friend that he was in love with his sister.
Jewel has been on autopilot since Rick died. She has been overly protective of her younger siblings. There was no way she was going to lose another person in her family. She pretty much suffocates them because of her fear and does not listen to her mom or her brother’s advice from the letters he sent while overseas about doing something for herself. Having a life. She doesn’t think she needs that.
One weekend her mother takes her siblings to her sister’s house and Jewel actually has nothing to do because she is off of work. So she goes for a hike on the hiking trail. She stumbles on a root while trying to get her phone and sprains her ankle. She is scared because she can’t walk and it is getting dark.
Nate leaves his parents bar after listening to his siblings tell him that he will not be able to run from his feelings for Jewel and he needed to man up and accept that. On his way home one of his sisters calls him to see how things are going and while he is on the phone with her he asks her if Jewel is driving her brother’s jeep. When she tells him she is he starts to panic. Since it is well after dark he knows something is wrong and she is scared.
He gets off the phone with his sister and goes running through the trails calling out her name looking for her. He is getting more and more worried the further he goes until he finally finds her.
Jewel is upset and hurt but is relieved when she sees Nate. Her body heats up at the sight of him with no shirt on. Especially since their kiss on New Year’s Eve, he is all she can think about. She is in her early twenties and still a virgin because no one has compared to Nate in her eyes.
They spend some time together talking and kissing, he has tried to pull back but he loves her so much it is hard too. Even though he keeps sending her mixed signals he knows he can’t go any further without telling her and her mom about what happened over seas.
After on heated night when it was taking all he had to pull back he left. He knew right then and there that he had to do it soon. The next day he went to her mom’s work and when he saw her come out he got out to talk to her. She told him that she already knew that and she held no ill will toward him because he was just doing his job and she hated that he has held onto this for so long. She told him that he didn’t have to say anything to Jewel, but he told her that he did. He had also confessed to being in love with Jewel, which she told him she already knew that too. She gave him some letters from Rick to his her that she felt he needed to read.
Later when he went to see Jewel and told her about that time overseas. He was so upset. She blamed him for killing Rick even though she really didn’t mean that but she was hurt and lashing out. He left feeling like his whole world was falling apart. He knew she needed time to work through this but it was going to kill him to have to sit back and wait.
He left her little reminders of how much he loved and missed her in different times and places. After she had a long talk with her boss and best friend she started to see that he was only doing what he was told to do.
They had made plans with her siblings to go on a canoe ride at his brother’s place. She was hoping the kids would forget about it but no such luck. She didn’t know how she was going to feel seeing Nate after everything that happened, but she missed him a lot.
When they all got to Sam’s place the kids were arguing and Nate could not take his eyes off of Jewel even though some other girls in skimpy bikini’s were trying to get his attention he never looked their way. He was worried about Jewel. She was jealous of the other girls trying to get attention even though she really didn’t have any right to be, but inside he was jealous of his brother giving Jewel attention even though he knew his brother would never do anything towards her.
When Nate was telling everyone where they would be Jewel freaked out. She told Nate that the kids needed to be in the canoe with him. He told her that they were old enough. Then he lowered his voice and told her that they were not afraid and for her to not project her fears onto them. That was a wake up call to her especially after one of her sisters told their brother that she knew Jewel would not let them do it.
She eventually gave in and the kids had a blast. At first she kept calling out to the other two to stay close or come back. Then she noticed that her baby sister was starting to do the same thing and that made her wake up even more. She knew this stuff with her was her fear and now she was seeing that she was holding onto her siblings a little too tight.
After they left she kept thinking about Nate and missing him. She decided that she needed to see him without anyone around to see if all she sees is him giving the order that got her brother killed or if she sees Nate. She texted him to see if she could come over and he about killed his brothers to get them off of him so he could get to his phone. They had been wrestling around the yard. Then he told them to scram because he was going to get to see Jewel. They wished him luck and meant every word. That is how the Braden family is. They will pick on each other but in the end they mean well and only want them to be happy.
When he sees headlights he figures his brother’s forgot something but it was her. He was so happy to see her but nervous at the same time. She was nervous that she was going to end up driving away for good and she was hoping that she didn’t have to do that. When he opened the door scaring her to death she looked at him and right then she knew she was going to be ok. All she could see was happiness, weariness, and love and guilt. But she could see how sorry he was and she knew they were going to be ok.
She got out of the jeep and her ankle smarted he took her into the house. They talked some because she wanted to understand what all happened. She was still a little wary about everything because she didn’t really know what Rick would have to say. As they were talking he gave her his journal, which was a big deal, she knew now that he was giving her everything. He showed her a littler from her brother to their mom. He tells her that Nate is in love with Jewel. He tells her that if he does not make it home to make sure she tells him that he has his blessing.
After that something opens up for Jewel and they kiss. They put in all of the love they have in those kisses. Then he takes her to his bed. Things get heated and during all of this she tells him that she is a virgin. He takes his time with her and it is the best experience of her life. She was glad she waited because with it being Nate and the love they share it made it even more intense.
They continued to spend more and more time with each other. After a while she started to see what she was going to her siblings and she went to talk to her dad and Rick at the cemetery and she knew what she needed to do. She also talked to her mom about everything and learned why her mom didn’t put a stop to her antics.
After that weekend Nate wakes up and tells Jewel that she overslept and she needed to get up to get to her moms. She tells him she is not going. They will be taking the bus and her mom is looking into getting her baby sister a carpool to dance class and she has told her boss she would take the position that she has been begging her to take for a while now. Nate was blown away that she was letting go and getting on with her life. She tells him now she will have all the time in the world to spend with him except when they are working.