Never Say Never
It’s not unusual for a girl to have a crush on her older sister’s suitor. What is unusual is for that older sister to choose her little sister’s crush to be her next husband. But marrying the wrong sister is the least of Bryce Falconer’s problems in Never Say Never, the third installment in the American Beauties trilogy by Jo-Ann Power.
Not even his divorce of her sister Colleen could ruin Bryce’s friendship with Augusta “Gus” Vanderhorn. No two sisters could be more different – in looks and in personality. So when Colleen kidnaps their young son, Gus is the first person Bryce turns to. Theirs is a bond that transcends brother and sister or mere friendship and he knows Gus is the one person who can help him find his son.
Despite her love for her wayward sister, Gus agrees to help Bryce. Even though Colleen often took punishment meant for her, Gus cannot condone taking Ford away from his father. The fact that she has been in love with Bryce ever since their first meeting solidifies her loyalty to her ex-brother-in-law. But her love for Bryce can never be, for it is against the law in Britain to marry the sibling of a former spouse – the marriage and any children produced are considered illegitimate. Tossed together in their desperate search to find Colleen and Ford before something horrible happens to the child, Bryce and Augusta grow closer, until the passion between them becomes impossible for either to deny.
Never Say Never is a not a bad book. There was nothing I particularly liked or disliked about it. It’s an entertaining way to spend an afternoon with a pleasantly predictable plot laced with a few surprises – such as the fate of Gus’s sister Colleen. Bryce and Gus are likable characters, comfortable with each other in a way not normally found in romance novels. Their relationship is built from genuine love and respect, not blossoming passion. However, I would have preferred a bit more passion between them. Even the love scenes seem calm and pleasant, not hot and sweaty.
Fans of the American Beauties series will be glad to see Raine and Ann from the previous two books, even if they seem somewhat two-dimensional, used to insert additional background information and provide some foreshadowing of Gus and Bryce’s relationship.
If you’re not familiar with the trilogy, it might be a good idea to read the first two books first, as I definitely felt like I was missing something by reading just this final installment. Perhaps reading the other books would have increased my enjoyment of Never Say Never. As it is, all I can say about Power’s newest effort is that it’s average.