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Anchor Island #1

Meant to Be

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Sometimes the next best thing is what you’ve been looking for all along…

Beth Chandler has spent her whole life pleasing others. She went to law school to make her grandparents happy. She agreed to marry her workaholic boyfriend, Lucas, to make him happy. And, despite her fear of boats, she took a ferry to see Lucas’s parents just to make them happy.

While suffering through a panic attack on the ferry, Beth meets a tall, sexy stranger who talks her down from her fear -- and makes her heart flutter in the process. Soon, she has a new reason to panic: her gorgeous, blue-eyed rescuer is Lucas’s brother, Joe. But could she ever leave her fiancé for his own brother…even if Lucas is more focused on making partner than on making their relationship work…and even if Joe turns out to be everything she never knew she wanted?

348 pages, Paperback

First published May 21, 2013

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About the author

Terri Osburn

35 books922 followers
Bestselling and award winning author Terri Osburn writes contemporary romance with heart, hope, and lots of humor. She fell in love with the written word at a young age and the genre of romance beckoned during her teen years. Since her debut in 2013, her work has been translated into five languages, and sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide. Terri resides in Pittsburgh, PA, with a menagerie of high-maintenance pets. You can learn more about this international bestselling author by visiting her website at www.terriosburn.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 479 reviews
Profile Image for Duchess Nicole.
1,258 reviews1,527 followers
May 10, 2013
Five big fat romantic, funny, sexy, Meant to Be Stars!!

I almost cannot believe that this is a debut novel. I know it's the first debut I've read that has gone to my favorites shelf, and another much needed reminder of what makes romance so special.

Beth is living the life of perfection...well, someone else's idea of perfection. Raised by grandparents who continually use her mother's example of what she doesn't want to be, Beth has grown up pleasing everyone but herself, doing what is expected of her. She works at a prestigious law firm and recently became engaged to one of the lawyers on the rise toward partner. Now she's on her way to meet Lucas' family...sans Lucas, due to an emergency at the office...on the tiny island of Anchor. When her irrational fear of boats grabs hold of her on the ferry ride to Anchor, a stranger is there to talk her down and charm her into a warm island welcome. But it turns out Joe Dempsey is on that ferry to meet the blonde gold digging bimbo that his brother has gotten engaged to...yes, he's there to meet Beth...who isn't that kind of woman at all.

The sizzle between Joe and Beth is apparent from page one but they force it into the background, ready to become friends and eventually in-laws. But when Lucas arrives on the island only to stay for less than a day before getting called back to work on the mainland, he leaves behind a very unhappy but super understanding fiancee'.

It turns out that Anchor and it's inhabitants forces Beth to do some much needed soul searching. Alone on an island where life is about simple pleasures and intimate relationships, she begins to re-evaluate what she values as a person, as a future wife, as a woman. The rat race of the city and her ever-present need to make people like her and accept her has been left behind. Everyone on Anchor, including and most especially Joe, seems to like her for herself, not what she accomplishes or what she can do for them.

Joe is just the gruff, grumpy love interest that I enjoy seeing brought to his knees. He's mistrustful of women, but most especially the type of women that his little brother chooses. But wild haired, sweet tempered Beth is more the type of woman that HE would choose. When these two start longing for the companionship of each other rather than the first blush of initial lust, I was captured. This is the forever kind of love story, the kind that defines my idea of what a romance book should be. Yes, there is sexual tension but it's not acted on for a long time. This is a story of two people who simply grow together. They teach each other to be more than they were before.

I don't know what I expected when I started this, but it sure wasn't that I would fall in love with this town/island/couple as much as I did. The secondary characters are solid and authentic, and one liners seemed to jump out of nowhere and made me laugh out loud. What a pleasant surprise this turned out to be, and even better...there are more books on the way!!! Looks like Sid and Lucas may just get their own happy ending and won't it be interesting to see where THAT relationship goes?

My thanks to Amazon and Montlake Romance via Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for a review. It was a pleasure!!
Profile Image for Mo.
1,351 reviews2 followers
April 6, 2014
4.5 stars

"Hell if I know, but I figure if I see a hard-edged, high-maintenance blonde bimbo driving a fancy car, that’ll be her."

Lifelong people-pleaser Beth Chandler will do anything to make a good impression on her future in-laws, including defy her fear of boats to make the ferry crossing required to meet them. Lucky for her, a lovable mutt and his tall, sexy, blue-eyed owner provide enough distraction to subdue her paralyzing panic attack. But Beth’s human tranquilizer turns out to be her future brother-in-law, Joe Dempsey, and their instant attraction is both unwelcome and undeniable.

I must say I really liked this one. Thanks Didi and Nicole – great reviews brought this author to my attention.

Joe didn’t make her feel safe. Joe made her mad. Made her feel … unanchored

Joe and Elizabeth meet on the ferry. She has a fear of water and is having a panic attack. Joe talks her through it. There is an attraction but there is a problem, Joe is her fiance’s brother.

"I know I can be a cranky ass and not good at the romantic stuff, but I’ll show you every day how I feel about you."

Reminded me a bit of the Marie Force Gansett Island series.

"We’ll make each other happy and to hell with everyone else."

Loved Sid, cannot wait to read her story.
Sid slapped her hands on the bar. “Good Lord, woman, unclench your sphincter and have another drink.”

Profile Image for Christina ~ Brunette Reader.
187 reviews309 followers
August 25, 2015

4,5 Romantically Cosy Stars

"Engaged women were not supposed to have lustful thoughts about men who were not their fiancé. Being engaged for a mere two weeks was no excuse."

And if the man you find yourself lusting over happens to be your fiancé's stepbrother then things usually have an annoying tendency of getting even more tangled and messy. It's what Beth Chandler learns at her piece of mind's expenses as soon as she sets foot on placid Anchor Island, a quaint piece of colourful paradise encased between the Outer Banks and the sky.
On the contrary, Joe Dempsey never expected his future sister-in-law to be such a poised and intelligent woman, not one of the big-town empty-headed snobs his brother has got him used to, and whose sweet nature so much appeals to his gruffer side.
The man is "opinionated, cranky, and obtuse" thinks Beth. "I don't need anything but my island, my boat and my dog" Joe tells himself, but the attraction is powerful, the career-obsessed fiancé won't show up and keeping the distance while welcoming her into the family and escorting her around becomes a real challenge. A tread-on-eggshells path trying to salvage both brotherly ties and their own hearts.

With a soft touch and a breeziness that still allow some nice amounts of emotional depth, Terri Osburn has penned a deliciously refreshing romance, dusting up the well-worn "small-town" formula by creating a charming microcosm for setting and characterisations to shine.
The amusing interactions and the sparkly dialogues, infused with humour and realness, are the strongest features and, though quite linear plot-wise, the story progresses with an engaging, lively pace that will keep you turning the pages as Beth and Joe's relationship unfolds in front of you, underscored by a simmering, slow-building sexual tension and deftly hopping between the male and the female gaze.

It's fun, light (but not without substance) and it will immerse you in the island's endearing quirkiness, romantic temptations and deceptively laidback atmosphere full of surprises. A lovely world to visit and revisit in the following books in the series.
Profile Image for NMmomof4.
1,511 reviews3,754 followers
August 26, 2020
3 Stars

Overall Opinion: Meh. This was just alright. I didn’t hate it but I definitely didn’t love it either. I was going in expecting an angst fest with knowing the basic storyline, but was sadly disappointed with the lack of actual angst. I never skimmed but I wasn’t all that invested in the characters either. Major slow burn but then it felt way too instalove for me in the end. I don’t think I ever really understood their connection or how they even fell in love (and so deeply 🙄). It was more like I was just told about it all instead of feeling it. Like I said — I didn’t love it but I also didn’t hate it either, so 3 “just okay” stars for me.

Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Beth and Joe’s story. Beth is terrified if boats so when she has to take a ferry to meet her fiancé’s family, she goes into a panic attack. She meets Joe and he helps her through it, but soon after realizes that he is her fiancé’s brother. After her fiancé blows her off for work again, she is stuck on the island and the more time she spends with Joe the more they struggle with their connection. There is some town and relationship drama and some fun side character scenes...and they get a HFN ending.

Point Of View (POV): This alternated between focusing on Beth and Joe in 3rd person narrative.

Overall Pace of Story: Alright. I thought it flowed well and then so much happens in the last 2% it made it feel off.

Instalove: Yes! It took forever and then it felt like it came out of nowhere! ...if that makes sense 🤔

H (Hero) rating: 3 stars. Joe. He was alright. I didn’t understand his hot and cold attitude, but I think it was the author’s attempt at making him “gruff”

h (heroine) rating: 2.5 stars. Beth. I’m not a huge fan of people pleasers to the point that they lie...and I think she was that way more than I liked

Sadness level: Low, no tissues needed

Push/Pull: Not really

Heat level: Low. They have some tension and chemistry -- but not so much it takes away from the story (see below spoiler tag)

Descriptive sex: Yes

OW (Other Woman)/OM (Other Man) drama: Yes

Sex scene with OW or OM: No

Cheating: Yes

Separation: Not technically, because they were not together

Possible Triggers: Yes

Closure: This ends abruptly with very little closure and what I would call a HFN ending.

Safety: This one is probably Not Safe for most safety gang readers
Profile Image for KatLynne.
547 reviews559 followers
December 4, 2013
Meant to Be is a refreshing, fun, grab-you-from-the-get-go romance! It’s very well written and hard to believe this is Terri Osburn’s first novel!

The story begins as Beth Chandler travels to a small island off the NC coast to begin a two week visit with her future in-laws. She’s spent her entire life making others happy and even with her long time fear of boats, she’s agreed to this trip to appease Lucas, her workaholic, ambitious, future husband.

There are laugh out loud moments throughout and it all begins as Beth deals with her terror on the ferry. Suffering through a panic attack she’s saved by a tall, handsome stranger. This blue-eyed devil has all her girlie parts taking notice and what a conundrum she finds herself in as she later learns Joe is her fiancé’s older brother and she’s attracted to him!

While Joe and Beth are fighting their mutual chemistry, she’s discovering the island and making friends with some of the most endearing and intriguing characters to be found. Beth also faces some hard truths about herself. Having allowed others to control her life she realizes she’s settled. Most everything about her is based on what someone else wants and not her heart's desire.

Oh, I loved this book! It’s fun, it’s sexy and the setting is perfect for all those who love a quaint, sea side town. The focus is more on the building of the relationship and as the story progresses you can’t help but fall in love with all the characters.

If you enjoy a beautiful setting, a hero and heroine who will capture your heart quickly, and a cast of endearing secondary characters, you’ll want to grab this one! The glow from Anchor Island will leave you with a big smile on your face.

Thank you my GR friends, Jilly, Nicole, and Bama, for leading me to this one:-)!
Profile Image for Ian.
1,345 reviews188 followers
June 28, 2013
Beth has always set her own hopes and dreams aside to please others. When Lucas, her fiancé decides it's time she meets the parents, she braves the ferry to Anchor Island despite a paralysing fear of water stemming from a childhood boating accident.

Then on the first day of their holiday, Lucas is called back to work leaving her in the care of his parents and brother, Joe. From the very first, there is a spark between Joe and Beth and as Beth settles into life on the island their attraction only increases. But both would rather give up true love than betray Lucas.

Meant to Be is great. It's very much in the same vein as Jill Shalvis and Robyn Carr...but it's Jill Shalvis and Robyn Carr at their absolute best! Anchor Island is populated with great characters and I can hardly wait to get their stories.

One of the best CRs I've read in the last 12 months.
Profile Image for Geri Reads.
1,232 reviews2,038 followers
September 21, 2014
4.5 stars!

Ahhhh, why oh why did it take me so long to read this series?? I'm mentally face-palming because this book and this series in general is my kind of book and yet, it took me a long time to read it! Suffice it say, this series hits all right spot for me. It's set in a small-town with colorful characters, flawed but likable MCs, humor, and fantastic writing!

For those of you who are wondering if there's cheating based on the blurb, let me assure right now that there is no cheating. Not really. While the attraction between Joe and Beth are front and center, they never set out to deceive anyone. And they fought their attraction throughout the book. And Terri Osburn did a fantastic job in making Beth and Joe into a couple that's worth rooting for.

Loved it!
Profile Image for Saly.
3,433 reviews513 followers
December 4, 2013
Rating 4.5 stars
LOVED IT!!This was amazing. Beth she had been raised in a stifling manner and to please others and she almost married a man because of that but then Joe came along and he was so wrong for her on so many levels especially since he was the half brother of her fiancee. I loved the conflict, loved the feelings that gradually developed between them. I am looking forward to Sid's book, she is gonna kick-ass!
Profile Image for Didi.
865 reviews288 followers
August 7, 2013
10/10 MASSIVE, MEANT TO BE STARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



I knew it was right up my alley when I read the synopsis, I knew I loved a good taboo story line, I even knew that it would be a very satisfying ending. What I didn't know was HOW MUCH I WOULD LOVE IT.

It was beautiful, captivating, atmospheric and sweet. I wanted to get up, drop everything and uproot my family to Anchor where there are no cell phone towers! only beauty to be cherished and appreciated. The town of Anchor sounds heavenly, I completely fell in love with it's slower pace.

And the characters? I loved Beth. Loved her! She was so real and natural. As always living the life dictated to her by others, she needed to grow and find her own wings. Being on Anchor was the magic catalyst that made it happen. And oh, maybe the sexy and brooding Joe!!!! I knew a few pages in that it was going to be good, and did not put it down!! The beginning? I was honestly surprised at the irony of it all! sucked me right in.

Lucas, Beth's fiance and Joe's brother, is bringing Beth home to Anchor to meet the family. But having a very demanding career as as a trial lawyer, Lucas ends up sending Beth alone and deserting her as soon as he arrives due to some issues that come up at the office. From then on Beth and Joe have to make nice and spend time together and it was beautiful to see.

Beth meets lots of great people on this laid back piece of heaven and eventually starts to question her decisions and life choices, including her future husband. Although there was no actual bow chica bow wow( while Beth was engaged to Lucas ;0), there were feelings developing between Joe and Beth that just grew stronger and demanded aknowledging.

I loved watching the sexual tension simmer and practically boil over! it was so sweet and wonderful! GAH! I'm gushing like a school girl! but it's true. They were so perfect together and all I wanted was what they deserved: Each other.

With a slew of secondary characters, I can't remember loving an ensemble cast as I did these people. They were supportive, funny, loving and kind. And the best thing, was the slow introduction of the other characters I know will be getting their own story in the continuation of this series.

And I have to mention that I was incredibly moved by how Lucas stepped up. He saw something that couldn't be denied, and ultimately did the right thing. That takes massive courage and I'm glad he did it.


Genre: Contemporary romance
Steam: Moderate
POV: Third person, with H/h "voice"
Cliffy: Hell-to-the-no!! HEA! but the first in a series following other characters.
Profile Image for Vikki ~ *squee* lite ~.
497 reviews183 followers
May 20, 2013
I loved this book! (Thanks so much Nicole for pimping it out!) :)

It was fantastic, with all of those yummy things I look for in a great book.

The story starts with a chance meeting of Joe and Beth on the ferry to Anchor island. Beth is going to the island to meet her future in-laws, and Joe is there to look for his future "blonde bimbo" sister in-law. Beth is terrified of boats and is mid panic attack when Joe comes across her. He ends up sitting in her car helping her to calm down. As "meet-cutes" go, it was super cute.

"You want me to distract you?" His voice showed more enthusiasm than it had when he first climbed in. Her body turned traitor, growing enthusiastic about his enthusiasm.

"Talking," she squeaked. "Talk to me as a distraction."

"Right," he said, with noticeably less enthusiasm. "Afraid talking's not my thing."

"We'll muddle through." Telling him his stellar body made sparkling conversation unnecessary didn't seem to like a good idea.

I loved being in Beth's head. Her running commentary had me smiling and laughing through the whole book. I'm usually a much bigger fan if the male POV, but while I enjoyed Joe, for me Beth was the star. She's fun and quirky, sweet and generous to a fault. She's a real people pleaser without being a doormat. It's so rare for me to *love* the heroine, so Beth was a breath of fresh air.

Joe was an awesome hero too. He's no over the top chest beating "I will dominate you" alpha male. He's just a guy. A great guy. Protective and cranky at times, who loves his family and his way of life. He trusts Beth to take the lead sometimes, and teaches her to trust herself. He also steps in when she's out of her depths.

The rest of the islands inhabitants are equally well drawn characters. We meet a few, like Sid (Joe's gorgeous-under-all-that-grease, no-one-sees-as-a-girl mechanic) and her brother Randy (gorgeous dangerous looking but teddy-bear-at-heart gym owner) that I'm sure will get their own books. And I can't wait!

The love triangle persists to the end of the book. This would normally drive me crazy (I'm pretty much allergic to love triangles and any kind of cheating) but the build up was handled well, and I wasn't uncomfortable at any point with what our characters were doing. My one teeny, tiny complaint is that I think I could have done with just a BIT more drama, action, emotion, angst on the back end. Things got wrapped up in a nice tidy package, almost too easily. (Although I am happy the author didn't go the easy route of making Lucas the bad guy)

Overall, this was a fun, fast, funny, sweet, sexy, romantic story. What more could you really ask for?

ARC courtesy of Montlake via NetGalley
Profile Image for ♡Karlyn P♡.
605 reviews1,209 followers
December 6, 2013
Very good! Looks like I have a new series to follow. A small town romance with interesting secondary characters.

Will write more if I get time.
Profile Image for Marnee Blake.
Author 6 books217 followers
January 3, 2013
Full disclosure... I'm one of Terri's early readers. But I just loved this book. Add this one to your to-read lists. You'll be happy you did.
Profile Image for Katina.
212 reviews24 followers
June 6, 2014
Loved this book!! Great new author! Can't wait to read more from her. Joe and Beth were great together and the angst of their romance had me hooked!
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,937 reviews1,545 followers
December 3, 2014
This is a serviceable romance, but only just. Most of that is the really compressed timeframe. Beth's vacation is only two weeks and a lot of those days are spent doing non-Joe things. I'm sorry, but two weeks just doesn't cut it. Particularly when they spend so much time in denial.

Once I got past the timing, I then had to confront the feeling that the two of them aren't really that great a fit. They'll do, I suppose, but I can't escape the feeling that the two of them are together mostly because that's the way the author wanted it to be. Physical attraction aside, I don't really get what's in it for Beth. Joe is kind of a jerk. He doesn't mean it, maybe, but that doesn't really mitigate that his initial reaction to others is a kind of casual "screw you". Add that Beth is a self-acknowledged fixer-upper and I'm not sure the relationship has much of a foundation, really.

Mitigating that is the charming setting. Anchor Island is engaging and the inhabitants well-drawn and interesting. Osburn shines in her depiction of the island and the community there. I'm not sure I buy the economics or social setup, but I want to badly enough that I just let myself enjoy it. Since Beth is so charming, herself, it was fun following her as she fell in love with the community and they fell in love with her. The community was strong enough to make me want to read the next one all on its own.

A note about Steamy: There's a single, rather gratuitous, explicit sex scene and one or two groping moments, making this on the really light side of steamy. A fumbling, kind of intrusive light side, at that...
Profile Image for Amanda.
1,376 reviews316 followers
March 29, 2015
I always love small town romance. This one set in Anchor Island, a small tight-knit community whereby everyone knows everyone. Is a light-hearted romance about Beth's first time visit to her fiance, Lucas' hometown. But due to Lucas' workaholic nature, Beth ended up at the Dempsey's family without her fiance, which led to her spending more time with his older brother, Joe Dempsey.

Joe Dempsey is the kind of guy who loves his island and only needs his boat and his dog, Dozer. He is cranky, gruff and sometime jerk. Mostly due to his forbidden attraction towards Beth. But overall he is a down to earth, kind-hearted guy.

Beth and Joe's relationship develop from a misunderstanding encounter at the ferry, to friends who understand and help each other and more. From their first meeting, there is an undeniable attraction between them, but of course due to Lucas, they both can't do anything about it, which leads to some delicious sexual tension and awkwardness.

Meant to Be is a light and sweet romance that guarantee to put a smile on your face.

Profile Image for Michelle [Helen Geek].
1,772 reviews403 followers
June 18, 2013
06/16/2013 --

Overall Rating = 3 Stars
Book Cover / Book Blurb = 3 / 3 = 3 Stars
Writer’s Voice = 3 Stars
Character Development = 3.5 Stars
Story Appreciation = 3 Stars
Worth the Chili = 3 Stars [$3.99 Amazon,but it available free with Prime]

This was just an okay read for me. I almost didn't finish it I was so bored in the middle. I put it down, but then picked it up to finish it.

I'm really not sure what it was about the book that bored me. I did like the characters, but they didn't pull me. The story didn't pull me either. Oh, well... can't win them all.

I'm definitely in the minority on this one. Hope you enjoy it more than I did.

Happy Reading!
Profile Image for Jennifer☠Pher☠.
2,727 reviews230 followers
October 10, 2013
I really enjoyed this. It was a super cute romance with a great setting and great cast of characters. I love, love Ocracoke Island and think I read that the author used Ocracoke as her inspiration for Anchor Island. Beautifully done. I felt like I was there again! I loved how Beth and Joe met and how their story unfolded. Very perfect HEA. Can’t wait to read the next one.
Profile Image for Pirouette.
86 reviews9 followers
May 28, 2013
I loved reading this story which combined a small town / island feel and a cute story with great dialogues. I loved the writing style, which was light-hearted without being glib.

This is just the kind of contemporary I enjoy. Funny, light-hearted but well-written. I am really looking forward to returning to Anchor Island as soon as I can!
Profile Image for Pikolina.
754 reviews213 followers
January 10, 2018
Me ha parecido una historia bonita, con un buen estilo de escritura, agil y facil de leer. Con muy buenos protagonistas. Solo puedo darle 3 estrellas porque en algun momento la historia me ha parecido quizás algo sosa, y el principio tb algo lento. Aparte, el final es super escueto, me he quedado con ganas de más. 3 estrellitas le doy.
May 1, 2013
Reviewed for Read Your Writes Book Reviews

Meant to Be is Terri Osburn's first published novel. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the book. She doesn’t have the family or their friends being rich and glamorous . They’re real, middle-class people just trying to make a living and live good lives. The characters are all likeable or at least likeable once you get to know them. It's a book you're going to be glad is a part of a series because you’re going to want more.

Lucas Dempsey grew up on Anchor Island, a small island only accessible via ferry. Once he was old enough to leave, he did and now hardly ever returns. Lucas is VERY career minded and driven. He wants to become the youngest partner at his Richmond law firm. Lucas has recently become engaged to Elizabeth. Lucas and Elizabeth are supposed to spend the next two weeks on vacation, visiting Lucas’ family on Anchor.

Elizabeth "Beth" Chandler is an attorney working for the same Richmond firm as Lucas. Unlike Lucas, Beth prefers to be in the background, working as a researcher. She's pretty much a go with the flow person, who will do anything to make someone else happy, even if it means making herself unhappy. The story starts out with Beth on a ferry alone traveling to meet her future in-laws. This trip has trouble written ALL over it. First of all, Lucas has never introduced Beth to his family before. Secondly, Lucas has to work a little later than anticipated and has Beth go on without him. And finally, most important of all, Beth is TERRIFIED of being on boats because of a childhood incident.

In the midst of having a panic attack, a loveable dog shows up with his sexy owner. The stranger and Beth strike up a conversation and the stranger manages to get Beth to relax. During the conversation, Beth realizes that Joe, the sexy stranger, is actually Lucas’ older brother. Even after Joe makes an assumption as to who and what Lucas’ fiancee is like, Beth doesn’t tell him that she is in fact the person he’s talking about. Beth DESPERATELY wants Lucas’ family to like her. Strike one for not being honest up front...

Once the family is all together, there’s tension between Joe and Beth. Not only is the tension present because Beth didn’t confess that she was actually Elizabeth, but also because Joe and Beth are both attracted to each other. After only being on the island for one day, Lucas has to go back to Richmond to work on a case. He insists that Beth stays and promises to be back as soon as he can. Lucas goes days without calling and finally makes a return appearance over a week later after receiving some disturbing news.

Beth immediately recognizes the difference between Joe and Lucas. Joe isn’t into the fancy clothes and cars. People’s opinions of him aren’t on the top of his list of things to concern himself with. He’s a blue-collared guy who runs a charter fishing boat and he loves the island he lives on. The biggest difference of all is that he actually takes the time to get to know who Beth really is. One important thing is that Joe actually asked Beth which name she preferred to be called by. Even though her name is Elizabeth, she prefers to be called Beth. A question Lucas would never ask and a name he would never call her. Beth and Joe make an attempt to become friends. It turns out that they are good for one another. She manages to make him not be the guy who seems to be irritated with the world on a daily basis and he forces her to realize that her opinions and wants are just as important as anyone else’s.

Events transpire that force the people on the island to band together, with Beth leading the charge (something that could get her fired from her job). To Beth’s dismay, even this doesn’t get Lucas to come back to the island. Over the course of her time on the island, Beth falls in love with it and the people who live on it, one person being Joe.

Joe and Beth both recognize the attraction they feel for the other but agree that they can only be friends and couldn’t risk hurting Lucas. A rumor is spread by someone who will do anything to hurt Joe, one which could destroy the whole Dempsey family.

Meant to Be is a very enjoyable read about two people who should be together but are willing to sacrifice themselves for someone else. It’s a story of finally realizing that in order to truly be happy, you have to be yourself and follow your dreams.

Source: NetGalley
Profile Image for Alex.
653 reviews76 followers
May 1, 2013
At First Sight: Beth Chandler has made it her life's work to please other people: she became a lawyer to please her grandparents, lives in Richmond because it was close to them, agreed to marry to her boyfriend Lucas - even though he's a workaholic - to make him happy... and she found herself alone in the ferry, going to visit his family because he was called back to the office and sent her along.

At the ferry going to Anchor Island, and in the throws of a panic attack, for she does not like the water at all, she meets a dog named Dozer and, more importantly, the dog's sexy owner Joe. He talks her down, and stays with her during the crossing and they even flirt a little. All perfectly harmless, until Joe reveals his last name is Dempsey, same as Beth's fiancé Lucas; and she realizes they are brothers.

Upon officially meeting Lucas'-Fiancee-Elizabeth, Joe is none too pleased to discover she's the same Beth he had been flirting with earlier. Joe might not see eye to eye with Lucas in a lot of things, but he loves his brother and would never flirt with his brother's girl. Yet, the damage is already done, the attraction is there and there is no denying it.

And when Lucas has to return to Richmond and leaves Beth alone in the island for two weeks, things get very complicated. Beth knows she shouldn't feel the way she does with Joe, but in Anchor island she feels at home, and she feels like her self for the first time ever. Joe doesn't ever want to hurt his brother, but Beth seems to fit his life, love his island and drive him crazy more than any other woman he has ever met.

Second Glance: Meant to Be turned out to be a delightiful surprise for me, and look that I was a little iffy about it because from the get go it's pretty obvious that the romantic pairing is Beth and Joe, not "Elizabeth" and Lucas; yet they remain engaged or pretty much the duration of the story.

That can be quite tricky to pull off but Meant to Be manages pretty well. I think that one of the author's smart moves is that you never actually see Beth and Lucas together doing couple-y things, Lucas is off being a workaholic most of the time, and Beth is pretty aware that's not going to change anytime soon, she's just not ready to admit to herself that they aren't going to work out in the long run.

So, as you see Joe and Beth hang out and Beth making herself at home in Anchor, you start buying it pretty early on. Plus, Joe and Beth have good chemistry together, they argue and the flirt and they care about each other. Joe is kind of surly, but Beth doesn't take it personal.

There are a few subplots of this story that also keep things interesting: mostly, Joe's ex Cassandra is trying to buy the Island and make it into a luxury resort, so everyone is banding together to keep that from happening.

Bottom Line: I really had a great time reading Meant to Be, I liked the characters, even workaholic Lucas (props to the author for not making him an asshole just to make it okay for Beth and Joe to be together) and I loved the setting of Anchor Island, it sounded like an adorable place. The only bad point in all of this is that the second book of the series (featuring Lucas) won't drop for another year.

Meant to Be comes out May 21st.
Profile Image for Anne OK.
3,477 reviews444 followers
June 21, 2013
This one reminds me a little bit of The Gansett Island Series by Marie Force, but it’s missing the heat and sizzle, along with the depth and connectivity. There’s a similar scenario with a small town island setting, close-knit family and neighbors working together to keep Anchor Island in its pristine condition, along with their livelihoods intact.

One brother’s engagement is in danger of unraveling when a romantic triangle forms between his fiance’ and his older step-brother. Arriving by ferry alone, Beth encounters a handsome blue-eyed stranger named Joe. The spark of attraction springs forth immediately while both fight to keep it from igniting. It doesn’t take long for readers to determine that Lucas is not the right man for Beth. No, it’s Joe who puts the spark in Beth’s eyes without even trying. And that is going to cause big problems for the family reunion. There is also a bit of intrigue and mystery happening when a wealthy businessman tries to buy up the island businesses.

My main complaint with this book is that the pacing was slow and at times I had a hard time staying in the story. A great cast of diverse characters gives the story a pleasant and appeasing boost of energy. However, it was a quick fun-to-read story but it just didn’t have a lot of gusto for me.

Note: Thanks to Michelle, a very generous GR book buddy, for sharing this new author and her debut book with me. I owe you one!
Profile Image for  Asdag♑.
80 reviews2 followers
August 10, 2017
¡Atención es el 1° de la serie aunque pone 2°!
No sé si 4🌟 o 5 🌟
Que bonita historia, me ha gustado más de lo que pensé en un principio. Las descripciones hacen que estés en Anchor Island (Ocracoke en la vida real), todos los personajes me han encantado y la pareja protagonista mucho más 😍
Profile Image for Sharlene.
411 reviews
June 4, 2013
I really enjoyed this book and was amazed it was the first book for Author, Terri Osburn. I look forward to book two and my escape to Anchor Island again.
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