If the best man and maid of honor are both single, it’s practically an unwritten rule that they should pork.
…so begins a rocky acquaintance between Jean-Christian “J.C.” Rousseau and Libitz Feingold at the wedding of J.C.’s brother and Lib’s best friend. While manslut best man J.C. is surprised when maid of honor Libitz soundly spurns his advances, his curiosity is piqued. The girl he couldn’t have becomes the only one he wants.
So, when he finds a seventy-year-old portrait in the attic of his sister’s mansion that bears an uncanny resemblance to the prickly gallery owner, he enlists her help in solving a mystery seven decades in the making. Traveling from Philadelphia to New York to Marseille, a couple who started off as enemies will discover that even cynics can find true love…and mortal man is no match for destiny.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery has a heart for smart romance featuring strong women and decent men. Almost exclusively self-published, Katy claims authorship of over 45 titles, including three RITA® finalists. Translated into French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, and Turkish, Katy has sold over 1.8 million books worldwide.
I just read the most romantic story. One with strong leading characters and sassy, quick banter. From page one to the end, I had a smile on my face and an opening of my heart. It was a story that made me feel good, made me swoon and most of all made me love to pieces.
Jean Christian "JC" Rousseau is 34 yrs old and is the last Rousseau sibling left to find his soul mate. Libitz Feingold is 29 yrs old, best friend to JC brother's fiancé, and not looking to get involved with her best friend's soon to be brother in law. But when fate call, fate calls and nothing you seem to do can derail fate's plans. You can try your best but when you meet "the one" sometimes you have to take a leap of faith.
Like I said before, this story is romantic bliss. It's sweet, sassy, awakening, real, lustful, hopeful, meaningful, and down right swoony. The flow of the story just melted my heart with each page turn. The banter between JC and Libitz was spot on, a give and take that was sassy, sexy and quick. Their connection felt real and hit a sweet emotional level that blossomed from lust to eventual love. Both loving art, both older and established, both not searching for something, both loving their families and both sharing a connection to painting. It was all perfect!!!
I have to say that Katy Regnery writes incredible romance. They always bring happiness to your heart with emotionally touching stories. If you need a story a beautiful love story that is sassy as well as sweet, look not further for JC and Libitz will steal your heart!!
*advanced copy provided by L Woods PR in exchange for an honest review *
Comments added 29 Apr 2018 on reread: I really enjoyed this lovely story again. The player who is tamed by the right woman can be such a cliched trope, but in this book it's done so convincingly. You really believe that Jean-Christian is growing and changing for the better, and that he really is capable of being faithful to Libitz. And anyway, Lib has been a bit of a player herself, and needs to do some growing and settling herself, which she gradually does once they both admit their mutual attraction. They decide together to take a risk on trust and love, and it's very satisfying to the reader.
I also loved the secondary story of the painting and the way the history is unfolded. The book touches delicately on the Holocaust and its aftermath for the survivors. Once again, I shed a few tears at the end of this book. A lovely read.
This time, I did notice that the woman on the cover image looks NOTHING LIKE the description of the h, Libitz, who is a tiny, feisty New York Jewish woman with a cap of shiny dark hair. LOL. It's annoying when the cover doesn't match...... but still, a very nice book in spite of that.
Original review 25 Nov 2016: I really liked this one. The MCs are both firecrackers and they fight tooth and nail against their deep attraction to each other. A tried and true trope, but it's done very well here. JC's hidden vulnerabilities due to his father's terrible example are gradually dealt with, and the relationship between Lib and JC grows slowly but surely.
There is a secondary and very interesting plot line about the origins of an old portrait found in the attic of JC's childhood home, a painting that looks spookily like Lib. This book is a CR (with no supernatural element), and the eventual revelation of the story of the woman in the painting comes as no big surprise to the reader. But this aspect of the book works well and adds interest and richness to what may otherwise have been a pretty predictable CR.
Both MCs are strong and likeable characters, and this was a very enjoyable read.
Katy Regnery never ceases to amaze me in her abilities as a writer. Just when I think her next book couldn't possibly be any better than the previous, she goes and throws out one like J.C. and the Bijoux Jolis and leaves me utterly enthralled and in awe.
The two main characters, Jean-Christian (J.C.) and Libitz have a chance meeting at a wedding in which they are both in attendance and sparks don't necessarily fly right off the bat. You see, J.C. Rousseau is an unapologetic manwhore, and while Libitz has certainly partaken in her fair share of flings, she's decided to tread along the unfamiliar path of finding a potential long-term partner, and the silver-tongued, wickedly handsome J.C. doesn't exactly have "commitment" stamped on his forehead. The insults fly and while they both seem to deem their chance encounter completely meaningless, at first, they are drawn together by family and friends and, for the sake of them, make an attempt to be civil to one another. but where there is smoke, there is fire and the chemistry between these two characters is absolutely EXPLOSIVE
While J.C. and Libitz seem to clash at every turn, they are far more alike than the other have cared to admit. Both are incredibly witty, intelligent, and smart-mouthed and also connect on their mutual love and respect for art.
J.C. has completely captivated me. I mean, Move over, Gideon Cross because there is a new alpha in town! His personality is dripping with alpha, dominant, hotness, yet there is depth within his character. There are underlying reasons as to why he is so wary of commitment and Libitz was a force of nature that he was not expecting.
A relationship for these two characters is almost completely uncharted territory and neither one of them expected to fall so deeply for one another so quickly and powerfully. Both are fearful of the way they feel for one another. J.C. is willing to do anything to keep from becoming what his father was and, in a way, views long-term relationships as a thing destined for failure. Libitz is unsure of of whether or not she should dive into this blossoming romance with J.C. or play it safe with someone for the sake of security.
The sexual tension is off the freaking charts but the true, underlying connection of these characters truly shines through. Though they tend to bicker and attempt to avoid falling into a relationship with one another for a multitude of reasons, their connection is very real and you quickly fall into these characters' personalities. I would have to say that these characters complimented one another in a way I haven't read in quite some time.
While the previous books in the Rousseau series were a little more lighthearted, I felt this book took it one step further than the others had. There is a story within the story that ultimately proves that J.C. and Libitz were simply destined to be together.
If you loved Jonquils for Jax and Marry Me Mad, you're going to be BLOWN away by the magic within this book.
It started with a painting and led to a love they both never expected to happen.
This is my first impression of J.C. in the book but he has several epiphanies throughout the book and my opinion of him changes at the end of the book…. Want to know how? Read my review and then you’ll find out.
J.C. is a pig at the beginning of the book when we meet him at Kate’s wedding. He has a specific type of woman – big tits, hips and well I won’t be crass. But it ain’t pretty this alone made me want to throat punch him. He is a pig.
If the best man and the maid of honor are both single, thought J.C. Rousseau, taking another peek at Kate English’s best friend, Libitz Feingold, it’s practically an unwritten rule that they should pork. And if anyone was in dire need of a good, hard, thorough fucking, it was Mademoiselle Feingold.
Libitz Feingold. Kate’s best friend. Maid of honour. Classy, sophisticated and brilliantly smart is no prude and she has found her match in J.C. But will the battle of the wills lead to something more? But it can’t be just some random fuck. They are family now. They will both be godparents to Ten & Kate’s child. I found Kate to be very judgemental and selfish towards Libitz and Jean Christian although it probably was due to the hormones.
First impressions I’m afraid do count.
“Hi. I’m Libitz Feingold, Kate’s best friend… and it’s not cold enough.” “What?” asked J.C. feeling completely turned around. “It’s not cold enough in hell for me to fall for someone like you,” she said then shifted back around to talk to the person on the other side. Well, fuck me, thought J.C. Libitz Feingold instantly judges him although everything she says is true. The Rousseau charm didn’t work. You’re going to have to work for it. They both have more in common then they want to have. They are both lovers of art.
Passion was art. He loved it. He fucking loved it. It was honest. It was raw. It was ugly. It was beautiful. It was the one time he let himself feel. It kept him safe.
He had conditioned himself to be in a relationship no expectations, assumptions, and no feelings. Just two consenting adults. I got it. He was the alibi for his father’s infidelity. How can a parent do that? I get where he was coming from but he is just so callous with other people’s feelings. But he is coming to realise that things can be different. But he has to deal with not disappointing the people he loves. And that the chance of forever is a choice. There are no guarantees it is a choice to love someone. L’ chaim tovim, a good life. J.C. sorry Jean Christian at the end of the book was…… A man worthy of love. He learnt what he wanted and that some things that needed to be changed. His love for his family and friends helped him especially getting closer to Libitz. They are both in unchartered waters and that is what I really enjoyed about their relationship they are just oblivious in how to lead a relationship but they do a good job in getting there. The mystery of the painting is solved…. I would post the perfect quote here but I won’t so read it.
I am a huge Katy Regnery fan but her last two books in this series have not been for me. There was a lack of substance whereas here it was the opposite. The mystery of a painting of family resemblance. That leads to a trip to France. If this had been another glossy book I feared that the Katy I know and love had lost her spark. Thank God she hasn’t I would have been devastated I didn’t want to miss another auto buy author. Let alone let her talent go to waste. I’m mean this all in the nicest way possible.
Book received by author in exchange for an honest review
Geez! I'm emotional again. Katy Regnery has a way of slaying you with her words and her stories... This one is another gem – I really fell in love with the Blueberry Lane, The Rousseaus series from Jonquils for Jax, Marry me Mad, and now JC and The Bijoux Jolis. Each one I thought was my favorite and Katy proves me wrong every time. These stories are ALL unique and beautiful in their own way.
This particular story, though I felt like I was reading a classic. There is something so stunningly beautiful about this book. The storyline itself is classic – 70 years of history, past and present collide. JC and Libitz’s love story is something rare. The once in a lifetime soulmates, meant to be kind of love. When you first start reading, though, it does not seem like it. We have JC… he is the manwhore best man at his younger brother’s wedding. He has one thing in mind and that is to bed a woman at the end of the night. Then there is a spitfire, barely 5-foot-tall Libitz, who he wrongly propositioned. She knows JC’s number well. Not even a handsome look, the sexy smile, and the sweet talk will soften her resolve. So the challenge is accepted and let the chase begin, right? Yes, all that deliciousness happens but there is something deeper about this love story.
JC is the oldest of four – he has always been the protector of his younger siblings. Part of that is related to his douche bag father and covering up for his slutty ways. Unfortunately for JC – his view of love, relationship and commitment is more than a little jaded. He needs someone who will show him that love is patient, love is kind, and love is worth the risk. That person happens to be Libitz – the opposite of what JC thinks he is attracted to. She feisty, smart, fun and will not settle or take shit from anyone. She completely annoys JC but eventually gets under his skin and won’t leave. The chemistry between them is seriously scorching hot. Katy makes you suffer with angst almost until the end but when it happens – Lord! It was panty dropping, mouth-watering, explosive kind of hot. Totally wicked and so worth the wait.
I really adore both these characters. They are independent, strong, smart, sexy, sweet … all you ever wanted in the hero and heroine. JC is a bit broken but Libitz sees something in him that no one does – she gives him friendship, trust, and her heart. In a way, Libitz saves him – she shows him that true love does exist – with a little commitment and a little work, anything is possible. Katy’s writing is superb, as per usual. The banters are hilarious – wicked and sexy as hell. The interaction between JC and Libitz is flirty, sweet, and fun – a perfect definition of foreplay I think. Then the story behind the painting and the history emerges between these two and made me cry. I don’t want to spoil the plot for you but believe me when I say that it was one UNIQUE plot!
Each of the books in this Blueberry series was a short read but there is something exquisite about each of them. There is no rush, no cliffhanger, nothing overly complicated. This one is a simply gorgeous, fun, sweet love story with a little mystery solving – just a fantastic read.
One last thing, I hope Neil has a book. He seems to be such a good, steady, caring, sweet guy. He might have said some harsh words but I think it’s human nature to react when you are hurt. So, I hope he has his own love story and a happy ending.
Highly recommended! One of my favorite series. LOVED it! <3
What do you get when you take a favorite author, a favorite Shakespeare quote, and a fiery couple mixed with a splash of mystery?
Near perfection. That's what you get.
Oh, you guys - Jean-Christian and Libitz were amazing. They were snarky and antagonistic in a way that served as some sort of blazing hot foreplay that kept ratcheting up over the entire course of the book. I loved how open and honest they were with each other, how they laid all their cards out on the table and then dealt with each one as a team. I loved how they communicated. I loved how they defended each other. I loved how they loved each other.
I loved, maybe most of all, how Libitz was written.
"Though she be but little, she is fierce!"
One of my favorite lines from Shakespeare, it pops up several times in this book, and it is the perfect way to describe Libitz. She's strong, smart, and a little snappy. It's her wisdom that guides Jean-Christian through his fears, and her philosophies that provide him safe harbor. She's arguably the stronger of the two of them and I cannot even begin to tell you how much I loved that. It never felt awkward or uneven. She was just the gentle voice of reason guiding Jean-Christian to his happily ever after.
I also loved the mystery -- a heartbreaking little nod to Libitz's ethnicity and history, as well as a breathtaking homage to the role of fate and destiny in our happily ever afters. It's effortlessly woven into this wonderful love story and I loved it for the layers it added.
The only complaint I have is that I wanted more, (Is that even a complaint? It's possibly just a constant state of being for me when it comes to Ms. Regnery's books. More, please. Always more...) I did feel like it wrapped up quickly in the end and I would have liked to have seen it come full circle with the rest of the Rousseau siblings (Etienne & Kate particularly). However, the ending as written is touching, lovely, and beautiful - and completely satisfying on its own merit.
Katy Regnery writes the hell out of a love story -- every book, every time, and J.C. and the Bijoux Jolis is no exception. By turns breathtaking, heartbreaking, tender, and even a smidge suspenseful - this is another major hit for me and, as always, I cannot wait to see what her amazingly romantic brain has in store for us next. ~ Shelly, 4.5 Stars
I am so pleased to be reviewing yet another Katy Regnery book. These books have become a staple in my reading diet. I have grown to love these books. This time we are delighted with the story of J.C. Rousseau and Libitz Feingold.
What I loved about these two are that they are evenly matched. Both of them are sharp witted and have definitely enjoyed their slice of life. These two are both patrons and lovers of art. SO much alike in their zest for life. Lib and J.C. had managed to get under each others skin from their very first meeting.
A Clandestine relationship ensues and it's a lovely slow burn between J.C. and Lib. I loved watching these two dance around the MAJOR chemistry that sparks around them when they are in the near vicinity of each other. What was so great to read and really by way of Katy's words, feel was the build up of trust and love that J.C. was introduced to through Libitz's faith in him. It was totally a swoon worthy read. While discovering the history to a painting they really discovered so much about each other.
While at they very end of the book we do get a HEA, I must admit I was left wanting a little more. Since J.C. and Lib's relationship was started with the wedding of his brother Ten and his now wife Kate, I feel like they needed to be included in their HEA. This whole relationship was devoid of the whole Rousseau family and since it was the final book for this part of the Blueberry Lane books, I really wanted closure with acceptance and welcoming into the family. This is the only reason I kept the book at 4 stars, othewise I'd give it 5 stars. This is just a personal preference and by NO way reflects on the flawless writing of Katy's.
Some say that time changes everything? Others say that leopard cannot hide its spots. Who are right? Can we change or be changed?
"It's not a predetermined thing like your blood type or eye color. It's a choice. It's a choice to love someone and be faithful to them and do the work."
J. C. and the Bijoux Jolis by Katy Regnery is the third book in The Rousseaus series. Finally, it's the story of the eldest brother Jean-Christian Rousseau. It's the story of overlooking the past mistakes, getting and giving trust, love-hate relationship and true all-compassing love.
J. C. and the Bijoux Jolis is a story of J. C. and Libitz Feingold. Both are very smart and stubborn. They share the same passion - art. The picture found in the attic links them together more than anything else.
Libitz is a good girl who has her own baggage. But she never feels being anything less about it. She lived her life the way she wanted and I loved it about her. I loved her aspiration to art and the desire to follow her heart.
J. C. is not a simple man. He is stubborn and determined. I loved that once he decided he wanted Libitz he did everything to reach his goal.
" J. C. Rousseau was a minefield of a man - nothing about him was simple or genuine. He was complicated and ruthless, smart and devastatingly sexual."
History repeats itself but in this case everything is otherwise.
For me this book became a cure from real life with its problems. I loved their banter. The way their relationship developed. It helped me to live their adventure. And a little tidbit into history - it was awesome!
*** ARC provided to me by the author Katy Regnery in exchange for an honest review***
J.C. Rousseau has a reputation as an untamable manwhore. He's worked his way through most of the women in their social set. He is charming, handsome, flirty, funny, and persistent. But he is completely anti-relationship and anti-commitment. He has his reasons based on his past and really does not think he will ever be willing to take the chance.
He meets Libitz Feingold at Kate and Ten's wedding as they share wedding party duties. She is feisty, stand-offish, and totally not his usual physical type. She immediately rebuffs his flirting and charm. She has also been known to get her needs met when she wants without commitment, but she is now under pressure from her family to settle down with a certain nice Jewish boy and make nice Jewish babies.
But something about J.C. and Libitz together just creates sparks. They are alike in their reputations, passion for art, and careers. They have witty banter and quick retorts. They both are scared of even the idea of commitment, getting hurt, or hurting someone else. Kate does not want her new brother-in-law and best friend getting together and causing drama in their family. He is Catholic and she is Jewish. He lives in Philly and she lives in New York and both have ties in their respective locations. But despite all that is against them, they just can't stop thinking about each other.
We see these two challenge each other and grow. It begins with antagonistic banter, sparring, resistance, and sexual tension. Then they find a common interest that makes them work together and begin to explore other sides of each other. They begin on a quest that is important to them both to find answers--and along the way they begin to change and understand each other more. J.C. is beginning to try to overcome his fears in order to consider a real connection. And Libitz has to determine if he is worth the risk or if one should continue on her safe, easy path of least resistance.
They have to learn to trust not only each other, but themselves. They have to figure out if they can really choose one person, and have the potential to change and to put in the work for a real relationship. But giving your heart away is scary for people used to guarding it closely. And it is hard to trust that people can truly change and maintain it. And they still have various other obstacles to overcome.
This is sweet, passionate, funny, romantic, and has a bit of mystery built in. It makes you believe in fate, destiny, or that some things are predetermined. This author continues to bring interesting and dynamic characters that have some flaws, but she makes you adore them. I ended up really liking J.C. and Libitz much more than I expected. They are strong personalities but they really do complement each other. J.C. really wormed his way into my heart as his own expanded. I enjoyed the cameos from their family and friends especially Ten and Kate. The timeline is the same as the other two books in the Rousseaus series but expands upon it farther into the future. I cannot wait for the next spin-off series with the Story sisters.
I was gifted a review copy in exchange for an honest review.
After reading and adoring over a dozen books in the Blueberry Lane series, I am still amazed at how Katy Regnery still manages to surprise and enthrall me with each new release. JC and the Bijoux Jolis is Blueberry Lane as we haven’t seen before. Starting with the Prologue, I was completely intrigued as a fan of WWII history. There’s a historical element to the development of Libitz and JC’s relationship that was fascinating to watch unfold.
Libitz is not your typical Blueberry Lane heroine. This beloved character was snarky and physically fits the description of Ms. Regnery’s muse to a tee. She was completely unapologetic about how she lived her life, and I loved her for her individuality and strength.
“It wasn’t her business how many hearts he’d broken, only that hers would not be among them.”
I found it hysterical to watch JC completely befuddled over a woman who was immune to his charm and advances. Underneath his playboy reputation, JC was a hero who was haunted by his parents’ broken marriage and his dad’s philandering practices. While it isn’t Libitz’s intention to make him fall in love with her, she is unconsciously bringing him back to life and into the light of what true love could be if he’d allow it.
JC and Libitz’s mutual love of art has them working together to uncover the mystery of the Bijoux Jolis painting. Their journey is filled with tension, with moments of heat offset with regret and rejection. This story is sexy, beautifully written, and addictive. I found it impossible to put this book down because I was enthralled with both JC and Libitz’s relationship, but also with the element of mystery. This is the perfect crossover book for fans of Ms. Regnery’s modern fairytale series who haven’t yet tried her Blueberry Lane books. As much as I love all of the stand-alone books in this series, for me, this one really stands out with different characters and a beautifully written link between past and present.
It’s a gorgeous story that you don’t want to miss. Bravo again Katy Regnery!
It's not cold enough in hell for me to fall for someone like you.
How many hearts had he broken? A million, she'd bet. Or more. And the funny thing was? If you asked him, he'd probably say, 'None.' He probably assumed that because he wasn't interested and made it clear, it staunched any interest or expectation on the side of his partners. Stupid, selfish man. Women didn't work like that.
Her huge spirit was in such contrast to her tiny body, for a moment he wondered how she contained it.
You said that people can change and people can choose. Well, I'm changing and I choose you.
Katy Regnery has turned out yet another engaging, well written, and sweet-n-sexy story. This time, it involves a notorious playboy (J.C.) and a smart and savvy woman (Libitz) whose best friend has forbidden her to have anything to do with him. They start off on the wrong foot despite having a mutual attraction, but J.C. could easily stand for Just Casual, as that was the way he rolls with women, lots and lots of women. In addition to the enemies to lovers romance, the storyline also involved a bit of mystery and historical family research. I adored Libitz; she was feisty, smart, and true to herself. As always, Ms. Regnery's writing was amusing, relevant, saucy, and pleasantly entertaining.
ARC Review: J.C. and the Bijoux Jolis (Blueberry Lane: The Rousseaus) by Katy Regnery
J.C. and Libitz are truly something special. There was an ethereal quality to their story. Through the highs, lows and in between, it was a foregone conclusion that the bond between these two could not be broken. The hand of fate had mapped out their journey in the stars. With J.C. and the Bijoux Jolis, Ms. Regnery reminded me why I love romance. The feeling I get deep inside my soul that renders me speechless and rocks me to my core. That is the heart of a dreamer. Katy Regnery saved the best Rousseau for last. Jax set the stage, Mad was the encore but J.C. was the main event. He kept me bewitched, bothered and bewildered until the bitter end.
I loved this book and more over, appreciated this book on so many levels! I truly didn't expect this one to be so special to me, not the way it did. I hope I'll be able to do it justice with my review..
Though I was curious about Libitz from hearing about her in Kate and Etienne's book ("Kiss Me Kate", The English Brothers #6), Jean-Christian (J.C. in short) ISN'T my kind of guy, I remember I had a similar thought when I read Alex English's book, I was wondering the same, basically if he will be "redeemable", because let's face it, he sounds like a douche.. (when it's NOT concerning his family). Like with Alex's book, I was happy to be worried for nothing, I truly appreciated J.C.. Yeah he started off as quite annoying in the way he was sure Libitz will fall into his arms (or rather, his bed..) but Libitz was feisty enough to show him she is NOT impressed. Not at all. Which is what I expected from her :) She never did disappoint me in this aspect, she put up a fight against J.C.'s pig like behavior, but she did it while making both him and myself laugh. I really enjoyed their banter. No wonder it made them realize they have more in common then they would easily admit, and that without mentioning they both share a love for art as well as own an art gallery.
This book start in a totally different way than the previous ones in the Blueberry Lane series, we are thrown back to France, 1939, where a painter is drawing a beautiful young jewish girl. When he bids her off after finishing her portrait - "Les Bijoux Jolis" - he asks her to save herself and sail over the sea to the US, "Live a good life" he prompts her. This is where we leave the beautiful young Camille and return to our current time, to Kate and Etienne's wedding in which Libitz and J.C. find themselves not only fighting with one another but sharing a kiss they can't forget 2 months later when they meet again to celebrate another good news from Kate and Etienne upon their return from the honey moon.
Libitz and J.C. find they have a reason to get on with one another but they find it easier said then done, up until J.C. shows Libitz a painting Jax found in Le Chateau's attic. A painting of a beautiful young girl wearing an emerald necklace - "Les Bijoux Jolis", one who has a striking resemblance to Libitz. This is a sort of turning point in their "relationship", as they begin on a "treasure hunt" of finding as much as they can about the girl in the painting. Not surprising once the "act" falls off both their faces, and they start to see each other more clearly they also fall for each other. The attraction was there from day one, the question is, can both of them commit to one another.
I don't want to say more about the plot itself, I'll leave you to enjoy it yourself :) But I have something else to say about this book which made it so special to me personally. First off, I felt HONORED to read a book about Jews that brought the Holocaust's narrative in such a realistic and genuine way. WWII, "The War", is a silent presence that cannot be ignored in the Jewish narrative. It's there through words spoken and unspoken. The way Katy brought the subject and dealt with it, was not only sensitive but truly felt right-on-point, not to mention I LOVED seeing the interaction between the family members, so much of it made me laugh about how realistic it sounded. I found myself highlighting all those paragraphs that sounded so, well, Jewish! (I would think of them for myself as Israeli, but I guess it's the same :)).
The way Libitz found herself connected to the young model, the way she wished she knew more about her, yet was somehow discouraged in case she was tortured and killed during the war felt so real to me. It's the fantasy vs. the horrible reality of the war's consequences. So many sad stories, so little with a happy ending. It's part of why I usually don't read fiction about the Holocaust, I rather read of TRUE stories that actually happened instead of made up ones, considering the truly remarkable stories should be the ones to be treasured (as we say - Remember and Never Forget). Also with everything this war have seen, there are enough real stories to be told. Here, it's not the main focus, it's just a sort of historical frame around the romance taking place at the current time which only added to their love story.
Another thing I was touched by was Libitz's perspective about relationships. Thing is, in romance we see the beginning, and we are promised a "Happily Ever After", but let's face it, most stories bring us the "falling in love" part, being infatuated, less of the real relationship, the core of it, and the fact that keeping a relationship, a long lasting one, asks for much more than feelings and attraction, it requires hard work from both partners. J.C. has his misgivings about relationship because of the way his parents fell apart, his father constantly cheating on his mother. Libitz states that it's a choice to be made. You can work on the relationship or you can throw it away (leave, betray, fall out of love etc.). I don't think J.C. ever considered relationships this way and moreover I don't think young people see it this way. I for sure didn't when I was in my early 20s. Yeah I was in a very meaningful relationship, but neither of us realized how much the relationship needed WORK in order to keep through the rough patches in life (not surprising it didn't..). I really loved the fact Katy brought this into a romance novel, showing there is more to a relationship than the usual formula we read in the genre. It made the whole story more realistic and moreover made J.C.'s decisions towards Libitz more genuine. It took him awhile but after thinking and re-thinking about her words he made his active choice.
" There are no guarantees. And yes, any of us could change at any time. [..] But forever exists. [..] forever takes work. [..] That's how I know that you're capable - that anyone is capable, it's not a predetermined thing like your blood type or eye color. It's a choice. It's a choice to love someone and be faithful to them and do the work. We're ALL capable of that. " [Libitz, Ch. 7]
This subject brings me to the next issue I feel the need to write about. I KNOW some people would be discouraged to read this book because of what I'm about to say, but please, keep an open mind.. So yeah, basically there IS an issue of Libitz being unfaithful to a guy she is dating while she and J.C. are getting closer. They share kisses, and they make out while technically there's a poor guy named Neil who is waiting for Libitz to come back to him. Usually that's one of the things I simply CANNOT read about. I'm a dog person - loyalty is all. I can't find ANY excuse to cheating and to put it in Libitz's own words "it's a choice". Thing is, Neil and Libitz didn't work out, they tried dating but they rarely even kissed, Neil kept complaining he wants more from her and she was cold and distant because she really didn't WANT him.. but he kept asking and she was trying to be a better daughter to her parents and also she knew that being with him meant she could have a family sooner rather than later and it's something she yearns for. Yet Neil was never for her.. everything she did showed it, to us and especially to him. One could argue they hardly WERE a couple. I don't know, I still see it as cheating. It does show us Libitz is human like all of us and she can and does make mistakes. I think she could have handled it better but I think I can forgive her because she didn't even realize the wrong things that drove her to be with Neil.. Yeah, okay, it's still no excuse.. but no one is perfect, even if this IS a romance novel. Please please please try and put this aside and give this one a go even if you, like me, usually don't appreciate reading of infidelity (in books and real life..).
This book was beautiful beyond words, I loved it SO SO much and naturally I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND it! I know it says it can be read as a stand alone, but I still think it's better to start with the first one of the Rousseaus. These three books are WONDERFUL. Each one is very different and enjoyable in a different kind of a way. So go ahead and grab it and read it ASAP! :) These three are mostly sweet and endearing reads, with this one giving us a bit more with the historical background story.
Okay, one last thing I want to say which made me squeal in excitement is the fact I'm mentioned in the acknowledgments. Katy asked me to help her out in a certain phrase in Hebrew and naturally I did my best to help so I feel truly honored to have a small piece of this book which feels like my own.
I kindly received this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
Whenever I open a Katy Regnery book I know I’m going to get sucked into the rabbit hole and not want to climb out and it happened once more with J.C. & the Bijoux Jolis. We have a bit of a psuedo enemies to lovers story going on between J.C. and Libitz with a little mystery woven into the mix that kept me turning the pages to see how both situations would be resolved.
J.C. Oh. J.C. I wasn’t all too sure about J.C. going into this book. It wasn’t his manwhore reputation that rubbed me the wrong way, because he definitely owned it, but that underlying bastard like smarmyness that had me snarling (much like Libitz did in the beginning) I figured there was a reason for it because his love for his family was never in question and what a reason it was. Thankfully the man pulled his head out of his arse and I loved seeing the heart that he so desperately tried to hide because it was a generous and compassionate one that drew me in and I wanted to know more about this complex man.
Libitz was quite the woman. I loved how comfortable she was in her own skin. She, in some ways, is the definition of “I am woman, hear me roar.” She is sassy, witty and quick with those comebacks. I loved her passion for her chosen carrier as much as I love how she owned her sexuality. But she wasn’t perfect. She did a few things in the book that had me shaking my head and even then I couldn’t really find too much fault with her because it made her human and therefore approachable.
The funny thing about J.C. and Libitz was that they really were peas in a pod. From how they viewed relationships (at least up until they collided at Kate and Ten’s wedding) to their chosen careers to how much they loved their families. You couldn’t find two people more compatible and then you add in their snark and wit and the sexual heat between them every time they were within a mile radius of each other and there was no question that they’d end up together, at least once they retracted their claws just a little bit. And once they did, the sparks really flew and it really was just a waiting game to see what would make them finally cross the lines in the sand they’d drawn. While there were bumps in the road, some I understood while others had me wondering why it was an issue. I will say that one of the situations will cause some readers to be very unhappy, but it is what it is. In the end I’m happy they got their HEA, I do wish the book was longer because there were some scenarios I would have loved to see play out, but overall I’m happy.
Then we had the mystery of The Bijoux Jolis. I have to say I loved the story behind it and how each piece of the puzzle was revealed. It was such a beautiful, if a touch heartbreaking, story in it’s own right and I loved how it was an integral part of J.C.’s and Libitz journey towards their HEA.
As always, it was a joy to read one of Katy Regnery’s beautiful creations, though with the Blueberry Lane series I really, REALLY, need to have a full blown “family tree” of all the families involved in front of me when I read one of the books so I know who goes where, and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for the Story sisters!
~ Copy received via L. Woods PR & reviewed voluntarily ~
I haven't been able to read a book in days which is very uncommon for me. I felt such a profound sadness in my heart and simply couldn't get out of this funk surrounding me. Whichever book I tried I gave up very soon because I didn't feel it. I needed a story that would finally help me cure my current mood. And I found it thankfully in J.C. and the Bijoux Jolis.
This book is very different from her other Blueberry Lane novels. Jean-Christian and Libitz's story was not as light-hearted and sweet like the previous Rousseau books. Katy wrote a unique and intriguing love story that stood out with originality. There is a painting of a young nude with emeralds called Les Bijoux Jolis which plays a significant roll in this book. The whole mystery about it and the way the author included it in the story was simply brilliant and something I haven't read before. My curiosity was immediately sparked with the captivating prologue.
We already know that J.C. is the oldest Rousseau sibling, a womanizer and owner of an art gallery in Philly. He is handsome, rich and successful. Although it makes him happy to see his brother Etienne and his twin sisters Jax and Mad settled in relationships, he doesn't seek commitment for himself. On the contrary, he is afraid of it. Like all the Rousseau kids he didn't exactly have role models for a happy marriage. His only true love is art - J.C. is very passionate about his gallery.
Libitz Feingold is Kate English's best friend since kindergarten. The two women are thick as thieves despite their different ethnicities and religious believes. For them their differences have never been an issue. On the contrary! Lib is a confident, feisty and progressive woman. Her NY art gallery is her pride and joy. She owns her Jewish heritage and knows exactly what she wants from life and isn't afraid or shy to ask for it. And marriage and kids aren't on her radar yet.
When Jean-Christian and Libitz meet at Kate and Etienne's wedding their strong personalities immediately crash together. J.C. wants to seduce the maid of honor with his charm but Lib is determined to not become another notch on his belt. But this doesn't deter the beautiful bastard from pursuing the ice princess.
The chase and banter have been very entertaining. Their dialogues were witty, funny and sometimes downright dirty. J.C. and Libitz's chemistry was sizzling. They really found in each other equal partners on so many levels. There is something about two cynics falling in love who didn't belive in a HEA ...
Thank you Katy for writing such a beautiful story! I bow to your exceptional talent and can't wait to see what you have in tow for us in the future.
This book was truly a gem. I went into it with certain expectations but Katy Regnery totally managed to surpass them. I'm still in awe of how she always comes up with new ideas. J.C. and the Bijoux Jolis was definitely different from her other books and unique in a very special way. It was a beautiful, powerful and touching interplay of the past and the present. The book started and ended with the painting making the "Bijoux Jolis" literally run like a golden thread through the whole story!
If the best man and maid of honor are both single, it’s practically an unwritten rule that they should pork. This is how the hero and heroine of this story, Jean-Christian “J.C.” Rousseau and Libitz Feingold, meet - at the wedding of J.C.’s brother and Lib’s best friend. The best man, known for being the epitome of a beautiful bastard and and a "real-life Gideon Cross", is surprised when the maid of honor soundly rejects his advances. Now his curiosity is piqued and the only thing he can think about is to get the sexy ice queen (his nickname for Lib) into his bed - the only woman forbidden to him.
When J.C. finds a seventy-year-old portrait in the attic of his sister’s mansion called the "Bijoux Jolis" that bears an uncanny resemblance to the intriguing and beautiful gallery owner with the big brown eyes, he enlists her help in solving the mystery behind the painting. Traveling from Philadelphia to New York to Marseille, a couple who started off as enemies will discover that even two cynics like them can find true love…
I loved Lib's and J.C.'s banter and sizzling chemistry! It was amusing to read their witty dialogues and sexual inuendos. Neither J.C. nor Libitz were tame or prude before they met. A relationship was simply never on their radar. They will both realize that it takes to meet the right person to make you wish for more. In the end it doesn't really matter who was there before us - we all have a past. It's not always about being someone's first but to be their last!
What got to me most is that this book totally hit the nerv of time because it contains a very important message we all should always keep in mind: true love and friendship doesn't care about race or religion! It didn't matter that the hero was Catholic and the heroine Jewish. They loved, respected and accepted each other for who they are. It's a message so dear to my heart and one I'm determined to live by each and every day. We need more books like this! To remind us what is most important in life: love, family, friendship and tolerance. Well done Katy Regnery!
The moment I read the summary of J.C. and the Bijoux Jolis, I knew it was going to be different. A good kind of different. I was not mistaken.
This book is my favorite among all the Rousseau books. Why? Because it is mixed with Historical Fiction and a bit of mystery. This made it more interesting and as I said, different. J.C. and the Bijoux Jolis was romantic... classic and it was elegantly delivered. The writing was smooth and beautiful just like Katy's other books. I think I can already recognize her books even if she don't put her name on them.
I instantly loved her characters and since I enjoy witty banters, this book did not disappoint. J.C. is a character to be loved. He stole my heart from the beginning. The manwhore who avoided love as much as he can but ended up helplessly falling in love with this small but beautiful woman Lib--- who share the same passion but belongs to a different religion and culture and also engaged to another man. Lib is a strong woman and she is feisty and stubborn and smart and confident and independent yet soft on the inside. She makes a perfect match for J.C. whose character is as strong as her. They make a perfect couple and they are my most favorite in the Blueberry Lane series yet.
I don't exactly look for it, but there are certain words that usually hit me whenever I read a book. It still surprise me everytime because I find it rare and special and when they do hit a spot, the book suddenly feels like home...
“But forever exists. I promise you it does... It’s a choice. It’s a choice to love someone and be faithful to them and do the work. We’re all capable of that.”
"There was a freshness, a newness, an excitement in finding the right person after knowing so many who weren't."
These words are true and I believe them with all my heart. And for a book to be beautiful and unforgettable, it has to have meaning too. For it to have meaning, it should be able to speak to us--probably in many different ways--but it should speak to us and make us remember their words even before you finished the book. For me, that makes this book not only beautiful and romantic but also hopeful and courageous and brave. Because loving isn't easy and this book gives hope to those who are afraid to love and be loved in return. Then there's the magic of destiny and also the truth that we can make them happen.
I loved J.C. and Lib. I loved their story that made them oh so right for each other. Katy has written yet another beautiful love story that will make you feel sexy and will definitely make you swoon!
J.C. Rousseau has a reputation and hopes to score at his brother’s wedding, especially since he (the best man) and the maid of honor are both single. In his mind, that is the perfect pairing, especially since Kate’s best friend, Libitz, intrigues him. Libitz is not interested in a night with J.C., however, spoiling his plans and only increasing his interest in her.
Libitz is all for casual relationship and no strings nights, but knows that a night with J.C. will always have strings, simply because of the relationship between her best friend and his sister. But her family is pushing her to settle down, and her mother continues to push good Jewish boys at her.
Their shared love of art is an easy connection, and he uses it to spend time with her. When a painting is discovered in the attic that bears a striking resemblance to Libitz, they work together to uncover the model’s identity and the connection to the Rousseau family.
These two have a spark. Between their common interests and quick wits, there is never a dull moment. They go from antagonistic arguing to witty banter as the chemistry between them kindles and develops from physical interest into something more.
I loved the little snapshots from the past, telling the story of the painting that links JC and Libetz. They aren’t enough to be a complete story on their own, but as a background for the painting itself and the woman in the portrait, they are a beautiful connection to the past.
Once again, Katy Regnery has pulled me into Blueberry Lane, created a story and characters that are all engrossing and entertaining, and made me wish I could live in this world just a little bit longer. Though J.C. is the last of the Rousseau siblings to find his soul mate, the Story sisters are up next. Something tells me these fiery women will have strong opinions and some roadblocks to overcome!
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
"You’re my person,” he said. “You’ve always been my person. Long before I was breathing, you belonged to me.”
JC - an independent man who swore of commitments at a young age because of his father who lives in philly close to his family Lib - a fun loving girl just living the city life in NYC. Best friends with JC now sister in law Kate
JC and Lib first had a love hate relationship. But Kate made lib promise not to have a meaningless night with him because that's just how the two of them are, but it would mess up everything. She held true to that promise. JC and Lib both have the love for art; and end up going on a treasure hunt which is the cutest thing. I loved reading "watching" the feelings grow.
I can't wait to find out more. What's the next book? What does Kate and the family say and think? What happens with the galleries. I WANT TO LEARN MORE!
JC and the Bijoux Jolis is by Katy Regnery. For those of you who do not know Katy’s books, I encourage you strongly to read them. They feel real - like each character could be a friend or someone you know. This particular book focuses on JC Rousseau formerly of Blueberry Lane.
JC has his own Art Studio, the life of a rich playboy and his family. He is summoned to help his sister-in-law and be a godfather for the new baby. Another person supporting Kate is her best friend, Libitz Feingold, who is going to be the godmother. Of course Libitz and JC seem to hate each other - and then not. Their play by play is fun! I love the mysterious element to the surprising work of art found in the attic. The book was enjoyable, the couple steamy, and the added addition to the mystery was great! JC and the Bijoux Jolis by Katy Regnery is a great read!
Immediately this story took hold of me. The suave yet over confident JC and the tiny but fierce Lib. These two swept me away and their story is one of true romance.
JC had his eye on his new sister-in-law's best friend for the moment she arrived for the wedding weekend. I mean he was the best man, she was the maid of honor, they were meant to hook up for the weekend right?
But there was something there... something that neither of them had control over. From the start, this story takes hold of you and as it unfolds you see how these two headstrong man and woman are truly meant for each other, no matter how hard they try to deny it.
I loved every minute of this story. It was the first out of the series that I read (each book can be read as a standalone) and it won't be the last in the series either.
Katy Regnery has done it again! She's written a story that left me with a smile on my face and characters that will live on in my mind for a long while.
For as swoony as Cort was in Mad's book and as giving and patient as Gard was with Jax, I think J.C. is my favorite hero in this series! Sure, he was a cocky playboy....until he met the woman who made him want more. Then he showed such vulnerability. I just wanted to squeeze him.
Libitz was perfect for J.C. She also had a history, so she wasn't expecting perfection from him. When she told J.C. that love and relationships take commitment and work, I wanted to shout her words from the rooftops for all the world to hear. She couldn't have been more spot on.
*thanks to L.Woods PR for sharing a copy of this with me*
This is my favourite book of the series I loved JC from the moment he appeared in the book, pairing him up with Libitz was just perfection. The interactions between them had me laughing out loud, they are so similar it's uncanny. What I loved most was that the relationship didn't feel forced it felt real. It was sassy and fun, tender and romantic, passionate and sexy. Really enjoyed the story that involved the painting it gave an added depth to the storyline. A well written tender love story that I really enjoyed.
J.C. and Libitz were actually a pretty fun couple. On one side, they have a lot of similarities. Both have had much occasion for casual sex. There's no blushing virgin here. But the fun comes at Etienne and Kate's wedding where J.C. tries to woo Libitz with his player moves and she hardly spares him the time of day. While I don't love a player, I loved that the player in this scenario had met his match.
Despite ignoring their mutual attraction, life had a way of bringing J.C. and Libitz back into each other's lives, and in a big way. Here's where things got even better. I really enjoyed watching J.C. and Libitz fight their attraction, then give in, then question where they should go next. They had a great chemistry and a touching understanding of each other, especially as we got to know their pasts more and more. They were certainly well-matched. (I did have an issue with how Neil was treated in this book, though I also can understand the confusing motives that brought that situation out. Still didn't love it.)
In addition to this budding romance, we have the mystery painting discovered in J.C.'s sister's attic. This tied into the prologue and brought a lovely depth and substance to this story, making it more than just a romance. This was a beautifully played addition to this story, and I loved how the painting tied into the past and the present. I also loved the passion both J.C. and Libitz had for art. I could feel it through the pages.
Since this was the last book in this particular series, I wished there would have been more of an inclusion of the siblings together at the end of the book. I liked the epilogue and its uniqueness. But I would have also loved either an additional chapter of the siblings and their significant others together, or a second epilogue. While the ending wrapped up nicely, it still felt like something was missing.
Overall, this was another great romance by Katy Regnery. I love a beautiful happy ending.
My heart feels utterly complete. Like it has been on a journey through time, witnessing the innocence of love, fate & destiny & how they can all be so beautifully woven into the fabric of life – or the strokes of paintbrush.
JC & The Bijoux Jolis is book 3 in the Rousseau family stories. Having loved both Mad & Jax’s stories, my heart already knew JC - Jean-Christian’s story was going to take me on yet another truly fabulous journey, but I wasn’t prepared for the depth of feelings it would tug from heart. From the very beginning I was held fast in the most endearing story of love wrapped up in the most vulnerable, breath takingly beautiful man you could imagine.
JC & Libitz first meet at his brother’s & her best friend’s wedding. As much as they want to ignore the electrical current that jumps between them – they can’t. They literally are a match for each other, both smart mouthed, quick & witty, it’s like fate works against them, for as much as they push, they are uncontrollably pulled to one another, bringing with it some real laugh out loud moments as they both play to win.
Trying to forget that night, their lapse in judgement & the harsh words that were said, both find their thoughts drifting back to each other. Feelings simmer under the surface & when fate intervenes again, bonding them in a way that will last a lifetime, it seems destiny already has their journey mapped out – they just have to be brave enough to trust in it.
JC is a manwhore on the outside – beautiful, smart & oh so swoony, yet on the inside is where he owns me completely. He is complicated, afraid & vulnerable. He feels in his heart he is unable to love, unable to commit. Having witnessed so many wrong doings growing up, he truly thinks that he will never deserve what his sisters & brother have – love, happiness, family. No matter how hard they try to show him his worth, he is locked in a place that masks his heart – even from himself.
It takes a painting of the ‘Bijoux Jolis to break him wide open. Mesmerised by a painting that was discovered at his family home & the sheer resemblance to the woman who has captured his every thought & quite possibly his heart in ways that undoubtedly frighten him, he knows without doubt the Lib needs to see this painting. For although the painting is decades old, there is no denying the familiarity in the eyes, in the skin, in the face of the beautiful girl that stares back from the canvas.
Once Lib sees the pictures, fate & destiny take hold once more as the major players in their story. As she is pulled to the girl in the picture who seems to be a mirror reflection, her need to know ‘her’ story becomes all consuming. While chasing answers with the man she should stay away from – but can’t, she slowly starts to see the ‘real’ JC & that is enough to leave her desperately aching for more, no matter the consequence.
Their journey is breathtakingly honest & raw. Both afraid yet brave. unsure yet certain. My heart ached for JC when he was at his most vulnerable yet swelled for the sheer strength & courage that Lib used as a guiding light to bring him back when he became lost.
Katy once again delivered a love story that nestled deep in my heart while tapping into my very soul. She showed me that the hope & certainty of promises made, can & will span the test of time & continue to leave their footprint in this beautiful world - long after the words have been spoken. How sometimes moments in life are captured so beautifully that they will survive at all costs. That fate & destiny will always favour the good & the brave & that love – well love is & always will be selfless.
As soon as I finished JC and the Bijoux Jolis, I suddenly felt so emotional over this story I just didn’t know where to start my review. Katy Regnery has returned us to Blueberry Lane in this 14th installment to the series with the story of Jean-Christian Rousseau and Libitz Feingold. The special connection these characters share through their love of art and specifically the painting J.C.’s sister discovers in the attic of her home really sets a special tone for this romantic love story. Not to mention the historic element Ms. Regnery delivers which makes this novel uniquely different than the others in this series drawing me in very deeply.
Growing up watching the troubled relationship between his parents, J.C. has always lived his life never opening up his heart to any woman. Seeing the hurt in his Mother’s eyes after the never-ending indiscretions of his Father, he never wanted to be the reason for seeing that kind of pain in the eyes of a woman thereby leading him to live his life without love. But from the moment he met Libitz, J.C. felt an undeniable and intensive pull to her spirit that he had never before experienced. Libitz likewise had never felt a bond with any man’s heart. That is until the night she met Jean-Christian at her best friend’s wedding. Although they continue to verbally spar with each other that only serves to intensify the attraction they both feel, notwithstanding the passionate kiss they shared that night which intensely affects them both.
Although desperately trying to discount the attraction they feel, neither Libitz nor J.C. is able to erase the visual images of that night. So when their lives cross paths once again two months later, both J.C. and Libitz realize they cannot continue to ignore the powerful gravitational pull between their spirits. But being aware of his lustful past, will Libitz ever truly be able to put her full faith and trust in Jean-Christian, and will J.C. ever be able to lay to rest his past and finally open up his heart completely to the one soul with which he may have always been destined to find his happily-ever-after?
First and foremost, the historical element to this story was absolutely fantastic. That is not to say that the romantic aspects didn’t completely touch my heart, but the way Ms. Regnery intertwined the history and mysterious element the surrounded Les Bijoux Jolis was absolutely magical. The way it drew the souls of Jean-Christian and Lib together through their mutual love of art as well as their irrefutable passion for each other was beyond enchanting, as was the undeniable path on which destiny would lead them both. Though neither J.C. nor Libitz have ever experienced the emotional draw to any other soul as they have with each other’s, as they find themselves inexplicably drawn together through their mutual allure to the painting, they also begin to discover the deep connection to each other that they were destined to share for an eternity.
Once again, Katy Regnery has delivered an absolutely fantastic story of love and passion. The enigmatic component to JC and the Bijoux Jolis coupled with the almost mystical and seemingly predetermined path these characters’ souls are meant to travel together unquestionably captivated my heart and my mind. Although I have loved each and every story throughout the entire Blueberry Lane series, the fate which exists and surrounds their lives demonstrates to me that Jean-Christian and Libitz were meant to find each other. This story positively mesmerized me from beginning to end and absolutely made my heart shudder.
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.
It's always hard to start a review that you honestly can't put into words how beautiful the story was, that's where I'm at with this book. It was as funny as it was tasteful, it was as dirty as it was sweet. When two characters start off with dislike for each other, it can result in a major pull. That's how this story was. It was a slow burn at a fast pace. Pushing each other away yet pulling each other close. It was simply amazing. It was more then just romance. I really loved the history and mystery that the author Incorporated into the plot, it added something that made it just right.
Libitz had spunk! Right from the start she had me laughing so hard my sides hurt. She was dainty but a really tough cookie and that made me love her and wish I could jump into my kindle and be her best friend.
Oh sweet JC. He was something else. When you meet people some people had an air about them and that's how I felt about JC. Right from the start he had his charm and his words , while he could be crude, it really worked for me. As Libitz at one time points out, he's just misunderstood and Libitz was his perfect match! He was different from his sisters and I have to say, out of this sub series he is my favorite!
The two had great banter. Banter between two love interests is what can truly make or break a book but with Katy's flawless writing she hit it out of the park.
The plot while it had its sad moments was about trying. Trying to love even if you don't feel that you have it in you. It was so beautiful and heartbreaking to watch both of these characters overcome their fears and accept what's right in front of them. The art and history I'm this book was great! The author did a great job at capturing it all.
Overall, this is another 5 star read from this author. It feels like we are ending a series but I have faith that we will see these characters again in more Blueberry Lane books to come. I loved seeing all the other characters and seeing into their lives. 5 stars #2OCCJD