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Marriage and happily-ever-after are for suckers…

Joe Whelan was fooled once on the way to the altar, and the Irish doctor isn’t about to be an eejit over a woman again. Especially not one who witnessed his broken-hearted humiliation years ago. He won’t be swayed by the sparks that fly whenever his eyes meet MacKenna’s or distracted by her sweet kisses. The only thing Joe cares about is preventing his sister from making the biggest marital mistake of her life.

MacKenna Jones loves a good wedding—so long as she’s sewing the bride’s gown, not walking down the aisle herself. Falling for Joe Whelan’s sexy bedside manner wasn’t on the cards, neither was a seven-day road trip with him to Las Vegas, the Marriage Capital of the World. When the stakes are so high, will these two gun-shy cynics ever say I Do?

SAYING I DO is the eighth story in Tracey Alvarez’s best-selling Stewart Island books set against the stunning backdrop of Aotearoa, New Zealand. If you like heart-warming, sexy & seductive small-town romances with a touch of humor, you’ll love sharing the journey with these authentic men and women struggling to find their special someone.


First published May 16, 2017

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About the author

Tracey Alvarez

31 books632 followers
Tracey Alvarez lives in the Coolest Little Capital in the World (a.k.a Wellington, New Zealand) where she’s yet to be buried under her to-be-read book pile by Wellington’s infamous wind—her Kindle’s a lifesaver! Married to a wonderfully supportive IT guy, she has two teens who would love to be surgically linked to their electronic devices.

Fuelled by copious amounts of coffee, she’s the author of contemporary romantic fiction set predominantly in New Zealand. Small-towns, close communities, and families are a big part of the heart-warming stories she writes. Oh, and hot, down-to-earth heroes—Kiwi men, in other words.

When she’s not writing, thinking about writing, or procrastinating about writing, Tracey can be found reading sexy books of all romance genres, nibbling on smuggled chocolate bars, or bribing her kids to take over the housework.

Tracey also writes flirty, dirty stories under the penname Jessie Logan.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 61 reviews
Profile Image for Siobhan Davis.
Author 117 books8,064 followers
April 9, 2017
Dr Joe has featured in several of the Due South books up to this point but we haven't really learned that much about him except that he's originally from Ireland. Mac has appeared previously as Holly's cousin and the bridal shop owner so we know a little bit about her too. This is their story and I loved every heart stealing moment of it!

Tracey is a fabulous writer and her prose and her wonderful characters always hook me from the get-go, and Saying I Do was no different.

Dr Joe has sworn off love due to a disastrous previous engagement that Mac played a part in. I won't say any more because I don't want to ruin the story but suffice it to say that both formed opinions of each other when they first crossed paths and since Dr Joe moved to Oban they have butted heads every time they meet. But there is no stopping Mrs T once she gets a notion in her head. As the island's self-professed matchmaking expert, Betsy has set her sights on Mac and Joe and the story kicks off with her manipulating a meeting between them.

Mac is also a bit love-shy thanks to an overly-eager mother who has been divorced a few times and she has some love skeletons in her closet too. I enjoyed Mac's character - she was intelligent, successful, confident, and fiesty. She struggled to understand her feelings for Joe but as the story progressed she couldn't avoid the fact she was falling in love with the Irish doctor.

Joe gradually starts opening his heart to Mac and he proves how far he has come on a trip to Vegas to celebrate his sister's nuptials. But the path of true love doesn't run smooth and there are a few hiccups for our couple before they get their HEA.

Tracey has done an amazing job portraying the Irish characters in this story. They were all believable and I found myself chuckling at phrases I know so well! All of Joe's family were right characters and I sense they have some interesting stories to tell. The scene in the Vegas hotel room where Mac first meets his brothers was hysterically funny and I almost peed my pants I was laughing so hard. I loved the switch of scenery in this book, especially the American road trip. Something happens during that trip that made me mad (no spoilers here folks) but all was good in the end.

Overall, this was another superb read from Tracey. I always know I'm in for a great time when I pick up one of her books and that was most definitely the case with Saying I Do.

I beta read an unedited draft of this book and I have voluntarily reviewed same. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. This review will appear on my blog in due course - http://myyanabookobsession.com
Profile Image for Alison.
3,133 reviews121 followers
August 25, 2017
MacKenna Jones is a wedding dress designer from Invercargill, she has come to Stewart Island to send time with her cousin Holly in the run up to her wedding to Ford (the couple from Playing For Fun). When Stewart Island's meddling octogenarian matchmaker claims she is having a heart-attack shortly after seeing a cake which is meant to look like a spanner but is otherwise described as looking like a zombie's penis, Mac is sent to get the Island's Dr Joe Whelan. Aka Oban’s Doctor Sexy McSexface.

Joe and Mac have been avoiding each other for over four years, for reasons which unfold during the book, the two of them can't help sniping at each other although secretly they each also find the other verra attractive.

But Joe is forced to seek Mac's help when his little sister Kerry announces her sudden engagement to a tattooed bus driver. As one of the heirs to a million dollar brewery started by their parents, Kerry is a prime target for fortune hunters and her big brother isn't going to let her heart get broken by some guy on the make. Joe offers to pay for Kerry's dress from Mac's bridal boutique, the fantastically named Next Stop, Vegas, but secretly asks Mac to persuade his sister that this rushed marriage to a guy she has only known for a few months is a bad idea.

As Joe and MacKenna revisit what happened four years ago, can they build a relationship or will their pasts come between them? And can two people who have become cynical about love ever take that big step?

There's way more plot than that, there's a trip to Vegas, covert espionage, impressive breakfasts and all set against the beautiful backdrop of New Zealand, where they breed the men young and gorgeous.

I love Tracey Alvarez's books. The people of Stewart Island are like friends to me now, with their beef pies for breakfast (is that really a thing?) and their pub, Due South and the ferry to the mainland. Each of the characters is distinctive in his or her own right and comes with a backstory all to their own, some happy, some sad. This book is a great addition to the series, Joe is a kind and caring brother and doctor and MacKenna is a feisty, strong-willed and principled woman. Between the sheets they are scorching hot but it is what they bring to each other that makes this a romance.

Recommended for fans of small town romances featuring a smokin' hot doctor, lots of beautiful scenery and a talented heroine.

I requested a free ARC copy of this book and I’m writing an honest review of it. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.

Bumped for release.
762 reviews3 followers
April 11, 2017
There are a handful of authors that I will automatically order their newest book sight unseen because they are always without a doubt going to be great. Tracey Alvarez is one of those select authors that I will read anything I can get my hands on that she writes, and Saying I Do is definitely one of those

Joe and MacKenna's story is mixed with humor, sass, hot steamy lovin, a couple of emotional scenes and definitely some tears brought together into this pretty romantic story. For those of us who are fans of Tracey's, the cast of great characters are back for Holly and Ford's upcoming wedding, but now it's the good old hot doctor and the gorgeous Mackenna who fall under the matchmaking skills of Mrs. Taylor. I found this story to be hysterical in parts, dinner with Cheryl and the breaking and entering scene had me rolling on the floor. Loved everything about it, especially the very romantic ending...sigh....

It could be read as a standalone, but I would definitely go back and read the first seven books if you haven't had the pleasure to read Tracey's books before. You definitely won't be sorry, and the mental trip to New Zealand is worth the whole experience all by itself! Great read, grab a copy now...

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC copy of this book
Profile Image for Amber.
603 reviews3 followers
June 27, 2018
When I first saw the cover of this book, I was pulled in and had so much hope for this story. Unfortunately, I didnt like it as much as I thought I would. Just as the story started to pick up and get my attention it was over. I felt there wasn't enough drama to keep my interest, I wanted so much more from these characters. I wanted to feel the characters own personality, it seemed they all talked and thought the same, I wanted individuality. I felt there was so much more potential there and it just didnt meet my expectations. Now dont get me wrong there was some good parts in this book, I did enjoy Joe and MacKenna's characters, and their spark between the two, especially when they wanted to hate each other so much, oh and the nosy old ladies that wanted to be in every one's business LOL I also enjoyed getting to know some of the other characters, like Joe's sister. But I still wanted more...
Profile Image for Kathrin.
800 reviews45 followers
January 20, 2019
Having read book 8 I stated numerous times that the series is kind of repetitive but it still is charming and offers an entertaining read.

The book follows a well-worn path but interestingly, part of it is set in Las Vegas. I am not really a fan of this trip as I love to read the series for its New Zealand setting. As always, it's lovely to revisit the characters of former books and I look forward to reading the next book as I already own it.

However, I am not sure if I am going to buy book 10 right away - maybe a pause would also be fine. I don't seem to be in the mood for this kind of books right now.
Profile Image for Carol [Goodreads Addict].
2,351 reviews24.7k followers
April 30, 2017
Due South series - Tracey Alvarez:

Saying I Do is book eight in the Due South series by Tracey Alvarez. I have loved this series from the first book and I am amazed how this author makes each and every book new and unique. This is MacKenna and Joe’s story and these two stole my heart.

We have met MacKenna Jones before, she is Holly’s cousin. Mac took her love of designing wedding gowns and turned it into a business as a wedding planner. She lives and works in Invers. It’s about an hours ferry ride across the Foveaux Strait to Oban where her cousin lives. Holly is planning her wedding and Mac is designing her dress so she has been back and forth between home and the island. Whenever she is on the island, she does her best to avoid Joe Whelan. No one but she and Joe knows they have a history. Everyone just thinks they don’t like each other, which is so true. Everytime they are near each other, though, there is something, a spark, an electricity that she can’t explain. It’s enough that sets off the butterflies in her stomach every time. It’s best just to keep her distance.

Inspiration for Joe Whelan...:

Dr. Joe Whelan loves his life taking care of the residents of Oban. It’s what came before this that was something he’d rather not dwell on. But Mac was a part of it. So whenever he saw her, it brought it all back. Still, whenever their eyes met, there was something there that he couldn’t define.

heart shaped stethoscope:

Joe gets the news that his younger sister is getting married. When she finds out that Joe knows MacKenna Jones who is known for her beautiful gown designs, she convinces Joe to introduce them. But encouraging his little sister to continue to entertain these thoughts of getting married are the last thing Joe wants. He doesn’t believe in happy ever afters. And he doesn’t want his sister to get her heart broken. So maybe he can get Mac to help him discourage his sister. Or, is this just an excuse to spend more time with her?

Joe and Mac each had their own reasons for their anti-marriage views. But they can’t deny the chemistry between them. What maybe started out as just one night, though, continued for a second night, then more. What started out as just fun sexy times, became more. Was their path to love smooth, no, not at all. But if there was ever a couple that deserved happiness, it was these two.


When Joe’s sister decides to move her wedding to Las Vegas, Mac finds herself swept up in it and she and Joe spend seven glorious days in Las Vegas. It’s here that Joe and Mac finally find it impossible to deny their feelings any longer.

There couldn’t be a more perfect hero than Joe. He’s Irish so just his accent alone would make me swoon. But when this man loved, he loved with all he had. When he protected, he protected with all he had, even if his ideas of what his sister needed protection from might be a little off.


This book is beautifully written and I loved every page of it. I can’t deny that my eyes watered at the end. It was perfect. I’m not going to forget that ending for a long time. This book can most definitely be read as a stand alone. But the whole series is so amazing. So start at the beginning and get to know the residents of Oban, New Zealand. I hope you will love them as much as I have.

“You for me
And I for thee
And never another.
Your face turned to mine
And away from all others.”

Profile Image for Jaime Fiction Fangirls.
1,589 reviews148 followers
July 17, 2019
I adored this story. It started off a little slow for me but about 10% in and everything picked up and I couldn’t put the book down.

This wasn’t a story full of a lot of push and pull or silly misunderstandings but instead it was a story of two people with baggage trying to navigate real, true love for the first time.

I highly recommend this book!
Profile Image for Doris.
951 reviews
May 2, 2017
McKenna, die in Invers einen Brautsalon namens „Next Stop, Vegas“ betreibt, kommt öfters nach Oban, um ihre Cousine Holly zu besuchen. Dabei versucht sie, den hiesigen Doktor, Joe Whelan, so gut es geht zu meiden. Da das auch sein Plan ist, funktioniert dies recht gut. Bis sich eine Achtzigjähre wieder mal als Kupplerin betätigt. Joe und McKenna haben eine gemeinsame Vergangenheit. Obwohl sie eigentlich Fremde sind, hat sie sich vor vier Jahren in seine Hochzeitspläne eingemischt, was er ihr bis heute übelnimmt. Doch als nun seine jüngere Schwester vor den Traualtar treten will, sieht er sich zum Handeln gezwungen. Er bittet McKenna um Unterstützung, wobei sich die beiden langsam näher kommen. Ein Trip nach Las Vegas, eine Kurzschlussreaktion und es stellt sich die Frage, ob die beiden die Hürden zwischen ihnen überwinden können.

Oban und seine Bewohner sind mittlerweile zu Freunden für mich geworden. Ich finde es toll, wie man dort alte Bekannte und auch neue Gesichter wiedertrifft. Auch der irische Doktor, der seit kurzem in Oban praktiziert und McKenna sind bereits vorgestellt worden. Wie immer gelingt es Tracey Alvarez gekonnt, sympathische Charaktere mit ihrer jeweils eigenen Hintergrundgeschichte zum Leben zu erwecken. In „Saying I Do“ sind es zwei gegensätzliche Personen, die nur eines gemeinsam haben: ihre zynische Einstellung zur Ehe. Joe ist ein überfürsorglicher Bruder, kompetenter Arzt und attraktiver Mann mit tollen Akzent. McKenna hingegen ist temperamentvoll, eigensinnig und auf das Wohl der anderen bedacht. Ich mochte beide sehr gerne und ich konnte gar nicht erwarten, wie die Geschichte der beiden ausgehen wird. Auch die Beschreibung der neuseeländischen Landschaft wird nicht vergessen, was bei mir wie immer Fernweh auslöst.

Alles in allem eine solide, schön geschriebene Geschichte für Liebhaber von Kleinstadtromanzen!

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
28 reviews1 follower
May 18, 2017
I have loved all of Tracey Alvarez' Due South books because they always included almost everyone in the town of Oban along with whichever couple fell/was pushed/got knocked on the head by love. But I have to admit that Saying I Do is my favorite (so far!) even though it is much less “community based” than all the previous ones. This book is more thoughtful, or maybe I should say thought-provoking, than most of the others. I hesitate to say “angst-ridden,” but the main theme running throughout the story is very much the emotions regarding relationships and love—how they are perceived, really felt, hoped for, avoided, acknowledged, and finally accepted. But getting there is in no way guaranteed! These two are not “storybook” romance characters—they seem to be real people with real hang-ups and issues that go through a lot before they can end up together. And what a great trip Tracey takes you on to get there!

Joe and Mac's story appears to be an “enemies to lovers” tale at the beginning. But you soon realize it is more of a “Joe's most humilating experience in his life” and Mac's being a witness—or rather catalyst, of that humiliating experience. His move to Oban on Stewart Island to become the town's doctor was pretty much a reaction to that situation, to get away from Invercargill on the mainland, to put it out of his mind. So it seems reasonable that he would avoid Mac, who's cousin and good friend, Holly, turns out to be one of the town's residents. Unfortunately, four and a half years later, Holly is getting married, requiring more frequent visits from her cousin who happens to be a wedding planner and up-and-coming bridal gown designer.

With a little push from the town's busybody/matchmaker, Joe and Mac at least start talking, and finally address the issue that has kept them from getting to know each other all that time. And then the dance begins, from not liking each other very much (or at least THINKING they don't like each other very much) to becoming very involved and unable to stay apart. The sex is great, yet they both have a long way to go, due to unresolved issues about love and relationships before they can acknowledge that they are a couple to themselves, much less to family and friends. Timing is everything they just can't seem to get in sync when it comes to accepting love. Joe's problem with love is the more recent “humiliating experience,” whereas Mac's has been brewing in her head and heart since she was a little girl.

Mix in the drama of Joe trying to stop his baby sister's wedding, causing her to “elope” to Vegas (not truly an elopement when their families are invited, is it?), insisting that Mac bring her dress, with or without Joe. And that is when the story shifts to Las Vegas, via a road trip from Los Angeles, and the story takes a few more twists and turns, some unexpectedly more twisty than others, on the way to Joe and Mac's HEA. Which does end up involving pretty much everyone in Oban's participation in the end.
15 reviews
May 22, 2017
Another gorgeous addition to the Oban community that I now feel a part of! Firstly I need to say 'Thank You' Ms Alvarez! I've had a major slump in romance reading of late and you've just restored my faith in the Romance genre!

Although it wasn't a 'perfect' love story, it had everything that I see as a reader is essential for me. Firstly, two main characters that have depth, flaws, chemistry and most of all... are likeable! I always feel in this series that each character is someone I'd like to get to know. That they are interesting and enjoyable to spend time with and Saying I Do was no different.

Next, I need to feel that there is a story worth telling - more than just the simplicity of a love story. That there is worthwhile drama, angst, relationships and conflicts that enhance the story itself not distract from it. Joe and Mac go through a number of trials in their relationship from 'hate' to friendship to love and all the ups and downs that accompany it. But on top of that, there is background stories to each character that help us understand why it unravels the way it does.

Lastly I need my romances to feel as though they are possible. I honestly don't mind a little bit of embellishment on a story, but it's got to be plausible in my mind for me to invest in it. (Unless it's paranormal or fantasy of course) I love the way that this series combines the whole community into the story. I think this helps me as a reader to build a relationship not only with Joe and Mac but with the entire community. I feel as though I'm more invested in the story because it almost feels as though I'm reading about my own friends. (I'd love to get to know Mrs Taylor!!)

I enjoyed as always with this whole series, that we get to the meat of the story immediately including both main characters. There's no slow build up and no tedious getting-to-know-you chapters before the main heroes even meet.

My only real disappointment with Saying I Do was that as in every other book in this series there is always one character that isn't interested in a relationship and fights it with all their might against building the relationship, I'd just like to see a twist on this perhaps next time. My other concern was that there were times with Mac that I actually passed the point of just being annoyed with her choices to actually getting seriously frustrated and confused with her. Thankfully Ms Alvarez pulled the story together once again and I never got to the point of not liking the character... but I got close for the first time in this series.

One of my favourite parts of this book though, was the humour. It was random. It was on point and it was laugh out loud in surprise funny and I loved it! Thanks for the laughs!

Once again, another successful addition to the series. Definitely recommend to those who love a good story with characters you can easily relate to.

But just lastly... Ms Alvarez... I'll forgive your lines about the All Blacks kicking Wallabies asses THIS time... but 2017 is a new year ;)
Profile Image for Rach.
237 reviews19 followers
May 16, 2017
Review originally posted on Rach Lawrence Books.

MacKenna Jones has been designing wedding gowns since she was a little girl, but for other people. Mac isn’t the marrying type. She got close once, but she now knows that forever is not for her. Yet there’s something about Oban’s sexy doctor, Joe Whelan, that keeps her coming back for more. Too bad Joe hates her for ruining his chance at happily ever after.

Left by his fiancée a week before his wedding, Doctor Joe Whelan has no interest in holy matrimony. He should hate MacKenna for causing the breakup, but he can’t seem to stay away from her now that their orbits have crossed. Since Mac so successfully broke up his wedding several years ago, it should be no problem for her to break up Joe’s sister’s wedding, because no tattooed bus driver could be good enough for his little sister. Never mind that his diabolical plan forces him and Mac together. Shouldn’t be a problem since they’re both allergic to marriage.

Saying I Do is book 8 in the Stewart Island series, and like all other novels in this series, it can comfortably be read as a standalone book. Of course, if you’re already a fan of the series, some of everyone’s favorite characters make reappearances. Good old Mrs. Taylor, Oban’s resident octogenarian matchmaker, is back for another book, and this time she’s pointed her walking stick at Dr. Joe. No one has yet escaped Mrs. Taylor’s matchmaking!

One thing I love about every book written by Ms. Alvarez is that the story always goes beyond the romance. This one is no different. Both Mac and Joe are nuptially-challenged, and they each have good reason to stay away from the institution, in addition to good reason to stay away from each other. The plot is driven forward as much by their family situations and need for growth as it is by their lust. And in typical Tracey Alvarez style, the heat is turned up between the two, and the romance blooms in vivid color across the pages of the book. Attraction turns to love in a natural pace, making the reader fall in love with the characters right along with them.

Another thing I always enjoy in this author’s books is the taste of New Zealand I get by reading them. Descriptions of the weather and scenery are naturally integrated, painting a picture for me of a place I likely won’t ever be able to travel to. This book also had the benefit of including Joe’s Irish slang for added culture, as well as a trip to Las Vegas and the dry desert heat.

Saying I Do was as witty and enjoyable as every other book I’ve read by this author. Although I tend to tire of a series after a few books, Ms. Alvarez somehow keeps me coming back for more … eagerly!
Profile Image for Nina ~ Meleth Bookaddicted ~.
1,347 reviews39 followers
May 15, 2017
There are two huge reasons, well, three, come to think of it, why I jumped at the chance to read SAYING I DO by Tracey Alvarez. First and foremost is my undying love for New Zealand. While visiting this amazingly stunning country, I also made a detour to that little bit of land that is Stewart Island –revisiting it through the books of this series means the world to me! Next, the title: In two long (short?) years, I will be marrying myself, which means that right now I’m an absolute sucker for novels with a wedding theme. Oh, and did I mention we plan to elope too? But unlike Joe’s little sister and her fiancé we will not be turning our backs on New Zealand but sit through a 26-hour-flight and – you might have guessed it – get hitched over there. So many parallels – and yet not – I just couldn’t not read this book!
And the third reason are the wonderful characters of the series itself. I just love Tracey’s writing and the fact that you always get another glimpse of the couples from the previous books. These characters feel so real to me – like I could jump on a plane and just go visit them.

So, yes, I do love wedding-stories. Joe Whelan and MacKenna Jones…? Not so much. They both have been burned in the past, so marriage is as far from their minds as can be. Not only that, since that one incident years ago, they give each other a wide berth. But apart from Mrs. Taylor’s mad matchmaking skills it is that incident, that history, that brings them together in the end – when Joe gets to know that his little sister Kerry intends to marry a man she barely knows – a man who never could be not good enough for his baby sister. He does not even have to meet her fiancé, Aaron, to know that for a fact. A pigheaded, prejudicing Irishman, that’s what he is… and he is also madly attracted to the one woman he has been hating for years. And once those two get over that hating part, they surely heat up the pages…

Joe and MacKenna’s story is full of sass and humor, steamy romance with a hot and broody Irish doctor, and so much witty and playful banter I had to laugh out loud at least once!
Tracey Alvarez is an amazing storyteller, her characters, the mains, the secondaries – hell, even the animals – are extremely well-developed and placed into a believable and realistic setting.

This book can be read as standalone, although I highly recommend to go back to the beginning and see where it all started. Otherwise you are missing out on a bunch of truly marvelous stories!

Oh, and if I had one wish, I would be that Reid, MacKenna’s best friend, would get his story next.
Profile Image for Dísir.
1,665 reviews170 followers
May 4, 2017
I’ve always been fond of the Due South cast (some couples more than others, admittedly) and every new book in this series is like revisiting the motley crew who live in Stewart Island, so far from the rest of the world yet so happy in their windswept, isolated community with a record number of HEAs minted there.

Dr. Joe Whelan’s turn finally arrives in this book and it’s fate, or rather, Alvarez, who chooses to pair him up with Mackenna Jones, a gun-shy wedding-dress maker who flees when it comes to making a hard and fast commitment. But Joe isn’t all that jaded despite his past and even after attraction turns into something more, his ability to look forward might be the only thing that will see him across the finish line especially when Mac herself falters and stumbles.

I think the only part of the book that was difficult was the ‘final conflict’ so to speak where I found it unforgivable of Mac for what she did in the end to Joe (hitting him where it hurts the most) though, and was incredulous for Joe’s seeming acceptance and easy forgiveness of it. I did love Joe from the beginning and that did play a part in my own judgement of Mac not really deserving him at the very moment he needed her to step out for the both of them. Maybe it’s me being cynical and petty, but I did expect better of her despite her own reservations and her cowardly inability to decide what she really wanted. She did treat him unfairly, first running, then leaving a note that barely explained a thing—and her actions didn’t seem congruous of the love she proclaimed to have for him—especially when seen in contrast to Joe’s steadfast loyalty. But I’d be the first to admit that I prefer my heroines who dare to put themselves out there with a bit more pluck, particularly when their other halves show themselves as determined and unmovable.

The best part about ‘Saying I Do’ however, is that nothing is all that it seems. There’s no straight case of one-upping each other or a straight road where the jilted protagonist comes around to the idea of marriage, but multiple layers of (self?)deception, denial and desire that overlap like a finely-made pastry that’s a mouthwatering feast. It’s also characteristic of Tracey Alvarez’s quirky but stylish writing, but I loved the additional and rather authentic use of Irishisms here (or rather, the typical vocab used in the British Isles) that gave the story its strong flavour. Already, I want more of the gossipy Due South crew, in all their smugness, laughter and love.

*ARC by the author
(always grateful, mind)
Profile Image for Lucia.
591 reviews6 followers
May 17, 2017
Enemies to lovers romance between a sexy Irish doctor & a hard hearted wedding dress designer with a painful intertwined past

Saying I Do is an enemies to lovers romance between a sexy Irish doctor and a hard hearted wedding dress designer with a painful intertwined past. This well written book had a freshness to it, despite being book eight in the series, with the book being set partly away from Stewart Island but with just enough on the Island to see familiar faces putting in an appearance for fans of the series. While the book has an angsty undertone, surprisingly overall had a relatively light hearted theme that leaves a warmth with you after finishing this wonderful read.

Mackenna and Joe, who alternate points of view to tell the story, have a sizzling attraction and incredible chemistry, despite their issues from their first interactions several years ago, which takes on a new perspective as their history is steadily revealed through flashback chapters throughout the book. The intense attraction grows ever stronger to the point of no longer being able to be ignored and I loved the perseverance of Joe’s character. Both Mackenna and Joe, who have experienced painful pasts surrounding love for very different reasons, issues that greatly impact on them presently, go through a range of emotions that are captured nicely, ranging including lust, pain, happiness, and love. I’ll be honest it takes a little to fully embrace Mackenna and Joe and fully understand them as characters but once you do you will get swept up in their story and hope these two can finally find the love they deserve.

Be assured, this can be read as a standalone despite being book 8 in the series; each book focuses on a new couple with a HEA.

If you enjoy a charming Irish doctor or a fun and flirty contemporary romance in general, definitely give this book a read!

*I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
5 reviews
May 19, 2017
Another great story!!!! Joe & Mackenzie, "Mac"......had an inauspicious beginning. Thus triumphed all obstacles to have a HEA!!!!!

Joe & Mac knew each other from the past. It was a very interesting beginning for them both. The length Mac went to to catch Sofia in action was pretty ballsy!!! Of course with the help of her Bestie, Reid, that scene in the restaurant with Sofia was pretty hilarious!!!! Mac catches her in the restaurant's restroom & confronts her. Mac then presented to Joe her evidence to Sofia's infidelity. It was very curious why Mac would do that. It was explained why Mac got involved. She really did save Joe from all that misery.

They are very attracted to one another. Everytime they saw each they would just avoid each other. Opposites attract. It understandable from their background why neither wanted to be involved. It just escalated when Joe's younger sister announced she was getting married. He's very protective of her. He disliked Kerry's fiance without getting to know him. He wanted Mac's help to steer Kerry from marrying. You will just have to find out what happened with that.

OMG!!! The scene that had me Laughing Out Loud was that hotel room scene with Joe's brothers. Can we say AWWWKKKWWWAAARRDDD!!!???? LOVED IT!!!! It all transpired in Las Vegas, Baby!!!!!

Even though both were afraid to pursue & take the relationship to the next level, they finally let go of their fear & fell in love!!!! YAY!!!!

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is my very honest, true opinion whether positive or negative without being compensated for it.

Really loved seeing all the characters from the past books!! Can't wait for more stories from the Stewart Island residents.
Profile Image for Meg.
197 reviews4 followers
May 14, 2017
5 Stars

I give Saying I Do by Tracey Alvarez five stars. This is book eight of the Stewart Island Series. This book can be read as a standalone, you will see characters from the other eight books in this book but you do not need their stories to love this book. I have read all the other books in this series and loved them all so I would recommend you read those as well. This book is very well written and it did not have any violence in it. There is some sexual content but I feel that the scenes are tastefully done. Joe Whelan is the hot new doctor on Stewart Island that moved to the Island after being heart broken and humiliated a few years ago when he was basically left at the altar. MacKenna Jones runs a bridal store and makes one of a kind bridal gowns, she loves weddings, as long as it’s not her own. When Joe’s sister decides to get married he decides he must do everything he can to make sure she doesn’t make a huge mistake. When MacKenna & Joe start spending time together the sparks begin to fly. What happens when the two gun-shy cynics end up in the marriage capital of the world? You will have to read the book to find out! I feel this is a must read and I highly recommend it!

Favorite Quotes:

“Life is short, love fiercely and bravely, and have no regrets”

“You for me and I for thee and never another. Your face turned to mine and away from all others.”
Profile Image for Stephanie.
20 reviews
May 15, 2017
This series is a must-buy for me, and after a bit of a hiatus the author has returned to this series and Stewart Island, and it's a welcome return. This is MacKenna and Joe's story, and both of them have appeared in previous books as supporting characters. They are both gun-shy about marriage, and relationships in general, and have a past history that makes them avoid each other like the plague. It's not friends-to-lovers exactly, more of a mutual-attraction-despite-my-better-judgment situation.

I found MacKenna a bit prickly, but warmed up to her as the story went along. Joe had more depth than he has been allowed as a supporting character in previous books, and he holds his own among Alvarez' other strong heroes. They have something of a past history, which speeds up the courting process a bit because we can skip all the "getting to know you" bits. The story includes the inevitable miscommunication, meddling friends and family members, and a welcome detour to a wedding in Las Vegas. The story moves along at a good clip, and I breezed through this one happily.

Another great entry in the Due South series. I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated and all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Louise.
381 reviews
May 14, 2017
Having met four years earlier and trying to avoid each other ever since Joe and Mac find themselves being brought together by the forever interfering Mrs Taylor. If you have read any of the previous books you will know that once Mrs Taylor gets an idea in her head then there is little that can be done to dissuade her.

Having been burnt before Joe is not keen on opening up his heart to anyone, especially not to Mac who was there to witness his humiliation. Mac has seen her mother marry do many times and having some bad experiences herself Mac is in no rush to open her heart either. Fortunately for them their hearts cannot be ignored and they can’t ignore for long the chemistry and attraction that is evident between them.

Agreeing to help Joe with a scheme that he thinks will protect his sister Mac finds herself getting to know Joe much better and she falls for him more and more just as he does for her.

This is another great instalment in the ‘Due South’ series and if you have read previous books in the series you will no doubt enjoy the recurrence of many of the locals and previous series characters. All in all this was an easy and enjoyable read that I enjoyed reading while sitting relaxing on a sunny afternoon.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
2,045 reviews17 followers
May 21, 2017
3.5 stars
Another solid entry Ms Alvarez's Stewart Island series takes us back to New Zealand's southern isle and the small community of Oban.
This story focuses on the town Doctor, Joe, and Mackenna - an honorary member of the community via her cousin Holly.
This is a not quite- enemies to lovers story that focuses on two people that have been wounded by the past and have to learn to love again.
This is a well written story that takes our couple from Oban to Las Vegas and back. We see how the past impacts both of them and the struggle to let those fears go.
Oban and it's rich cast of characters play a smaller part than normal in this book, but it is a refreshing change that helps to keep the series fresh feeling 8 books in. Even though we don't see as much of the Oban community, we still have Alvarez's typical strong cast of entertaining secondary characters. We not only see Mackenna's friends, but Joe's family as well. All of whom have potential to be leading stories of their own in the future.
24 reviews1 follower
May 18, 2017
Finally, it's here - book number eight of the Stewart Island series! I can't tell you how enchanted I am with these books. Every single one is polished to the last dot. "Saying I Do" is no exception.

This time we meet Mac and Joe, he is Irish doctor working in Oban and she is wedding dress designer from Invercargill. They met years ago and taking into consideration the events from their shared past they should avoid each other at all cost, at least they try to do so. But fortunately, fate has completely different plans for this couple. And to find out how powerful their connection is, literally, they will have to take the journey from New Zealand to Las Vegas.

I've always believed that Tracey Alvarez is one of the best writers in the romance genre and with this book she has just confirmed that. This book is complexed and addicting and at the same time fun and sexy. I am sure that it's worth investing in. You won't be disappointed, I promise!
Profile Image for Sarah Porter.
3 reviews
May 19, 2017
As always Tracey's books are down to earth and realistic, but funny and interesting as well!

Having read (and purchased) all of the previous Due South series I was really interested to find out what happened to Dr Joe. As alway with this type of book, it's never going to give you any real challenges or moments where you honestly think 'what's going to happen?' But as always wonderfully written and interesting characters who engage you. Absolutely perfect, spot on reading for your holidays! Well worth buying the whole series, not just this one. Especially if you're like me and need a bit of escapism for holidays without it becoming ridiculously over the top. These are real people with real problems and real characters and that's what makes this so good in my eyes.

NB I requested a free ARC copy of this book and I’m writing an honest review of it. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
Profile Image for A.M..
Author 7 books46 followers
September 1, 2019
McKenna Jones is Holly’s cousin and has used her dressmaking skills to make her designer wedding dresses the must have item for the discerning NZ bride. But she’s not a big believer in the HEA for herself; from her own experience and from another wedding she brought to a grinding halt.
The Irish lilt of Dr Joe Whelan is a favourite with the old ladies on Stewart Island who have almost given up trying to match-make him. No one knows what happened in his past when his bride to be left him days before the wedding. He is another person who is so unable to see a wedding as a good thing that his own family have not told him his younger sister is getting married.
This one feels like one of those what if situations from real life. Imagine what the people in the wedding dress store overhear? What do you do if you hear a bride cheating on her groom?
But this one felt a lot more soap opera-ish – does that make sense?
3 stars
Profile Image for Donna.
Author 7 books24 followers
May 6, 2017
Once again Tracey Alvarez has written a wonderful story. MacKenna and Joe have a unique past. I've never read anything even remotely similar to why they try to avoid each other. I loved their snarky banter. There were times I wanted to knock some sense into both of them.

The scene where MacKenna meets Joe's brothers is priceless! Joe's entire family are quirky, interesting individuals. I loved how his sister pulled the wool over his eyes!

These two quotes from the book sum up love and life to me:
1) Nothing worth fighting for comes with a free pass.
2) If you won't get married in blue jeans, no makeup, and messy hair, then it's about the wedding day and not the marriage.

I strongly urge you to read all of Tracey Alvarez' books. She is a super talented author.
Profile Image for Penny Leidecker.
2,418 reviews24 followers
May 13, 2017
I love this well written book about the sexy Irish Doctor, Joe Whelan and the owner of Next Stop, Vegas, MacKenna Jones. The characters and well developed and this draws you in. You feel like you are a part of these family and friends. Mac and Joe have somewhat of a history, but they really don't like each other. Their history is what ends up bringing them together, when Joe asks Mac to design Kerry's wedding dress. He thinks Kerry's groom-to-be, Aaron, is just after her for her future money. Everyone, you have to read this book and get the scoop on Kerry and Aaron. I won't leave any spoilers, but you won't be sorry buying this book. I can't wait to read more of Stewart Island Series.
Profile Image for Cassey.
1,306 reviews4 followers
May 13, 2017
There is just something about a series, that sense of calm when you return to a familiar setting. The saying hi to friends and catching up. And just a little bit of all round feel good magic.

This book, did all of that and then some. It was just such a great read. I love the peaks at others from previous reads in the series, but mostly I love Dr Joe and Mac [or MacKenzie because I'm not sure if we're friends ;)].

I'm not normally a fan of flashing back scenes, but they were used very well here. The filling in of details in a show, not tell way is always appreciated. The flashback scenes further added in helping me understand just why and how certain things were issues.

It wasn't all super serious. As I've come to expect from Tracey Alvarez, there was tons of laughs too. Laughs, steam and an oh so happy story made this a great read :)

*I am a lucky fish and received an ARC of the book :)*
Profile Image for Cheryl Sanders.
2,139 reviews22 followers
May 23, 2017
This fabulous story is book 8 in the Stewart Island series and it features MacKenna Jones and Dr. Joe Whelan. This entire series is full of fantastic five star reads. I love Dr. Joe and his Irish family. Mac is a little fickle but through everything, her feelings for Joe never wavered. From the moment they met they led each other on a crazy, emotional adventure.

I highly recommend this fantastic story set in Stewart Island, New Zealand. I always love traveling Due South to this wonderful island full of amazing people. I can't wait to visit again.

238 reviews12 followers
May 29, 2017
Once again, Tracey Alvarez brings us on a wonderful journey that is full of humour, romance, familial love and explosive chemistry between the hero and heroine. From an awkward start due to their past, to getting past it and being wildly attracted to each other, then to finding love, their story has lots of twists and ups and downs and I totally enjoyed being on this journey with MacKenna and Joe.

* I received an eBook copy from the publisher for the purpose of an honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own.
Profile Image for Lovely Loveday.
2,132 reviews
May 13, 2017
I realty like that this book is part of a series because I can continue with the story through several books instead of one. I found this to be a great read and I really loved the flashback scenes. I feel that they added so much to the current story line that it was a must. This helps to remind me or fill you in if you haven’t read the previous book with what is going on and why. Overall a very happy reading with a lot of laughable moments
67 reviews
July 16, 2018
This is another great read by Tracey Alvarez. I have really enjoyed her Stewart Island books. This links both the island and the mainland. The story interweaves with characters in other books to make a most delightful read. It makes me laugh and shake my head at different times. How do two people with a painful past figure out that they really pull toward each other and survive? This also gets in a good bit of travel. Enjoy the read; I surely did. It was well worth my purchase.
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