Originally Published: 10-27-2020
Always with Me is the 1st book in Barbara Freethy’s new books series, The Whisper Lake Series!!
Always with Me is the 1st book in a newer series by this author, and a story that’s loosely connected to the Callaway Series.
This series is about the four friends, Gianna, Chelsea Cole, Lizzie Cole, and Hannah Stark. Please know that the Coles are cousins to the Callaways too.
This series is connected to the Callaway Series with Hunter Callaway playing a small role in this book. He’s a Callaway cousin!!
This is definitely a second chance type of romance where the main characters get a second chance at the love they shared when they were younger.
I found that there weren’t any sexy details in this story. Leading up to but nothing in the bedroom, which was nice.
This is Gianna Campbell’s story.
She’s come back to Whisper Lake not only to help her aunt in her antique shop but also to regroup and help herself find herself after three broken engagements.
And she runs into an old boyfriend, Zach Barrington. He’s back in Whisper Lake to help rebuild a fun kids camp and to find a way to connect with his step-daughter.
Zach’s fiancée died in a tragic accident and left her daughter. Because he’s not her bio-dad, and wasn’t married to her mother, he has no legal standing to raise Hailey.
Gianna isn’t without some issues. Not only is she dealing with people’s reactions to her three broken engagements, she’s also decided to look for her own bio-mom when she finds an old photo in the stuff given to the antiques shop.
With both external and internal issues for both of them, this makes the story have more substance and filled out with more details.
As Gianna and Zach spend more time together, they not only mend the fences between each other, they realize that they’re perfect for each other.
As Gianna deals with the issues of trying to locate her bio-mom and the nosy town people butting into her business, she spends time with her three friends, Chelsea Cole, Lizzie Cole and Hannah Stark. They each get their own stories in this series, but we meet them all in book 1 and hear the beginning of their stories.
As Zach attempts to spend time with his step-daughter Hailey, he starts work on the camp that played a role in all their lives.
And in a way the camp itself is a character too. The camp was the place that Zach and Gianna first met, fell in crush, had their first kiss, and had their first heartbreak.
Then it’s the camp that brings them back together. The fall in love, make love, support each other and have each other’s back as they go thru hard times. All while dealing with the camp again.
Now, I found that this story was more dimensional then other romance stories. If you’ve read any amount of Freethy’s books, you can see that her books have gotten more dimensional, in that her books are not getting more complicated, they’re getting better written with more to them.
And this one shows that she’s put more thought into this story. There’s more to the characters, deeper characteristics making it appear to be more realistic for us to enjoy.
I enjoyed that it was the courtship part of the story that played a real part to the storyline instead of the sex part.
The characters felt real because they had more than one issue to deal with and more than one thing to worry about.
And while they’re worrying and working, they have goals and thoughts and ideas. And that’s what this book felt like.
This book is definitely worth reading.
I’ll definitely look into the next books in this series. Book 2 brings us one of Gianna’s friends and what’s happening in her life.