Review: When Love Happens by Darcy Burke

when love happensIn a town as small as Ribbon Ridge and with a family as large as the Archers, even the best-kept secrets don’t stay buried for long…

Tori Archer is married…well, on paper anyway. She hasn’t actually seen her husband since the disastrous morning after their impulsive Vegas wedding. The memories of their intense passion may still make her weak in the knees, but Tori knows their marriage was a mistake.

After six months filming abroad, television producer Sean Hennessy wants nothing more than to track down his sexy, captivating wife and get her into bed…fast. So when his boss sends him to Oregon to persuade the famous Archer sextuplets—the former stars of a reality TV show—to do a reunion special, Sean sees the perfect chance to win Tori back.

But Tori wants nothing to do with him and is determined to push him away. Yet their attraction is as hot as ever and Sean will do anything to prove their relationship was more than just a fling…because he knows that when real love happens, it changes everything.

Ribbon Ridge Book Three      May 26, 2015



When Love Happens is the third book in the Ribbon Ridge Series about the Archer Family of Ribbon Ridge, OR.  As the first set of surviving sextuplets, the seven Archer children were featured on a popular television show.  As adults, they are successful in their own right: owners of the local inn and brewery, world class chefs, event planners, etc.  While there is certainly a lot of back story, this novel can be a standalone.  The author does a beautiful job of catching new readers up to speed with out retelling Books 1 and 2.

This famous family was blindsided by Alex Archer’s suicide.  His parents and six surviving siblings struggle to make sense of this tragedy and continue with their own lives despite the overwhelming grief.  When Love Happens is about Alex’s sister Tori.  After a brief whirlwind romance, she marries British TV producer Sean.  The day after their Vegas wedding, she learns of Alex’s death.  Alex goes home to be with her family while Sean reluctantly goes to Europe for work.  Their separation during this time of mourning puts a tremendous strain in their marriage, and in time Tori wants to act like it never happened.  She wants a divorce ASAP, and Sean isn’t having it.

He travels to Tori’s home town for two reasons: to fight for their marriage and pitch a TV show that will save his career. Obviously Tori doubts his motives and does her best to convince Sean that their future died with her brother.  He does his best to convince her otherwise.

I liked this “second chance” romance.  I have not read the first two installments, so I was a bit overwhelmed with characters for the first few chapters… two parents, seven siblings, some of whom have sweethearts, friends, employees… but it is not hard to keep up once you get there.  I liked hos the family rallied around Sean to help Tori understand that you cling to love when it is real, not run from it.

I also liked that the cast of characters are genuine.  They each have strengths and flaws, realistic emotions and reactions, emotional, mental and physical troubles.  My only *asterisk is the “Operation Divorce Me” campaign Tori conjurers up to drive Sean away.  While his character was hard not to love, she lost some traction with me as a reader.  I found her actions very unbecoming and it honestly made Tori my least favorite of the Archers.  While I do appreciate not each character was all sunshine and roses, it was hard for me to root for her to get the guy.

Overall, however, I did like the book.  Very original backdrop and authentic dialogue, emotions and actions of an extraordinary family coping with devastating circumstances.  Seeing them each focus on a future while missing their brother is a wonderful illustration of individual perseverance and a family’s love.


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darcy burkeDarcy Burke is the USA Today Bestselling Author of hot, action-packed historical and sexy, emotional contemporary romance. Darcy wrote her first book at age 11, a happily ever after about a swan addicted to magic and the female swan who loved him, with exceedingly poor illustrations.

A native Oregonian, Darcy lives on the edge of wine country with her guitar-strumming husband, their two hilarious kids who seem to have inherited the writing gene, and two Bengal cats. In her “spare” time Darcy is a serial volunteer enrolled in a 12-step program where one learns to say “no,” but she keeps having to start over. She’s also a fair-weather runner, and her happy places are Disneyland and Labor Day weekend at the Gorge.

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