Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Caught Up in Us by Lauren Blakely

** 4 out of 5 Stars **

A second chance at first love...

Five years ago, Kat Harper fell into a dizzying summer romance with her brother's best friend Bryan. It was a mad, crazy love full of kisses all through the night -- but he broke her heart and she had to move on. Five years later, Kat is finishing her graduate degree and building her business as a jewelry designer, when Bryan, head of his own successful company, walks back into her life. Bryan has been assigned to Kat as her new business mentor and the rules are clear. No hanky panky permitted. Kat can handle that because she's totally over him... right? Except, he still makes her laugh, and he remembers all the things she likes. Not to mention that he's even more handsome now than he was then. Then there's the spark between them -- the simply undeniable chemistry, and the tender ways he shows he still cares for her. Can they resist each other the second time around or will first love trump all?

This book was a short and easy read.  There are no twist and turns, no angst, and no drama.  You can sit back and relax with this one.  It gives you a warm feeling and a smile when you finish.  It's what I call "bathtub" reading.  I actually have been looking for a book like this one lately.  It's easy to read and the characters are easy to connect with.  It's about rekindling first love.  There aren't really any spoilers because it's so simple.

Kat is a up and coming jewelry designer about to graduate with her MBA.  She's smart and funny and driven.  She lives in New York with her actress roommate.  Her parents own something like a souvenir shop back home and she's trying to get her jewelry line up and going so she can help them.  She's not really described but she's got long hair and we know she's beautiful.

Bryan is a successful businessman.  He owns his own company and he's good at what he does.  He's driven, self assured, and confident.  He's sexy, and built.  Oh and he has a smirk that he does a lot...that's never a bad thing.  When I think of him I think of Christian Grey only more laid back and easy going without the temper.

Bryan is Kat's brother's best friend and roommate in college.  He comes home with him one summer to help at their parent's store.  He's instantly attracted to Kat.  They start seeing each other in private.  She's 17 and he's 22.  They won't take it any farther than kissing because of her age.  They start a whirlwind summer romance, spending every free second together.  They are making plans for the future and everything.  Then all of a sudden Bryan is letting her go and walking away from her.  All she has left is a broken heart.

She's starts designing jewelry...little charms.  Her line is called My Favorite Mistakes.  She creates pieces based on life events that were mistakes for her.  Her first charm was a movie reel to remind her not to watch so many movies.  That was her and Bryan's thing.  They went to a lot of movies so they could make out.  It's point is to remind her not to let anyone get that close again.

He was my first favorite mistake.

Until he broke my heart and became a charm on my necklace instead — the very first one, and the inspiration for my jewelry — a cold, metal reminder that mistakes can make us better.

5 years later...

Kat is in a business class that is a mentor program.  She has to take this class to graduate.  When you and your soul mate walk away from each other, fate has a way of taking things into her own hands.  As she's sitting in her class, in walk the mentors, among them Bryan.  Naturally they are paired together.

Things don't go well at first.  She's convinced herself that she's over him.  First of all, first loves are always hard to get over.  Second of all, when your first love is your only true love it's impossible.  She's angry because of her feelings that are still there.  Slowly he works his way into her good graces and he breaks the walls surrounding her heart.  Because of a scandal at his office with his former business partner they have to keep things on the down low.  They hide the relationship and only talk on the phone at night.  When things finally settle and they can be together she realizes it's still not possible.  Her professor has a rule about mentors and students.  

They both end up in Paris at the same time because of business.  There she learns that he's always loved her.  He's been walking around for 5 years pining for her.  She doesn't understand why he left and she becomes angry until he explains it.

“He does care for her.” The words came from Bryan.
“He always cared for her. He always loved her. He’s madly in love with her. She’s his Love, Actually. She’s his Casablanca. She’s the one he’d stop the bus for, the one he’d run through traffic for, the one he’d drive like a crazy man to the airport for and run through the terminal to stop the plane. Her name’s above the title for him. She’s the opening credit and the closing credit. She’s the love of his life.”

Ok...swoon worthy.  This man is perfect.  When they return home she has to make a decision about her future.  She chooses him over her schooling.  Everything works out and she's still graduates.  Her line is made at his factory.  He takes her to her parents store where he first asked her out and proposes.  She accepts.

Like I said there is no drama.  This was a short, sweet and relaxing read.  I enjoyed it.  I needed it.  I've been reading to many books that have angst up to my eye balls.  I needed a break and this book provided it.  I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

My Bryan/Kat

Favorite quotes

"...But it’s more like a promise. It’s a promise that I don’t want to be your favorite mistake. That I want to be your forever mistake, if you’ll have me.”