Ready or Not
by Melissa Brayden
Published Date: November 16 2015
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Series: Soho Loft (3rd in series)
Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
Read: February 5 2016
I'll probably not actually get around to writing much about this book, but figured there were certain things to note.
1 -- Third book in the series, final book, and third book I've given 5 stars to. First one that went a specific direction that I'm more used to, in the sense that the first two were books I really liked all the way up to a certain point, then got really annoyed at, then in the end thought there were still worth at least 5 stars. This one went my more usual pattern - reading along, enjoying everything, but thinking I was reading something that would probably get rated 4 stars when everything was said and done. Then pulling itself up to the five star mark by the time it was done (though not literally, the rating is unrelated to the epilogue).
2 -- The neon blinking foreshadowing moments mostly both appeared, something of a Brayden trademark by this point, and flowed the way I expected. Mostly. The twin thing was a lot more muted than I expected -- a scene kind of what I expected occurred, Mallory bumped into the twin, thought it was Hope, got all pissed off and . . . then things went different than expected - the resolution was a lot smoother and quicker than normal, and quite frankly a lot more enjoyable; the issues involving Dominic went the way I expected; I'm sure there were foreshadowing moments involving Sophie (other than that 'she's from rich people, why's she working here', I didn't see any), but I didn't see her contribution to conflict before it happened; the issue with Mallory's family also came without my prior knowledge it would occur).
3 -- This might have been the first one, if I recall correctly, which involved both women's families. And I'll stop here to make note that by family I'm referring specifically to the biological family, not any other use of the word family. I didn't even realize Jessica had a family until the epilogue of this book here. Or, for that matter, that Samantha did either. No, the first book was about Brooklyn's family. If Jessica's family was mentioned at all in that first book, I completely overlooked it. And, again, the second book focused on only one of the couple's families - there the focus was on Hunter's family. By this point, the only thing I know about Samantha's family is that her dad likes Monday Night Football. That's it, sum total of what I know about Samantha's family (that and that her parents are still married to each other). This third book involved both Mallory's family, and Hope's -- though different parts of them. Mostly Mallory's parents (though some siblings popped up to say things like 'I'm going to go check my stocks'); and mostly Hope's sister (though mention occurred of a mother, and an uncle).
4 -- I suppose I'll add one last thing: Brent appears yet again in this book; Jessica seemed to have even less lines in this book than in the previous, though her role, to a certain extent, was 'larger' in a certain specific way in this book than in the previous. Ashton had maybe a page or two, less than previous book, and much less than the first book in this series.
Hope's side of things brought in a sister - Kara, and bar staff. Teddy the dependable, and Sophie the klutzy rich girl.
By this third book, the wonder and joy that is Brooklyn has been mostly overshadowed by everyone else. And her contributions seemed to consist of scenes like 'can't you see I'm staring at the grey spot? I'm working', being bubbly, and being the reason for the first midnight chocolate party (I think it was the first one that occurred in this book). Jessica, already mentioned but I'll add this part here, had even less to do than Brooklyn.
To a limited extent, Hunter had a larger role than Brooklyn - since she was friends with Hope before anyone else was, so there were some extra reason for Hunter to maintain some more 'lines'. I'm trying to remember if Sam was in this book beyond 'I've got donuts!; *kissing scenes with Hunter; banter scenes with Hunter; mention of her father then being told to just sit in the corner and let everyone else talk because her perfect family has no baring on this conversation*'. Was Samantha in this book, really? If this was a tv episode, her lines would probably have added up to about 2 to 3 minutes (if that) of screen time in an hour long program (admittedly her on screen time would be more, I'm referring to spoken lines for the 2 to 3 minutes), while her importance to the plot, on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being mostly unimportant to 10 being the plot could not have existed without her, she's probably at about a 0.5 importance. Using that same scale, I'd put Hunter at . . . oh, 4.5.
I'm not going to go through the scale with everyone else, though will note that I believe there might have been, and I stress the word 'might', more time spent inside of Mallory's head than in Hope's.
Right, so. Loved the book. Series is over. Time to move on with my life. Somehow.
February 5 2016