Lucas Wilder’s best friend is a traitor. First, Audrey moved back to their hick-infested hometown, Bluewater Bay, and now she’s marrying a local. His own brother, in fact. And as her Man of Honor, Lucas gets coerced into returning for an extended stay. Although, between his unfaithful ex-boyfriend and his artist’s block, going home isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Even if the Best Man is Gabriel Savage, Lucas’s first crush, first hookup, and first heartbreak.
The only reason Gabe hasn’t been waiting for Lucas to return to Bluewater Bay is because he never thought it’d happen. Not that it matters now that Lucas is back—Gabe’s still a logger who’s never been anywhere (Canada doesn’t count), and Lucas is now a famous sculptor who’s been everywhere twice. Plus, there’s that shared past.
When Audrey asks Lucas to make her wedding favors, the only place to set up a kiln is at Gabe’s tree farm. Soon, they pick up where they left off twelve years before, then blow past it, discovering why neither of them forgot the other. Now they have to choose how much of their history they’ll repeat, and what future they’ll make together.
Readers were first introduced to Lucas and Gabe in the Valentine’s Bluewater Bay anthology, Lights, Camera, Cupid. Their story, Helping Hand, was the beginning of their story and they both thought it was the end. Some creative hoops were jumped through to get them together in Wedding Favors, with all the wit and humor that I’ve come to expect from Anne Tenino.
I wasn’t sure how to feel about Gabe at the end of Helping Hand, but I knew how Lucas felt about him. He was not only hurt, embarrassed and confused, but he felt used. His best friend knew that because he did a lot of crying on her shoulder after that night. He left Bluewater Bay and never looked back. Only a call from her could bring him back for an extended visit. The fact that the timing was perfect because of a bad break-up was another plus. I totally understood how he felt under the circumstances, but then readers got Gabe’s side of the story. After that, I wasn’t sure which of these guys I fell in love with more.
There was a lot to love about Wedding Favors. Both families were amazing and Lucas’ father was adorably hilarious, which was totally unexpected. Audrey was the perfect best friend. She loved him and his artistic quarkiness and ignored his unintentional self centered moments. The fact that she was marrying Lucas’ brother and Gabe’s best friend brought the whole family aspect full circle. Their match-making wasn’t subtle, but their hearts were definitely in the right place. Sometimes your friends and family actually do know you better than you know yourself.
I also loved Tenino’s description of Lucas’ art and his creative process. He had a beautiful, talented mind and a definite love for what he did. Gabe’s appreciation and awe of that art his process made me love and respect him even more.
Each book in the Bluewater Bay series gets better and better. The Deep of the Sound by Amy Lane and When to Hold Them by G.B. Gordon are next and I can’t wait to read them. Even though the only real connection between each book is Bluewater Bay and Wolf’s Landing, it’s fun to see the small cameos of previous characters.