I have the tour for The Best is Yest to Come by Renee Peterson on the blog today. I absolutely adored this book and can't wait to share my review with you.
The Best is Yet to Come
Brothers of the Bayou #3
Author: Renee Peterson
Publication Date: June 26, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rafe Chauvin left his home in the blink of an eye twelve years ago, running from a secret he kept buried deep inside. The day after his high school graduation, he joined the Army to escape the pain the secret brought. When Serena Adams told Rafe Chauvin the lie of a lifetime twelve years ago, she thought he would be relieved. She never imagined what consequences that one reckless night would lead to. After years of trying to escape her lies, she returns to her hometown in South Louisiana. Hannah Matthews is a war widow. Her husband, Tom, left her behind with two very young daughters and made his best friend Rafe promise that if anything were to happen to him that he would look after his girls. Bound by honor, Rafe keeps his promise, stepping up and forming a close friendship with Hannah. When Serena is hired to plan the weddings of both Rafe’s brothers, they are brought together for the first time in over a decade. Lies are finally uncovered, leaving a trail of anger and bitterness in their wake. As the paths of these three individuals converge, and they reach a crossroads in their lives, will they move forward and discover that the best is yet to come?
When The Best is Yet to Come was released, I picked it up on my kindle, along with the first 2 books in the series. When I was asked to be a part of the tour, I jumped at the chance since I had been wanting to read the book but hadn’t got to it yet. I was worried since I hadn’t read the first 2 yet either but I gladly discovered that it can easily be read as a stand alone.
I am in love with contemporary romances right now and this was such a sweet and romantic story. I really adored all of the characters, especially Rafe and Hannah. It had a really great storyline and plot and excellent writing.
When Rafe’s best friend dies in Afghanistan, he vows to keep his promise to make sure his wife, Hannah and their 2 daughters are taken care of. Three years later and he is taking Hannah and the girls to his mom’s for Christmas. There is clearly something brewing between them, even though they both deny it. When they finally succumb to their feelings for each other, secrets and revelations threaten to break them apart.
I absolutely loved both Rafe and Hannah. Rafe is such an honest and loyal guy. He takes his vow to Tommy seriously and he puts his life on hold to make sure that Hannah and the girls are taken care of. He has his own secret and his own painful past that has caused him to shut out love and his family. He was deeply wounded and after 12 years, he still struggles to forgive and let go. Rafe is so amazing with Hannah’s two little girls and he gives them the father figure that they need. Hannah is so sweet and thoughtful. She was widowed at such a young age and so devastatingly tragic. She wants to open her heart to Rafe but she feels so guilty and worries that he doesn’t feel the same way. When they finally succumb to their feelings and desires, it was so romantic and beautifully written. It wasn’t racy or erotic but it was perfect for the tone of this book.
“I love you, Rafe. You are my air; without you I couldn’t go on as I am”. “And you, my Hannah, are the breath that breathes life into me.”
I loved Rafe’s entire family. When they let someone into their lives, they treat them like family right away and Hannah immediately feels at home with them. His mom is such a warm and open woman and she treats the little girls just like grandchildren and spoils them. It was so sweet. I also liked Rafe’s brothers and how supportive they were and how much they encouraged him to be with Hannah. Each of them has their own story in the previous Bayou Brothers books and I can’t wait to read them.
I was enthralled with this story from the beginning all the way to the end and I loved watching Hannah and Rafe explore their feellings for one another and discover each other in a new and passionate way. Rafe clearly loves not only Hannah, but also her girls and he is like a father to them. He reads them bedtime stories and takes them to the zoo and I was in love with him from the very beginning. Just as he and Hannah are developing their relationship on a new level, Rafe’s past comes back into play and threatens to crush everything before it even starts. I felt like Rafe and Hannah both handled the situation poorly and each one of them could have made different decisions that would have prevented the heart ache they felt. Rafe let the anger resurface and started to close the walls that Hannah had finally opened. Hannah was a little insecure and she let those insecurities get in the way of her budding relationship with Rafe. In the end, they both grew from the experience and they were able build a once in a lifetime romance.
“I love you,” she whispered to him. “Today, tomorrow and forever, I’ll always love you.”
Overall, this book was so much more than I was expecting and I couldn’t put it down. I loved the writing and the happily ever after romance because sometimes that’s just what a story needs. While this is the third book in a series, it is the first one I’ve read and I can’t wait to pick up the first 2.
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Renee Peterson is the author of the Brothers of the Bayou series and several short stories. She has multiple works in progress to be released in the upcoming months. She spends most of her time raising two young kids and the remaining part of her time creating stories of love in the places she has been the places she wants to go. She grew up in the country side of Maryland, but has traveled around the country living in California's Mojave Desert, along the Crystal Coast of North Carolina and now resides in the Cajun country of Southern Louisiana where she has fallen in love with the culture and food. Renee loves hearing from her fans and welcomes their feedback. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on twitter at @reneepeterson18 or friend her at facebook.com/reneepetersonauthor.