Reviewed by Helyce
Nash Barron’s teenage years were tough, to say the least. At 15, both his parents were killed when their car was hit by a drunk driver. His older brother, Ethan, left town leaving Nash and their younger brother, Dare, to the foster care system. Nash was placed with an affluent family in Serendipity while Dare was placed in a home that already had too many foster children. Eventually, the family that Nash was placed with adopted him. He grew up very comfortable, went to a nice private school and then college where he studied to become a lawyer.
But Nash has never been able to let go of the guilt he felt that he ended up with such a wonderful family and Dare did not. When they were kids, he’d take Dare clothes and extra food whenever he could. He tried his best to take care of Dare, but he was just a kid himself. He never understood why the Rossman’s hadn’t been able to take both he and Dare. They certainly could have afforded two children. So Nash did what he could, but the guilt he felt certainly had a lot to do with the man he turned out to be.
Kelly Moss, too, had a less than perfect childhood. Raised with her half sister, Tess, by a single mother, Kelly had huge responsibilities before she was an adult herself. When their mom leaves Tess in Kelly’s care without a word, Kelly is forced to put her life on hold to care of her teenaged sister. Tess doesn’t make it easy; acting out and getting in trouble. When Kelly realizes she’s in over her head, she finds Tess’s half brother, Ethan Barron and enlists his help in getting Tess under control.
Now living in Serendipity, both Kelly and the Barron brother’s focus is on creating a loving family atmosphere for Tess and to provide all the support she needs to feel comfortable and know that she can trust the adults in her life to be there for her. While Tess has warmed up to both Ethan and Dare, she hasn’t reached that level with Nash and he knows it’s because he hasn’t been able to forgive Ethan for leaving him and Dare when their parents died.
If all that wasn’t enough, Kelly and Nash cannot deny their attraction to each other. From the moment they met, there was something between them, but they both fight it, worried about Tess and how she’ll react. But the attraction is too strong and it’s not long before they give into it, both declaring that it’s just sex, that neither of them is looking for a relationship. Very quickly, however, they both realize that there is much more to their relationship than just sex, but neither of them is willing to admit it. The road to them admitting their feelings for each other is filled with obstacles, most of them long kept secrets, that when revealed, will threaten to destroy their fragile relationship before it ever had a chance.
I enjoyed Destiny, which surprised me because I didn’t care for either Nash or Kelly in book one, Serendipity. Since it’s inferred that Kelly and Nash are attracted to each other at the end of book one, I assumed that the author planned to put these two together, and I admit I wasn’t thrilled about that. In Destiny, we learn a lot about the time directly following the deaths of Nash’s parents and what Dare and Nash went through after Ethan leaves town and the younger boys are placed in foster care. It sheds much light and explains so much about Nash’s character and personality as an adult. Secrets kept from Nash during this time to protect him are revealed and as you can expect, the fact that people Nash trusted hid important information from him, hits Nash hard, threatening his once solid relationship with Dare as well as his new relationship with Kelly.
Ms. Phillips has crafted a beautifully complicated family in the Barron brothers and I found myself wanting to smack them each upside the head while at the same time hoping that they would find their way to forgiveness. Not only is the relationship between the brothers tested, but Nash’s relationship with Kelly is as well. Just when you think their insecurities and disappointments will keep them from pursuing what they really want; Nash comes through and totally surprises Kelly. I am completely invested in this series and very much look forward to Karma which will be Dare story!