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The Best of Me

Book 2, Return to Briarwood - A Return to Briarwood Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


In the follow-up to Once and Again—hailed by bestselling author Claudia Connor as “a beautiful second-chance love story”—Elisabeth Barrett returns to the Briarwood, an unforgettable place where legacy and longing make dreams come true.
Jane Pringle never meant to fall for her boss. After landing a job as a pastry chef at the exclusive Briarwood Golf and Yacht Club in Eastbridge, Connecticut, she just wants to keep her son in a good school district and find some peace and quiet, far away from her manipulative ex-husband. But when Briarwood’s charismatic co-owner takes an interest in her, Jane’s best-laid plans go awry . . . in the sweetest way possible.
Rich and handsome, the grandson of one of the most powerful men in New York City, Preston North hasn’t lived quite the charmed life everyone believes. His family taught him everything he needs to know about betrayal—and Press wants no more of it. What he wants is Jane. The gorgeous single mom is selfless and kind, plus she’s got a backbone. To win her trust, Press just needs to shake off his playboy reputation.
They’ve each been burned in the past. But now Press and Jane will have to choose between letting their fears get the best of them . . . or breaking free and following their hearts.

Praise for The Best of Me
“Elisabeth Barrett takes readers on a real—and sexy—emotional journey without ever losing sight of the good in people or the sweetness of family, friends, and community.”—Serena Bell, USA Today bestselling author of the Returning Home series
“Humor, flirting, and sizzling sex give Preston and Jane an opportunity to move beyond their pasts.”Library Journal

“As Preston and Jane begin to fall in love, they have genuine reasons to worry about the stability of their relationship, and Barrett gives them both a degree of emotional intelligence and a good set of priorities.”Publishers Weekly

“[A] wonderful author whose characters come to life page by page.”Fresh Fiction

“A heartwarming and romantic story of a single mom not just trying to make it on her own but succeeding . . . a wonderful, emotion-filled path to happily ever after.”FicCentral
“I loved how both characters were portrayed, highlighting the best of them without overlooking their flaws. The romance was wonderful and the challenges they both faced were realistic and expertly woven into their relationship development. I really enjoyed this story and am very much liking the direction of this series.”—The Book Nympho
“This book has very developed characters and I loved reading their story.”—Pages of Comfort
“[A] rather edgy environment, with lots of high emotions, broken people, and one little boy in the midst of them.”—Books and Spoons
Includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 07, 2015 – Barrett's second Return to Briarwood contemporary (after Once and Again) is set at the Briarwood, a Connecticut country club, where Jane Pringle has taken a job as an assistant pastry chef. Jane is worried that her abusive ex-husband will try to win custody of their son; Preston North, part owner of the club, is a recovering alcoholic with significant family problems. Love is the last thing on their minds. As Preston and Jane begin to fall in love, they have genuine reasons to worry about the stability of their relationship, and Barrett gives them both a degree of emotional intelligence and a good set of priorities, but the characterization lacks the depth to make either their fumblings or the inevitable resolution meaningful. In addition, a great deal of Preston's character evolution takes place before the novel opens, robbing the book of suspense. However, the trappings of the country club and patisserie are evoked well, and the overall effect is pleasant, friendly, and innocuous.

Customer Reviews

Loved Press

I loved this story of Jane and Press, two wounded individuals finding love once again. Both fighting demons from their past. Jane is raising her son, after leaving an abusive marriage and Press fighting the disease of alcoholism. Jane is so afraid of being hurt again, that she needs to learn to trust again and open her heart. I loved how Press was so patient with Jane, and such a good man to Jane and her son, Andy. Such important message from this book, "I've moved on. We all need to." Great character development.

I enjoyed returning to Briarwood. This is the second book in the series, but can be read completely as a stand alone. I recieved this book from netgalley for an honest review.

Just ok

Jane is a single mother who divorced her abusive husband. Her life revolves around her son, Andy. She is determined not to put herself in any situation which would cause her ex-husband to gain custody of Andy. This includes relationships. Preston is co-owner of the golf course where Jane works as a pastry chef. Their first encounter was quite memorable. While Jane is horrified about what happened, Preston found Jane quite charming. Despite asking Jane multiple times to go to dinner with him, she said no. She finally agreed to dessert. After all she is a pastry chef. Preston was quite open about his life to Jane. He willing shared his thoughts and even his past drinking issues. However it was brought up so many times that it got to be a little redundant. Preston trusted Jane. However Jane was not so trusting. She constantly had self-doubts about their relationship and because of this she was not able to allow Preston all the way into her life. While the story started off well, it became slow and boring at times. There was a lot of redundancy, especially with Jane. Her inner turmoil became tiring after a while. It seemed like it was the same thoughts over and over again. This was just an ok book for me. I have read other books by this author, which I thought were much better.

Other Books in This Series

The Best of Me
View in iTunes
  • $3.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Contemporary
  • Published: Jan 05, 2016
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Random House LLC
  • Print Length: 309 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Book 2, Return to Briarwood
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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