The Barker Triplets Series by Juliana Stone-a series review
OFFSIDE (The Barker Triplets #1) by Juliana Stone
ABOUT THE BOOK: September 2012
When hockey phenom Billie-Jo Barker returns home and decides to play in the local Friday night hockey league, all hell breaks loose. Not because Billie’s talent is in question, but because Billie is a woman. And though these are modern times, some of the local guys still have a problem letting a girl into their ‘men’s club.’
Soon, Billie is at the center of a small town battle of the sexes, with everyone choosing sides. Her sisters. The townsfolk. Her friends. And yet, the only person whose opinion she cares about doesn’t seem to care much at all. Logan Forest, the man who broke her heart when she was eighteen and the man she now shares the bench with every Friday night.
She’s got a lot to prove and though Billie Jo Barker scores on the ice, will this girl ever score with the man of her dreams?
REVIEW: OFFSIDE is the first installment in Juliana Stone’s new series focusing on three sisters-Billie Jo, Bobbi Jo and Betty Jo Barker-the Barker triplets. And let’s just say their sibling rivalry would make any parent cringe and hide. This is Billie Jo and Logan’s story.
This is a story of sexism to the nth degree. When Billie Jo returns home from the big leagues recovering from a concussion, she inadvertently draws the ire and disapproval of most of the town when she registers for the Friday Night inter-city hockey league. Not only is she the only female but she is better than every other player in the league. She will become the target of ridicule; sexist misogynistic males; and physical and emotional abuse both on and off the ice.
The writing style is simple. The reader is pulled into a storyline of one family’s dysfunctional attitude toward each other. While the ‘adults’ struggle to keep peace, the triplets are at each other’s throats constantly. We learn there is some history between the sisters as it pertains to the men or lack of men in their lives but also that this history fuels much of the town’s aggression towards Billie Jo.
The characters, for a lack of a better word, are not likeable. The townsfolk belittle, humiliate, assault and insult Billie Jo at every opportunity but when the local hero makes it his mission to offer Billie Jo his support, he learns exactly who his friends are.
The plot revolves around one woman’s need to fit in where others believe she doesn’t belong. There is some tension between the Billie and Logan, especially as it pertains to their connected pasts-a past that is mired in secrets and betrayal. Billie Jo is a woman who has been in love with Logan since her early high school days, but she knows that Logan had his heart set on another sister. The sexual heat and tension between our hero and heroine is hot but their relationship is kept in secret for most of the storyline due to possible backlash and pain. And in true romance storyline fashion, there will be a misunderstanding that forces the couple apart when in actuality, the truth hurts, no matter who is at fault.
If you like a quick read, with a hockey backdrop in small town USA, The Barker Triplets is the series for you. All three sisters will eventually find their one true love, but until they do, the sibling rivalry will push my proverbial buttons-these sisters were a piece of work and then some. If I didn’t know better, I would think that Juliana Stone knows what it is like to live in a household of bickering and jealous sisters.
COLLIDE (The Barker Triplets #2) by Juliana Stone
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date January 2013
A second chance never looked so good…
Bobbi-Jo Barker has been in love with the wrong man for years. A man who doesn’t fit into the perfect, controlled life she’s created. A man who not only broke her heart but nearly destroyed her. So the fact that he’s back in town shouldn’t matter because he’s all wrong for her, or so she thinks…
Shane Gallagher, prodigal son, ex-con, and all around hellion, has returned to the small town of New Waterford to mend fences and get his life back. What he doesn’t count on are the feelings he still has for the one woman who can break him—the one woman who is totally wrong for him.
And yet, as Bobbi and Shane are thrown together and begin to navigate a life with each other in it, neither can deny the attraction they feel, or the emotions that come with it—the good and the bad. And so the question becomes… can these two damaged souls survive a second chance at love?
REVIEW: COLLIDE is the second installment in Juliana Stone’s New Adult contemporary romance The Barker Triplets series focusing on Billie-Jo, Bobbi-Jo and Betty-Jo Barker. Collide is Bobbi-Jo and Shane Gallagher’s storyline-another storyline of second chances and forgiveness.
Like the first storyline-OFFSIDE- the characters are flawed in such a way that it took some time before Bobbi-Jo became less of an irritant to the flow of the story. There is a history between Bobbi-Jo and Shane and one that is mired in secrets, betrayal and heartbreaking sorrow.
Their prior relationship was tumultuous, aggressive and during a time when both were too young to accept full responsibility for their actions. But decisions were made and betrayal revealed that resulted in years of misunderstanding, painful memories and hateful scorn. When our couple, finally reconnect with each other, the truth will hurt but will bring about an end to their anguish and pain.
COLLIDE is another interesting storyline of second chances and forgiveness. The Barker Triplets are a trio of twenty five year old sisters who are not the easiest characters to like in the early stages of the series and successive novels. Betty –Jo’s story has yet to be told and she is by far the nastiest piece of work of the three. The sister’s animosity towards each other is fueled by jealousy and anger and, the pain of their father’s deteriorating health.
COLLIDE is a fast paced, sometimes heartbreaking storyline of two people so much in love with each other that they continue to hurt one another at every turn. It will take the truth about what happened year before to put the past behind them and begin a new life together.
CONCEAL (The Barker Triplets #3) by Juliana Stone
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date June 15, 2013
No one said going home would be easy…
Black sheep and all around trouble maker, Betty Jo Barker is back home and hoping for a do-over. Things are finally looking up until Beau Simon comes to town. The man pushes every button she owns and manages to awaken long dead emotions she’d rather leave buried. Beneath the surface she knows she’s a wreck–her scars run deep–and she can’t help but wonder, is Beau Simon the one who can fix her?
Beau Simon, the brightest star in Hollywood has come to New Waterford for one reason only. He’s determined to have Betty Jo Barker star in his next film. He knows she’s perfect for the part, but a past encounter might prove more than a little difficult to overcome. As Beau turns on the charm, hoping to win over this complicated woman, he realizes it won’t be easy.
Only time will tell if what lies beneath can ever be overcome. Or if love can heal all…
REVIEW: CONCEAL is the third and final installment in Juliana Stone’s contemporary New Adult series The Barker Triplets based on the lives and loves of three identical sisters Billie-Jo, Bobbi-Jo and Betty-Jo Barker. This is Betty-Jo and Beau Simon’s storyline. Betty-Jo has been one of the most unlikable characters in this particular series but like all storylines there were obviously some issues with this character and her relationship with her sisters.
Betty-Jo is a burned-out, has been cover model who fell into a life of drugs and alcohol. When she was finally ‘kicked’ out of the business, Betty-Jo returned home to a small town mentality where she became known as the local whore, slut and junkie. Although she tried desperately to straighten out her life, a pattern of drinking and sex with one night stands exacerbated the situation. But like every story there is a history – a history that set the stage for Betty-Jo’s life. Drinking and drugs were not the answer, but the love and support of a good man and family would have done miracles for Betty-Jo.
The storyline focuses on Betty-Jo and Beau’s history together-a past mired in betrayal and pain. When Beau arrives in small town Michigan to offer Betty-Jo the lead in his latest movie, Betty-Jo suspects there is more to the offer than meets the eye. And she is correct. Beau has never forgotten Betty-Jo and blames himself for part of Betty-Jo’s failure.
The relationship cannot be described as a second-chance or even friends to lovers, as Beau used Betty-Jo in the past. Their history is not pretty and one Betty-Jo considers a form of betrayal. But the truth about Betty-Jo’s descent into alcohol and drug abuse will open a few eyes, especially for the family that has treated Betty-Jo like a leper and loser. Knowing what happened on that fateful night so many years before will bring the sisters closer together and tug at your heart knowing what Betty-Jo has had to endure for years.
CONCEAL is an emotional storyline of one woman’s struggle with alcohol and drugs but it is also a storyline of family and forgiveness. Betty-Jo’s low self esteem is masked by revealing clothes and make-up as well as an attitude that would frighten most people. Where once stood a beautiful cover girl model now stands a broken woman with demons that continue to haunt her every waking day.
With Conceal, The Barker Triplets saga comes to an end, but Juliana Stone will continue the storylines with Beau Simon’s three brothers (Tucker, Jack and Teague) and his sister Grace. Two of the brothers are introduced in Conceal but the entire family is referenced through out.
Reviewed by Sandy