The Ribbon Ridge Series by Darcy Burke-series review
YOURS TO HOLD
(Ribbon Ridge #2)
by Darcy Burke
Genre: contemporary, adult, romance
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 24, 2015
Years ago, golden-boy Kyle Archer left Ribbon Ridge without a word. Now, with heartbreak on the verge of tearing his family apart, the black sheep is back and he’s determined to earn their trust by uncovering the truth behind Alex’s death. But the moment he confronts Maggie Trent—the therapist his parents blame for the tragedy—Kyle is stunned by his powerful attraction to the beautiful doctor… and drawn to her like no woman he’s ever met before.
When gorgeous, charismatic Kyle approaches Maggie about his brother’s death, she agrees to help him search for answers. And as they piece together Alex’s last days, their undeniable chemistry turns too hot to ignore. After their relationship becomes more serious than either anticipated, Kyle may be forced to choose between the woman he’s desperate to hold on to and the family he almost let slip away.
REVIEW: YOURS TO HOLD is the second full length installment in Darcy Burke’s contemporary adult Ribbon Ridge romance series focusing on the Archer family sextuplets (Evan, Sara, Alex, Tori, Kyle & Liam) of Ribbon Ridge and their younger brother Hayden. This is chef and Archer family black sheep Kyle Archer, and therapist Maggie Trent’s storyline. The Archer family owns several successful breweries and pubs, and most of the siblings play a role in the daily business operations. YOURS TO HOLD takes place a few months after the events of books 1-Only in My Dreams-as the family begins preparations for Derek and Chloe’s wedding and rebuilding the old Monastery left to the siblings in Alex’s will. Derek is the Archer family’s ‘adopted’ son. The series should be read in order as each timeline follows on the events of the previous book.
Told from alternating third person perspectives, the storyline follows Kyle’s investigation into his brother Alex’s suicide and the first person he is going to confront is Alex’s therapist Maggie Trent. Maggie closed up practice and moved out of town within days of Alex’s death, and Kyle is determined to place blame directly on Maggie’s lap. What ensues is a building relationship between Kyle and Maggie as they begin a search for the person responsible for supplying Alex with a means to end his life. But Kyle has a secret of his own; one that has caused a major tear in the family and sent Kyle in search of a new start in life. After a four year absence Kyle’s returns comes with accusations and family tension, and yet he is still unwilling to reveal the truth behind the reason he left.
The relationship between Kyle and Maggie begins acrimoniously as Kyle is determined to blame Maggie and find fault with her therapy methods. His need to uncover the truth behind his brother’s death finds our hero at continuous odds with both Maggie and his family. As their relationship turns sexual, Kyle is reluctant to reveal her true identity to the family knowing that her presence in their lives will only cause more heartache and blame. The $ex scenes are seductive, provocative and emotional; Maggie is caught between professional ethics and a relationship with Kyle Archer.
The entire Archer family is present as they prepare for the upcoming nuptials of Derek and Chloe, although family matriarch Emily Archer remains in France with her youngest child Hayden. The family dynamics are stressful and heartbreaking; there are a number of emotional, physical and mental issues the family continuously endures- most likely due to the early birth of the sextuplets. In this, there is plenty of anxiety and problematic scenarios addressed throughout the series. The Archer’s are a once close-knit family whose secrets are slowly revealing-one child at a time.
YOURS TO HOLD is an emotional storyline. Before his death, Alex Archer wrote a letter to each family member, in the hopes that lessons learned will begin to heal their broken hearts. Kyle received his letter following his admission and reconciliation with his father. Each letter is heartbreaking, tear inducing and painfully honest; there is an intimacy between siblings in death that was never there in life.
Darcy Burke will astonish you with her remarkable and realistic look at the dysfunctional family dynamics of the Archers of Ribbon Ridge. There are moments of incredible family love and support followed by accusations, jealousy and intense pain. The RIBBON RIDGE series is passionate and addicting; Darcy Burke will pull you into a world of emotional highs and lows. You will want to return to Ribbon Ridge again and again.
ONLY IN MY DREAMS
(Ribbon Ridge #1)
by Darcy Burke
Genre: adult, contemporary, romance
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 17, 2015
Fed up with her self-imposed single life, successful event planner Sara Archer heads to a bar for a night of dancing … and bumps into Dylan Wescott, the high school crush she hasn’t seen in years. A little harmless flirting leads to a hot, completely uncharacteristic one-night stand; but when she wakes up alone, Sara knows her life is too complicated for a relationship and there can’t be a repeat.
Dylan, a divorced, ex-military construction contractor, limits himself to casual flings—his failed marriage proves he’s better off alone anyway—but he can’t stop dreaming about Sara. And when his firm is hired to oversee the renovation project run by the Archer siblings, Dylan and Sara are unable to resist their explosive chemistry.
But when their secret affair grows beyond “friends with benefits” and neither is willing to admit they want more, family drama and emotional scars may ruin their chance at a love they believed was only in their dreams.
REVIEW: ONLY IN MY DREAMS is the second installment in Darcy Burke’s contemporary, adult Ribbon Ridge romance series focusing on the Archer Sextuplets of Ribbon Ridge. The Archer family owns several successful breweries and pubs, and most of the siblings play a role in the daily business operations. This is event planner Sara Archer and construction contractor Dylan Wescott’s storyline.
Told from alternating third person perspectives the storyline follows the building relationship between Sara and Dylan- a friends with benefits situation-that becomes more secretive when Dylan’s construction company is hired by the Archer clan to renovate a monastery bequeathed to the siblings. Each sibling has been assigned a task, as per the request of the will, and in this the family dynamics begin to crumble when each member has his or her reasons to back out and pull away.
ONLY IN MY DREAMS follows a family struggling with suicide; a death nobody foresaw but one that has affected Sara most of all. Sara is a woman who suffers with SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) and struggles with the environment around her. The tragic death finds Sara returning home to oversee the coordination of the events program in the newly renovated monastery. From there, Sara’s personal business begins to fail, and the Archer family dynamics spiral out of control. The one constant is her –former one night stand/no strings attached- relationship with Dylan Wescott that soon turns into something more. But when Dylan realizes that sex with the boss may affect his future employment, he stops at nothing to put an end to what they had already started.
ONLY IN MY DREAMS has a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters. We are reintroduced to the entire Archer clan-a set of sextuplets (Evan, Sara, Alex, Tori, Kyle & Liam) and their younger brother Hayden made famous by a television reality show ‘Seven is Enough’ that placed the family front and center on the entertainment pages, along with their ‘foster’ brother Derek (Where The Heart Is .5). There are secrets and misunderstandings shrouding the family happiness; even the parental units are no longer communicating following the death of one of their own.
The storyline ends with a happily ever after, but it was a struggle seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Dylan and Sara continued to push and pull at one another for a majority of the story, while Sara’s siblings fought constantly about control and issues of the past. I can understand why some of the siblings needed to take a break and walk away. A death affects everyone differently; a suicide leaves too many unanswered questions and blame.
ONLY IN MY DREAMS is a well written, emotional and powerful tale; a tragedy that continues to tear apart a family that now struggles with the loss and unanswered questions. Darcy Burke brings drama, passion and heartbreaking pain to a storyline that will captivate your imagination.
Copy supplied by the publisher.
WHERE THE HEART IS
(Ribbon Ridge .5)
by Darcy Burke
Genre: adult, contemporary, romance
ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date December 2013
Home is more than a place . . .
Breaking free from her structured life, Chloe English quits her high-powered job and moves across the country to work as an art teacher. The simple life is all she hoped it would be until her house burns down, leaving her homeless. When a handsome firefighter swoops in to save the day, she can’t believe her luck. He’s laid-back and unassuming, everything she’s looking for in a man—or so he seems. It turns out he’s as ambitious as her ex, comes with a family who could be more stifling than hers, and harbors dark secrets he may never be able to share.
Orphaned as a teenager, Derek Sumner has found a place in his best friend’s family. However, the love and support of his surrogate parents and siblings can’t erase the grief and loss he struggles every Christmas to banish. But this year he meets the fun and sexy Chloe, whose optimism and sense of joy are incredibly contagious. Can she help him face his bleak past so they can forge a happy future?
REVIEW: WHERE THE HEART IS is the first installment (novella) in Darcy Burke’s Ribbon Ridge romance series focusing on the Archer sextuplets (Evan, Sara, Alex, Tori, Kyle & Liam) of Ribbon Ridge and their younger brother Hayden. This is the Archer family best friend and Archer Industries CFO Derek Sumner, and art teacher Chloe English’s storyline. The timeline follows a few weeks prior to the Christmas holidays wherein Chloe finds herself homeless and dependent upon the charity of friends.
Told from alternating third person perspectives WHERE THE HEART IS introduces the reader to the well-to-do and successful Archer family of Ribbon Ridge including the infamous sextuplets who, as children and tweens, were featured in a reality television series Seven is Enough. The Archer family own a series of microbreweries and pubs, and in this Archer Industries has been established. The focus of the storyline follows the Archer family’s ‘foster son’ Derek Sumner-a volunteer firefighter, amongst other noteworthy professions- as he embarks on a relationship with the woman whose burned out apartment finds her in desperate need of housing and friends.
Derek will introduce Chloe English to the Archer family who welcome the young woman like one of their own. When the Archer family patriarch Robert, reminds Derek that his own family home is currently available for the now homeless Chloe, Derek’s own horrific memories of the past begin to overwhelm and take control.
The relationship between Chloe and Derek is very quick to develop-one of instant attraction, lust and love that is tempered by Derek’s constant need to run when memories of the past haunt his thoughts. Offering Chloe his family home sets into motion a series of misunderstandings and heartbreak as Derek runs when the going gets tough. The $ex scenes are intimate and provocative but I did take issue with the lack of condoms.
The Archer family of Ribbon Ridge is not perfect. They are a close knit family but due to the inherent and potential issues with multiple births-and in this case 6 babies at once-the now adult sextuplets are not without some emotional, mental and physical problems including OCD, Asperger’s syndrome, SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder), chronic lung disease and depression. Each storyline will end with a happily ever after but getting there will be heartbreaking and emotional.
WHERE THE HEART IS is a quick read; a novella length storyline that introduces the Archer family with all of their quirks and problems, issues and struggles, and the never ending stream of people who come and go in their lives. Darcy Burke does a fantastic job building a world where the potential for future storylines is but a heartbreak away. A passionate, intelligent and intriguing look at an extraordinary family trying to maintain an ordinary life.
Reviews by Sandy