Title: Family Ties
Series: Bartlett Boys: Book One
Author: Poppy Dennison
Publisher: Amazon/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 202 Pages
At a Glance: A couple of minor quibbles aside, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Family Ties is a wonderful introduction to the Bartlett clan.
Reviewed By: Jules
Blurb: Every family has a story to tell…
Blake Bartlett needs a do-over, so he’s going back home to Havendale, Florida, with his three-year-old daughter in tow. The perfect life he built is in ruins and he’s determined to create a new one. The Bartletts are fixtures in the small town of Havendale, and Blake’s extended family welcome him back with open arms. He’s settling in and getting back in his family’s good graces, when he meets Lincoln Coleman. Suddenly, he’s starting to want things he shouldn’t, and their relationship is beginning to heat up.
Linc may have the reputation for being a one-night stand kind of guy, but the rumors aren’t quite right. When he meets Blake and his daughter, he imagines family life and settling down for the first time. There’s only one problem: Blake has taken on a leadership role in the Bartlett Construction business and now Linc works for the man he’s falling in love with.
Blake’s well-intentioned family may have them tied up in knots, but only they can untangle their heart strings…
Review: When I was preparing to write this review, I was shocked when I realized that this was the first book I’ve read by Poppy Dennison. I don’t know how that’s even possible, but there it is. I certainly eyeballed her Holly Creek books, but for some reason never got around to them. So, when Family Ties, the first book in her new series, popped up, I grabbed it, and I’m glad I did. The series, as the title suggests, is mainly about the boys in the family, and their romances, of course, but really revolves around the entire group. The Bartletts are a large, tightknit, southern family, living in Florida. Many of them run or work at the family construction business, but between all the cousins, there is a variety of occupations covered. And, they all support each other in whatever their personal endeavors are. Dennison did an incredible job of painting the picture of what being a part of this family means, and I couldn’t help falling in love with them almost instantly.
This story opens with Blake, who is recently widowed, with a three-year-old daughter, moving across the country from Seattle to Havendale, Florida. Blake’s husband, Michael, died suddenly in an accident, devastating both Blake and their daughter, Caroline. But, we learn that Blake and Michael had actually been separated for a year and planning to divorce at the time of the accident. So, while Blake is grieving, it’s more for Caroline’s loss and the loss of what they once had. The hope with the move is that being close to Blake’s family, who he has missed desperately, will help the healing process for both him and his daughter. It does, and it’s a joy to see all that love in action.
I loved the feel of the book and, overall, it was adorable. I absolutely and completely loved everything about the Bartletts. I always wanted a big family like that growing up, and envied my friends who were close to their cousins like Blake was close to all of his. It wasn’t just him and his sister against the world. He also had Abe, Micah, Kale, Danielle, Nathan, Claire, Carter and Josh (I hope I got them all!). Caroline – I loved her nickname, Mouse—was an absolute doll. Her language maybe seemed a tiny bit advanced for three, but she had me smiling and awwww’ing the entire time. And Linc was a total sweetheart. I thought he was great for Blake, and I liked them together a lot. But, I did feel like they dove off the insta-love cliff pretty quickly in the last quarter of the book. Also, the relationship conflict felt a bit overdramatic. The whole time I was thinking that the entire thing could have been avoided with a simple conversation. I wish there would have been a bit more relationship development on page—but, I love where they ended up.
Those couple of minor quibbles aside, however, I thoroughly enjoyed the book! Family Ties was a wonderful introduction to the Bartlett clan, and laid a foundation that invested me in the family and assured that I would be on board for the rest of the series. In fact, Kale’s book is next, and he was one of my favorite cousins! 😀 I’m excited to see what Poppy has in store for the rest of the Bartlett Boys!
You can buy Family Ties here: