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Monday, September 21, 2015

With These Four Rings by Ana E. Ross

Published: June 2015
Pages: 245 pages
Diversity: Multicultural
Rating: 3 out of  5
*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review*

Today I'm reviewing the fifth book in the Billionaire Brides of Granite Falls series by Ana E. Ross. In general I'm a fan of the series which is always a bit of fun escapism with some very sexy men. For me the series ended with book 4; however, much to my surprise the author released With These Four Rings, which is sort of a follow-up to the original four books. I walk away from it with mixed feelings. Parts of it I really enjoyed, others not so much. It may be easiest to break it down by couples:

Erick and Michelle
Not much to say here. These two were perhaps the dullest part of the book. The most interesting part of their contribution to the story revolved around Precious, but even that felt incomplete. Hoping for a future book involving an adult Precious as her story line here felt like the perfect set-up.

Bryce and Kaya
Bryce is one of my two favorite billionaires and I'm happy to say that I really appreciated the story given to him. In this book he has some issues that he is forced to confront because of the upcoming wedding. I didn't care for Kaya's role in "forcing" her husband into doing something that he didn't really feel prepared for. This was a bit of weakness on her part. I think she should have given more argument when the other wives pushed her (so that they could get what they wanted). Although she did argue that it was best for Bryce to do this uncomfortable and undesirable thing, she also pulled the "You said you'd do anything to make me happy" card and lost some of my respect as a character. On the other hand, I think the scene where the issue is confronted was well done. I also loved the interactions with the kids especially their youngest son and his many, many questions for daddy. So funny!

Massimo and Shaina (Nia)
Another of my favorite characters is Massimo and again this was perhaps the best part of the book. Massimo loses something that is of great importance to him. This loss occurs at a time of year that marks the death of his mother and sister. In the middle of this he is dealing with his relationship (or lack of) with his half brother Galen. Galen (another great character that I hope to see in the future) doesn't have the full story when it comes to his mother, her relationship with their mutual father and what transpired between her and Massimo's mother. He feels cheated and his anger clashes with Massimo's during most of their encounters and during the worst of times. We get to see a gamut of emotions when it comes to the former playboy (Massimo) from violent rage to mournful tears. The author did right by this character who could have easily become a caricature. Shaina was pretty awesome too. She stood up for her man and took control when needed.

Adam and Tashi
The story for Adam and Tashi was a good one, but felt misplaced to me. Adam's story, The Tycoon's Temporary Bride, was my least favorite of the series. If the story featured in this book had been added to The Temporary Bride, I think that I would have rated it a bit higher. Tashi finally gets closure and puts her past behind her. Adam has his moment to flex his inner bada$$ and he did it so well.

Other Factors
In addition to the couples, I also have to address the wedding and the friendship between these couples. The wedding, which was the ultimate point of the story, was a snooze. The over-the-top detail, the grooms displaying how god-like and perfect they were in every way (not one of these men even had a bad or mediocre singing voice) putting women and men in jaw-dropping awe. It was too much and instead of captivating me I found myself fighting not to skim over this part. As for the friendship. While close friends are fine and good, this group seemed to morph into something that almost felt like they were not only in a relationship with their spouses, but with each other.

My Final Thoughts
I was more or less entertained with With These Four Rings, although I don't feel it really contributed to the overall series except to set the stage for future books and to finish off the story arc for Tashi and Adam. The wedding was an over-the-top bust for me personally, but I'm positive that there will be plenty of readers who find it romantic and fantasy worthy.
This isn't a standalone title so you'll need to read the rest of the series to fully understand what's going on. Fortunately, reading the previous titles is a joy in my humble opinion so it's worth the time. I recommend this book to fans of The Billionaire Bride, particularly if you hated seeing the series come to an end in the last book. After rating each section I come up with a rating of 2.8 which gives this book a 3 out of 5 rating.

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