Book: Absolutely, Almost, Perfect
Series: Sucre Coeur #3
Publisher: Interlude Press
Publication date: August 3, 2017
Length: 202 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Craig Oliver and Alex Scheff lead a charmed life. Craig is part owner of Sucre Coeur, the bakery he’s loved and managed for years. Alex is an up-and-coming Seattle photographer. Their relationship has been going strong for a year, and everything is absolutely perfect—right up until Craig receives a wedding invitation from his long-estranged brother.
As Craig grows tense over seeing his brother for the first time in years, Alex can’t control his anxiety over meeting Craig’s family. At the wedding in an English hamlet, boisterous Scottish mothers, smirking teenage sisters, and awkward ex-boyfriends complicate the sweet life they lead.
I am a huge fan of multiple books about the same couple in a series. I like seeing their progression, how things change as time goes by. So, it's no wonder I was really excited when I saw that the third book in Lissa Reed's Sucre Couer series was once again about Craig and Alex, the couple from book one. I couldn't wait to find out more about these two guys who I loved so much in Definitely, Maybe, Yours. Unfortunately, I didn't get as much as I'd hoped for.
So first let me tell you what I did like about Absolutely, Almost, Perfect
1) Craig's mom and Dad. Craig and Alex are off to England for Craig's best friend's wedding. Only problem is, she's marrying Craig's estranged brother so going into this, we know there are more than likely going to be some fireworks and some awkward moments. Craig's mom and dad though are just wonderful and added some common sense to the crazy.
2) The setting. I love small towns, and I really love tiny villages in England. I've never been to one, but from seeing them in movies and in other books, there's just something so very charming and nostalgic about them.
3) The writing. As always, the writing is just beautiful. It flows easily; there's no choppiness or difficulty in understanding what's going on. It is effortless and engaging.
4) Craig and Alex. These two are just fantastic. I had some issues though which I'll go into in a minute.
Okay, now for the not so good.
1) The story was way more focused on Craig's wacky family than on Craig and Alex. In fact there wasn't a whole lot of just Alex and Craig time in the book, and what was there often felt rushed or lacking in ... something.
2) Craig's ex, David. Don't get me wrong, there's no evil ex here doing anything he can to get back the one that got away. No, it's worse. What we get is this weird, doesn't make any sense, thing with Craig thinking about how attractive David is one minute and then in the next moment thinking about how much he loves Alex. What? And then we have Alex thinking how hot David is and hey, maybe they can have a threesome sometime. I was at a total loss as to what Reed was trying to accomplish with David. I get that he and Craig and Chloe (the BFF bride-to-be) have been friends forever, but the whole both guys being attracted to David was just strange and really took me out of the story.
3) Chloe. Ugh. Talk about a Bridezilla. She was insane and I didn't like her at. All. She was bitchy and manipulative and whiny and just really all around unlikable.
4) Duncan, the estranged brother. We get the reasons WHY Duncan was such a jerk--an abusive one at that--to Craig, finally toward the end of the book but it made no sense to me and I can't fathom why anyone in Craig's family thought putting Craig and Duncan in the same place at the same time was a good idea. I get wanting a family together rather than apart, and I know people forgive and move on, but Duncan's reasons for treating Craig the way he did made NO sense and the whole let's make up thing was way too fast after the years of emotional and physical abuse Craig suffered because of Duncan.
Stephen moves a little closer to Moira, close enough to put a hand on her knee while he offers her an affectionate, intimate smile. The sight makes Craig’s heart twist in his chest. His parents have been together since they were teenagers and they still love each other so much. They’re such a tight partnership. It’s what he has always wanted, and he smiles to himself, thinking of Alex upstairs and how sure he is that they’ll have this, too.
“I’m thinking of asking Alex to marry me,” he says casually, almost absentmindedly. In fact, he’s hardly aware he’s said it until his mother bolts across the room and hauls him to his feet for a hug.
“Oh, Craig.” She steps back and reaches up to hold his face in her hands, and her blue eyes are like oceans, sparkling and swimming with tears. “Oh, my boy, my love.”
His father moves more slowly, but his rib-cracking hug indicates equal enthusiasm, and Craig is glad that he didn’t take off his puffy vest at the door. “Fantastic news, son.”
The warmth in his stomach isn’t entirely due to the whiskey. Craig squirms, pleased and bashful. The more he says his intentions aloud, the more real and wonderful they become. “I don’t know when. I just wanted you two to know. Please, don’t say anything to anyone.”
“Of course we won’t.” Moira is holding his face in her hands again, and it keeps him still while she beams her happiness at him. “Not a word. Thank God you told us this week, though. No one will question why we’re so happy. They’ll just mark it up to wedding planning delirium.”
He laughs. “That’s not why I told you now.”
“It’ll do.” Stephen squeezes harder, and Craig can’t hold back his groan. His back still protests from the abuse he got from David. His father lets go. “Sorry, son.”
“No, it’s fine,” Craig lies as he blinks back tears of pain. “I’m happy, too.”
Moira releases him at last, but not before she stands on her tiptoes to kiss his cheek. “As parents, we don’t play favorites, strictly speaking,” she says with her huge smile. “But if we did, you’d certainly be our favorite right now.”
Craig ducks his head. “Thanks.”
“Now. Go on upstairs to that lovely fellow of yours,” his mother instructs, shoving him bodily toward the hallway. “He’s been waiting for an age.”
He doesn’t need to be told twice. Emotion that wells from his toes up sends Craig drifting upstairs almost on a cloud; only the ache in his back keeps him from taking flight.
About the Author
Lissa Reed is a writer of ﬁction, blogs, and bawdy Renaissance song parodies. She traces her early interest in writing back to elementary school, when a teacher gifted her with her ﬁrst composition book and told her to fill it with words. After experimenting with print journalism, Reed shifted her writing focus to romance and literary ﬁction and never looked back. She lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Absolutely, Almost, Perfect is the third book in her Sucre Coeur Series.
Get to know Lissa Reed at lissareed.com; on Twitter @lissareedbooks; and on on Instagram at lissa_angeline.
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