Forever with You by Barb Curtis

From debut author, Barb Curtis, a heartwarming small-town romance about high school sweethearts who return home and discover that first love sometimes gets a second chance. . .

Jay Wynter wants to be successful on his own merit. That’s why he left Sapphire Springs and his family’s winery to build a career from scratch. But now that he’s the successor to Wynter Estate, Jay must return to his small hometown to face everything, and everyone, he left behind-especially his high school sweetheart, who happens to be his stunning new business partner . . .

Leyna Milan knows family legacies come with strings attached, but she’s determined to prove that she can run her family’s restaurant. Of course, Leyna never expected that honoring her grandfather’s wishes meant opening a second location on her ex’s property-or having to ignore Jay’s sexy grin and guard the heart he shattered years before. But as they work closely together, she begins to discover that maybe first loves do deserve a second chance.

Titles in the Sapphire Springs series include — Forever With You – Only For You –

Title:  Forever With You
Series:  Sapphire Springs #1
Author:  Barb Curtis
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Seasoned Romance
Published:  November 10, 2020
Publisher:  Forever
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Forever With You begins the new Sapphire Springs series with a romance that doesn’t begin all that happily for Leyna or Jay, not in a way that counts for them because once upon a time – almost two decades ago – they were sweethearts with a future to plan, until Jay up and left town, left Leyna without a word of explanation.  Now Jay is back, at first to help his aging grandfather with the family winery but then life gets interesting… and nothing is exactly how it seems on the surface.

Until I got into Forever With You it was very easy to see Jay as the villain in this romance.  After all, he had it all, the woman, the winery, and then to go off to “find himself”… yeah, jerk move.  Yet.  Jay had reasons that run deep, and if the reader gives him a chance will show exactly why he felt he had to leave everything and everyone behind on that personal journey.  Was it the right thing to do?  I don’t really know, it didn’t seem like it at first but eventually as Leyna and Jay reconnect I began to lean toward a positive feeling toward Jay’s decision back then.

Unfortunately, there are reasons for Jay’s actions that might help you understand why — but they would definitely be spoilers, and that’s not something I’m comfortable with revealing in a review.  Right or wrong, Jay had reasons that were important to him, and really that has to factor in when deciding if Jay deserved Leyna’s hatred all these years.

I loved Leyna from the start.  She has so much on her plate, and some of those plates are being juggled in the air.  Her anger, actual hatred of Jay plays a major part at the beginning of their story.  She believed they had a future.  For him to just up and leave, without explanation was unforgivable to her.  Yet, the love for this man is still buried deep within her heart, and slowly, steadily it’s finding the way to the surface once again… but can she trust him again?

There are emotions in this story, lies, betrayal, misdirection, surprises, and two people finding a way back to what they once had – love and trust for each other.  It is not an easy journey, but it is one that drew me in and kept me focused on their attempt to fix the past and move forward.  Forever With You started the series with a believable tale – I cannot wait to see what comes next in the series with the next book due out in June of 2021.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher, Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story.  It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available in paperback or your favorite e-reader, mine is the Kindle.

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