Can a near-tragedy help two best friends realize they’re meant to be so much more?

Best friends since grade school, high-powered Chicago attorney, Sean Flaherty, and small-town mayor Megan Mackenzie have always shared a special bond. When Sean is shot by a client’s angry ex, Megan rushes to his side, terrified she’s about to lose her long-time confidant.

Upon his return to River’s Edge to recuperate, Sean discovers that his feelings for his pal have taken an undeniable turn for the romantic. While Megan struggles with an unfamiliar longing for Sean, she worries that he may be mistaking a safe place to land for love. 

Can Sean help her realize that they are truly meant to be so much more than friends?

Titles in the Four Irish Brothers Winery series include —  A Small Town ChristmasMeant To Be

Title:  Meant To Be
Series:  Four Irish Brothers Winery #2
Author:  Nan Reinhardt
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  July 18, 2019
Publisher:  Tule Publishing
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Sometimes it takes an unexpected, perhaps life-changing event to really see what has been right in front of a person for years.  No magic, simply when your life really does flash before your eyes the truth is all too easy to see – when it might be too late.  Best friends, Sean and Megan are facing that experience after Sean was shot and returns home to River’s Edge to heal, and perhaps to rethink his priorities in life.  He loves the law, yet lately, it’s not all that he imagined.  He’s helped his brothers deal with the chaos going on at the winery, but again, from afar.  Perhaps now that he’s home it’s a good time to take a hard look at what he really wants out of life – and what he wants most is Megan at his side, but not only as his best friend.  Convincing her that the love they already have can be even more than friendship is going to be a challenge.  Neither wants to lose their best friend, but they could gain a lifetime.

MEANT TO BE, the second story in Nan Reinhardt’s Four Irish Brothers Winery series gives us a touching love story that has been in the making for years, only now it’s moved to another level.  The trouble is going to be that Megan doesn’t believe that Sean is thinking clearly, she thinks that he sees her as a safe haven after the shooting.  It will take Megan a while to set aside her fears and truly trust in the love that she and Sean share.  There are going to be issues, misunderstandings, and outright stubbornness before this couple finds their happily ever after.  But in the end, it will be so worth the journey.

Megan and Sean are both in their mid to late 30’s, taking them into the earlier age range of the Seasoned Romance genre.  Which I absolutely love.  It’s taken them years of friendship to reach this point, experiences that have made them who they are today.  One a successful lawyer, the other the mayor of their small home town.  That doesn’t happen overnight, and that maturity flows through their decisions – and even feeds their fears, at times.  I found their romance realistic, believable and, at times, a bit frustrating as they battled indecision and a reluctance to risk the friendship that means so much.

Secondary characters make or break the believability factor for me, no one lives in a vacuum of just two people.  MEANT TO BE is full of familiar faces (if you’ve read the first story), and people who could easily live on your street or around your town.  I easily fell into the flow of River’s Edge.  There are hints of the stories to come, and those are tales I’m looking forward to.  I had fun with this story, enjoyed the characters, and believed in their issues.  If you love a good romance with realistic events then you’d enjoy MEANT TO BE.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher 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 for the Kindle