Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5 out of 5Original Review Link
Officer Dare Barron has wanted Liza McKnight since he was a teenager. Unfortunately, a dark incident in his past involving Liza’s brother Brian has made him keep his distance from Liza. The only time he sees her is when she’s bailing Brian out of trouble. But when Brian’s out of control behavior puts Liza in danger, Dare is right there to protect her. Attraction sparks instantly, but will Dare be able to put the past behind him? Or will his anger toward Brian destroy Dare’s burgeoning relationship with Liza?
The third Barron brother meets his match in the engaging, emotional KARMA. Author Carly Phillips is at her best here, gifting readers with characters they are sure to grow attached to and a love story that will make romance readers sigh with pleasure. As a pair, Dare and Liza are fantastic. The dynamic between them is excellent and the sensuality definitely heats up KARMA. Individually, I loved both protagonists. I absolutely adored Liza. She’s intelligent, hardworking and incredibly friendly, but she’s also incredibly vulnerable. No one has ever stood up for her, or even stood with her, and it just plain broke my heart to see someone so worthy of being loved be alone. While Dare accuses her of enabling Brian’s bad behavior – which is true – the reasoning behind it makes Liza’s actions understandable.
And speaking of Dare…whew! I’ve been waiting for this particular Barron brother to get his book and Ms. Phillips did not disappoint. Dare’s sexy as hell, caring and protective, but he is by no means perfect. Guilt, bitterness and internal scarring because of his past all combine to make Dare lose his temper and make mistakes with Liza. Even though he needed to be smacked upside the head at times, I like that he was flawed – it humanized him.
KARMA is the third full-length book in Ms. Phillips’s SERENDIPITY series, but you don’t have to have read SERENDIPITY or DESTINY to follow along. However, Dare’s siblings and sisters-in-law play major roles in KARMA, so if you haven’t read the first two books, you’ll definitely be salivating for them after finishing KARMA. Having read SERENDIPITY and DESTINY, I was delighted to revisit the Barron family. Dare’s family often pokes their noses into his love life, but the real joy of seeing them was in the updates Ms. Phillips gave on their own lives. I finished KARMA feeling satisfied not only with the book itself but with the SERENDIPITY series as a whole. While all three Barron brothers have found love, I desperately hope that KARMA doesn’t mark the end of the SERENDIPITY series, for the town and the townsfolk Ms. Phillips has created are simply delightful. Whether or not my hopes pan out, I’ll definitely be re-reading this wonderful series again and again and again!
Note: My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here courtesy of Romance Junkies.