Friday, June 28, 2013

Unwrapping: Review of CONCEAL, book three in the Barker Triplets series by Juliana Stone

I hope you followed my recommendations to read Juliana Stone’s Barker Triplet series because the last of the triplets’ story is now out there. In OFFSIDE, we met Billie Jo Barker and watched her win her hero, Logan Forest. In COLLIDE, Bobbie Jo Barker won over the heart and forgiveness of Shane Gallagher. *sigh* Well, get ready to discover what really makes Betty Jo Barker tick and discover how the man who can’t live without her, Beau Simon, melts her heart and saves her from herself in CONCEAL by Juliana Stone. 

***I bought this one for my own personal reading but am happy to share my thoughts with you. 

Blurb for CONCEAL:
No one said going home would be easy...

Black sheep and all around troublemaker, Betty Jo Barker is back home and hoping for a do-over. Things are finally looking up until Beau Simon comes to town. The man pushes every button she owns and manages to awaken long dead emotions she'd rather leave buried. Beneath the surface she knows she's a wreck--her scars run deep--and she can't help but wonder, is Beau Simon the one who can fix her?

Beau Simon, the brightest star in Hollywood has come to New Waterford for one reason only. He's determined to have Betty Jo Barker star in his next film. He knows she's perfect for the part, but a past encounter might prove more than a little difficult to overcome. As Beau turns on the charm, hoping to win over this complicated woman, he realizes it won't be easy.

Only time will tell if what lies beneath can ever be overcome. Or if love can heal all...

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Betty Jo Barker returned to New Waterford, Michigan with her tail between her legs, but was unwilling to discuss it with anyone except maybe her only friend, Matt Hawkins. She’s traveled the world, made videos, and was once a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Cover Model, but the degradation she felt at the hands of one man has sent her home to hide and hope for a chance to start over. She’s given up the pills and the booze but the anger, the self-deprecation, and a long buried problem with her sister, Billie, keeps her from feeling any true happiness. Now, as if her life couldn’t get any worse, Beau Simon, the man who did his best to destroy her Hollywood career, has come to town and won’t leave her be until he tells her why. 

Beau Simon, tall, gorgeous, and movie star handsome with his long blond hair and beautiful blue eyes turns the heads of every woman in New Waterford, including a few whose hormones should’ve worn out some time ago. He turns all heads except the one he wants - Betty’s. He knows what he did when he seduced her to prove to everyone in show business that she was a no talent seductress who would spread her legs for anyone who could possibly further her career. He knows he was wrong about Betty Jo Barker. He knows she is talented and to prove it, he wants her and only her to play the role he wrote with her in mind. He wants her to star in his movie and won’t quit until he convinces her to do so.  

When Beau accidentally overhears a private conversation between Betty and her sisters, he sees a whole new side to this tough, stubborn woman who does her best to never let her guard down. He discovers the vulnerable Betty Barker and wants to know her better. He wants to be there for the incredible woman who begins to claim his heart. 

When reading romance, we are used to meeting tortured heroes with pasts, memories, and deeds that haunt them and turn their hearts cold until the right woman comes along to save them. Well, in CONCEAL by Juliana Stone, it’s not a tortured hero that brings our emotions to a crest, and tugs at our heartstrings, making us wish we could do something to ease the pain. No, in this final book of the Barker Triplets trilogy, it’s a tortured, haunted, and severely damaged young woman by the name of Betty Jo Barker. She carries the memory of a night that keeps her from opening her heart, and her soul, to real happiness, real love, and even the love of her family. 

Even before reading CONCEAL, I suspected that Betty carried some deep buried burden but it didn’t lessen the pain I felt for this young woman when I learned what it was. No spoilers here. You’ll have to read CONCEAL for yourself to learn what happens and how Beau wins her over.  

CONCEAL by Juliana Stone is an emotional and somewhat darker addition to the Barker Triplet series, but I wouldn’t want it any other way since this is Betty’s story. Juliana lightens the darkness by introducing us to some new characters that will surely pique your interest as they have mine. I was very happy to learn that the Simon brothers will be revisited in Juliana’s next series, The Family Simon series with Tucker Simon’s story coming this Fall. WooHoo! You are going to love Tucker Simon. I already do.

Whereas, I can’t say that CONCEAL by Juliana Stone is my favorite of the Barker Triplet series - COLLIDE featuring the sexy and unforgettable Shane Gallagher is still my most favorite - but I can say that I have no regrets regarding this one. I knew that Betty was harsh, angry, and unhappy but her story is no less poignant than her sisters’ stories. All three girls had something from their past they each kept hidden, that continued to haunt them, and that eventually is revealed. Betty’s secret is the most damaging, the most hurtful, and the most painful, yet she has the strength to finally reveal it to the two people she knew it would hurt the most. Together these resilient and loving sisters come together and help each other heal. That’s what makes the Barker Triplets series so special and why CONCEAL by Juliana Stone might just be her most incredible and most heartrending of the trilogy. 

I highly recommend CONCEAL by Juliana Stone to anyone who has ever known heartache, a friend in need, and understands the real healing power of love and compassion. If you’ve read the first three, reading the third is an absolute must to truly understand the Barker Triplets and their men. If you haven’t read this incredible series yet, I can only ask you this – why not?  

Happy Reading Everyone! 

CONCEAL, a Barker Triplets novel by Juliana Stone, self-publish, available now in ebook formats everywhere.  ***Click on cover below for Amazon purchasing information.


Unknown said...

Thank you for introducing me to Juliana Stone! :) You recommended I read one of her books a while ago and now I am addicted!

Amy Valentini said...

You're so very welcome! : )