Title: The Bouquet List
Author: Barbara DeLeo
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Bliss Imprint)
Date Published: September 15, 2014
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Yasmin Katsalos is the good girl gone wild. She's got a Bouquet list, kind of like a bucket list, and Lane Griffiths definitely fits her target number 5: Seduce a man who's out of your league. Tall, dark and mysterious. No chickening out! (Well, I doubt that ever crossed her mind)
When I first read the blurb to this book, I thought it sounded quite promising. Especially with the good girl gone wild heroine theme with a sexy brooding guy to match.
The Bouquet list is kind of like a bucket list, but slightly different concept. Bucket lists are for the things you want to do before you die. Meanwhile, the bouquet list is for things you want to do after almost having met your death.
A medical student, Yasmin almost died in Borneo due to dengue fever, and now she's learned that second chances are best not to take for granted. Leaving behind the goody two shoes girl she once had been, she dyes her hair purple, gets a nose stud, changes her style to punk hipster and goes back home to New York only to find out her family business is going down and in chaos, her parents going crazy. Oh, and she's also got that list.
Lane Griffiths, bestfriend to Yasmin's older brother and practically the Katsalos' adopted son, is asked in a favor by Papa Katsalos to work on the renovations of The Palace, their family business being a wedding venue. He's a restaurateur, and a well known one, for that matter. When Yasmin arrives and Papa Katsalos leaves to follow his wife to Greece, it seems he's stuck with not only the renovations, but with babysitting as well. Yasmin thinks this is the perfect opportunity, some alone time with him, to seduce him and get that fifth number on her list ticked.
I'm a sucker for unrequited love stories, with Lane and Yasmin fooling around behind the whole family. Not to mention, all that self-control Lane had to go through at the very beginning, with Yasmin being off limits and vice versa. Yet, of course, they still succumb to that passion they've been trying to hide. I love how they're definitely two different people. Polar opposites to be exact. North and South. Yasmin is the happy-go-lucky sweetheart, meanwhile, Lane comes off as rigid and stoic.
Upon reading, I liked Yasmin, especially for her sudden change on her outlook in life, to do what truly makes her happy to the point that she actually went to the point of changing her appearance and style. Of course, no one expected good girl Yasmin, and a medical student for that matter to actually get a purple dye and even a piercing. But despite being the sweet, happy girl, she also had a persistent side to her, and usually gets what she wants, even with Lane and the venue renovations. Meanwhile, Lane, often times, he's quite aloof and a little secluded with his personal life, especially having come from a crappy childhood. I love how the author wrote Lane as a guy with lots of insecurities, especially in terms of belonging.
The Bouquet list is a truly sweet and charming read of unrequited romance and restoring a family. This is my first Barbara DeLeo read, and hopefully, won't be my last.
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Barbara DeLeo’s first book, co-written with her best friend, was a story about beauty queens in space. She was eleven, and the sole, handwritten copy was lost years ago, much to everyone’s relief. It’s some small miracle that she kept the faith and is now living her dream of writing sparkling contemporary romance with unforgettable characters.
After completing degrees in Psychology and English then travelling the world, Barbara married her winemaker hero and had two sets of twins.
Barbara still loves telling stories about finding love in all the wrong places, with not a beauty queen or spaceship in sight.