Evan Archer has always preferred peace and solitude to the loud antics of his large, hard-to-navigate family. But when Archer Enterprises needs a new creative director, Evan jumps at the chance to claim the job he’s always wanted. Moving home is easier than he expected, but Evan isn’t prepared for the stunning A-list celebrity hiding out in his family’s garage apartment.
Following a major tabloid scandal, movie star Alaina Pierce escapes to Ribbon Ridge. She’s immediately drawn to the quiet, picturesque town and the incredibly sexy—if a little quirky—Evan. He may be built like a Greek god, but he’s honest and straightforward… so different from the Hollywood types she normally dates.
Their attraction is undeniable, but Alaina can’t elude the paparazzi forever, and Evan has no interest in being in the limelight. When the secret she’s been keeping is exposed, the idea of Evan—of real love and a family like the Archers—could vanish in an instant.
character’s own issues and self-esteem issues to become the focal points of this story
The second I have read from this series, Darcy Burke always seems to keep me wondering just how her characters will work out their issues. A key plotting device for romance is conflict and uncertainty, and it doesn’t always have to come from actions, but can, as in this story, come from personalities and approaches to life. Evan Archer has always preferred quiet, from focusing on his own projects to living out of the chaos that was common in his family. He’s got a chance to return home to take over the creative team for Archer Enterprises, but just how well will he cope with the chaos, noise and people that are sure to come with the position.
Alaina is a celeb, a movie star with a paparazzi problem and a tabloid scandal. She wants nothing more than to hide away, but escaping the limelight is proving to be near impossible. Her friend and business partner offers her an out, and soon she is staying in a quiet little apartment at the Archer’s.
It’s critical for readers to know that Evan has moved away from Ribbon Ridge to both pursue his own goals and to be defined by something other than his Asperger’s, the first key to his preference for solitude. When he first meets Alaina, he’s intrigued (as is she) but he’s never thought himself as capable of, nor wanting, a relationship and all of the associated stress, so the options of them as a couple are limited
Burke uses the character’s own issues and self-esteem issues to become the focal points of this story, Evan is not his diagnosis, he has issues and fears just like everyone else. And Alaina, despite her fame and notoriety has her own set of baggage she brings. The two are beautifully built and detailed, showing how they push and pull against the feelings that are overtaking their attraction, and shouting for something more. Right up until the end Burke kept a sense of ‘will they or won’t they’ and kept me on the edge of my seat. Sweetly heartwarming, this story presents a tale that is hard to forget but will leave you smiling.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Wonderful, sensitive story
I've loved the books in the Ribbon Ridge series and The Idea of You didn't disappoint. It's the story of Evan Archer, one of the more elusive siblings. In each book, we've seen that many of the Archer children has socially-related struggles and the same is true for Evan. He suffers from Asperger's Syndrome, albeit milder than some I've known. The author does a great job of depicting Evan's Asperger's, including his inability to read social cues and his struggles with large groups and loud noises. I really thought it was well done because Even was very straight forward with Alaina about things that she could otherwise misinterpret. It took them a while to navigate how to make a relationship work and the struggles make Evan endearing to the reader.
I thought Alaina was incredibly grounded for a Hollywood starlet and I appreciated how down-to-earth she was. Even the "Hollywood" aspects of the storyline, to her, were just run of the mill. She didn't come to Ribbon Ridge looking for a relationship but I love how it found her when she was least looking for it.
I found this book very realistic. Evan's perceptions and understandings about his family were very realistic, as were his struggles with Asperger's. Alaina's desires for the future and her "go get em" attitude to meet her goals was relatable. We also were given the chance to check in with our favorite Archer couples!