When Stars Collide by Micalea Smeltzer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Although I hadn't read the first book in this series, I didn't feel like I missed anything by starting with number two. This can definitely be read as a stand alone novel. I really liked the characters in this series (and plan to go back and read book 1). I really enjoyed the story in this one. Although it's based on a fairly typical premise (brother's best friend), I found it to be unique and interesting.
I really liked Xander and Thea ... their banter was great, their relationship felt very real. I had a bit of an issue with the idea that Thea, who has loved Xander for years, would react the way she did to their waking up married in Vegas. But, I was able to overlook that as the story moved past that. Beyond the romance (which I think was quite well done), this novel explores themes that I don't typically see in your average romance such as child abuse and family violence. And, I think it explored it rather well. It was handled effectively and gave the story itself that something special.
All in all, I recommend this one and plan to go back and read the first novel in the series!