Review: Searching for Beautiful (Searching For #3) by Jennifer Probst
Jennifer Probst may or may not have been my introduction into the Contemporary Romance genre, and I have loved her books ever since. I first read her Marriage to a Billionaire series (it's wonderful, by the way), and now she's writing her Searching For series, and I think it's even better. Why is it better? I'm glad you asked. What this series features that the other didn't is women with a sort of handicap in life. Now I'm not talking about physical handicaps. Everyone has a sort of behavioral or mental handicap, whether it is having trust issues, body image problems, or something else entirely. In Searching For Beautiful, the main character Genevieve is actually over-achieving. She works so hard to get what she wants that many times she forgets to have fun. Unfortunately for her, she forget what fun was, having almost shackled herself to a mentally abusive man. By tuning into Genevieve's handicap and writing the romance from there, Probst manages to give Genevieve's story a depth it wouldn't have had otherwise. That pattern follows along throughout this series, so anyone in need of some good Adult romance, do yourself a favor and check it out!
I briefly mentioned Genevieve's ex-fiancé, the control-freak, "perfect' man, who seriously scares the heck out of me. This book can act as a stand-alone, but earlier in the series we see Genevieve and her ex-fiancé when they're a couple, and I never liked what I saw - reading her story in Searching For Beautiful is something I've wanted to do for a while now, and it lived up to my expectations. The one issue I have with this book is that I wanted revenge. In my opinion, Genevieve's ex got off way too easy. Apparently I'm cold-blooded, because I wanted her ex gone and punished. I suppose that reflects on the author's goodness of heart, so yay for her.
People who know me know that I'm not one for BFF-turned-soulmate stories. However, since this is Jennifer Probst we're talking about, I decided to give this one a try. I'm so glad I did, because some way or the other, Probst made it work. The whole best friend genre of romance is over-done and cliché, but in this book, you get invested in both Wolfe, the best friend, and Genevieve's characters independently, so you are unapologetically rooting for them to become a couple. Guys, this is opposite sex BFF romance done right. I'm not going to go running around trying to find best-friend romances or anything, but I'm glad that I was able to enjoy this one so much despite my history with the genre.
My favorite thing about Probst's novels is probably that she has this across-series tradition of everyone being related to everyone - It's an Italian family, she said as if that explained everything - so readers get to see a lot of familiar faces dating back to Probst's Marriage to a Billionaire series. I loved getting to see Mama Conte and her reference to another book where she tricks a not-yet-couple into getting married (long story). It's always fun seeing the family dynamics and familiar faces from other books. The family gatherings are basically all the happily ever afters in one place.
Searching For Beautiful is another perfect addition to the Searching For series, and I can't wait to read the next installment, especially since according to this book, it features an especially snarky, arrogant (and yet adorable) cop. I am so ready for the steamy glances.
Book Synopsis: The highly anticipated third novel in the Searching For series from Jennifer Probst, “one of the most exciting breakout novelists” (USA Today), featuring a runaway bride and the man who wants to be more than just her best friend...
Genevieve MacKenzie has her life completely under control. About to wed the charming Chief doctor at the local hospital, she’s an up-and-coming surgeon with everything she could ever want. Until an escape through the church window on the day of her wedding sends her life into a tailspin...and flings her right into her best friend’s arms.
When Wolfe catches his best friend falling out a window on her wedding day, he doesn’t ask questions. He whisks her away, determined to watch over her and discover the truth behind her desperate escape. But when his feelings turn more than platonic, he realizes he may risk his most important relationship in order to protect his damaged heart, and the woman he loves.
Can Genevieve and Wolfe’s friendship turn into something deeper—or is it already too late for true love?