Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
If you read Rory and Dean’s story from Emily Goodwin’s Dawson family series, then you have the perfect set-up for her newest book, Backup Plan, book 1 of her new Silver Ridge series.. If you recall from Rory’s story, Rock Bottom, she has three rascally, over-protective brothers. In true Goodwin fashion, she has designed stories for Rory’s brothers. Backup Plan is her oldest brother, Mason’s story.
Mason is an anesthesiologist who lives in Chicago. He also lives with one regret: never telling his high school friend, Chloe, his feelings for her and letting her down by failing to protect her at a party in their college years. Years later, Chloe, a renowned author, is back in Silver Ridge to write the next book in her popular series. Needing the quietude of her former home, she decides to visit for a time to get centered. Unfortunately, she doesn’t realize that Mason, her high school/college crush is in town visiting family. The playboyish boy her broke her heart cannot win it…until he does. However, life steps in to complicate a burgeoning relationship.
What is the first truth you should know about Backup Plan? It ends on a cliffie! I didn’t realize that before entering the book, or I would have mentally and emotionally prepared myself for it. To be honest, I would have liked for Goodwin to complete their story in one book. There is quite a bit of repetition in this story in terms of the merry-go-round of Chloe and Mason’s spurned feelings. There are times when the story seemed to move forward. Then, it would return to a place where Mason and Chloe denied their feelings for each other.
Psychologically, I get it. Mason deeply hurt Chloe in college, and there is a need for restoration and reconciliation. That, to be honest, is the crux of Backup Plan. Goodwin uses this space to create a peace between Mason and Chloe, finally moving them in the direction of their former unrequited feelings. As the book ends, though, Goodwin upends their peace, and we are left to determine if these two can realize their happy ending. I hope they do. And given this is an Emily Goodwin book, I am sure they will. I’m just not sure what that future will look like.
Emily Goodwin’s talent lies in crafting large family dramas. Her newest book, Backup Plan (and its next book) remind us why we love to enter her books. The familial bond that underscores a steamy romance acts as the true binding between the reader and Goodwin’s characters. While I love Mason and Chloe together, Backup Plan’s cliffhanger nature along with the constant reticence of these two to acknowledge their feelings coupled with Mason’s inconsistency (I don’t love her/I love her) slowed the story down. Will I be reading the next book of this series? Of course. Goodwin’s ability to craft two characters who are so interesting you simply want more of their story will grab and pull me through the drama to come. If you love a contemporary romance grounded in the values of family, then you’ll want Emily Goodwin’s Silver Ridge series.
In love and romance,