and fell into her ex’s arms!
Supermodel Eliot Gamble has been jilted mere minutes before her wedding, and it’s sent her into a tailspin—just as her career in couture fashion is ending.
For a lifelong people pleaser, it’s the ultimate nightmare.
In steps champion swimmer and former lover Soren Grantham.
Soren sweeps Eliot away from the paparazzi to his family’s estate.
And as Eliot discovers what she really wants, her old flame may just become a wildfire…
Titles in the Calcott Manor series include — Just a Little Jilted —♥— Their Temporary Arrangement —♥— The Trouble with Little Secrets —♥—Keep Your Enemies Close —♥—
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: Just a Little Jilted
Series: Dynasties: Calcott Manor #1
Author: Joss Wood
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: April 25, 2023
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
My Rating: 4.5
Just a Little Jilted begins the Dynasties: Calcott Manor series with a powerful, emotional second-chance romance that not only drew me into this world but gave thoughtful insight into professions that are often a momentary whirlwind with long-term consequences.
Eliot had been a top-tier professional model since her early teens. Recently she’s been diagnosed with a condition that has caused her to gain some weight — something that is career-ending for so many models. She’s been engaged to a man who might not have been the love of her life, but they got along, they understood their world… or so she thought until moments before her wedding, in front of witnesses, with a videographer filming away this man who was supposed to love her through sickness and health claims he cannot marry her because… you guessed it, she’s gained weight and isn’t a viable asset any longer. Unfortunately, her vile, attention-grabbing, bottom-dwelling, nasty piece-of-work mother (who is also her manager) takes the side of the man who has destroyed Eliot. Enter the one man that Eliot has never forgotten, never quite gotten over the way he ghosted her after their whirlwind affair years ago… Soren.
Sinfully handsome, somewhat arrogant, multi-medal-winning swimmer, Soren, was at his brother’s hotel when the wedding fiasco went down. He knew the bride, and she certainly didn’t deserve what was happening to her right now. So, he stepped in and supported her through some nasty dialogue with the former groom and the mother who only saw her daughter as a cash cow. He’ll help her escape, takes her to his family’s estate where she can regroup, and get away from the madness of the paparazzi and her mother. They both have unfinished business about their past relationship, and Soren has reached the point in his professional career where decisions must be made… but for a brief moment in time, all he wanted was to protect a woman who didn’t deserve what was happening to her.
What a fabulous, enticing way to set up this series! There is a lot going on behind the scenes in Just a Little Jilted… and those hints only guaranteed that I will follow this series straight through to the final novel. There is a mysterious woman’s story that looks to be woven throughout the series. And I definitely need to know more about Aly. Jacinda is the housekeeper, and all-around mother figure to the Grantham brothers and friend of their grandmother Avangeline who although a business-savvy billionaire has refused to write her will which is a source of annoyance among her grandsons. Jacinda is definitely not looking for a relationship at her age, although the artist who is staying at the estate (and a man much younger) certainly is just as hot as those hot flashes she’s experiencing. And… it seems, that he’s been looking her way as well. With all these additional tidbits I am so looking for to the next stories!
The fire between Soren and Eliot has never diminished, and perhaps those embers are about to be brought back to life if only Soren can get his head on straight. He knows it’s the right time to retire from professional competition, but he’s dragging his feet for reasons that show his emotions so clearly. He’ll get a wake-up call that only a woman in love can deliver. I loved watching Eliot come to life again, a different life for she’s been a people pleaser and is now realizing her own power to take her life into her own hands. She is strong, becoming independent, and she’s learning her worth… and it’s all or nothing when it comes to loving Soren and needing a life beyond their professions. I loved Eliot most of all, but I also understood why other characters acted as they did – except for Avageline; there’s a mystery there that is intriguing along with Aly’s story.
This review has gone on far too long, but I won’t apologize for it as this is such an amazing start to the new series. I love when there are hints of more to come for people who would be considered secondary characters, and I can’t wait to learn what is to come for them all. If you love a well-written, emotional, sizzling, mysterious romance that will satisfy every emotion and draw you back for more… then you’ll devour this one.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the author or author’s team via Booksprout. The opinions expressed in this review are my own – good, bad, or indifferent.*
Release date: April 25, 2023
Available in print or for your favorite e-reader