My rating: 4 of 5 stars
While Longing had it looking like Bailey and Brandon were riding off into the sunset, Loving opens on a different note. Bailey is claustrophobic in Los Angeles. She’s unhappy too. She’s always on the run from the paparazzi, and things are changing in an uncomfortable way on the movie that she has agreed to male. Knowing that she had rushed the move to Hollywood because of her deep desire to be with Brandon, Bailey makes an impulsive decision to cut ties with Brandon and return to Indiana. Will this break lead to a break up? Or will Brandon and Bailey be able to work through their problems?
This was a really fun book to read and was one that I read quickly. I was worried when the author split up Brandon and Bailey that this might be the way that she was going to get Bailey with Cody. I didn’t have anything to fear because Cody has also long since moved on. Here are my perspectives on each of the point-of-view characters. Spoilers ahead:
Brandon: In this book Brandon gets a chance to shine. He pursues Bailey when she attempts to break up with him. He pursues God as he has a few weeks on an isolated movie set. He pursues God’s will for his life in his career. He sets up a perfect engagement scenario and pulls it off. He ends the book with his dream wedding to Bailey, and he gets his happy ending.
Bailey: This is not the book that gives Bailey the chance to shine. She considers her needs above all others. She leaves Los Angeles and breaks both her and Brandon’s hearts. She breaks up with Brandon by way of a text message. (Seriously.) She only gets back with Brandon when Brandon comes to her. She only marries Brandon when Brandon is willing to give up his big multi-movie deal to live in Indiana. Sometimes she’s like a spoiled child in the book, but the author views her through a lens of godly perfection. I have yet to really see her admit to more than a little mistake, making her my least favorite character in her series of books.
Andi: It’s such a thrill to have Andi back in this book. She gets to see the son that she gave up for adoption. She’s Bailey’s maid-of-honor. She starts a relationship with Cody Coleman. She has forgiven herself for the sin of her past, and she hasn’t let it ruin her. She’s a breath of fresh air.
Cody: Cody is relocating to Los Angeles to coach football. He reconnects with Andi, and this time he falls in love and falls hard. He enjoys spending time with her. He fits in well with her parents. All is going well there.
Jenny: Jenny is in the book to provide a motherly perspective. We see her wedding dress shopping with Bailey, worrying about Bailey during Bailey’s break-up, and enjoying all the preparations leading up to a wedding. They have a close and happy relationship, and their love for each other really shows.
As I said, I really liked this book, and even better, I really like that I’m almost at the end of the Baxter journey. Two more books and I’ll be done with them, and as much I’ve enjoyed reading these books, I’m at a place where I’m ready to move on to some different reads. I think I’m going through Baxter-fatigue a little bit. 🙂