Jun 28

The Beard Made Me Do It by Lani Lynn Vale Review

LLV - The Beard Made Me Do It - cover image

5 Smooches!

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He’s only a friend.

Those words had haunted him from the moment Jessie James had heard them muttered from the girl who held his heart, and whom he thought had his back.
Fourteen years later, he still feels those words like a brand on his soul.
Lucky for him he has a son to focus on, a full-time job that demands his attention the rest of the day, and not a single moment to spare for a woman who won’t stand up for him when he needs her the most.

He’s only a friend.

The words had slipped out of Ellen’s mouth, and before she could recall them, or better yet, explain them, Jesse is gone from her life for good, taking her heart with him.
She tries to move on, to climb her way out of the pit of despair, but not one single person – regardless of how badly she wants to make it work – can fill the void that was left in his wake.

Time heals all wounds.

Or at least that is how the saying goes.

It’s a crock of crap, though.

Fourteen years pass when Jessie and Ellen see each other again without the influence of the town and bad memories surrounding them, and it’s as if not a single day has passed.

Ellen knows the instant that her eyes see her old love that she’s still just as in love with him today as she was all those years ago.

The problem is that Jesse wants nothing to do with her. Or at least that’s what he keeps telling himself.


No surprise here, I adore Lani Lynn Vale’s writing. But the Dixie Wardens Rejects series is fast becoming a favorite. Her writing style, her sense of humor, the way she pairs her couples, the obstacles in their paths—it all works very well for me. The fictional worlds she has created in Kilgore, Texas, Benton, Louisiana, and now Mooresville, Alabama have become some of my top favorite fictional places to visit. Lucky for me, Vale’s creativity knows no bounds, and she takes me on new a trip there once a month.

This is Jesse and Ellen’s story. Teenage first loves, separated by circumstance and parental interference, the love they carried for each other never dissipated. Fast forward fourteen years later and their paths cross again. Though both have attempted to move on, it never really happened for either of them. Their chemistry and attraction to each other was so combustible that when they finally did come together, they exploded off the page. They had a lot of obstacles to overcome and not a small amount of drama to deal with. But they both knew how hard it was to be apart and how much better it was to be together, and they were determined to make it work this time. If only everyone else in their world was on the same page.

I love a good second-chance romance, especially one that began as teenage first loves, and Lani Lynn Vale delivered a fantastic one in The Beard Made Me Do It. Stoking the fires of first love lost but never forgotten, Vale rekindled this couple with plenty of heat, humor and a bit of drama. This story made my heart race, my cheeks burn and kept me laughing out loud well into the night. A stellar addition to an already amazing series! Five smooches from me for The Beard Made Me Do It by Lani Lynn Vale!

~ Danielle Palumbo