Once and Again by Lauren Dane is the first book in the Petal,Georgiaseries.  This is a spin off of the Chase Brothers.  I should just tell you up front I did not like that series one bit. I thought it was a great example of how an author’s writing could grow during their career.  If you read one of those books then pick up one from the Brown Sibling series, the difference is astounding.  That said, one would assume that any new series would stay on that caliber.  Not so much.


We were introduced into the town and more than a handful of characters, some new, some familiar.  The story revolves around Lily, who just moved back to Petal and her former boyfriend Nathan.  You read all about their complicated lives and got interested in not only the two main characters but where the people that surround them will end up as well.


We meet Lily’s entire family.  They actually make my own look almost normal.  Pages upon pages are spent learning about them, but once the two main characters get together the story just comes to a dead halt without ever mentioning them again.    When I say that the story comes to a halt, I mean within one page.  There is an officially proclamation of the two finally coming together and then within a paragraph the book is over.


The bulk of the book was spent with Lily dealing with her family while playing a cat and mouse game with Nathan.  Lily’s struggle with her entire family was really more of the focus than the courting Nathan was working so hard on.  When we never came back to any of those characters the entire story just fell flat.


Some of the dialogue and inner monologue was juvenile for the age and education level of the characters.  It also got a little repetitive.  That said, I would probably pick up the next book in this series to see if we ever come back to the rest of Lily’s family. Most made a baby step in the right direction and I am curious to see if they keep on that path.   Maybe this series was set up to read more like a soap opera where you need to keep tuning in to see where the threads weave next?