The Barker Triplets by Juliana Stone

About two weeks ago, I finally gave in and replaced my iPad. It was the original iPad that my kids have long since inherited. This thing is filled to the hilt with games. Needless to say, it’s slow as molasses.

I decided to buy an early Christmas present for myself and picked up the iPad Air. It’s slight. Slim. Speedy. I’m in love. So the first thing I did after I set it up was to explore iBooks and all the freebies that are available – something that I never really did with my old iPad.

After I downloaded the requisite Classics, I explored some more and found some romance, paranormal, and even some Young Adult. Well this is how I found Juliana Stone.

The first book of the Barker Triplets got me hooked. I’ve always been a fan of sports and romance and Offside features a retired hockey player who had no choice, but to hang up her skates due to a concussion.

The second book, Collide is about the middle Barker, who used to be the other half of a twosome trouble. Years go by; life happens. She then reinvented herself and became the responsible adult that everyone wanted her to be. But when her ex-partner in crime comes back, she starts craving for the reckless things she used to do.

The third book, Conceal is about the most troubled Barker. A former supermodel who lived way too fast and had fallen with a resounding thud from the life she used to know. When a big shot Hollywood actor sets his sights on a has-been junkie, she can’t help but think that he’s got an ulterior motive…and he does.

It only took one book. One freaking book to fall in love with Stone’s characters and stories. Sure they are romance and slightly veering towards Erotica (okay, yes, it’s Erotica) but man, when you’re stuck in a reading rut, and you need something quick and dirty, Juliana Stone was the cure all for my slump.

Her characters have layers and personalities entirely their own. The male leads are hot and the sex even more so. But that’s not the only draw of Stone’s books. She’s got some depth to each and everyone’s stories: their father is losing his battle with symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but their grandfather is far from going senile. The heroes also has problems of their own that just made them a bit more real and less than perfect. And of course, the triplets.

Billie-Jo has always dealt with the sexist perception that women are not allowed to play professional hockey. So she took her talent to Sweden (they allow women to play in men’s league over there. Go Sweden!). But when she suffered a career-ending concussion, she had little choice but to go back to her hometown. Her book explores all the idiocy of men: sexist, chauvinist, no-girls-are-allowed-in-our-club attitude.

Bobbi-Jo didn’t have a choice but to stick around while her older and younger sister goes off and have the lives they’ve always wanted. She grew up and became a no non-sense practical girl who is willing to marry a man slightly more exciting than a rice cake. But when prodigal son, Shane Gallagher gets out of prison, she starts thinking about what was waiting for her after she marries a man for practical reasons. Yeah well. That’s no biggie, isn’t it? Why would you hang around a guy who doesn’t give you O? This one’s a no-brainer.

The third book, Betty-Jo’s story was one that I was dreading reading. Let’s just say that the woman gets around in the first two books…that is, that’s what Juliana wanted you to believe. Her story is heartbreaking and I think favourite among the three.

Sorry this has gone on too long. Just…just read them, will you?

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