4 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Review: Destiny by Carly Phillips

She won’t let any man stake a claim. — But for him she might make an exception.

Nash Barron may be cynical toward love but he still intends to enjoy his brother’s wedding. Especially when a beautiful woman lays a surprise kiss on him that tempts his resolve. But Kelly Moss is the last woman he should want considering her complex connection to his family.

That kiss, though… it’s still taunting him days later.

Kelly has learned a lot about herself since her mother abandoned her and her half-sister, Tess. One, that parenting isn’t her strong suit and two, that showing vulnerability to any man is a weakness she can’t afford.

Yet now that she and Tess are settled in Serendipity, leave it to Nash Barron to show her a kindness beneath his tough-lawyer exterior that dents her carefully constructed walls.

But Kelly is hiding something. And Nash doesn’t tolerate secrets. If he ever discovers what she’s concealed, she’s positive he’ll turn his back—and break her heart.

Author:Carly Phillips
Series:Serendipity (Book 3)
Trope(s):Small Town Romance
Point of View:Third Person, Past Tense, Dual Viewpoints (H&h)
Location:Serendipity, New York, US
Release Date:5th May, 2023
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Difficult to love hero but I’m here for the drama

4 stars

Destiny is a re-release of the third book in Carly PhillipsSerendipity series. This is my first time reading the story but I suspect there have been a few updates since it was originally published. Technically, I don’t think you need to have read the first book in the series to enjoy and understand this one since the romance definitely stands alone, but there are other strands of the story and the family dynamics that will definitely make sense if you’ve read the first book in the series, Serendipity, that focusses on Nash’s brother Ethan.

And that was my first issue with the book. In Serendipity, Nash was the unforgiving and somewhat nasty brother of the hero, Ethan. In reading and enjoying that book, I didn’t start off much caring for our hero in this book, Nash. And he didn’t do much to help me change my mind about him for the majority of the story. He was inflexible, rigid, quick to judge people and quite standoffish. He slowly got better and finally had realisations of his character flaws but it was hard for me to fully get behind him as he definitely started off on the back foot.

Kelly was a different story. From the first she was feisty, fun and strong. I loved her attitude, the way she dealt with Tess and her new family – and how she didn’t let Nash away with any shit. While I did have my issues with Nash, I genuinely wanted Kelly to be happy with him and by the end, I was happy with them as a couple.

“Where this story shone…was in the relationships between Ethan and Faith… Tess, Nash and Kelly and the youngest brother, Dare.”

As a couple, Kelly and Nash definitely had chemistry – especially when they got going. And since this is a Carly Phillips novel, the sex is just as smoking hot as you would expect. It really ramps things up to another level and did help me get over my hesitations about Nash as I do so like a man who takes charge and goes after what he wants.

There was a small secondary story included with this one about Annie and Joe. It was a nice diversion, and nice to see a character with MS featured as a heroine, even a secondary one. It didn’t distract from the main story so even though I didn’t feel hugely connected to these characters, it was fun to read.

Where this story shone – and pulled it from a 3 star read to a 4 – was in the relationships between Ethan and Faith (from the first book), bratty but likeable teen, Tess, Nash and Kelly and the youngest brother, Dare. There was a lot to work out in terms of issues from their pasts as well as the worry concerning the custody of Tess. Those issues and pieces of the jigsaw of this story were really what got me invested and kept me interested and reading.

It’s not my favourite book of Ms Phillips’ and it’s never going to be a classic but I’m glad that I picked it up and read it, if nothing else than so I have a fuller picture of the Barron family. And I’ll look forward to the next in the Serendipity series as well as the third brother, Dare’s story, coming in a few books time. 4 stars for this one from me.

4 stars

*I received this book in exchange for my honest review*

Carly Phillips gives her readers Alphalicious heroes to swoon for and romance to set your heart on fire, and she loves everything about writing romance. She married her college sweetheart and lives in Purchase, NY along with her three crazy dogs: two wheaten terriers and a mutant Havanese, who are featured on her Facebook and Instagram. She has raised two incredible daughters who put up with having a mom as a romance author. Carly is the author of over fifty romances, and is a NY Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestseller. She loves social media and interacting with her readers. Want to keep up with Carly? Sign up for her newsletter and receive TWO FREE books at

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The Serendipity Series:

Book 1
Kismet Carly Phillips Serendipity
Book 2
Book 3
Book 4
Karma Carly Phillips Serendipity
Book 5

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