Each new release in this series brings me the blend of humor, family, heartache, and romance that I have come to expect and crave from this author. Finn and Sol’s story broke my heart and made it whole again.
This is the second book in the O’Brien Family series which is in itself a spin-off of the Shattered Past trilogy. I recommend reading them in order starting with the Shattered Past books and making your way through the O’Brien Family because the connections are strong even if the individual stories wrap up the plot in each book because the characters past books and future ones are present and continue in the stories.
So, this book tackles the youngest O’Brien, Finn, and the cousin of the Tres Santos’, Sol Marieles. Finn was sexually abused as a child and it left deep scars that still affect him into adulthood because he never fully dealt with it and tries to ignore it. As an MMA fighter, he lets off his anger and pain in the octagon, but he does it numbly until the situation is beyond ignoring and he’s forced into counseling where he runs into an old family friend who has sad, pained eyes to match his own.
Sol is working on her internship to get into mental health treatment and counseling. She is driven by living with a beloved mother who has psychotic breaks or is barely there when she is on her meds. Her mother doesn’t recognize Sol and losing her mom to her mental issues has been hard on Sol and her dad. She can’t possibly take on anything else between her internship and her mom’s illness when she encounters fun-loving and flirty Finn O’Brien who has been her secret crush for years. Sol doesn’t know what has driven Finn into counseling, but she wants to shy away from another person needing help in her life even as she feels the attraction and connection so strongly.
Finn has never been able to talk about his past and the counseling doesn’t seem to help, but being around Sol has a different affect. He opens up to her and they start to spend time together. She becomes his everything until a sad twist and it is all gone. Finn doesn’t know if he even wants to pull himself back from the edge this time after Sol pushes him away. And for Sol, she is convinced that love isn’t enough and that she is really showing Finn just how much she loves him by walking away.
Yes, this one was enough to crush my heart. I felt so badly for this pair of hurting people. But in the midst of such a story, there is also humor, family togetherness, community, hot MMA action, and passionate romance. The raw emotions match the situation and I didn’t mind that as a result.
I like how the author develops the characters, the romance, and doesn’t shirk on an actual steady plot to tie it all together. I really enjoy the love and camaraderie of these two families- one Irish and the other Cuban- who grew up in their old Philly neighborhood still close and there for each other. Each new book features a new pair of lovers, but yet it is the ongoing story of all of them. I am eager for whatever story comes next.
All in all, this was another fantastic, heartwarming read. Feisty and Flirty Finn and Sunny, Caring Sol were a wonderful pair. Those who love to be touched deeply with the emotional side, those who love MMA sports action, and those who love a strong sense of family should definitely pick this one up.
My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Romance Roundabout #148 NA
Bad Boys #18
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