Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by HQN Books
Released on March 31, 2015
It’s amazing when you put unlikely characters together for a story you can’t find a happy ending too. Gena Showalter puts together story that grabs at your heart strings while also getting your gander up for a fight. This isn’t a sweet or easy romance, but one that will leave you signing, yelling and wishing for a happily ever after.
A while back I read a prequel to this series, The One You Want, and had a love/hate relationship with it. Thinking this series wasn’t for me, I let it go. When Sophia Rose gave me a gift card for Christmas, I knew I wanted to use it for books….yeah, some how my gift cards get used for other things we need in the household. So I waited a day or two and did a sneak attack cashing it in and buying three books. I wanted a fun, contemporary romance without a lot of drama. Not really what I got with this one.
Jase, Beck and West have a painful and secret past. Best friends since foster care, they are willing to take on all the guilt for each other. Something happens 10 years ago, that fractures the group mentally, but also pulls them together as brothers of circumstance. Jase pays the price gladly, going to prison for 10 years, with all the horrors that come with a scrawny 18-year-old being incarcerated. Now that he has been paroled, he wants to live a quiet life and remodel the mansion his friends have bought in small town Oklahoma. His buddies during this time have made a lot of money, which they put a portion away for Jase.
Brooke Lynn is a small town girl where strawberries are the king. She works two jobs, hoping to buy a jewelry store she works mornings at. Her bosses are asses…yep, I said it. More about that later. Brooke Lynn has a hearing condition that makes noises all loud and debilitating. Implants reduce the noise but also allow her to go silent so she doesn’t go crazy and overload. Her older sister is the bane of her existence. At times I just wanted to scream at Brooke Lynn to just walk away, but she doesn’t.
The two meet when Brooke Lynn is looking for her sister after she doesn’t show up for her shift at work, forcing Brooke Lynn to work a double to cover for her. She finds her sister with Jase…yep, after they have had sex and the two girls get into a fight, trashing Jase’s room. So begins the hate relationship between the two, but also the uncontrollable attraction they both feel. In fact Jase ruins the ear implants by tossing her in a pool, which leads to how they come together.
Brooke Lynn’s character is a mixed bag of hard worker who has a goal in life, to woman who has been wronged, bullied and has had to come up with a rough exterior with a heart of gold. Life keeps knocking her on her ass, but she gets back up and takes it one again, never giving up. She also feels very foolish when she takes on one job that to me really isn’t much of a job.
Jase has had a hard life and makes a critical mistake that lands him in prison. What he did was wrong and I sense in him violence that could unleash easily once again. Even at the end of the book, I felt it wasn’t over, cured or would go away. He gets a lot of surprises, gives more of himself that he thinks he can share and falls hard for a woman who doesn’t know his past.
The two have a lot of obstacles to jump through, things I think would break anyone. At times they deal with them with a sense of reality and sometimes the bluster their way through with silly and thin plot lines.
There is a blast from the past that make everything I thought about the book real. The secondary characters are lack luster at best and irritating to a point of wanting to bop them on the back of the head. When I read the prequel, I should have known the rest of the series was going to have the same problems. Plots that are believable, but also situations that seem unbelievable.
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