Review: The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter

Posted January 9, 2018 by Shari in Reviews / 12 Comments

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Review: The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter
The Closer You Come

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: The Original Heartbreakers #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by HQN Books
Released on March 31, 2015
Pages: 442
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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The Delight

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.


Review Writing Challenge #1
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The One You Want by Gena Showalter   


About Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author whose books have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazines, as well as Entertainment Weekly. Her novel Red Handed has been optioned by Sony Television. Critics have called her books “sizzling page-turners” and “utterly spellbinding stories,” while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise.” Her mix of humor, danger and wickedly hot sex provides wildly sensual page-turners sure to enthrall.

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

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Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

I read one book by Gena Showalter and hated it so much that I never tried her again. Maybe I should give her another shot.

Shari Delighted Read
Shari Delighted Read
4 years ago

I have a love/hate relationship with her books right now. I fell in love with Lords of the Underworld, but the last few books have been pretty bad. I get tired of them always being sarcastic and trying to be witty. I tried one other of her series, but couldn’t get into it. Now this one is on my nerves, so I think I might be done.

4 years ago

Think I’m going to grab this series from the library *nods*

Shari Delighted Read
Shari Delighted Read
4 years ago
Reply to  LilyElement

Try it. I think a lot of people like this series, I just can’t relate to it very well.

Sophia Rose
4 years ago

Oh man! It’s such a gamble to give a series another try after a rocky start like that. At least you won’t be wondering now if it was a mood or maybe things got better after the prequel. I still have that prequel setting on my Kindle, but I think I’ll be prepared to get grumbly when I go to read it. There seems to be so much going on with these folks that I think it must be pretty tricky to get the right touch to each element whether it is her disability, her toxic relationship with sister and… Read more »

Shari Delighted Read
Shari Delighted Read
4 years ago
Reply to  Sophia Rose

I want to like her writing, but for the last couple of years, her books have been falling flat with me. Maybe I just need a break.

It was a little much for the book. She was so independent, but they labeled her as irresponsible. I never have seen a less irresponsible person. So I got angry on her behalf and angry at the author for putting her in this situation. Guess I took it too seriously.

4 years ago

I just finished The Closer You Come in audiobook. The audio is great. Ms. Richards brings all the characters to life and makes the situations feel real. The surprises and things they both had to over come made the characters feel more real. I felt for everyone in the story and learning the secrets that have been kept, wow and the blast from the past, oh my! Great review.

Shari Delighted Read
Shari Delighted Read
4 years ago
Reply to  Angela

A lot of secrets blasting in from the past and they handled it well. I just felt extremely bad for the heroine and they way the town treated her. Even how Jase treated her.

4 years ago

Ya I felt bad too on how the heroine was treated by the town, but it made it more real too.

Carole's Random Life
4 years ago

I can’t tell you how many times my gift cards have went to things other members of the family needed. Sorry that you had a few issues with this one. I do want to try Showalter’s writing soon.

Shari Delighted Read
Shari Delighted Read
4 years ago

Haha… yep, I put on gift cards and end up spending them on things the kids need. So I was a little greedy this time and saved it until I wanted to buy some books. It only took a few days, but I saved it for me. I have a love/hate relationship with her writing. Need another break I guess.

Lover Of Romance
4 years ago

I have ENJOYED this series so much, and even though this wasn’t my favorite installment, there were so many moments I loved about this pair.