This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on December 31, 2019
Who knew that a romance series based on a dark event like a high school shooting, the survivors, and the wide array of those left in the aftermath would take me by the heart and leave me anticipating the stories? Honestly, I wouldn’t have thought I would, but the author made a believer of me from the first book and now we come down to Kincaid’s story. This gal was the cheerleader who encouraged the other gals and the glue that brought them back together and held them close.
The One for You is the fourth and final book in the series and, while one could probably read it standalone, I got so much more out of it, knowing the heroine from the previous stories.
The night of the shooting Kincaid survived, but her boyfriend didn’t and neither did her friendship with Ash. He left and didn’t look back. Since then, Kincaid has been faking it and pretending to be the life of the party and the one who beat the odds with a smile on her face. Instead, she’s secretly barely holding it together and keeps a steal grip on her heart from being hurt any more than it was. She put her deceased high school first love on a pedestal with no one else measuring up or allowed to. Into this life of hers returns Ash Isaacs, her one time best friend and she is so angry at what she sees as his abandonment. But, they are forced together on a project and she’s forced to realize the nerd is gone and a sexy, attractive man she struggles to resist is before her with no plans to stick around.
Ash Isaacs always loved Kincaid, but his bestfriend Graham was who she loved so he kept quiet and stayed in the friend spot for both of them. He left with secrets from that night and never planned to return. Now, he’s faced again with the mature version of Kincaid who he finds that he still loves and learns she won’t do love or relationships because her heart died with Graham. Not, that he stands a long-term chance anyway as soon as he tells her the truth of that long ago night.
I was thoroughly engaged with this one. I’ve already weathered a few emotionally shattering secrets in the course of this series and felt that Ash’s couldn’t possibly be worse. Although, that said, there I was again stressing about the ticking clock when this restored pair of friends ended up blown apart when he revealed all.
I was startled to see just how broken Kincaid really was. She seemed the most put together throughout the series though I knew she couldn’t be untouched by what happened and I wondered about her bubbly nature when the others were not. But, yes, this sense that she was hiding and had plastered Band-aids on things was what kept me from disliking her because of her behavior with Ash.
In spite of his secrets, he was a treasure and I was so frustrated that he had to compete with Graham a second time because she held so tightly to the idea that her one and only was gone.
Not that this stopped them from some hot, sexy times.
I enjoyed seeing her finally start to realize that Ash wasn’t a nerdy best friend now and nor was he a consolation prize (not that she hadn’t been acting like he was for most of the book while getting her act together). It was beautiful to see him stand true and put her first even when he knew what he’d lose by doing the right thing.
And, so we come to the end, at least I think it is. This one was rough at times and that was above and beyond the tragedy tearing such a huge hole into the community and the people in this series in particular. I think hope and healing were well-balanced with the darker aftershocks. It’s a series that is both highly emotional and nicely sexy. I would definitely recommend it for those who want some complexities in their characters and romance.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for providing the e-ARC to be read in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #192
COYER Winter Friends #13