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“Sometimes when things are falling apart, they may actually be falling into place.”
A gorgeous NA friends-to-lovers romance with wonderful characters, a touch of mystery/suspense and a whole lot of heart.
I confess that I delayed reading this book because I wasn’t a huge fan of the previous one – Stay With Me. It was such a huge deviation from the original books in the series and for me the story really dragged. But this book recaptured all of the JLA magic that has made me such a huge fan of hers, and I absolutely loved it!
Roxy and Reece were introduced in the last book – Roxy is a bartender at Mona’s bar, and Reece is a police officer and good friend of Jax. Roxy and Reece have known each other since they were teenagers, and have grown to become close friends over the years. Roxy has crushed on him since she first laid eyes on him at 15 years old, and 11 months ago their friendship took a turn when they hooked up after a drunken night out… or did they? Reece’s regret over that night shattered Reece’s fantasies once and for all and so, full of hurt and embarrassment, she has completely withdrawn from him, pushing him away to try and move on with her life and get over him.
In an emotional twist to the story, Roxy’s best friend from childhood is in a long-term care facility in an almost-vegetative state after a brutal attack years previously. Roxy has remained incredibly devoted to Charlie, visiting him weekly and sharing her life with him even though he is unable to respond to her in any way. Now, the man whose attack left Charlie so heartbreakingly disabled has been released from prison and he wants to see both her and Charlie in order to make amends. Roxy is in no way ready to see the man who destroyed her best friend, and when strange things start happening around her house and it looks as if she is the target of a stalker, she knows exactly who to blame.
I love Roxy! Sweet and quirky, she’s a real sweetheart and immediately loveable. I could relate to her, and really enjoyed her as a heroine. And Reece… wow. Strong, sexy and slightly alpha, Reece is the one who is there for Roxy when her life is shaken up yet again. His version of the events from 11 months ago is vastly different to hers, but he’s decided that enough is enough and he wants her back in his life. As a returned serviceman turned town cop, he has been through his own hell and Roxy was there for him when he needed her, he intends to do the same. And he has no intention of doing it as her friend.
“I’d give anything to remember that night.”
I love the dynamic between these two. It’s so glaringly obvious that there is not only attraction between them, but also a deep emotional connection, and the back and forth as they finally open up to each other about their feelings and Roxy’s struggles to overcome her fears while Reece lays it all out for her is really well done. But even though there’s some back-and-forth between them as they finally address the past and figure out their way forward, at the same time it feels easy and natural as they slip back into friendship and then straight into something more, and it’s sweet, hot, romantic, and beautifully swoony.
“I’m scared too. And there are times I question what I deserve, but we’re in this together. So fall with me. Let yourself go and fall with me, and baby, I will catch you. I will get you through this. You just got to take that risk.”
I love Reece! His protectiveness over Roxy and his determination to build something between them is gorgeous, and the way he is there for his girl absolutely melted my heart. And I was so proud of Roxy as she put her faith in him again. These are two are well developed and completely loveable characters, and I thought their honesty and the way they opened their hearts to each other was beautiful.
“You’re going to make me want to keep you.”
But the threats against Roxy are increasing, and the addition of the mystery/suspense aspect of the story creates a great sense of intensity as she is faced with real danger and Reece steps in to protect her while he hunts down the bad guy.
I loved this story. The romance is beautiful, the mystery and suspense is tied in really well, and the emotion is beautifully (and heartbreakingly) written. The character dynamics are absolutely fantastic, and I loved watching the development of Roxy’s character as she perseveres through it all, deals with her past and figures out what it is she truly wants – with the luscious Reece standing strong by her side. As expected from JLA there are lots of sweet and fun moments, great banter and some laugh out loud moments – especially from Roxy’s loving and protective family, and from the rest of the characters from the series who all make an appearance.
“No. Seriously … I don’t ever want to hear my sister’s name and the word pole in the same sentence that involves dancing.” Cam glanced at Katie, wielding a slotted spatula, causing Jacob to sidestep a spittle of grease. “No offense.”
She shrugged a shoulder. “None taken. Only the few and the proud can handle it.”
I scrunched my nose. “Isn’t that the Marines’ motto?”
“Yes,” sighed Reece.
Although the series has taken a bit of a swing from where it all started, I really liked this instalment, and am looking forward to reading Nick’s book next.
The Wait For You series
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