Where to start with this book and review??
This is not just a contemporary romance, but a story about real life…with some fluff thrown in.
In this story, Hayes tells the tale of two couples and people surrounding them, and how all their lives intersect. It’s not perfect, nor is it always pretty but this is them and it’s worked for years until one city woman, Lita, runs away to their small town for refuge from the pressures of life and the scars of her past. Lita isn’t looking for a relationship, but that doesn’t mean Jesse won’t try. He was the King in high school and captain of his football team, dating the head cheerleader. Everyone had hiss life mapped out for him–he just didn’t want it. But that was until he had no choice. Kerri Ann, his high school girlfriend, and head cheerleader, got knocked-up her senior year in high school and then left to raise the baby by herself for the first few years while the father, Jesse, ran off to play around in the city. His best friend, Bryce, however, stuck around. And after years of pining after Kerri Ann he takes this as his moment to get closer to her. He helped her raise Ty in Jesse’s absence, and became her sounding board when he returned. And now that Jesse seems to have found someone else…could it be okay for Kerri Ann to find happiness after all these years as well?
When I write it out like that I realize it starts to sound like a cross between a soap opera and a Disney movie.
But nothing comes easy for any of them. Lita’s past won’t quit haunting her and she’s scared of anything with Jesse, no matter how he might make her feel. After Jesse ran out on his newborn son, his relationship with his father became especially strangled and no reconciliation over the years has cured it. His father, Cal, holds Jesse responsible for a lot of misfortunes. Jesse’s son, Ty, seems the only character without a care in the world even though he could be angst-ridden.
I admit it took me a long time to get through this book. Not because I didn’t like it (quite the opposite), but because the first half seemed to drag on and on and some chapters it seemed as if nothing was happening, no plot or character development, no world building. So i would put this book on the back burner until I wanted that contemporary romance again. And as I stuck with it the characters and story picked up and soon it was the only thing I was reading, the problem was just as the beginning was too slow the ending was too fast. One second nothing was happening and the characters were no where near being together, and the next it’s a happily ever after (slight exaggeration–there was some drama). The point being, this is supposed to be a contemporary romance, and more of a real-life one too, and it was doing an amazing job at portraying life with just a hint of that fiction to spice it up, but then it was all ruined by the ending with the Disney fairytale.
But despite that, I truly did love this story. The characters are amazingly well-developed and the details of the plot (minus the ending) are so well thought-out and in-depth. I just love how interwoven this story became. It kept a momentum even in the most tedious of times. I would recommend this to any romance fan. And while it’s not explicit as erotica, I would still keep it away from anyone under age.