AUTHOR: Holly Renee
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: April 13, 2017
Available @ AMAZON
RATING: 3 Stars
REVIEWER: Pistol Annie
It was a bad idea from the beginning.
He was my brother’s best friend and the definition of unavailable.
But I didn’t care.
I had loved him for as long as I could remember.
He was worth the risk. He was worth everything.
But then he broke my heart as easily as I fell for him. He watched me fall, spiraling out of control, and as I reached for him, he wasn’t there to catch me.
So I ran.
Four years later, I never expected to see him again.
He was still my brother’s best friend, and he was more unavailable than ever.
He looked every bit the bad boy I knew he was, covered in tattoos and a crooked smile.
Guarding my heart from him was top priority because Parker James was where good girls go to die.
Unfortunately for him, I wasn’t a good girl anymore.
I’ve had this book sitting on my Kindle for more than several months now. For some reason, it suddenly screamed, “read me now” and I obeyed (maybe because I’ve been giving my best shot at cleaning out my Kindle overload before the new year arrives). By a new-to-me author, Holly Renee writes a kick-ass story that came on like gangbusters. The title is a bit misleading — I expected something a little darker and grittier. But if you like fast-paced and lots of angst, you’ll find plenty to keep the pages flipping.
I may have been a good girl then, but you destroyed every piece of her. I actually feel bad for Emily, because you, Parker James, are where good girls go to die.
Parker and Livy are multi-dimensional characters that are strong and likable. The author has fleshed-out and developed each one’s identity well. They drive the story in their own perfectly imperfect way. Alternating POVs from both characters, along with the friends-to-lovers/second chance theme that mixes past and present, complements the storyline.
There’s no insta-love because they’ve known each other most of their lives. Her brother is Parker’s best friend. There’s a four-year separation period where they neither see nor speak to one another. And then suddenly and quite unexpectedly they find themselves working closely together. And Parker is involved with another woman – one that brings her own drama into the fold. Remember, I mentioned ANGST!
Parker James is hot, ballsy, quick-tempered and a bit of a wild card. But a very tempting one! And in my opinion, he’s the one who pushes the hardest for the reconnection.
Livy tells it like it is – and makes no excuses. She’s strong-willed and I liked that about her. She wasn’t a hanger-on, nor did she assert herself into Parker’s life while he was involved with another woman.
She was chaos and madness, her heart never sitting still for long, and when I was with her, everything else crumbled away and I felt like I was home.
A good group of friends and family help bring a lighter tone with laughter and realness into the mix. There were several of these characters that I really liked and hope to see sometime in the future in a book especially for their story.
Livy and Parker’s story isn’t a fairytale romance by any means. Nope, at times it is painful, intense and fiery – almost a love-hate relationship. Heartbreak, lies, secrets and complications filter through this one with some big hits.
The main conflict is a bit weak and secondhand. Like a lot of others, it is brought about by lack of communication. And the reveal doesn’t take place until well into the book. By that time, I was tied in knots and in a must-know dire situation as to whether they could put it all back together and move forward. Silly, really! Disappointing to say the least, and the reason for a one-star subtraction, but I’m still in the game at this point.
However, the ending fizzled and that’s the reasoning behind the second star deduction. Thus, a 3-star review. This one in particular made me mad as hell. I’ve been with this couple through all their struggles and heartbreak — cheered them on, and all I get in the ending is a half-hearted Happy-For-Now feeling! Pfft! That leaves a lot to the imagination, and I’m not a fan of half-baked endings. This was not the kind of gift that keeps on giving. For me, it takes a well-wrapped happily-ever-after that I don’t have to invent for myself. And I prefer that it be tied up in a bow using pretty ribbon, too.
Overall, this one earns a peek. The positives outweighed the negatives. That ending certainly packed an unforgivable wallop, but others might find it quite acceptable.