Gena Showalter returns to the blog today with the next in The Original Heartbreakers series, this one is all about Ryanne and Jude. Please read on for my review of
Can’t Let Go
Introduced to the kick-ass and take no prisoners Ryanne in the last book, I couldn’t wait to discover more about this mouthy, all for her friends girl who always seemed to be a little sad. Owner of the local bar, she lives for her friends and dreams of travelling the world, and she’s only two months away from her first trip. Ryanne had a tough life growing up: her mother was desperate to find a man and the constant tumult hit Ryanne hard. The small town gossip, the revolving door of relationships and the instant belief that she was ‘just like her mother’ weighed hard on her, and her decision to stay in Strawberry Valley and care for Earl had tongues wagging. But Earl let Ryanne feel safe and gave her stability, and in his own way was more father to her than anyone she ever knew.
Jude is an ex-military man, a special ops soldier who lost his lower leg overseas, and then his wife and twin daughters to a drunk driver. With his best friends Daniel and Brock, the three are slowly finding their own ways to deal with the traumas of the past. But Jude’s numbness, his judgment and stoic manner and the discomfort he stirs in all but his friends are issues. But he’s decided that since his friends need him, he’ll deal with the bar, the alcohol, and see that none of Ryanne’s customers leave impaired. He’s intrigued and frustrated in equal measures by her: and that makes him unsettled.
Oh these two! Both of them have serious issues to get through – her with trust, him with guilt and grief, and the fact that he can never seem to let go enough to NOT put his feet in his mouth. Ryanne’s so perceptive though: seeing flashes of him coming to life and recognizing the desire he has for her. But she’s no pushover: she wants him, but on her terms and recognizing his conflict with what she does and who she is, his fear that stifles his forward motion, and even the bone-deep sadness that holds him apart. Yet, he’s so determined to not feel loss again, even as he can’t fight the attraction to Ryanne, and the little glimmer of life and hope that he is starting to feel. So many issues: grief, loss, PTSD, trust, independence, oh you name it – Showalter takes us through them. Add in a murderous neighbor determined to run Ryanne out of town with the help of the local police, a pregnant alley cat and the start of a newly defined relationship between Ryanne and her mother – and the story just tugs at your heart. Admiration from Ryanne, and seeing just how wonderfully she manages to work with and around Jude’s various and troublesome hangups, the solid support from both his and her friends and the lovely moments of healing – and this is a story that you’ll want to come back to: repeatedly.
Title: Can't Let Go
Author: Gena Showalter
Series: The Original Heartbreakers #5
Also in this series: Can't Hardly Breathe
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Harlequin
Published on: 31 October, 2017
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 45 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible
New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter is back with a sizzling Original Heartbreakers tale about an icy war vet and the only woman capable of melting him…
With trust issues a mile long, Ryanne Wade has sworn off men. Then Jude Laurent walks into her bar and all bets are off. The former Army Ranger has suffered unimaginably, first being maimed in battle then losing his wife and daughters to a drunk driver. Making the brooding widower smile is priority one. Resisting him? Impossible.
To Jude, Ryanne is off limits. And yet the beautiful bartender who serves alcohol to potential motorists tempts him like no other. When a rival bar threatens her livelihood, and her life, he can’t turn away. She triggers something in him he thought long buried, and he’s determined to protect her, whatever the cost.
As their already scorching attraction continues to heat, the damaged soldier knows he must let go of his past to hold on to his future...or risk losing the second chance he desperately needs.
See the Original Heartbreakers series on Goodreads
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.