Nick hasn’t seen his Emmy in nine years, but that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten a thing about the woman he loves. After just one blissful night as man and wife, he gave her up, sacrificing his own happiness to keep her safe—far away from him. But the moment she walks back into his lonely life is the moment he decides never to let her go again. He won’t waste his second chance. All he has to do is win back Emmeline’s heart, keep her safe from the shadows in his past and prove to her that taking a wager on him is a sure bet.
I owe this author a huge debt of gratitude. I was on a terrible book streak, and based on all the 5-star reviews and the fact that every other blogger in the world seemed to have read and loved this book, I gave it a go. For once, all the 5-star reviews didn’t betray me.
First of all, this book is part of a series, but it can be read as a standalone, and you won’t feel like you’ve missed out on anything by not reading book 1. That in and of itself is an accomplishment. I don’t know how many books I’ve read where the author told me it was a standalone, and I was lost and confused by the end of the first chapter because I didn’t understand all the inside jokes and random characters that kept popping in and out of the story. You won’t get any of that here.
Second of all, I give the author props for not going the traditional half-naked-dude-with-killer-abs route with the cover. (Not that I mind half naked dudes with killer abs. I’m a big fan, actually.) This cover is elegant, pretty, and unique, and I dig that.
At its core, this is a beautiful second-chance romance with a sexy alpha male hero and a smart, independent heroine who never ventures into TSTL (too stupid to live) land. The chemistry between Nick and Emmy is hot, instant and undeniable, but the love takes a little bit longer to play out. So, really, this is a second-chance romance and a slow-burn romance all rolled into one. And y’all know those are 2 tropes that I have a huge weakness for.
Nick very much reminds me of a Kristen Ashley hero. He’s not one to pine for the heroine in broody silence. As soon as he sets eyes on Emmy again after their separation, he knows he wants her back and he’s going to do everything in his power to win her trust. And while he’s a man of few words, the ones he does choose are powerful. I find his intensity to be all kinds of hot.
“You’ve always had my heart, Emmy. We’re it for each other. I thought about you every day for nine years.”
Emmy’s a good heroine, too, if a bit vanilla when compared to Nick. I loved that she stood up to her domineering father and never wavered from what she wanted to do with her life.
As for the boring stuff (writing mechanics), you won’t find any issues here. This reads like it’s the author’s tenth book instead of her second. It’s that polished, folks.
I guess the only thing that made me deduct a half point was the suspense stuff at the end. I feel like while it was extremely well written, it was unnecessary. Nick and Emmy had enough to deal with while trying to reconnect. I just as easily could’ve read another few chapters about them finding their way back to each other as a couple instead of those last few chapters of suspense. Maybe that’s just me, though. It’s a well-known and documented fact that I’m not a romantic suspense fan. (*Shrugs*)
But, overall, long-story-short, this is a great read for fans of brilliantly written second-chance and slow-burn romances, as well as fans of Kristen Ashley-style alpha male heroes.
Does this book contribute to or help crush the romance stigma?
Crushes it! This one is clean and sober. No rehab needed.
Other reading suggestions
After reading this, I’m digging into the author’s other books right away. But I also highly recommend Kristen Ashley’s Colorado Mountain series.
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