But alas, his grumpiness wasn’t caused by a general dislike and distrust of people, but rather by a troubled past, so he wasn’t broody by nature, only by circumstance. This was a slight bummer for me, but regardless, I kept reading, because even if he’s not my soulmate, I do love me some tortured heroes, and Wyatt was as twisted and tortured as they come.
I really like the way the story is arranged, too. It’s broken into 4 parts: her story, his story, their story, and an epilogue. I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the story as much if I hadn’t been able to read the section written from Wyatt’s perspective. It gave me insight into the character I really needed so that I wouldn’t eventually get irritated with him pushing Emma away “for her own good”. (That kind of thing is usually a deal-breaker for me, but not with this story. Wyatt’s backstory is so gut-wrenching and intense that I understood his reluctance to get involved with Emma.)
Emma was a great heroine, too. I LOVED that she never gave up on Wyatt. (Most women would’ve, frankly) She knew what she wanted and she went for it. And she rescued abused dogs, for Christ’s sake. How are you supposed to NOT love a woman who breaks into someone else’s apartment to rescue an abused dog?
I also adored Emma’s sister, Blaire. Her obsession with Criminal Minds and general grumpiness was a refreshing change from the relentlessly cheerful secondary characters you find in so many romance novels. (Aside to the author: If you write Blaire’s story, I will 1-click the crap out of it. Hint, hint, hint.)
Super minor spoiler: I was SUPER glad that Emma ended up adopting Cye, Charlie and Lola. I would’ve been PISSED if those beautiful, gentle souls would’ve ended up as lifers at the kennel. What can I say? I like dogs more than most people, and I think that all dogs in romance novels deserve their happily ever afters just as much as the heroes and heroines of the stories.
Anyhoo, long-story-short, this is a BEAUTIFUL story of redemption, forgiveness, and how you should never give up on the lost, lonely, broken souls of society because they still might have tons to offer and tons of life left to live. (That goes for dogs and people equally)
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
Well, definitely check out the author’s other books first. And for more new adult romances full of feels and tortured heroes, try Linda Kage’s Priceless, Emma Scott’s How to Save a Life, and Mia Sheridan’s Archer’s Voice.
Note: Check out our full reviews of Priceless and Archer’s Voice.