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This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Nine years ago, Zach Aubrey broker Violet Smith's heart. After she confessed her love for him, he literally ran from her after telling her he didn't feel the same. She never really got over him, but she managed to move on. Zach was always in love with Violet, but at 19 the emotion scared him shitless and running away seemed the best option at the time. Now, due to a scheduling mishap, Violet and Zach find themselves sharing a vacation house in Maine for two weeks. Violet is determined to stay away from her past feelings for Zach and he is determined to prove to her that he has always loved her and they deserve a second chance. Can they make it work? Or will the past and their more mature personalities stand in the way.
I was pretty excited to start this. I've been in a very romance-y mood for a while now and this fit right into what I was wanting to read, and it didn't disappointment me. Violet is easy to identify with, both in how hard she initially fell for Zach and her desire to not fall for him again. I'm not a poetry fan....like at all, but her desire to write it over novels was incredible. I'll be the first to admit that unless it's put to a great guitar riff, I'm not going to even give the poem a chance, but I really wanted this character to go back to doing what she loved. Better to write amazing poetry than a mediocre sophomore novel, right? She changed so drastically to fit into Shep's (her dead boyfriend) life and I loved watching her rediscover herself.
Zach was....interesting. He managed to be completely confident and completely insecure simultaneously. Or maybe insecure isn't the right word. He was more of completely vulnerable. He knows he fuck up when he ran from Violet and wants nothing more than another chance because he's so desperately in love with her and he puts it all on the table. He lays it all out there and lets Violet make the decisions...with a little pushing from him. I didn't instantly swoon for him because he's a bit of a man-slut in his rocker ways and that's not something I find particularly attractive, but I can respect the author for keeping it real and having him embrace the rocker lifestyle. Had he stayed celibate the entire time he was away from Violet, it would have been impossible to believe. Beyond his promiscuous ways, he was pretty hot, with hard muscles and tattoos and piercings and savant-level musical talent. His ability to show Violet his remorse over his fuckups had me looking past his flaws and rooting for these like nobodies business.
This novel really shines with it's characters. Violet and Zach are both so perfectly flawed and imperfect that you can't help but relate to them, even if you don't have much in common. I'm really big on character-driven stories, so if you are like me, this is definitely something you'll want to check out. The plot was a bit predictable, because we all know they are going to end up together by the end****SPOILER****And that Violet will eventually find out about Zach buying her poetry contract****END SPOILER**** but it's a romance novel, so we aren't really reading it for shocking twists, are we? We are reading it for the guaranteed happily ever after, the romance, and the smut. On all three counts, this delivers. My only issue was an overabundance of smut. You are reunited with the love of your life and there is chemistry out the ass and you devour each other, great. I'm happy for you. You spend days rolling around in bed, avoiding the world? A bit of a stretch, but fine, enjoy it while you can. I just felt like there was one too many sex scenes. We get it, you can't get enough of each other, but can we take a break, pretty please? They were all well written, I just felt the number was a bit overpowering.
Really, if a romance novel is going to have an issue, an overabundance of smut is probably the best problem to have. This novel turned out to be exactly what I was looking for, a heartwarming tale of second chances for love and happily ever afters. I know I'm overly picky, but really, what more could I have asked for?!?