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This review is also available on my blog, Bows & Bullets Reviews
Reagan Hudson has more or less built the life she shares with her son from scratch. Her parents helped her in the beginning, but she was out supporting herself as soon as she was able. But she's so weary of men that she can't bring herself to even try dating. She never really got over her sons dad walking away when he found out she was pregnant. He gave her an ultimatum: him or the baby. She chose her child and never looked back. Coen Steele just got out of the army and he's got his fair share of issues. He had a hard time during one of his tours and he's haunted by the ghosts of his past. Despite her distrust of males, Reagan finds her self in front of Coen over and over and soon she'll have to learn to trust him or risk losing the love between them.
Reagan is that character that is so easy to identify with and not, at the same time. I was never in her shoes. I'm 25 and no children yet, but I can sympathize with her plight because it could easily have been me. The difference? I don't have well-off parents to help me. Wait...that came out harsher than I meant it. Okay, maybe it didn't, but it gives the wrong impression. Let me try again. Reagan has been on her own since she graduated high school. She pays her mom to watch her son since they refused to let her put him in traditional daycare. She's determined to always be in control of her situation because letting that control slip from her grasp means she could end up even more heartbroken than she was when her son's dad walked away from her and she doesn't know if she can take that.
Coen is the hot asian, in Reagan's words. Tattooed and muscle-y, he's a bad boy fantasy waiting to happen...except he isn't a bad boy. Despite his appearance, he seems to be a standup guy. He's one irredeemable quality was his refusal to get help for his obvious case of PTSD. I get that no one has been in your shoes and no one will truly understand what you saw, but you still need to <i>try</i> to get help. Sleep deprivation has serious consequences. That on top of the PTSD could be paralyzing. If nothing else, there has to be a medication to knock you out so you can sleep without dreams. Beyond that, though, he's pretty perfect. Sweet, caring, and a whiz at handling the kid.
The romance between them is fast-paced, but believable. It's quick without feeling insta-lovey, which is a real treat to read. Their attraction was heated, but at the same time, you could feel it was much deeper. I'd really like to get more from Reagan's brother. I was hoping the next novel would be about him, but it's not.
This is my first Molly McAdams book. Though I have heard amazing things about her work, I have avoided it. All her books contain some form of cheating, which is something I can't tolerate. Either you love someone and want to work it out or you don't. If you do, then suck it up and make it work. If you don't, then leave. I realize the world is a bit more complicated than that, but that's how I feel. Cheating isn't justifiable to me. This has me wanting to reconsider my stance on Molly's works though. I think I may try to read the next novel in this series, even though it does contain infidelity.
Wow, this review doesn't sound like a 5 star rave fest, does it? Well, I truly loved it. It's the perfect novella. I couldn't put it down. I kept going for more of the story and for more steamy scenes that McAdams wrote flawlessly. It has great writing and is gloriously free of insta-love, love triangles, and cliffhangers. I absolutely adored every minute of it. I loved it enough that I'm willing to try to read an novel I know will piss be off because I think it just might be worth it. Doesn't that say it all?
****Thank you to William Morrow Impluse for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****