Evan Downey needs a new beginning. Since the death of his wife five years ago, the brilliant tattoo artist has shut himself away in a prison of grief that not even his work can break him out of-and what's worse, Evan knows his son Lyon is bearing the brunt of his seclusion. Moving back to the lake town of Evergreen Cove where he spent his childhood summers is his last chance for a fresh start.
Charlotte Harris knows she owes it to her best friend's memory to help Evan and his son find their way again, but she can't stop her traitorous heart from skipping a beat every time she looks into Evan's mesmerizing eyes. Charlotte is determined to stay strictly in the Friend Zone-until a mind-blowing night knocks that plan by the wayside. Now, if they're brave enough to let it, Charlotte and Evan might just find a love capable of healing their broken hearts . . .
Release date: January 27, 2015
Forever Hachette Book Group
Second Chance Book 1
Purchased copy of book
I love this book so hard! Ms. Lemmon is a new to me author...and sweet baby Jesus, she didn't disappoint! I bought this book because the cover was delicious and quite honestly, it was on sale for $1.00. After reading this book, I have decided that it is worth so much more! I would pay full price for anything by this author, hands down!
Evan and Charlie have both suffered an unimaginable loss. Evan lost his wife and Charlie lost her precious best friend. Rae was everything to both of them. When she died, it rocked their worlds. She left behind a sweet, brilliant little boy, Lyon. God, the grief is absolutely palpable in this book. But so is the strength, the need to move on and find a life of happiness again. I can’t tell you how many times my throat got all lumpy and my eyes watered. I found myself talking to Evan and Charlie, telling them that life will get better, don’t give up on happiness. It’s not completely doom and gloom. Each of them have found some sort of new normal. They’ve pushed forward. Evan, for his own sanity needs to make peace with his grief, to say goodbye to Rae. Sleeping in their bed, consumed with dreams of her, he knows its time to leave. Moving back to Evergreen Cove seems like a great place to start over. He spent summers there growing up and has life long friends that live there. He knows that living close to Charlie will be good for his son. Lyon sees her as an aunt, she’s special to him. Charlie is happy to have them as neighbours. She adores Lyon. She definitely adores Evan!
The attraction between Evan and Charlie doesn’t leap right off the page at first. You know there is some interest but with that, comes a lot of confusion for them both. More for Charlie though. She had a school-girl crush on him, but he had the hots for her best friend. She put Evan in the friends only category. So when those feelings resurface, she’s not sure how to handle it. It feels disloyal to Rae and their friendship. Evan on the other hand is ready to move on. He’s attracted to Charlie and wants to pursue it. My heart broke for Charlie every time she felt she had to pull back. When she would look up to the clouds and say “sorry Rae”, I broke a little. There’s quite a bit of push and pull in this book. That’s what makes it so real. This wouldn’t be easy for most people. Jessica Lemmon did a great job in making all these confusing emotions true. I could appreciate the struggle.
Evan, man this guy just gets to me…in a good way! He’s a man who loves so completely. He’s honest and loyal. And while he is uber Alpha, he’s not all cave man like. One of the things that I absolutely loved in this book was that the author didn’t downplay the love he had for his late wife. Ive read some books where that happens and it makes me sad. Was his relationship with Rae perfect? No! But is any relationship without its faults? I could sense that what he was building with Charlie was going to be different. Thats what happens with new love. It’s not the same. Evan gave his heart to Charlie, but not once did I feel like Rae was pushed out. He just decided that he wasn’t going to make a monument of their love. He was going to cherish and fondly remember Rae.
I require a few things with my romance novels, a solid plot, likeable characters, and smokin’ hot sex! I love the bedroom doors to be blown wide open for the sexy times! In this book the sexual tension was a slow simmering burn. I couldn’t wait to get to the good stuff but I loved the journey these two took on discovering each other. Charlie is in a constant struggle with falling in love with her late best friends husband, so it was believable that she wouldn't just fall into bed with him. The sweet and sultry kisses made me warm and gushy inside. There’s a certain finger painting scene where the heroine was um, well she was the canvas! It made me blush…I don’t blush! There were a lot of secret touches, stolen kisses, and each built on what I knew was going to be an explosive love scene when it finally happened! Holy freaking hell…it was worth the wait! Once these two plunged forward, it was full thrust ahead, pun intended.
There were times that I wanted to throttle Charlie. Evan was giving his whole self to her. He wanted her and wasn’t subtle about it. She kept pulling back while running to him at the same time. It was downright infuriating at times. But here’s where that realism comes into play again. These were real reactions, and it made perfect sense. I admired the way Evan gave her her space. He made his intentions and feelings clear. Ultimately, Charlie needed to come to terms with her feelings and with Rae’s death. A lot of soul searching later and after many tears shed, she does just that! I think I actually whooped out loud when they both embraced the love they had for each other!
Ms. Lemmon is an auto buy for me now. This book pulled me in so completely. I went on this journey with Evan and Charlie. I saw a realistic portrayal of grief, friendship, respect, lust, and finally true love. The secondary characters in this book are fabulous. I just know that there’s more angst and heart tugging stories to come. And you can bloody well bet that my greedy little mitts will be snatching them up the second they come out!