From award-winning fanfic phenomenon Sophie Jackson, the third novel in the sexy and emotionally intense blockbuster A Pound of Flesh series.
Life in New York for ex-con Riley Moore is pretty damn good, until a call from his mother shatters the calm: his father has suffered his second heart attack in two years and is in a critical condition. Leaving everything behind, Riley flies home to Michigan for the first time in five years to support his mother and do his best to make amends with his father. He also tries not to think about Lexie Pierce, the only girl he ever truly cared about, and who broke his heart.
When they inevitably meet, memories of their love make Riley yearn to reconnect, despite the pain they both suffered. Though she's wary, and has a secret she’s hidden from him for five years, Lexie has little willpower when it comes to Riley and she agrees. Besides, after all that has gone before, she owes it to both of them to find out if they can love each other again.
Can they both overcome their sorrow and secrets and finally share their life together?
A powerful new voice in modern romance, Sophie Jackson has crafted a passionate love story with unforgettable characters that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
Stars: Overall 4 Narration 5 Story 4
Small town boy Riley is making his way in New York City after a few large hiccups. Having done time in prison with friend Carter, he’s now working in a garage with another friend, Max. Things are looking up for him, and he’s finding a balance between workload (growing) and females (ever-changing). But, a call from his mother sends him back to Michigan due to his father’s illness, and he’s not sure he wants to revisit the past or the girl who shattered his heart.
A clever mix of looking back while trying to move forward balances this story. Riley was head over heels for Lexie since he met her when he was 8. It was her or no one. Life interfered and he went to pursue his dreams away at NYU. Unfortunately, life for Lexie just went downhill…. She may not have made the best choices, but she was young, lonely and spiraling into a depression. That was only made worse when her father died, and she completely felt alone, unsupported and lost her way. That’s when she used her emotions of the moment to cut Riley loose and disappear from him.
Now years later they are face to face, and Riley is dealing with his own up and down relationship with his own father, the worries of his illness, and reconnecting with his brothers. Lexie has moved forward and has used positive reinforcement with post-its to her jewelry store to keep her even and deal with her own past. She’s not mired in guilt as I would have expected, but her own fears about depression and relapsing. Best of all, Jackson allows the two to acknowledge their off the charts sexual chemistry – but in a smart way. They KNOW they don’t always communicate well – so making that a priority as they rebuild their friendship with intentions of more is a perfect option for a second chance.
Fully emotional and self-aware, Grace Grant presents those moments with clear delivery: you hear the pain, the trepidation and the desire that bursts through from both of them. Family moments are warm and hold a welcoming vibe, and everyone is easy to recognize and understand. Most striking is the self-awareness of both characters, knowing their wounds, their willingness to move forward and improve themselves, their communication and put their effort forward. A wonderful story that only has me wanting more of this series.
I received an AudioBook copy of the title from Simon and Schuster Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.