The Bad Boy Is Back
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 . . .
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Charlotte AKA Charlie has known Evan for almost twenty years. She has been in love with him the whole time. He was married to her best friend, until tragedy struck.
Evan and his son are devastated by losing their wife and mother. It is time for a change. He moves them to where they will make new memories and still have a support system. Little does he know, what he needed was there all along.
Such a terrific start to the Second Chance series. Such amazingly fun characters with excellent banter and really HOT sexy times. I laughed, cried, and cheered out loud reading this one. I cannot wait to read the next book!
Great second chance at love story.
*Complimentary ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review.*
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Evan was about as close to perfect as a hero could get. At first I thought he wasn’t over Rae, even after four years. He may have made peace with his loss in his heart, but his restlessness and nightmares made me think otherwise. But as the story went on, it became clear that he was ready to start anew and open himself up to love again. I loved his character because he kept things real. Not only was he doing the best he could to raise his son, but he tried to marry his responsibilities with a job that kept odd hours and sucked up all of his attention. When it came to Charlie, he had a deep reserve of patience for her, and I loved how he pushed her when she needed it and backed off when he felt she might bolt.
Charlotte or “Charlie” had been Rae’s best friend since they were teenagers. After Rae's death, she vowed to look out for the boys. She surprised me with her fragility as the story went on. Saying she was “messed up” would be a little too harsh. She didn’t deal well with the budding relationship which manifested itself in intense guilt, shame and fear of losing the friendship. I wanted to bean her over the head a few times because despite plenty of reassurances from many different people, she couldn’t find the courage to take what was offered to her (aside from the mind-blowing sex). As much as I wanted to rail on her, I understood that her non-existent family history had set her up nicely as prey for that uber douchebag of an ex-boyfriend who’d screwed her over royally.
There were a lot of ups and downs on their path to a HEA, and I felt they were handled with a good measure of realism. Anyone stepping into a family unit would be apprehensive of being seen as trying to replace the missing parent. However, I really enjoyed that these two were able to work out their own issues for themselves without being directly told by others how to fix their them. It’s always nice to see characters be self-aware of their shortcomings.
The love scenes came along naturally and didn’t feel thrown in to break the tension. Each encounter had a time and place that made each one positively swoon-worthy (the scene in Evan’s studio and the paint!!!). Evan was a wickedly sexy male, from his looks, amazing body and his dirty mouth. I loved how easily he could shock her. Asher and Gloria were a couple I’d love to read about. I’m sure their story would be full of fireworks. I’d have given this a solid 5 stars if Charlie hadn’t kept taking steps back well past the halfway point. But Evan alone and his tenacity deserve the 4.5.