This is a wonderful debut novel about small towns and second chances

38579725Hard to Let Go by Jaclyn Quinn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book about small towns, second chances, old school enemies reconnecting and how the actions of our younger days can go on to define us through into adulthood.

I believe this is Jaclyn’s debut book, if so, it’s superbly well done with a narrative which is well paced and flows easily between past remembrances and current happenings. It’s hard to get the tone right when you have two characters who were antagonistic in their past but this was played to perfection.

When Owen bumped into Brody – literally – all the feelings he’d buried away from the torment he’d suffered were brought back to the surface and, while the set up of them meeting again was clearly telegraphed, it still worked.

There are also brilliantly strong female characters in this, Owen’s mum, aunt and cousin, Brody’s aunt and his mum, there to provide positive and loving influences.

There’s a great bunch of secondary characters in this book too and the world building was great, evoking the small town feel of a place where everyone knows what they “think” is your business but not always having the full truth.

Both Owen and Brody have hurdles to overcome. This isn’t a straight forward fall into love, there are deep rooted fears and pains which get in the way at times. But they have a real connection, one which neither of them can put aside.

I loved how their friends (Owen’s ex Jonah – please tell me we’re going to get his story as well) and Gabe (who is awesome and, I hope, the subject of a book 2!) were also supportive and quietly scheming in the background.

The sex is beyond hot, it’s emotional and passionate, but also settles into supportive and loving as their relationship develops. I loved that there was no misunderstandings or a lack of communication about what was going on and their feelings.

There was anger and hurt, understandably so on Owen’s part, but he wasn’t just stubbornly refusing to try sort it out. There were conversations and painful truths revealed which just made the whole romance even more understandable.

I’m hoping this is just the start of a series set in this little town because I NEED to know whether Gabe manages to finally find out why Nate runs away from him at every turn and I want Jonah to find his own HEA.

#ARC kindly supplied by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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