by Kelsie Leverich
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Brazen Imprint)
Date Published: November 17th, 2014
Format Acquired: ARC from Publisher
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So much need. So much desire…
It's been exactly ten years since Halle Morgan last set foot in her tiny hometown. Now she's back, but only long enough to honor the memory of her best friend and try to leave the past behind her. But with one look at Cooper Bale, Halle knows there is no escape from the past—or from the man she wants like no other.
Cooper can't let go of his painful memories, or the guilt that tore him and Halle apart. And try as he might, he can't forget the bittersweet night they once shared. Even now, longing sizzles between them, potent and insatiable. Though blissful nights spent in Halle's arms heal the bitterness in Cooper's heart, they know they have no future…until they let go of the past that brought them together.
I never expected this book to be quite an emotional read for me. Obviously with the title, this is a story of a second chance romance, and how I love books with themes like these, especially when the reason behind the break up is something so painful.
The return of Halle Morgan to her small hometown was totally unexpected. The last time she had been in town was ten years ago, when they buried her best friend, and she left. As much as she didn’t want to return, she’d once made a pact with her late best friend to dig up a memory box they’d buried when they were kids. And now she’s back to get that box, then leave. The last thing she needs is coming across her best friend’s older brother and the boy she fell in love years ago, and it’s very obvious Cooper hasn’t forgiven her for what happened to his little sister.
Cooper has never forgotten everything about Halle, especially from the night they spent together, and fell in love with each other. But she doesn’t just bring intimate memories, but also the memories of his late sister. With Halle, there’s always Peyton. They’re literally a package deal, despite one of them already gone. The terrible thing is that, he’s got no idea whether to hate her or love her for coming back.
"It should have been me," she said. "I wish it was me."
This story kind of touched a nerve when I was reading this, because it revolves around a loss of a loved one, depression and taking responsibilities. I absolutely felt for these two characters, Halle and Cooper, because they’ve had it real bad. With Halle blaming herself for her best friend’s death, and feeling that she’s being hated and doesn’t belong because of what happened, which caused her to hightail right after Peyton’s funeral. And with Cooper, ditching his dreams to becoming a medical student, in order to care for his mother who fell into depression after the death of his sister and his father bailing out on them. These two are terribly broken in their own way; I feel the need to give these two a big hug.
In regards to the brazen feel of this book, which I kind of had mixed feelings towards, I felt it was kind of rushed at the beginning despite their back story. Halle comes in town, Cooper is pissed at her return, and next thing you know, he can’t keep his hands off of her. Then later on, he’s walking away because he can’t handle the ache. Make up your mind, Cooper!!!
"I might hate that you’re here – hate the grip that chokes me every single time I look at you.” Moving his hands to the side of her neck, he leaned in close. His words were almost lost to the storm as he whispered, “But that’s all I want to do. I want to look into your eyes until I can no longer breathe."
This was also the reason why I kind of disliked his character at the beginning because he was too harsh on Halle, but reading further, I began to appreciate his character and the reasons why he acted that way.
This book shook me a little bit, and I had not expected such intensity from a Brazen imprint, because normally, books like these would be highly sensual, but I truly applaud the author of this book for such an amazing drama input. If you’re into sexy reads and a little bit of intense drama to match, and second chance romances, this book is definitely for you.