Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter (audiobook)

Title: The Closer You Come
Author: Gena Showalter
My Rating: A
Narrator: Savannah Richards

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Original Heartbreakers #1
Main Characters: Brook Lynn and Jase
Release Date: March 2014 (audiobook)
Publisher: Recorded Books
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter introduces the Original Heartbreakers, where three not-quite-reformed bad boys are about to meet the women who will bring them to their knees.

Just released from prison, Jase Hollister has only one goal: stay out of trouble. Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, sounds like the perfect place for him and his two brothers-by-circumstance to settle down and live a nice, simple life. Model citizen isn’t exactly this rugged bachelor’s default setting—especially when it comes to a certain hot-blooded Southern beauty—but he's determined to play by the rules.

Brook Lynn Dillon has always been the responsible type. Not that it’s done her much good. The down-on-her-luck waitress is broke, single and wouldn’t know fun if it bit her. Or so she thinks. Jase makes bad look oh, so good. Dangerous, sexy and tempting as sin, he is everything she never knew she wanted. Passion sizzles between them, but is it enough to melt his resistance? After all, the right kind of trouble might be just what he needs…
My Review:
Overall.... 4.5
Performance... 4.25

Story.... 4.5

This is the first in a trio of books, each featuring a different hero. I love the premise behind the friendship between these three guys. When they were eighteen, a girl they all loved (one of the guys was her boyfriend, the other two considered her as a sister) was raped at a party. They beat up the guy that did it and that beating killed him. One of the men, Jase, took the fall for all three. The other two had promising futures. He didn't. There was no reason for them all to lose their future. So Jase went to prison for 9 years at the age of 18. He was young and scrawny and the things that you would expect to happen to a kid like that in prison happened to him, until he bulked up and learned how to protect himself. His is a heartbreaking story....but none of these guys came out of this unscathed. The other two are so guilt-ridden over it all, they are more than a little broken, too. But the three are the best of friends and decided with Jase's release that it was time for a new start in Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma. 

Jase is a big, muscled, tattooed, scary dude that looks like someone who spent the last decade in prison. He has a cold, harsh edge to him that's more than a little intimidating to most people. But Brook Lynn is not anyone's pushover. She stands up to him, challenging him at every turn and he soon finds himself enamored. 

They meet when Brook Lynn shows up to drag her sister out of his bed. Yep, you read that right. The two of them first meet just after he had sex with her sister. Can we say conflict? Yeah, there's that. And as the two of them get closer (something they both fight hard), every time she thinks about him with her sister, I want to just cry for her. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I love how big and tough Jase is, but how gentle he is with Brook Lynn and even eventually with her sister, Jessie Kay. This was a fabulous start to this series. All of the characters within it are so broken. All of them are introduced in this first book, but with that being said...any one of these books can EASILY be read as a stand alone. It's a great series. (As I'm writing this review, I already listened to book #2 and am starting with book #3...nice thing about reading them late is that I can devour the series in back to back readings...well, listens in this case.)

I highly recommend this first book and the entire series. 

Note: Overall, I really enjoy this narrator, but she doesn't have much differences between her men's voices. It's okay though because of Gena Showalter's writing...she's always good about identifying who is speaking when the guys are all together. So, although it's a detractor against the narrator overall, the books are definitely good enough that it's not a detractor against the audiobook at all.

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