Sunday, April 13, 2014

Don't Let Go by Sharla Lovelace

Title: Don't Let Go
Author: Sharla Lovelace
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: -
Main Characters: Noah and Jules
Release Date: April 2014
Publisher: Beyond the Page
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Noah Ryan and Jules Doucette spent every moment together, first as best friends and later as young lovers. The two had planned a life together—until one unspeakable decision tore them apart for good.

Twenty-six years later, Jules is still carefully living the life her mother planned out for her. She’s running her mother’s store, living in her mother’s house, following her mother’s rules, and keeping the secrets her mother made her bury.

Then Noah comes home and any sense of an ordered life flies out the window. Noah’s return does more than just stir up old memories—it forces Jules to see her life in a whole new way and uncovers secrets even she didn’t know were buried. Secrets that could easily destroy her world once more.

My Review:
For any of you that have been following my reviews for the last year or so, you know that last year I discovered Sharla Lovelace. I love her writing and her stories, but the problem I have with her is that she doesn't have a whole lot out...two books and a novella...Until yesterday when she released her latest (and yippee, it came out a few days early.) I jumped on it when it came up at the Amazon store and managed to slide it into my reading schedule. (shhh, don't tell the authors on my schedule, kay?)

And the verdict...yes, it was good!!

This book is truly about Jules since it's told entirely from her point of view. She's a 43 yo single mother to her 17 yo daughter. She lives in the same small town where she grew up, running her dead mother's bookstore, living in her dead mother's house. She has an ex-husband who she manages to keep on pretty friendly terms with most the time. She has a boy toy on the side who's a great guy...just not long-term material, which she's completely okay with. She doesn't want to do long-term ever again. And she has a single regret...a decision her mother forced her into with fear tactics when she was 17 years old. That decision changed her life in drastic, heart-rending ways. 

That decision also changed Noah's life too. But he dealt with it differently. He left, became a SEAL and never came back...until now. The blows that life has dealt Noah means that he has an ability to shut himself off emotionally, but seeing Jules again blows all of that self-control to dust and he's reeling....both by her presence and everything he's dealing with for his family.

Emotional...a word that can describe any of Sharla Lovelace's books, but it's definitely true with this one. These two never should have been separated, but since they were they've had 26 years of other life happen and that seriously complicates things and emotions. 

Sharla Lovelace's books tend to have a little twist in them somewhere, but I wasn't expecting it in this one because the basics of the storyline are all pretty much there from the beginning, but I literally gasped out loud at the 43% point. To the extent that my husband was insisting I tell him what happened in the book (and usually he really wishes I would stop sharing those things with him when I read...LOL.) It was a brilliant twist that I totally did not see coming. 

This is a book full of rich, deep, well thought out characters who make up this little town. It takes place in the month of January which has been Jules's month of sorrow and depression for 26 years now. Being from Texas, I enjoyed the irony of the winter festival in this small town and why Jules thinks it's ridiculous to celebrate snow when it rarely happens there. 

Jules is a character I can connect to because she's 43, the same age as me, with a snarky, and teenager who has way too many unrealistic expectations about life and love. I loved her interactions with her daughter and how they evolved over time especially as she learned more and more about just how much her own mother influenced her life. On the flip side, I couldn't stand Noah's dad, but he brought so much to this story with his nastiness especially after knowing how close he and Jules used to be. When her world fell apart, she was truly alone even though on the surface she was surrounded by her support system, but they abandoned her just like Noah did. My heart hurt so much for her. 

But all these characters realized so many things over the course of the story as their lives became intwined again. It made for a fabulous read and I stayed up way too late devouring every word of it. Bonus....there's a sneak peek at the end for Sharla Lovelace's next book coming out this summer and it looks to be another great one. I can't wait.

Pick up this or any of Sharla Lovelace's other books. You will not be disappointed. She's a great author on my auto-buy list and she continues to prove that she will stay on that list for many years to come. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This sounds amazing...I'm so happy that you really enjoy everything this author has written...even though there hasn't been much so far. :-( I always hate when I find an author that I love, read all of their work and then sit there just waiting until they are able to come out with something else. :-P I'll definitely check out Sharla Lovelace.