Ellie’s life has been anything but easy. An adult now, she’s still haunted by her years as a foster child, by the feeling of never truly belonging, by the fear that she will never be anything but broken. The only bright spot in her life is Dex, but she threw that away when she left town without a word four years ago, running the way she always does. Only now her running has returned her to New York, and now she’s face to face with the boy she always turned to, the man who never forgot her.
On the surface, Dex has everything. A successful career, more money than he needs, a rowdy bunch of brothers, loyal friends, and a stable family. But he doesn’t have Ellie, and that’s the one thing he can’t get past. She was everything to him when they were kids, and when she was sent to another foster home, he was lost. So when she appeared four years ago, he thought he could hold on, poured out his heart to her. And before he knew it, she was gone again. Now that she’s back, all he can think about is making sure she doesn’t leave him behind again.
I picked up this book on tour simply because I wanted to read another one in the series, and you know how that goes… Gotta start from the beginning right? Well, even though I’m only at book #1, I’m loving it!
Ellie’s screwed up, certainly, but she’s not an emotional basket case (even though she thinks she is), and she’s not so self-deprecating that I got annoyed. You know those characters that are so busy damning themselves that you just want to slap them? Not Ellie. She’s scared and scarred and doesn’t have a clue how she’s supposed to put down roots or truly trust anyone, since she’s known nothing but people letting her down her whole life. But she trusts Dex as much as she can, knowing that even though she’s holding back, he would never do anything to hurt her.
And Dex… Isn’t he a saint? Okay, so maybe he’s not perfect, but the way he’s portrayed is. He’s desperate and frustrated and scared of losing Ellie again, sometimes pushing her just a little too hard to open up, but that’s what makes him so great. He’s absolutely real. Whereas many characters in his situation would either be too aggressive or too accepting, he’s just human — an incredibly hot, amazingly sweet, realistically flawed human.
Their story is simple and complicated all at once, both of them wanting to be with each other and both of them on guard when it comes to the past and the future. He knows all her tics, and she knows every emotion that flits through his eyes, and their connection just bursts through the pages. I could tell you all about how Ellie ends up staying with him, how she inadvertently brings him the answer to the one thing about his job that bothers him, how Regina just might be my favorite secondary character ever… But when it comes down to it, the story is more about feelings, about raw emotions and deep devotion and a bond of friendship and love that just instantly grabbed me. If you’re a fan of angsty but sweet romance but hate the usual overdone fare you’d normally find in the genre, this is the book for you.