Of all the emotions she had guessed she’d feel in this moment – anger, resentment, loss, envy – she hadn’t expected the weak but unmistakable tingle of joy at seeing him again.
I always appreciate the realism of Shannon Stacy’s books but this one might have just been a little too real for me. The writing and the story was top notch and had me leaning towards 4 stars, however, I had to take 1 star off simply because I didn’t completely enjoy this one. It was heavy emotionally that I never really got into the story. This was a very emotional read and it added a lot of depth to the plot and characters. You could really tell how much Ava was struggling to get over Jace even years later. And just how much their break up affected the rest of her life and her musical aspirations. I understand that Jace was young and stupid when he made his decision to leave Ava, but his lack of follow through made it hard to get on his side. I just felt that Jace gave up to easily if he really did still want and love Ava.
I love the simple life that Shannon Stacy often portrays in her books. We have a small town and a heroine who works as a waitress–but its not seen as a lower class job or something that’s not good enough. Stacy often shows a different side of life that is sometimes ignored for more glamorous careers, experiences, and locations in romances.
As I said above this was very emotional and on one hand that was great, on the other, it also made this a bit of a depressing read. There was so much history and pain between Jace and Ava and I never felt like it totally was brought back up to a happier place. This is the biggest reason I dropped a star from my rating. It seemed like Ava was still heartbroken and struggling all the way up to the end.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by Netgalley. All thoughts expressed in this review are my honest opinion.
Ava Wright isn’t happy to see her high school sweetheart rolling into their hometown a few weeks before Christmas. He’s only come back to bury his estranged father, but there’s no way she’ll be able to avoid him. No one can: he’s become a country-music superstar since going solo and leaving Ava behind.
Jace Morrow grew up believing “money can’t buy happiness” was something people said to make themselves feel better. But now he knows it’s the truth: no matter how many number-one hits he has, he’ll never recapture the magic of singing with Ava. Missing her—loving her—and living with making the wrong choice in life were what made him who he is.
When Jace is roped into being part of the town’s annual Christmas party, he only cares about earning Ava’s forgiveness. And though Ava’s heart has never healed, she loved Jace too much and for too long to shut him out when he’s hurting. As they fall in love all over again, they’re both faced with choices for their future…and this time Jace intends to make the right one.
Published by Carina Press on October 23, 2017