What the Heart Wants by Jeanell Bolton
Published by Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Genres: Romance, Contemporary
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The love he left behind . . .
Laurel Harlow was once the princess of Bosque Bend, Texas: every door was open to the only daughter of the beloved minister and his well-bred wife. Then scandal rocked their family-and those same doors slammed shut. Now preparing the family mansion for sale, Laurel wants nothing more than to put the past behind her and move on. But when Jase Redlander appears on her doorstep, sixteen years after he left her heartbroken, she can't turn him away . . . especially when he needs her help.
. . . is the only thing worth coming home for
Jase never intended to come back to this one-horse town. But then his teenage daughter runs away, headed straight for Bosque Bend and the woman he once loved. The moment Jase sees Laurel again, he knows he never should have left all those years ago. There's a secret she's keeping from him, though-he's certain of it. Over the course of sunny days and sultry nights, Jase aims to find out what it is. And this time he'll show Laurel that this bad boy can be the man of her dreams . . . if she'll let him.
Laurel was always the popular girl in high school. She was beautiful and her family had prestige and money. Now she’s 31 years old and all of that has changed. Her father did something awful and the town hates Laurel because of it. Both her father and mother have died so she’s the only one left to hate apparently. She has no money and now has no job.
Jase is the boy from the other side of the tracks who used to come in and get counseling from Laurel’s father, who was a minister. Jase and Laurel would talk while he waited for his appointment and the pair grew closer. Jase was only 16 to Laurel’s 15. When Jase is accused of attacking a teacher he’s run out of town and never heard from again.
Laurel is shocked when Jase shows up on her doorstep looking for his 15 year old daughter. While concerned for his daughter, Laurel feels all of the love she felt all those years ago bubbling up inside – as does Jase. They begin an affair and Jase is determined to have Laurel by his side for the rest of his life. That is, until he finds out what her father did and he can’t look at Laurel without thinking about her father. Needless to say, the relationship hits the skids and neither Laurel nor Jase knows where it might end up.
While this story kept my attention throughout, I didn’t feel at the end of the book as if I’d gotten all that I needed from the story.
Jase and Laurel still had feelings for each other after all the years of separation, I got that but they so quickly fell back in love when really they had no idea who the other person was as an adult. Laurel was a complete mystery to Jase but that didn’t seem to faze him. When he did find out all of the details he turned, imho, into a complete ass. Here he was lecturing his young daughter about how he is not like his horrible father and that she isn’t like her horrible mother, they are individuals, but yet he can’t separate Laurel from her father. I wanted to smack the man multiple times.
IDK I think I just didn’t feel the love between the two strongly enough to believe it all. My heart ached for Laurel and all that she was going through but she was a very strong woman and I had to admire her for sticking in there as long as she did in a town that hated her. When Jase does come back to her I certainly don’t think he groveled enough for my liking. He truly needed to get down on his hands and knees and beg her. The fact that she stated they needed to take it slow made me happy. In the end I found the story to be just ok.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5