The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter
Series: The Original Heartbreakers #1
Also in this series: Can't Let Go
Published by HQN Books
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
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Tortured by a violent past, ex-con Jase Hollister is looking to start over in a small town. The rugged bachelor suffering from PTSD longs for peace and quiet, always keeping his women at a distance—and his heart encased in stone.
Brook Lynn Dillon is a down on her luck waitress determined to avoid the man every woman in town wants—including her sister. The last thing she needs is his kind of trouble. But his every glance makes her burn…and her resistance is melting fast.
The two agree to a one-time fling, not expecting to be forever branded. Now, no matter how hard they try, they can't keep their hands off each other. But when a secret from Jase's past comes to light, they'll have to face a cold, hard truth: it's more than Jase's freedom on the line, it's their hearts.
Brook Lynn is a hard worker. She holds down two jobs and even manages to work double time at her waitressing job when her sister, Jessie Kay, doesn’t bother showing up for her own shift. Her other job is making and selling jewelry at the Rhinestone Cowgirl which she’s hoping to earn enough money to buy sometime soon. That kind of gets thrown down the toilet when Brook Lynn’s sleep deprivation and her sister no-showing at the restaurant work against her and they both get fired. Then she gets fired from her sales position for being in the hospital. Yes, her boss was a complete bitch.
Jase and his foster brothers, West and Beck, have moved to town recently and every girl around wants to be with one or the other of them. Jase pretty much keeps to himself but he still manages to find his hook-ups. One of those hook-ups is Jessie Kay during a party that the boys are having and Brook Lynn walks into Jase’s bedroom right after the deed is done. Brook Lynn is not happy at all with having to chase after her sister but is almost just as unhappy about the attraction she feels for the guy who just slept with her sister.
Jase is attracted to Brook Lynn as well and eventually ends up hiring her as his “assistant” which in this case meant maid and cook. Brook Lynn feels like she’s taking advantage of Jase but isn’t going to balk at the money he’s paying her. Jase just wants to make sure that Brook Lynn is taken care of and not working herself to death.
The pair play a bit of cat and mouse but Brook Lynn isn’t seriously thinking of getting with Jase because Jessie Kay is certain he’s the man for her. It’s an odd dynamic and not one I was expecting in this book. Eventually Jase and Brook Lynn get together with Jessie Kay’s blessing but Jase neglects to tell Brook Lynn that he’d been in prison for the past 9 years – something she doesn’t take well and almost tears the relationship apart.
This is the first contemporary romance that I’ve read of Showalter’s and it was a good one. I liked the development of the characters and felt that both of the MC’s grew some during the course of the story.
I didn’t care for the fact that Brook Lynn was hot for a guy that her sister slept with. I totally could have done without that aspect of the story. If it was a friend that would be different – but sister? Kind of EW. lol I did manage to get over that part though and moved on. I didn’t care for the way that Brook Lynn handled the prison revelation from Jase but understood why the author dealt with it the way she did.
For the most part the story was a bit on the heavier side but definitely had its lighter, humorous and romantic moments.
I’m anxious to see what happens with both Beck and West in future books as they were both interesting characters, to say the least. Overall a good read and one I enjoyed.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5