Hold Her Again by Shannon Stacey
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: October 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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.
Jace Morrow and Ava Wright were once a couple in more ways than one. They were in love and couple and they were also a country singing duo singing in bars to make a living. Six years ago they were approached in one of those bars and Jace was offered stardom – but Ava wasn’t. Jace decided he had to give it a try and left Ava. Just left her in a strange town on her own even though they were a duo. She went back to their small home town in Missouri with a broken heart and started waitressing again.
Now Jace is back in town for the first time in six years to bury his father and he knows that he’ll see Ava again. In fact, he’s hoping he does because he wants to let her know that he never stopped loving her. Ava isn’t looking forward to seeing Jace because she never forgave him for leaving her like he did. Of course, when they do see each other again Ava has a hard time keeping the love she never stopped feeling for Jace under wraps. He soon has her in his arms but can they move forward from what happened?
I’d love to say that I adored this novella by Stacey but I didn’t. I did think it was good but that was because it had a lovely heroine and of course, Stacey’s wonderful writing style. That said, I couldn’t get past Jace and what he did. This is totally on me, and I’m probably in the minority here, but he really pissed me off. He said that he never stopped loving her but he never came back to get his girl! Not only did he leave her high and dry to pursue his dreams, but then stayed away for 6 years! I guess I could see Ava forgiving him after 1 year but 6? I had a really hard time with that. For me, he didn’t grovel enough. Actually, I’m not sure he could have groveled enough to make it ok in my eyes.
Ava was such a strong woman and I really liked her a lot. She seemed to have a good head on her shoulders but had never stopped loving Jace. Maybe if I had been shown some of their times together in the past, rather than just been told how close they were, I would have had a different perspective on their relationship. As it was I just didn’t see it strong enough to withstand the time apart.
Despite my problems with Jace, as I said, it was a well written story. If it had been longer maybe I would have changed my mind about the hero but with short a short format he just didn’t work for me.
Rating: 3 out of 5