Back to You by Lauren Dane
Series: Hurley Brothers #3
Also in this series: The Best Kind of Trouble, Broken Open
Published by HQN Books
Publication Date: June 1st 2015
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
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What won't he do for a second chance?
Former model Kelly Hurley has finally put the ashes of the past behind her. After a passionate but turbulent marriage to rock star Vaughan Hurley that ended in heartbreak and divorce, Kelly rebuilt her life in Portland, where she settled so their two young daughters could be close to their father. Just not so close Kelly couldn't truly make her own way without interference from the man who shattered her heart. Now Kelly's finally ready to move on, and she's planning to marry another man.
But not if Vaughan has anything to say about it.
Vaughan knows he was a fool all those years ago. A young, selfish—and prideful—fool. Even as he buried himself in the fast, decadent rock-star lifestyle, he could never drown out the memory of Kelly's beauty and love. Or the sweet, searing heat whenever they touched. For years, he's had to deal with the pain of seeing her only because of their daughters, but it was never enough. Now Vaughan must prove that he's the only man Kelly needs, before he loses her for good. And there's only one way to do it…
This is a great reunited lovers story. Vaughn and Kelly were everything I’d hoped they’d be from the glimpses we had of them in previous books. The timeline of this book runs parallel to Broken Open, the 2nd book in the series. There isn’t a lot of overlap, however. Just enough to see certain scenes from a different perspective, but not enough to make me feel like I was reading the same story twice.
Vaughn and Kelly loved each other deeply once upon a time. Then Vaughn screwed it all up and Kelly left him. She’s been a wonderful mother to their two girls, and made sure he had a much access to them as possible given his schedule, but she’s mainly avoided him and his family, who blamed her for their separation (something he hasn’t ever bothered to correct). Vaughn is man enough to admit he never stopped loving Kelly, but it isn’t until she gets engaged to someone else that he realizes he isn’t ready to let her go. He’s going to fight for her – for them.
Kelly let Vaughn in once, and he broke her heart. She can’t deny she still has feelings for him, but she doesn’t trust him not to break her again. Until suddenly he’s back in her life, admitting he was the one who ruined everything and trying to make things right. She wants to resist him, but this Vaughn isn’t the man she knew before. He’s stronger, steadier and sexier than ever. Kelly doesn’t want to give Vaughn her heart, but she isn’t sure she can resist. Not when he’s determined to bust through her walls.
Vaughn didn’t impress me in the previous books, and he wasn’t shown in a very favorable light once the details of his past came to light in this book. But it was clear he’d grown and matured, and I really came to love him. His determination to right his past wrongs and prove to Kelly he was the man she needed him to be was admirable and sexy. He was a wonderful father, a loving brother and son, and great husband material.
Kelly was a strong woman who was understandably gunshy. Her fierce protection of her children and her determination to let them grow up with as much family near as possible was lovely to read about. Too often the ex-wife (even when she’s the heroine of the story) keeps her kids away from her former in-laws, but Kelly did her best to keep them involved. Considering her former mother-in-law’s extreme dislike of her, this was no easy task. That’s the theme for Kelly, though; doing things that are hard because they need to be done. I had a lot of admiration for her.
There was a good amount of anger, frustration and sadness between them, which really came across well. My heart hurt for the both of them. I wanted to see Vaughn man-up and do right by Kelly, but I understood why he held back so long. Similarly I wanted Kelly to forgive Vaughn and let him back in, but I understood her wariness. They had chemistry in spades, though, and I truly felt their love for one another.
An intoxicating tale of love and second chances. The secondary characters add flavor and excitement without overshadowing the romance.
4 out of 5