Can't Let Go (Love in the Balance, #1.5) by Jessica Lemmon
Series: Love in the Balance #1.5
Publisher: Forever Yours
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Can't Let Go is a PREQUEL novella to Hard to Handle, a "before" the happily ever after...
A LOVE IN THE BALANCE NOVELLA
AN INSTANT SPARK Sadie Howard would never admit there's such a thing as love at first sight, but she can't deny the connection between her and sexy Adonis Aiden Downey. She also can't deny she loves to kiss him-his mouth might be his most precious asset. Despite every promise to herself not to get involved any deeper than a first date, she can't keep from seeing more of Aiden . . . in more ways than one.
Aiden Downey had no idea the hot blonde from the club would trigger his protective, gentle nature, but the moment she drops her guard and he sees the real Sadie Howard, he's a goner. When a family crisis puts the brakes on their budding romance, can Aiden find a way to hold on to her? Or will he lose the best thing in his life just as quickly as he found her? 25,000 words
This novella is, in many ways, an addendum to Book I in this series, Tempting the Billionaire in which readers are introduced to Shane August’s cousin, Aiden Downey, and Crickett Day’s best friend, Sadie Howard. Readers are aware that Aiden and Sadie met the same night and under the same set of circumstances as Shane and Crickett, but this novella is where the author has fleshed out that encounter and gives the reader a far more complete understanding of Aiden and Sadie as people, their histories and their emotional baggage, and the unusual connection that grew up between them very quickly. They may be lovers in the making, but the reader is fully aware that both Aiden and Sadie are hampered by significant happenings from the past and while they acknowledge that each has brought a totally different slant on relationship to their encounters, there is some deeper challenges awaiting them.
This short work is really about choices: whether to allow the past to control, how to determine priorities in difficult circumstances, how to treasure the opportunities life gives us for loving and for the enrichment that comes when we engage in relationships that are full and satisfying. Both Aiden and Sadie are “driven” in their own way–Sadie is a marketing and sales whiz and Aiden has pretty much succeeded in whatever he chooses. Yet life has some tough surprises for these two, and reading this prequel to the next full novel in this series will make for some far greater understanding of why these two must navigate some very troubled waters before it is all through.
Ms Lemmon has done a masterful job in telling a well developed story in few words, having given readers multi-dimensional characters whose experiences reek of reality, whose pain and disappointment is palpable and readily felt, and engaging the imagination of the reader so fully that when the end comes it is a surprise and the kind of happening that will propel the reader into the next book. This novella is not intended to complete Aiden and Sadie’s story. That comes in the next book. It is, however, an opportunity for readers to become better acquainted with these two fascinating people and to delve more deeply into how they think and make decisions and choices, how they feel about themselves and others. And mistakes . . . boy, can Aiden and Sadie make some doozies. Yet this is the stuff of living, of human experience, and these two must learn as they go along, just as we all must.
I think this is a wonderful novella, and those who know me know that novellas don’t usually rank very high for me for a variety of reasons. But Ms Lemmon has demonstrated that this short work is not beyond her ability to do and do well. It’s a must read as far as I am concerned. I give it a rating of 4.25 out of 5.
You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.