on December 16th 2017
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He’s my brother’s best friend.
Back in high school, I gave him my heart. He broke it and left to join the Army.
Now he’s at my brother’s house for our family Christmas. I know I should run, go back home before I let Carson hurt me again. But I can’t disappoint my brother’s kids by leaving.
He’s still gorgeous and arrogant, but the pain in his eyes draws me in.
I can’t resist him. This sizzling attraction is stronger than ever.
Every stolen kiss, every secret rendezvous just makes me fall deeper for him. We’re sneaking around my brother’s house like teenagers, hot and breathless.
But something’s wrong—he keeps pushing me away, wrestling his own demons from the war—I want to be there for him and make him forget everything else but us. What if he won’t let me?
Maybe this is my chance to be naughty for Christmas. Or maybe he’s the answer to all my dreams.
I don’t even know where to start with this, only that this infuriating read exemplified everything wrong with the second-chance romance trope and why it rarely works for me.
The brother’s best friend thing is one that I generally like to jump on, but in this case, I found myself wrestling with every page and all of the characters for being weak in a way or another before I just couldn’t carry on.
Let’s just say that sheer hypocrisy of Carson was stunning. Having broke up with Amelia ten years ago to join the army for the sake—a decision he made all on his own—of not hurting her should he come back dead, proclaims that he has never loved anyone but her…yet managing to whore his way through tons of women because they were never permanent. And if my reasoning’s correct here, he’d loved Amelia so much that he broke up with her, but didn’t mind taking up with another woman and even having a child with her, because he presumably loved her way much less?
All this obviously, was blamed on PTSD—the condition of the century that so many books seem to make light of—that is supposed to be the sole reason why such behaviour should be condoned, understood, swept under the carpet and easily forgiven.
But Carson and Amelia met nonetheless, (he didn’t die, after all, did he, except to return with a boatload of issues), with him in an even worse state, still self-righteously justifying his decision of having left Amelia and not deserving anything more than a few nights of passion with her. Keeping his daughter a secret as well, simply added onto the pile of unforgivable sins that he’d racked up in my mile-long tally.
Amelia, on the other hand, seemed to have lost every vertebra in her spine the moment she saw the man who’d broken her heart. Either that, or she could be next in line for the next saintly canonisation.
Somehow the decade of pain and loss and hurt didn’t matter the moment he came into view and when I expected her to resist him, all she could do was to blush and fall in his arms because he was good-looking and tender and affectionate, apart from the outbreaks of PTSD. Not only did she have a problem with taking Carson to task for his presumptuous behaviour – every action is forgivable and glossed over – but his hot-cold-manner to her simply just left her determined to coddle up to him who’d done nothing but treated her like dirt.
Not a book for me, obviously, and my rating clearly reflects a blood pressure I’m still trying to keep down after skimming the pages because this simply falls way far beyond the definition of romance in my head.