Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Owen Richards lives a quiet life in his small hometown of Haven’s Cove. He has a rewarding life consisting of three very supportive—not to mention feisty—women, and a successful bakery that he owns and absolutely loves. Yet, Owen can’t seem to shake this emptiness inside or the intense feeling that something is missing. A sudden encounter with a man from his past, one he despises, turns his entire world upside down. When Owen finds himself attracted to that sexy man, he questions everything, including his sanity. After all, only an incredibly disturbed person would find that he can’t stop thinking about his high school bully.
Brody Walker never expected to return to Haven’s Cove. He’s made a life for himself in Boston, where he can truly be the person he was always meant to be. But an unexpected call has Brody facing all the demons he’d left behind so long ago. Now, he’s faced with not only a difficult goodbye, but one long overdue apology to a man who is no longer that lanky kid from high school. The challenge is to convince the guy he’s changed—and also prove he’s worth taking a chance on.
When passions ignite truths are exposed, changing the beliefs these men have held on to for years. Faced with the knowledge that things aren’t always what they seem, will they choose to hold on to the incredible thing they’ve found…or is it easier to give in to the fear and let go?
I love it when I discover a new author and start a new series all while reading a book I enjoyed thoroughly. That just happened with Hard to Let Go (Haven’s Cove #1) by Jaclyn Quinn. Quinn has created a small town filled with lovely atmosphere and local flavor, enough to have started pulling home it’s young people who left for college and returned to start businesses and buy homes. Of course, other things, sadder, more angst driven events have brought them home as well.
For Brody Walker who hoped never to set foot in Haven’s Cover again, it’s to spend time with his dying mother and to hopefully find some closer for himself on his traumatic youth and childhood. He also needs to face his own past and guilt over deeds done. It’s a journey he’s not sure he can face. The author switches pov, putting us into the emotional turmoil and mental anguish that is Brody upon his return to Haven’s Cove. We feel an immediate connection to this character and his life is spread out before us like a map, showing us exactly a line from the childhood abuse to his behavior throughout his life. He’s a poignant and powerful figure.
Owen Richards has close ties to Brody. How close we find out almost upon Brody’s return to town. It’ impact upon Owen’s life pushes it out of the stagnant level it was in, especially concerning his relationship with his best friend/boyfriend Jonas into one of uncertainty, excitement and action.
I just loved all the characters here including the ones that I hope Quinn is setting up for future stories including Jonas and Gabe (not as a couple but separately). Each is looking for someone different and Gabe, Brody’s best friend, already has someone in mind, whether they want it or not.
The abuse here is brought up in memories or flashbacks but packs an emotional punch as it should. My only sorrow is that the father was never made to pay for his crimes, especially as he confessed in front of a witness. Although I’m not sure what the law says about the statute of limitations.
That being my only element of irritation, I loved everything else about this story, from the characters to the universe the author is building in Haven’s Cove to the depth of the storylines. It has everything you would want and more. I highly recommend Hard to Let Go and can’t wait for the next in the series to be released.
Cover by Cate Ashwood Designs. I just love this cover. Its both the characters and Haven’s Cove tied up together. Perfect.
Sales Links: Amazon
Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 254 pages
Published February 18th 2018
Original TitleHard to Let Go
SeriesHaven’s Cove #1