Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter
Series: The Original Heartbreakers #1
Published by Harlequin on March 31, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Just released from prison, Jase Hollister has a dark and twisted past. And now, he has only one goal: stay out of trouble. Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, sounds like the perfect place for him and his two brothers-by-circumstance to settle down and live a nice, simple life. But model citizen isn’t exactly this rugged bachelor’s default setting—especially when it comes to a certain hot-blooded Southern beauty…
Brook Lynn Dillon has always been responsible. Not that it’s done her much good. The down-on-her-luck waitress is broke, single and fun-deprived. Until Jase comes along. He is dangerous, stunningly protective, breathtakingly sexy and as tempting as sin, and the passion sizzling between them is undeniable. But can it melt her resistance? After all, the right kind of trouble might be just what they both need.
The Original Heartbreakers is a brand new contemporary romance series by Gena Showalter. I have always wanted to read her books and in fact, have several of them. But The Closer You Come was the first time I actually read one.
There is a prequel novella, The One You Want (The Original Heartbreaks #0.5) which was free on March 1 if you preordered it. So I did. I gave it 3 stars. It sets up the story but it pressed too many of my billionaire man-whore meets poor, hardworking girl buttons. As a novella, some things seemed to happen too quickly to be believable.
The Original Heartbreakers series is set in the small town of Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, where everyone knows everyone. This is a pain and a support circle. I know; I grew up in a town of about 2,000. All these hot guys have gone out in the world and are coming back, now they have made good. And they are bringing their hot, rich friends who want more of a small town / remote life home. (It can actually be much less anonymous than city life.)
The Closer You Come also features a poor, hardworking girl. Brook Lynn is smart and caring. She has a physical issue and a difficult past. Yet, she takes responsibility for her problems and keeps on fighting, doing her best with what life throws at her. She has some amazing talents which are under appreciated by those in this small town, or at least under rewarded.
Jase is the rich guy, but he is not typical. He came from a foster home AND he spent the last 10 years in prison! The people in town, other than his two childhood friends / housemates don’t know. So a badass, tatted rich guy. Somehow, this works really well. He’s not a man whore, although the women encourage him to be. He has some real issues.
I enjoyed this couple together and their struggles to have a relationship and yet not be vulnerable. I doubt that’s possible but everyone tries for it. *shrugs* Once they get their act together a bit, of course there are some twists to make it even less simple.
This new series is interesting and fun. The sex is steamy hot. I’d love to see a smart, billionaire woman get her HEA in at least one book tho. Or maybe just two everyday people who have their own interesting causes which drive their passion. This is the flawed pasts, now man-whore boys with money meet southern, sweet working girls theme. I’m reading on in the series and if you like small town romances, and /or Gena Showalter’s sexy style, give them a try.
Giggle worthy quote:
“Well.” She cleared her throat again. “Anyway. My compliments to the chef.”
“That would be Beck.”
Never would she have guessed the pretty boy had a skill that didn’t involve a mattress and a panting partner. “Did he train at the Institute of Divine Cuisine and Hellish Addiction?” Jessie Kay had often accused Brook Lynn of sneaking into classes.
“More like the Institute of That Was Fun, But Now It’s Time For You To Go.”
Nice. “You guys and your one-night stands,” she said and rolled her eyes.