|AMAZON | KINDLE|
Heroine: Kara Andrews – Counselor, Sweet
Hero: Jacob Matthews – Police Officer, Broken
**I don't know of any other way to review this book properly without revealing some spoilers. Read at your own risk. I do recommend reading the first book, Love Square, first. This book is not a stand-alone.**
After the whirlwind love affair between Jacob and Sam ended in Love Square, I had been looking forward to seeing Jacob finally get his well-deserved happily ever after. The affair between Sam and Jacob was one full of cheating, lies, and heartache. Jacob lost the woman he thought was the love of his life to her husband, Aidan, who fought hard and ruthlessly to get his wife back. Now Jacob is with Brooke, who is unstable, possessive, and deceitful. Jacob isn’t exactly happy with Brooke, but he feels guilty for some things that happened, so he stays with her and tries to make it work. Then Brooke does something that shocked me to the core and destroys Jacob.
Jacob is now in a dark place, tormented by his demons. He doesn’t believe he’s capable of love and goes into a state of self-destruction. Brooke ruined and broke him. Brooke’s best friend, Kara, is there for Jacob to help him pick up the pieces in the aftermath. And in the heat of the moment one night, they have a heart-pounding, intense sexual encounter which stirs Jacob’s feelings that he’s been trying to tamp down for a while. Smart, caring, and available Kara is the only woman he’s felt strongly about since Sam, yet he refuses to let himself have her and pushes her away, breaking Kara’s heart. And… by this point, my frustration starts to simmer.
I was never a fan of the cheating between Jacob and Sam in Love Square, yet the story was captivating and kept me on the edge of my seat. I felt like I was on the crazy train – full of wild and intense emotions. I couldn’t get off that train to save my life. I liked Jacob’s character in the story; I just didn’t like him with Sam. I felt for Jacob when he and Sam split and then he was stuck with Brooke. Poor Jacob was duped and royally screwed over by Brooke, which led to his downward spiral full of loneliness, guilt, self-loathing, random women, booze, and depression. His struggle to let Sam go was sad and painful, but I grew tired of his obsession with her.
Then things become even more complicated when Jacob finds out that Brooke and Aidan successfully schemed to rip them apart. With this new information, Jacob hopes he has a second chance with Sam. (Enough already!) Or does he? My frustration and irritation with Jacob had reached boiling by this point. It was way past time for Jacob to move on – let the past go. Though difficult, he does overcome the hurt and pain and moves on with his life. It was a good turning point when Jacob changes from a self-loathing and depressing hero to a strong and self-assured hero. That’s the Jacob I craved the entire time.
Jacob’s journey to finding happiness is one full of heartbreak and agony, which made for a dramatic and angst-ridden story. While I liked the story as a whole, my frustration with Jacob’s constant state of guilt and pity parties hurt the story for me. His thoughts and feelings were repetitive and overwhelming. And I wish the romance element was more present throughout the story rather than pushed to the last 40% of the book. The lack of romance added to my already present frustration. I found the last 40% of the book to be the best part of the story. I did a happy dance when Jacob finally wins the heart of the woman who gives him his ever after.
Jessica Ingro never shies away from complicated characters and messy relationships and this is one my favorite things about her books. She’s a gifted writer indeed. She certainly knows how to write original, unpredictable stories that are full of emotion, interesting characters, and sizzling sexy times. So, even though I thought Jacob’s character was annoying for most of the story, I think fans of Love Square will like this book. I’m looking forward to seeing what Jessica Ingro comes up with next.