Author: Jess Buffett
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: unknown
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
After recovering from a shooting that took the lives of his best friends, Seth Hall returns to his hometown for the first time in eleven years with his two children in tow. Intent on setting up a happy, stable life for them, he vows not to allow his past to intervene with their future. That is until Jared, the boy who had broken his heart all those years ago, returns to his life a full grown man who knows exactly what he wants…Seth.
Jared Stewart thought he had lost his only chance to be with Seth after a series of misunderstandings and mistakes. When Seth finally comes home and back into Jared’s life, Jared vows to do anything it takes to keep him there. However, while Jared and Seth grow closer, they discover that not everyone is so happy for them.
Will they be finally able to make a life for themselves together? Or will they be torn apart again, by people they thought they could trust?
This book is a re-release that has been significantly extended and re-edited.
Jess Buffett was recently a guest of Prism Book Alliance. Be Sure to check out their guest post here.
Yep, I am reviewing another Second Chance Romance. You know me, I can’t get enough of them.
In Always Been You, Seth and Jared are high school best friends. While Seth was out and proud and wanted more, Jared was… not. With the help of some “friends,” their Graduation night turns into their swan song. Fast forward eleven years and tragedy has brought Seth back to his hometown. There isn’t a lot unexpected there. Pretty typical setup.
The setup itself (i.e. the prologue) was heart-wrenching. We felt Seth’s pain at the loss of his best friend. We felt the bullying from which Jared was unable to protect him and in which Jared seemed complicit. We wanted him to go and find happiness away from everyone in his hometown.
With an SCR, there is a trick the author has to overcome. The reader is usually predisposed to dislike one of the two people involved. That person then has to win over not only their love interest, but also the reader themselves in order to have a satisfactory conclusion. In this case, it was Jared we were predisposed to dislike. Jared did a pretty decent job of winning me over. He was there for Seth and the kids and was open and honest along the way. He was protective but allowed Seth the time he needed to come to grips with everything.
There was another angle working against this story for me. I am not a huge fan of men with kids stories. Maybe it is being a parent myself, but stories with kids always have to work harder for me to fall in love with them. In Always Been You, the kids were almost an afterthought. As in they could not have been there, and nothing significant would have changed in the story. They were constantly pawned off on the parents and appeared on page as little more than accessories. They weren’t characters in their own right.
Now let’s get to the villain. I would even venture to say the unnecessary and transparent villain. From very early in the story, we knew exactly what the climactic moment in the story was going to be. It was just a matter of when. I am sad to say that it played out exactly as I felt it would. There was also a little too much ease in accepting the “crazy” of the villain. It was obviously setting up Tyler to be a sympathetic character for book two where he will no doubt hook up with Cafe owner, and Seth’s new friend, Sly.
I will likely read the next book because there is something about this town that I fell a little in love with. Maybe it is was the acceptance Seth and Jared felt. Maybe it was that they both have supportive friends and families, of whom I want to see more. Maybe it is just because I need to see Seth and Jared truly happy from someone else’s point of view.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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