“Tell me a happy something, Sutton.”
I was only seven the first time Grady Bowen whispered those words to me. Cloaked by the black sky under a blanket of stars, it was easy to get lost. He didn’t have any good memories of his own, and needed to borrow mine. I’d willingly give him anything.
Being infatuated with that boy was a beautiful curse. What could have been special didn’t get the chance to bloom. He’d never see me as more than his best friend’s kid sister. That was a hard lesson to learn, but not the most difficult.
Grady had always been struggling against the odds. Eventually he quit fighting and let his family’s reputation own him. Try as I might, those influences were beyond my reach.
He didn’t mean to break my heart. Or maybe he did. I shouldn’t have made it so easy for him. Either way, our wrongs against each other carved new lines between us.
I went four years without seeing Grady—each one more painful than the last. That distance did nothing to dull my feelings toward him. But things are different now. Most noticeably is Grady. I barely recognize this man he’s become. And that’s the way he intends to keep it. Not that it really matters.
Grady Bowen stopped being my happy something long ago.
✔️Older brother’s best friend ✔️Small town, country romance ✔️Broody, broken hero
✔️Sweet, genuine heroine ✔️Gut-wrenching feels ✔️Total standalone
Romance | New Adult | Contemporary
*** Received an Advanced Readers Copy through GiveMeBooksPR for blog tour in exchange for honest review***
Well you guys know I love me some Sibling/Best Friend Romances and this is definitely no exception – when I saw the synopsis for a troubled dynamic of a brooding male lead and an innocent female love interest who happens to be the little sister of the best friend, yes please and thank you! Sign me up.
Speaking of the little sister, Sutton was interesting. I enjoyed her innocent, sweetly naive personality, though at many points did unfortunately seemed awkward and many angles, honestly forced. But nonetheless, she was easy to like from the readers perspective. She was very forgiving, kind and just down right adorable; though this normally is something I cannot connect with, which in fact I couldn’t really connect with Sutton, I still couldn’t help but appreciate her perspective. It was nice. Then we have Grady. Grady was the typical brooding, troubled piece of man meat that we see so often in these genres, oh how I love it! He was conflicted with both being worthy for human interactions, more importantly accepting the attention from Sutton, but also realizing that he was worth something in general. He came from a troubled background, this conveyed throughout on how he treated himself, Sutton and others around him. I will admit though my only issue, before getting to the romance itself was that Grady had this troubling past and though I felt there were bases covered on what to expect from how he reacted to some interactions, but honestly, I would have liked more background of his situation. I felt it was really skimmed, creating kind of a plot hole on his entire dynamic.
In term of the gushingly delicious romance, I did enjoy a lot of Grady and Sutton. At the beginning, Sutton was younger and was saving herself for Grady, which I feel is always a great romance angle for these types of tropes, it always gives a special tension to their sexual chemistry. But honestly, I really loved how Sutton and Grady reconnected years later – swoon me more please and thank you! They had a very sweet, caring, very understanding emotional connection, and obviously the passion was delicious, that is a given, especially considering the years of their separation. I will admit though, when it did come to the point of them really crossing the line between friendship to romantic entanglement, there was a smidge of lack luster for me. Personally, after all the push and pull between these two characters I felt like Grady really caved into the romance more than flowing together. At one point it was as if they were playing cat and mouse then boom, I am in love – don’t get me wrong, I am all for insta-anything, but this was definitely a huge build up to almost mediocre derail. Really wished the connection that was so adamant had stayed in tack as they crossed that line…
Probably my biggest irk, really the main thing aside from the small mention in the romance development was the constant hits towards Grady from the town. I mean, I get the added drama factor which played into his bad boy, troubled background, but it was almost too much, too overwhelming towards the plot. There was main specific development that honestly bothered me to the point I wanted to throw the book – it was extremely misplaced, horribly misplaced and not very well written. I understood the drama, I liked it, but it could have been differently executed.
Overall, exciting read; it was quick, enjoyable, very entertaining on the drama regardless of how I felt with how random some of it was, it was still stimulating, and fun read overall. I really enjoyed the romance between Grady and Sutton. They had a very passionate relationship, one that was obviously years in the making, so there was some great tension, and tension is always what sends me in a tizzy. Aside from some of my other personal pet peeves again, I thought it was a good read. I am going to have to check out more Harloe Rae in the future.