Series: Falling Fast #2
Published by Loveswept Source: Netgalley
Genres: Alpha Guy, Contemporary Romance, Love to Hate, Romance, Second Chances, Small Town Romance
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There’s no one Pax Sullivan wants to run into less than Gemma Thornton. Back in high school, she revved his heart more than street racing. But she picked his clean-cut brother over him—only to accuse Blake of an unforgivable crime. Eventually the charges were dropped and Gemma left town, but the hard feelings lingered . . . along with Pax’s gnawing “what-ifs.” Seven years later, just as he quits the police force to open a racetrack, Gemma’s back—and their chemistry is more combustible than ever.
If it were up to her, Gemma would never lay eyes on another Sullivan. She hates them, and they hate her—even Pax, who just so happens to be fixing up her father’s B&B. But the more time she spends with the lean, hard-bodied ex-cop at the inn and on the track, the more Gemma sees that Pax is nothing like his brother. Despite their anguished history, she’s tempted to take their relationship into high gear . . . if she can face the past and risk her heart.
I read the first book in this series a while back and I really enjoyed it, so it was a no brainer to pick up this book as well. I have to admit that this book had me a little concerned because it handles some tough topics, so if you have a sensitivity to situations like rape (it happened before the story starts, but it is described) then this might not be the book for you. I do think that given the subject matter, the author did a really good job handling it.
So Gemma, our heroine is back in town after a long time away. She isn’t exactly the most beloved person in town, and honestly it kind of sucks, I mean she’s a really sweet girl. But when she was in high school she was dating a guy, who was the popular guy in school and son of the sheriff, and when he date raped her and she went to the cops, well let’s just say pretty much no one was on her side. She was made out to be the worst liar, and skanky girl ever, it was really sad to read. Honestly the thing that appealed to me the most about Gemma is how authentically she is portrayed. She had this traumatic event in her past, and it causes her a lot of doubt, she wonders a lot to herself if there was something she could have done different, there are times when she sees people interacting where she yearns to be able to be normal like they are. There are definitely moments in this book where my heart breaks for her.
Pax, our hero, is an interesting character, and talk about being between a rock and hard place. His brother is the guy who raped Gemma, and at the time he and his whole family stood behind his brother. Now that Gemma is back, Pax has to admit to himself that the feelings he had for her so long ago are still there. And after spending time with her he is starting to come to the realization that maybe Gemma wasn’t lying. Pax has a lot of family issues that he has to deal with within this book, he really is the black sheep in his family, and one of the ways they keep him in line is basically by denying him access to his sister when they feel like he has done something wrong. I have to say that in spite of everything his family threatened, I was really impressed by his willingness to stand up for what was right. I liked watching him grow close to Gemma and really stand beside her, to make sure she knew how he felt about her.
I feel like you can’t talk about this story without mentioning some of the secondary characters in the book, but one in particular, Janey, Pax’s little sister. She has Down’s which has caused her family to basically prevent her from living a life of her own choosing. I thought the scenes with Pax and her were some of the best, and it was so great to see them together, and how encouraging Pax is to her.
There were a lot of things about this book I enjoyed. The pacing was just right, the build up leading to the end was really good as well. I thought the chemistry between Gemma and Pax was perfect, the ebb and flow of it was spot on, and they had some great steamy scenes as well. I would say this is a great second book to the series.