BONUS REVIEW!! I remember reading this story when it first came out and I fell in love with the characters, the story and how the reality that online dating is becoming an option that people would have been afraid to admit to a decade ago. I love the way that the ladies kept it real in the blog and the way that the guys found a way to work through and win the hearts of the ladies.
Original Publication Date: Feb 18, 2015
There’s something about that one person we date in our teens but never become intimate with. Why does a sexless relationship render us unable to stop carrying that person, the what if, with us into our adult life?
For Heidi Johnson, Shane Hughes is her “one that got away.” Through the years, he has stayed in the back of her mind while she became an adult, a mother, and her own person. Meanwhile, Shane has lived a life of regret that he let Heidi go for the wrong reasons: fear and a misguided sense of not wanting to hurt either of them.
When they reconnect online, the memories they’ve tried to suppress over the years return, reigniting the feelings never explored ‘back in the day.’ Will a school reunion in their home town of London, surrounded by old school friends, help the pair address the questions the years apart left unanswered? Or will they still be left with wanting more?
I scrambled to get my thoughts straight, wishing I’d thought this meeting through better.
“Sorry.” I apologised again, bringing a small smile to her face. “I thought I had what I wanted to say clear in my mind, but the moment you walked in, it all went to shit.”
“Don’t worry about it. This is your rodeo, take your time.” I glanced at my phone. There was still a decent amount of time to catch my train.
“Thanks.” I took another deep breath to steady my nerves. “I know we spoke last night, after. . .” I trailed off, not sure how to phrase my words.
“We had a rampant fuck in a dark alley?” Heidi supplied, making me laugh.
“If you want to put it that way, fine by me.” My face began to ache from my grin, but I didn’t care. I was finally at ease and knew what I wanted to say and how to say it. “I wanted you to know that I didn’t turn up just looking to get in your knickers last night. I know I’ve flirted, some of it got pretty hardcore, but I never expected anything.”
“Look, Shane. Yeah, the flirting online got pretty intense, but if I hadn’t wanted it to continue, you know me well enough to know I’d have put a stop to it. I did go to the reunion with a purpose. I wanted to remind you exactly what you’d let go. It makes me sound big-headed and full of myself, but it made me feel good. Like you, I never even considered for one moment that we’d end up in that alley, but we did.” She paused to take a sip of her coffee.
I watched her intently, blown away by her frankness. This woman never ceased to amaze me, or make me regret my rash decision fifteen years prior.
“As I said last night, it shouldn’t have happened, but I won’t regret it. It made us both feel fantastic, and if need be, has given us some closure.”
Did I want closure? I’d told her last night that I left wanted to know how it would feel to make love to her and I hadn’t lied. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I must have thought that us having sex would, as Heidi mentioned, give us a closure on our unresolved history, but it hadn’t.
“It hasn’t for me.” I had promised myself to be open and honest with her before we parted ways once again. She maintained eye contact even though her skin was flushed with a blush that spread from her throat to her cheeks.
Amazon US ~ Amazon UK
Erin’s review can be found here
Sarah here: I missed this one coming out and I am not sure how that happened. I was excited when this review tour came in the inbox because I knew I would be able to finally read the books that I had not read already. This story was one that I fell in love with. I love second chance romances. I love the way the characters reconnected and I love how this story came together.
Original Publication Date: May 24, 2015
Born and bred in the UK, Holly is getting the chance of a lifetime—six weeks abroad. The Kings, a host family in the US, have invited her to stay with them and get a chance to experience life as an American. When she discovers that the King family includes two teenage boys, will she be glad she came or ready to hightail it back across the pond?
You know in the movies, when a girl is met off her flight by a hot guy holding up a sign with her name on it? Well, only I could miss it when it actually happens to me. That’ll teach me to look at my iPod when I walk into arrivals. There I was, the last one left waiting, feeling a bit lost when this guy taps me on the shoulder. He was fucking HUGE! I nearly peed myself and ran away—until I saw the sign in his hands. Yeah, I’m an idiot.
So . . . Tyler King . . . is fucking BEAUTIFUL! There is simply no other way to describe him. He’s gorgeous, in that big, brawny rugby player kind of way. His hair glows like a bloody neon sign saying “Hey girls, look at me” it’s so pale. I’ve never actually seen anyone with white-blond hair outside of a magazine before. Then there are his eyes . . . My knees may have actually weakened slightly. They were beautifully wide and ice blue, almost colourless, but not in a creepy way. When he looked at me it was like he could see right into my soul. Urgh, corny much?
He grabbed my case as if it were lighter than paper, while laughing at me. His voice was all deep and rumbly. I have to admit, my girly bits tingled a little.
Maybe I can make the most of these six weeks.
Sitting in his beast of a car was kind of awkward. He chatted away to me, mainly taking the piss out of my accent and my height. He actually called me dinky! The cheek of it. Then he told me all about the school I’ll be going to, giving me the lowdown on all the teachers and stuff like that. I really didn’t know what to say without sounding like a total airhead. Eventually I stopped even trying to respond to him and spent the rest of the drive gazing at him sneakily out of the corner of my eye while he bopped his head to a song I’ve never heard of.
We arrived at his huge house. When I say huge, I mean it was like a fucking palace, especially compared to our crappy three bedrooms back home. The King house is all white and postcard worthy. The inside is just as amazing, like something out of that American makeover show where they rebuild houses from scratch, and I cry every single time I watch it.
This story made me feel like I was back in high school. While I was never an exchange student, I could relate to Holly. The way that she thought about the brothers of the family she was staying with, the way that she was treated as an exchange student, and the way that she came to know herself and what she wanted. This really was a coming of age story in my opinion. I really enjoyed this romance.
Original Publication Date: July 1, 2015
Ava Jones has settled for a life that she’s not sure she wants anymore, but won’t admit it. Her best friend, Erica Davidson talks her into taking a break on the Isle of Wight. Her days on the island are spent thinking things through, and arguing with Morgan whom she hates on principal.
Is it so wrong for her to want a life that follows the script of a honest to God romance film?
We tried for a couple of years to have children, but it never happened. After many serious discussions, we decided to give up on the idea altogether. That was when we bought our first fur baby: a beautiful Collie cross called Rhea. She was our little girl, and we both doted on her. We assuaged our guilt over our mutual neglect by caring for Rhea, devoting our attention to another living being rather than to each other. The puppies, Remus and Romulus, soon joined her, and our “family” was complete.
For as long as I’d known him, Marcus had played Sunday League football, which was followed by an afternoon with his teammates at the very pub I was now approaching. Coupled with training one evening a week, his evenings out gave me more than enough time to spend with Erica or at home with the dogs.
“Have you thought any more about that holiday I mentioned?” Erica asked while we claimed our usual table. Our customary bottle of red wine was already ready and waiting for us.
“I have . . .” My words drifted away when I thought back to her idea of a girlie getaway on the Isle of Wight. Just as its name suggested, the top-class Lakeside Hotel with attached spa was located right next to a beautiful lake. Bliss.
“And? Why the hesitation?” Erica pushed like she always did, her blue eyes flashing once more as she looked into my brown ones.
The idea of a real getaway caused the blonde hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, but I tried to rein my excitement in. “I don’t know. It sounds amazing, and Lord knows I could do with some time away.”
“Do it, then.”
I knew I had enough holiday time available at work. Screw it.
“Let’s do it.”
Amazon US ~ Amazon UK
This was previously reviewed here
That being said, it was nice to re-read this story and remember why I enjoy reading M.B. Fenney’s work.