Love, Again by L.P. Dover

Love, Again by [Dover, L.P.]

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: April 9th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Where you can find Love, Again: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

Book synopsis:

Sometimes all you need is a second chance.

“L. P. Dover knows how to create the men who make us swoon, the book boyfriends we all want.”—New York Times bestselling author Heidi McLaughlin

Aubrey Reynolds is a small-town girl who’s made it big. A successful Hollywood director, Aubrey doesn’t have time to linger on what could have been. But when a routine blood test comes back with a false positive, she decides to take some time off to do the things she’s always wanted to do: taste the famous chocolate chip cookies at the Minnesota State Fair, hike the Grand Teton National Park, scuba dive in the Caribbean. But after Aubrey admits to herself what she’s really missing, she heads back home to Dusty Valley, Oklahoma . . . and the man she left behind.

Cole Haywood is a small-town fireman and that’s just fine with him. Sure, when the love of his life left their hometown to chase her dreams he was heartbroken and—he’ll admit—damn mad. But Cole would have never forgiven himself if he had held Aubrey back from success. So the last thing he expects after all these years is to walk into his favorite bar one night and find the girl he’s always loved—there—looking for him. Maybe now’s the time to make his dreams come true. 

Love, Again is about how a love lost can be revived. Aubrey left Cole behind when she moved to Hollywood to pursue her dream of being a successful director. Ten years, go by and Aubrey has never forgotten Cole. Then a misdiagnosis puts everything into focus. Aubrey puts her career on hold to follow her bucket list. The list includes going back to Oklahoma and making amends with Cole. Can Cole forgive Aubrey? Will they make amends? Will they revive their relationship?

I so needed to read Love, Again. I needed to read a book with a simple plot. The last few books I have read have had plots that were all over the place. So, reading a book that was focused only on one thing was terrific. It was a balm for my brain.

I liked that Love, Again was a second chance romance. Out of all the genres/troupes, second chance romances is in my top 5. I love reading about characters who get back together after being separated for years. I like seeing those characters reconnect. Audrey and Cole was no exception.

I liked Aubrey. I did think that she was too chill about certain things (like her misdiagnosis). I loved her bucket list. There were a few things on there that I want to do. She didn’t come across as a typical Hollywood person. She seemed genuine to the people that she met. I didn’t understand how she could leave Cole a month before the wedding. That was the only time I thought she was selfish. But, when it was revealed why she left and who was behind it, then I understood. My feelings about her being selfish went away, and I pitied her. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I did like Cole, but I didn’t get as good as a connection to him. His chapters were introduced rather late in the book. Don’t get me wrong; he was excellent for Aubrey. I felt that something was missing on my end. I wish I could explain it. But I can’t.

Love, Again was a perfect fit into the romance category. Being a second chance romance, I didn’t have an issue with Cole and Aubrey falling in love . Usually, I would be screaming “Instalove,” but in this case, it wasn’t. Aubrey and Cole had a history. They knew they were soulmates. So, yeah, I had no issue with them saying the “L” word as soon as they did in the book.

Aubrey and Cole’s romance was relatable to me. They were soul mates that separated. It did take them ten years, but once they got back together, it was almost like they were never apart. Their love for each other came off the pages.

The sexual tension and chemistry between Aubrey and Cole were steaming hot. From the minute they saw each other, I could see the zings. The author did have them have sex shortly after they saw each other. Again, something that would bother me, but in this case, it didn’t. The sex was red hot. The author was able to keep the sexual tension going, which made every single sex scene amazing.

I did have a small complaint. If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, then you know how I feel about the characters having unprotected sex. I know that Aubrey and Cole were soulmates but to go bareback after ten years? Yeah, no thank you.

I did have the ending figured out. I had it figured out when Aubrey and Cole went to Turk and Caicos. Of course, I liked how the book ended up. It was the ultimate HEA. But I thought that Aubrey took an unnecessary risk cliff jumping. The epilogue was my favorite part of the book. I was hoping for an Emilia/Bennet book, but from what I read, that isn’t happening.

The author did a fantastic job at wrapping up all the plotlines in Love, Again. There was no lag in the plot. All the storylines were wrapped up, which meant that there were no dropped storylines or characters. I liked that the author took events that happened at the beginning of the book and tied it in to the end. For some reason, that made me happy.

I would give Love, Again an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Love, Again. I would recommend it to family and friends.

I would like to thank the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Love, Again.

All opinions stated in this review of Love, Again are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Have you read Love, Again?

What are your feelings on it?

Second chance romances?

Love them or hate them?

Let me know!!

Hard Stick (Breakaway: Book 1) by L.P. Dover

Title: Hard Stick

Author: L.P. Dover

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: June 13th, 2017

Genre: Suspense, Romance

Number of pages: Unknown

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: Breakaway

Hard Stick – Book 1

Blocked – Book 2 (expected publication date: October 31st, 2017)

Where you can find Hard Stick: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

He carries a big stick. And he’s not afraid to use it.

On the ice, I’m Kellan Carter, powerhouse enforcer for the Charlotte Strikers. Off the ice, I’m just a regular guy. The last thing I want is to get mobbed by a bunch of groupies who are only after me for my fame and money. My ideal woman knows how to enjoy a little good, clean fun—and maybe some not-so-clean fun too. That’s the kind of girl I’d never let go.

When Kristen Robinson, the gorgeous, down-to-earth bartender I’ve been crushing on, agrees to let me take her out, I’m thrilled. We have an amazing night together, culminating in the most electrifying kiss of my life—and that’s it. Kristen tells me we can’t see each other again, but I know that kiss meant as much to her as it did to me. What I don’t know is that Kristen has a dangerous secret. . . .

I’ve proved to Kristen that she can trust me with her body and her heart. But when her past comes back to haunt her, I need to prove that she can trust me with her life. And I might have to get my hands dirty after all.

My review:

I had to sit back for a few minutes after reading this book because it totally is not what I expected. From the cover (which I am definitely not complaining about, I love abs) and the blurb, I thought it was going to be a light romance centered around hockey. And you know what, I was going to be OK with that because I have read and reviewing some pretty heavy books lately. Instead, I read a book that took me in the other direction. Now, I am not complaining about it (see my rating at the end of the review) but man, I wish that there was more of a hint in the blurb. Because this book is so much more than a hockey romance. I am going to add suspense and intrigue to my tags and to the genre group above.

I felt awful for Kristen. She had a boyfriend who was obsessed with her. He had people watching her and if her best friend, Cole, would come over….he would show up. She was crippled with fear until the night where she decided, with Cole’s help, that she was leaving. And then the unthinkable happened. The boyfriend ran Cole off the road when he was on his motorcycle….killing him. That’s when she disappeared and the FBI, who was aware of her boyfriend but couldn’t pin anything on him, put her in the witness protection program and then faked her death so she could be free….once and for all. Now, if that had happened to me, I would have issues with men and trust. Which she did but still.

I liked Kellan. He was just an ordinary guy. Well, ordinary if you consider that he was the captain of the Charlotte Strikers and was a buff, badass with a temper. What I liked was that he was 100% believable as the hero of this story. He was an ordinary guy who got the girl, learned her secrets and vowed to protect her. He was so alpha male, it wasn’t even funny and I loved it. I also liked that his issues were more true to life than the other books that I have read. His mother and himself had bad blood and guess what, she deserved his hate. Normally, you wouldn’t hear me say that but that woman was unbelievable. She did come through for him, though, when it counted and I guess that matters (still don’t like her).

The romance part of this book was off the chart. The chemistry between Kristin and Kellan was burning hot and when they did have sex, it burned a hole in my Kindle. Just kidding, but if it had been real, there would have been smoke coming off the sheets. When the romance turned to love (no Instalove here, it took a month or so), poor Kristin fought it so hard. Kellan didn’t and I liked that. He was one with his feelings but Kristin, understandable, wasn’t.

I also couldn’t get enough of the storyline with Kristin’s ex. He had to have been the slimiest, disgusting character that I have ever read. I will admit that I did guess about his connection to Kellan. I actually guessed it pretty early in the book, when they started dating. But it didn’t take away from the book. I will also say that he, the ex, got what was coming to him and I cheered when everything went down.

I loved the ending and yes, I ugly cried through it.

I can’t wait until I read Blocked (I just got the e-ARC from NetGalley). It is going to be Dallas’s story and I hope that it is as good as Kellan’s.

My questions for the next book:

Will Dallas get a girlfriend?

Will we see more of Kellan and Kristin?

What about the skating rink, will there be more scenes there?

How many stars will I give Hard Stick: 4

Why: Great storyline and great characters. I was a bit surprised that this was more romantic suspense than romantic sports but it did not take away from how good the book was

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex, violence, and language

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**