Published by HQN Books on May 26th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Rock Star, Romance
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What won't he do for a second chance?
Former model Kelly Hurley has finally put the ashes of the past behind her. After a passionate but turbulent marriage to rock star Vaughan Hurley that ended in heartbreak and divorce, Kelly rebuilt her life in Portland, where she settled so their two young daughters could be close to their father. Just not so close Kelly couldn’t truly make her own way without interference from the man who shattered her heart. Now Kelly’s finally ready to move on, and she’s planning to marry another man.
But not if Vaughan has anything to say about it.
Vaughan knows he was a fool all those years ago. A young, selfish—and prideful—fool. Even as he buried himself in the fast, decadent rock star lifestyle, he could never drown out the memory of Kelly’s beauty and love. Or the sweet, searing heat whenever they touched. For years, he’s had to deal with the pain of seeing her only because of their daughters, but it was never enough. Now Vaughan must prove that he’s the only man Kelly needs, before he loses her for good. And there’s only one way to do it….
I’ve made no secret of my new-found love for Lauren Dane. This is the third book in her Hurley Brothers series, and while it had most of what I’ve come to love from her, it was probably my least favorite of the three. Not that that makes it a bad book; I just didn’t connect with Vaughan and Kelly as much as I did Paddy & Natalie and especially Tuesday and Ezra.
There’s not a lot of drama here. Vaughan has realized how badly he screwed up eight years ago when he let Kelly get away. It took her getting engaged to someone else for him to decide he had to do something about it, which is typical, but now that he’s realized it, he’s going to do whatever it takes to get her and his family back. It’s not going to be easy; he screwed up badly when they were married, but he knows it and he’s willing to do the work. Unfortunately, not only was Vaughan not very good to Kelly when they were married, but he allowed his family to be absolutely horrible to her without repercussions, and they’re still terrible to her. He has to not only win them back, but he has to get his family to come around as well.
The parts with the family were the hardest parts for me to get my head around. We’ve come to know the Hurleys pretty well over the last few books, so I had a really hard time understanding why they were so awful to Kelly. We’ve seen bits and pieces of it over the last few books, but it’s not highlighted until this book. It couldn’t just be the divorce, because from what I can tell, they’ve been horrible to her since they met her. It didn’t make any sense to me. They couldn’t have thought she was after his money; Kelly was a supermodel when they met, and she had her own money. Even after the divorce, she kept a condo in New York so she’d have a place to stay when she was there for work, and he paid enough child support to keep the kids in private school. She hardly bled him dry. And yet Sharon Hurley called her a gold-digging whore to her face. Yes, she got pregnant quickly, but the last time I checked, Vaughan and Kelly were both involved in that process. Since the divorce, she has left New York and relocated herself and the girls to Oregon specifically so Vaughan’s family is close to his entire family. She’s never once used the girls as ammunition against Vaughan, and never kept him or his family away from them, even when it was inconvenient to her. What the hell else was she supposed to do?
For his part, Vaughan was well aware that his getting caught by Kelly getting a hand job backstage from some random groupie while Kelly was pregnant and on her way to the concert venue was the final straw for her, but he never told his family any of that. Whatever their problems with her were, he allowed them to continue thinking and speaking the worst of her for their entire relationship and never once owned up to his own culpability or told them any of the truth about what happened. Frankly I commend Kelly for even considering getting back together with him. I don’t think I could have ever forgiven someone if his mother called me a gold-digging whore and he let it happen without a word. Especially since there was no cause for it, though that wouldn’t be an excuse.
Overall, I thought Vaughan’s sins were a little too big to be forgiven. Yes, the cheating was bad enough, but that was eight years ago. But every day since then, he’s allowed his family to treat his ex-wife, the mother of his children, their nieces and grand-daughters like complete shit. To men, that’s an ongoing problem that was renewed every single day. They were both good with their girls, and I understand why Kelly would want to consider taking him back. I just didn’t buy them as a couple as much as I did the first two couples. But I’ll never not recommend a Lauren Dane book, and this one is no different, even if I enjoyed the glimpses of the other characters more than the main couple.