Series: Second Chance #2
Published by Forever on May 26th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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NOT ALL SCARS HEAL
For Donovan Pate, the lake town of Evergreen Cove is a minefield of tough memories—including the day he had to let go of Sofie Martin. Years later, he still can’t forget the taste of her lips and the feel of her killer curves. He knows he’s too damaged, that he should stay away for her own good. But what the head says and the heart wants are two very different things…
Seven years ago, Donovan broke Sofie’s heart. Now her career depends on playing nice in order to pull off the charity fundraiser of the decade. She vows to keep things professional…yet working by his side every day doesn’t make it easy to fight temptation, and it isn’t long before she finds herself falling for this bad boy all over again. But loving Donovan means helping him face his past–so they can fight for a future together.
This series is so much fun. It’s a strange word to use for this book, which starts off with such a cringe-worthy scene. Watching what Donny does to Sofie in that library was heartbreaking. He was such a jerk. I knew it was a prologue, and that the book actually started up several years down the road, but it was hard for me to imagine how Jessica Lemmon could bring him back from that.
Oh, me, of little faith. I shouldn’t have been worried. There was no chance Jessica Lemmon wouldn’t be able to bring him back. I didn’t fall in love with him as much as I did Evan from the last book, but I ended up liking him, certainly more than I was expecting to. He was such a jerk to Sofie in the beginning, both in the prologue and when he shows up at the beginning of the actual story. Sofie held her own, though. I loved that about her from the very beginning. She refuses to let Donovan bully her into doing what he wants regarding the mansion and the charity dinner she’s already planning to host there, setting up the rest of the story.
Donovan is determined to get the mansion he recently inherited from his grandmother fixed up and ready to be sold, while Sophie is planning to hold a charity dinner there, one that she’s done every year for the last several years, and one that she has a legally binding contract allowing her to host there. She and Donovan end up spending a lot more time together than either of them were comfortable with while they’re both getting the mansion ready for their respective events.
This is a much darker book than the first one in the series, Bringing Home the Bad Boy. There was some angst in that one, but it wasn’t as deeply rooted. Donovan has a barbed wire fence wrapped around his heart and his emotions due to some really awful things he went through as a child, things the grandmother who left him the mansion was a part of, and coming back to Evergreen Cove is really traumatic for him. He hates the town, and just wants to leave. He’s an asshole, not only to Sofie, but to the friends he still has there. But the more time he spends around them, with people who don’t want anything from him, who treat him like he matters, like he’s important, the more that barbed wire starts to come down. Add in a pathetic stray dog who refuses to go away, and Donovan didn’t stand a chance. I enjoyed watching him start to realize that not only could he have the things he wanted, but that he deserved to have them.
This is definitely Donovan’s story. Sofie’s not perfect, but her issues aren’t nearly as deep-rooted or as soul-crushing as Donovan’s. She doesn’t have nearly as far to go as he does. But I really liked her. She’s smart and funny and kind without being a pushover or allowing herself to be used, even by Donovan. She makes mistakes, learns from them, and moves on. She takes no shit from anyone, and doesn’t allow anyone to give themselves shit, either, unless it’s deserved. She really was the perfect person to get Donovan to come out of his shell and grab what he wanted.
I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. We’ve gotten to know Faith over the last 2 books, and we met Connor here. I have a feeling those two will be scorching together, just in time for the holidays. If you haven’t started reading Jessica Lemmon yet, get to it!