Wade Bennett is used to coming in second to his seemingly perfect older brother. In high school, Colt was a star linebacker while Wade was the punter, an important job without all of the glory. When Charlene Martinez—the only girl Wade ever truly wanted—fell for Colt, Wade decided to take his chances with music and went on the road. Leaving behind his family, his best friend, Rafe, and Charlene, who had feelings for Wade she never allowed herself to feel.
Years in Nashville quickly hardened the dreamy guy who just wanted to sing and hang out with his dog. His success has given him more than enough money, even if he knows he’ll never be able to compete with his hometown hero big brother. But after Coach Carr’s heart attack, Wade comes home to help the man who helped him make the decision to chase his dreams all those years ago.
Now Wade wants to chase a new dream in his old hometown, especially since Charlene is single again after divorcing Colt. And Wade is no longer a boy unwilling to fight for what—and who—he needs.
This was either his worst idea or his best mistake. There was no way it could be anything but a disaster on some level.
I love Cari Quinn’s books. Whenever I’m in the mood for a romance that has a great story and manages to pack in the feels right along smoking hot sex, she’s my go to. The woman does angsty and does it well. But her straight contemporary are just as great. I haven’t read a book by her I haven’t loved yet, and this was no exception. I was intrigued the second I read the blurb. Childhood friends, unrequited romance, wanting your brother’s ex wife; consider me sold.
She’d told herself she’d never take a chance again, and she’d kept that promise. Only Wade made her want to break the rules. To test the boundaries.
The last place that Wade Bennett wants to come back to is the small town that he grew up in. Now a successful country star, he wasn’t always the star of the show. Growing up in the shadow of his older brother, he’s used to coming in second both on the football field and in love. When his brother started dating the girl that he fell in love with when he was just a small boy, he knew that he needed to leave. The fact that his brother later married her ensured that he also stayed away. But a call from his childhood best friend letting him know that their beloved high school football coach had a heart attack and needs them, he knows that he’s going to come back to help. He’s no longer the boy living in is brother’s shadow, and his childhood love is no longer married to his brother. If ever there was a time to make his move, this is it.
Charlene Martinez may have married the older Bennett brother, but unbeknownst to them both she’s always been in love with Wade. Unfortunately Wade had always placed her firmly in the friend zone. Any hope that she may have had after one stolen kiss back in high school, shattered the very next day when Wade moved away. But now Wade is back, and no matter how hard she tries to resist, if the boy was tempting to her, the man is downright irresistible.
In a small town where everyone knows each others business, can these two keep the heat between them under wraps? Can they finally make things between them work? Guess you’ll have to read to find out.
I really enjoyed this book. I loved that Charlene actually had an amicable divorce and was so friendly with her ex husband. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t feel guilty about being with Wade, but Cari handled this plot line very well. Charlene and Wade definitely burned up the pages together. This author knows how to write one steamy as hell scene. I love books with the small town element, so of course this one really fit the bill for me. Between all the secondary characters and the story I never once found myself bored. I also loved how she managed to work in a guest appearance by Gray and Jaz from Twisted. That was a huge highlight of the book for me.
As much as I enjoyed it, it was also just missing a certain something to bring it up to a solid 4 stars for me. I can’t really place my finger on exactly what it was, but there was just a missing oomph. I loved the story and the characters, but at the same time I had no problems setting the book down. I wasn’t ever bored, but it just failed to grip me as much as Cari’s other books have. Nonetheless it was still a fantastic read and one I’d recommend to any lovers of contemporary romance. A perfect afternoon read with just the right amount of steam and story.