New York Times bestselling author Lorelei James kicks-off her Want You Series with a Lund family cousin hot enough to melt the ice and mend a broken heart.
Former NHL star Jaxson Lund has returned to the Twin Cities, but he's at loose ends, unsure if he belongs at Lund Industries, or where he stands with Lucy, his ex-girlfriend and mother of his daughter, Mimi. Despite the signs she'd like to leave him in the penalty box, the attraction burning between them reinforces his determination to prove that he deserves a second chance...
Lucy Quade is in a good place with a steady job, a nice apartment, and a well-adjusted daughter, which is why she's hesitant when Jax insists on co-parenting. It's not that Lucy doesn't trust Jax...she's just unconvinced he can handle multiple responsibilities when he's been singularly focused on playing hockey. But when issues arise with Mimi, Lucy's shocked at how levelheaded and paternal he acts, giving her a glimpse of the Jax she used to know, the sexy, sweet man she fell for years ago.
Once Lucy lets her guard down, Jax goes all in to show her how good they are together, but will their past remain too large an obstacle to ever overcome?
About the Author
Lorelei James is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Need You Series, the Blacktop Cowboys series, and the Mastered series. Her books have won the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, as well as the CAPA Award.
Read an Excerpt
"Mommy. What time will Daddy get here?"
Whenever the hell he feels like it.
Not an answer I could give my precocious eight-year-old daughter, even when it was the truth. "He said after six. Since it's now six fifteen, he'll be here at any moment."
Mimi sighed heavily. Then she kicked her legs up and hung upside down from the back of the chair, balancing on her hands. It was obvious to everyone she inherited her natural athleticism from her father. Embarrassingly I was one of those people who trip over their own feet . . . and everyone else's.
"You sure that hanging like a monkey in a tree won't upset your stomach?" I asked her. "Or give you a headache? I'd hate for you to miss an overnight with your dad."
"I have to practice so being upside down doesn't make me sick," she replied with another sigh, as if I should've already known that.
"Ah. So what are you practicing for this week?"
"It's between a trapeze artist or an ice skater. If I decide to have a partner I'll have to be used to being upside down."
Last month Mimi wanted to be an astronaut. The month before that a dolphin trainer. While I've always told her that she can be whatever she wants to be when she grows up, it's exhausting finding an activity that holds her attention. After spending money on dance lessons, gymnastics classes, martial arts classes, T-ball, soccer club, fencing, swim team, tennis lessons, golf lessons and horseback riding lessons, I'd put my foot down and said no new organized activities. If none of those worked then she needed to wait until she was older to try others.
Still, I feared she'd play the guilt card and I'd find myself buying tickets to the circus, a Cirque du Soleil show or a Disney on Ice program. Or . . . maybe . . .
"I'm sure your dad would love to take you to a performance." Not really dirty pool-Mimi's father, Jaxson Lund, was a member of the billionaire Lund family as well as a highly paid former pro hockey player, so money had never been an issue for him. And there was nothing he loved more than humoring Mimi's requests, even if it was to alleviate the guilt that he'd missed being a regular presence in her life for most of her life.
The doorbell pealed and Mimi squealed, "I'll get it!" twisting her lithe little body sideways from the chair to land lightly on her feet, agile as a cat.
I heard her disengage the locks and yell, "Daddy! I thought you'd never get here."
He laughed. That sweet indulgent laugh he only had for our daughter. "I missed you too, Mimi."
"I got my stuff all packed. I'm ready to go now."
Without saying good-bye to me? That stung. But I sucked it up and started toward the entryway.
"Sure. Just let me get the all clear from your mom first."
Then Jaxson Lund and I nearly collided as we turned the corner simultaneously.
His big hands circled my upper arms to steady me.
I had to tilt my head back to look at him as he towered over me by almost a foot.
It was unfair that my ex actually looked better now than he did when he and I met a decade ago. His dark hair was shorter-no more long locks befitting the bad-boy defenseman of the NHL. No scruffy beard, just the smooth skin of his outlandishly square jaw and muscled neck. His eyes were clear, not bloodshot as I'd usually seen them, making those turquoise-hued eyes the most striking feature on his face . . . Besides that damn smile. Hockey players were supposed to have teeth missing from taking a puck or two hundred to the face. I knew Jax had a partial, but he'd never removed it when we were together. The lips framing that smile were both soft and hard. Druggingly warm and soft when pressed into a kiss, but cold and hard when twisting into a cruel sneer. A sneer I'd been on the receiving end of many times.
That shook me out of my musings about Jax's amazing physical attributes.
Jax had called me Luce from the first-a joke between us because I warned him I wasn't loose and wouldn't sleep with him on the first date. An inside joke made me feel special-he made me feel special-until I realized Jaxson Lund used that killer smile and those gorgeous twinkling eyes as a weapon on every woman he wanted to bang the boards with; there wasn't anything special about me.
I forced a smile. "Jaxson. How are you?"
He retreated at my cool demeanor and dropped his hands. "I'm fine. You're looking well."
And people thought we couldn't be civil to each other. "Thanks. You too."
"Anything I should know before Meems and I take off?"
Meems. He'd given our daughter another nickname, even when Mimi was already the shortened version of Milora Michelle. "Nothing worth mentioning. She's been looking forward to this all week."
Those beautiful eyes narrowed. "So don't disappoint her, right?"
"Luce. I'm not-"
"Daddy, come on. Are we goin' or what?" Mimi demanded.
"We're goin', impatient one." Jaxson hauled her up and cocked her on his hip with seemingly little effort, because his eyes never left mine. "We can do the switch back at the Lund Industries thing on Sunday afternoon?"
"You'll be there?"
"I work there, remember?"
In the past six months since Jax had joined the family business, I'd hardly seen him hustling around the building in a suit and tie, so I had no idea what his actual job title was. As far as I could tell, he didn't "work" there like I did. Sunday's event was a retirement party for a woman I doubted he knew personally. "I'm surprised. I wasn't aware that you knew Lola."
"The poor woman was tasked with getting me up to speed on all departments when I started at LI. I'd still be aimlessly wandering the halls if not for her."
"Lola will be missed, that's for sure. So if you want to bring Mimi's things on Sunday, that'll work. I planned on going for the two hours."
"Sounds like a plan. Speaking of . . . what are your plans for the weekend?"
None of your business. "Oh, this and that. Mimi has more things planned for you two than you could fit into two weeks, say nothing of two days."
His dark eyebrow winged up. "Now I'm taking that as a personal challenge."
Mimi held her arms out for a hug. "Bye, Mommy."
"Bye, wild one. Behave, okay?"
"Promise to call me tomorrow sometime."
She sighed heavily. "I'd call you all the time if I had my own cell phone."
I chuckled. "Nice try. Use Daddy's phone. Or Grandma Edie's."
"But all of my friends have iPhones."
"Eight-year-olds do not need a cell phone." I sent Jaxson a stern look as a reminder not to swoop in and buy her one just because he could. Then I kissed her cheek. "Love you, Mimi."
"Love you too."
Jaxson gathered Mimi's stuff with her chattering away at him like she always did. I wondered how much of it he paid attention to.
Not my concern. I'd had to learn to let go of a lot of my issues with Jaxson's parenting style since he'd returned permanently to Minneapolis.
I waved good-bye and locked the door behind them.
As I readied myself for my first date with Damon, my thoughts scrolled back to the first time I'd met Jaxson Lund a decade ago . . .
I'd left work early to take my mother to the doctor. After I'd dropped her off at her place, I pulled into one of those super fancy deluxe car washes that offered one-hour detailing inside and out. Winter in the Twin Cities meant tons of road salt and freeway grime, and my poor car needed TLC. Not that my Toyota Corolla was anything fancy, but it'd been a major purchase for me after I'd graduated from college. My first new car, and I took good care of it.
With an hour to kill, I grabbed a magazine and a Diet Mountain Dew. The lobby wasn't jam-packed with other customers-which was a total contradiction to the lines of cars outside-but I embraced the quiet for a change and settled in.
My alone time lasted about five minutes. A guy blew in-the wind was blustery, but not nearly as blustering as the man yakking on his cell phone at a thousand decibels.
"Peter. I told you I'm happy to stay at the same salary." Pause. "Why? Because a salary freeze for a year isn't the end of the world for me. Especially if that means they can use that extra money to lure the kind of D-man we need."
I rolled my eyes and wished I'd brought my earbuds.
"No. What it speaks to isn't that I'm not worth more money. It shows that I'm a team player."
I tried to ignore the annoying man. But he paced in front of me, forcing me to listen to him as well as watch his jean-clad legs nearly brush my knees as his hiking boots beat a path in the carpet. From the reflection in the glass that allowed customers to see their cars going through the automated portion of the car wash, I knew he was a big man; tall, at least six foot four, with wide shoulders, long arms and long legs.
And huge lungs, because his voice continued to escalate. His pace increased. He gestured wildly with the hand not holding the phone. He couldn't see me scowling at him, as his head was down and his baseball cap put his face in shadow. Not that he'd looked my way even one time to see if his loud, one-sided conversation might be bothering me.
Look at me, look at me! My job is so crucial that I can't even go to the car wash without dealing with such pressing matters.
Ugh. I hated when people acted inconsiderate and self-important.
He stopped moving. "Fine. It's stupid as shit, but an increase of one dollar if it'll make you happy to have on record that my salary went up again this year. I'll let you keep one hundred percent of that dollar instead of your usual twenty percent commission." Pause. "Do you hear me laughing? Look. I'm done with this convo, Peter. Call me after the trade is over. Bye."
I flipped through a couple of pages.
He sighed and shoved his phone in his back pocket. Then I sensed him taking in his surroundings for the first time. The lack of customers, no car going through the car wash to entertain him.
Please don't assume I'll entertain you. He was definitely that type of guy.
I silently willed him to go away. But I'll be damned if the man didn't plop down on the bench directly across from me. I felt his gaze moving up my legs from my heeled suede boots to where the hem of my wool skirt ended above my knees.
Continuing to ignore him, I thumbed another magazine page and took a swig of my soda.
"Ever have one of those days?" he asked me.
The smart response would've been no response. I'm not sure what compelled me to say, "One of those days where you're enjoying a rare moment of quiet and some rude guy destroys it with an obnoxiously loud phone conversation? Why yes, ironically enough, I am having one of those days right now."
Then he laughed. A deep rumble of amusement that had me glancing up at him against my better judgment.
Our eyes met.
Holy hell was this man gorgeous. Like male model gorgeous with amazing bone structure and aquamarine-colored eyes. And his smile. Just wry enough to be compelling and "aw shucks" enough to be charming and wicked enough that I had a hard time not smiling back.
"I'm sorry. I don't normally carry on like that, but he was seriously missing my point."
"So I gathered." Dammit. I'd confessed I'd been listening in.
He leaned in, resting his forearms on his knees. "I'm serious. I'm not that annoying cell phone guy."
"Maybe not normally, but you were today."
"You don't pull any punches, do you?"
"No. Also now you've moved on from being 'annoying cell phone guy' to annoying guy determined to convince me that he's not annoying cell phone guy . . . which is even more annoying."
His grin widened. "I'm supposed to apologize for that too? Okay. Sorry for interrupting your quality time reading"-he snatched the magazine off my lap-"Redbook and this article on how to prioritize organization in day-to-day life."
My cheeks flamed even as I scooted forward to snatch back my magazine. "Gimme that."
"After you answer two questions. First, are you married, engaged or currently involved with someone? And if the answer is no, will you go out on a date with me so I can prove that I'm not annoying?"
I laughed. "I actually believed you couldn't get more annoying, but I was wrong."
"Are you single?"
"Annoying and tenacious-there's a winning combo," I retorted.
"And she hedges yet again. Fine. Don't answer. I'll just read this fascinating article that's got you so engrossed you can't even answer a simple question."
"Gimme back my magazine."
He lifted a brow. "I doubt it's your magazine. I'll bet you took it from the stack over there that's for customers to share."
"Fine. Keep it."
"Let's start over." He tossed the magazine aside and offered his hand. "I'm Jaxson. What's your name, beautiful?"
Calling me beautiful threw me off. I automatically answered, "Lucy," and took his hand.
"Lucy. Lovely name. Please put me out of my misery, Lovely Lucy, and tell me that you're single."
"I'm single but I'm not interested in flirting with you because you're bored at the car wash and I'm convenient."
He flashed me a grin that might've made me weak kneed had I been standing. "I'm far from bored. Let me prove it by taking you out for dinner. I promise I'll be on my least-annoying behavior."
That's when I realized he still held my hand. That's also when I realized I was a sucker for his tenacious charm, because I said, "Okay. But if that cell phone comes out even one time I will snatch it from you and grind it under my boot heel as I'm walking away."
"I'd expect nothing less."
I tugged my hand free before he did something else completely charming like kiss my knuckles. "Are you single?"
"Yes, ma'am. And this is the first time I've asked a woman I met at a car wash for a date."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I WANT YOU BACK is one of those feel good, fun, but bittersweet second chance at love stories. Jaxson messed up, he destroyed his relationship with his daughter’s mother because he was so caught up in himself to ever think of anyone else…including his daughter. But now he is back and he wants to make up for lost time, not just with his daughter but with Lucy, his ex. Lucy has moved on, has been a single parent for years and has made a good life for her and her daughter…even without the help of “dead beat dad”. Sparks have always flown around Jaxson and Lucy, but now they just might lite and inferno! I found I WANT YOU BACK is one of those books you read from start to finish and you put up the DO NOT DISTURB THE READER sign. I received this ARC copy of I Want You Back from Berkley Publishing Group. This is my honest and voluntary review.
4.5 Stars This is book one in the Want You series and it features Jaxson and Lucy. I’m not usually one who believes in a redeemable partner who cheats. With that said, after reading this book, it’s actually nice to read a story that happened YEARS AFTER all the cheating happened. I think it was easier to get past because I didn’t bear witness to the emotional trauma of infidelity between them. I loved these two! I loved their love! It wasn’t all sunshine and roses. They had some real issues to get past. Some of the issues were totally unexpected. I’m not sure I’ve EVER read a book that confronted this issue the way this author did. BRAVO! The events in their story felt real and played like a movie in my head. The characters were fabulous and the story line had great flow. I LOVED Jax’s family. They were all amazing and I’d LOVE to hear their stories as well.
4.7 stars I knew going into this book that this was going to be a good read. I am not sure that there is anything this author cannot write. This is a big book with a lot of details. She goes all in regarding details and as a reader, I REALLY like that about her books. This is a slow burn romance which makes sense that there would be a lot of depth to the details and how these characters got from there to here. This is not a cookie cutter romance by any means. She covers some pretty heavy topics, one of which I have never seen discussed in romance. Not only is it never talked about but she did it with such grace and tenderness. I realize that people read romance to escape real life things, but sometimes, just sometimes, it is refreshing to see real things that aren't outlandish and how people learn from those mistakes and grow from them. Both of these topics are examples of how bad choices have consequences but it doesn't define the person nor does it mean that someone hasn't learned from their mistakes. The characters were fantastic. I appreciated how Luce and Jax worked together. They had to overcome so many things that had broken them and learned how to let the past stay in the past and focus on the future. Their bickering/bantering was like foreplay and I loved every minute of it. I appreciate this author taking the risks that she did with them both laying all their cards out on the table. Some of the things were painful and harsh while others were sweet and vulnerable. There was a lot at play here and not just having a child who maybe wasn't as keen on her parents getting back together again or dealing with alcoholism as another topic. If this is a prequel into what the rest of this series is going to be like then sign me up.
I love this story. Love love love love love. Cheating is a hard-no for me, and while cheating is part of Jax and Lucy's back story and part of why they split up, there is no actual cheating in the book. It's all references to the past. I enjoyed the flashbacks to how they met, their dates, etc. They weren't the usual flashbacks, but written as memories. There are realistic moments that come with real life, including consequences, co-parenting, and just life in general. There were a few moments that I fell in love with Jax when he was realizing how parenting is, and that it's ok to feel or do those things. This book can be read as it is since it's a new series, but knowing the stories for some of his cousins made it even better for me, and I look forward to more stories of members of the Lund family- no matter what the series is.
I Want You Back took me by surprise with its different take on the typical second chance romance. Unlike so many that rely on misunderstandings, one-sided attractions, or a romance that almost was, this couple had their chance at love and one of them thoroughly blew it. So, yes, cheating was definitely a factor in the breakup, but for those who cheating is a hard limit in their fiction, it's mentioned, but the actual act is not on page. We do, however, get a lot of Jax and Lucy's early years through memories scattered throughout the story. I really liked that we got to see the early attraction for this couple without the story getting bogged down by that part of it. That left plenty of room for their current day relationship as two people co-parenting their child while still dealing with the emotional baggage between them, and it is considerable. I was disappointed when we're finally given the catalyst for Jax's lifestyle change. It just felt unnecessary, and once revealed, I felt like Lucy and Mimi were the consolation prizes for him. Whatever his reason, he does have his redeeming qualities. and I ended the book liking him much more than I thought I would. That aside, I was impressed with the author's ability to give us such an emotional story while still keeping the angst low. There is angst, but it's more subtle rather than big dramatic issues, and the high emotions are tempered with well-timed humor. All in all, this is a solid start to the series, and I'll be interested to see which of these engaging characters finds love next.
Funny, sexy, sweet, and real. Couldn’t put it down.
Lorelei James always brings complex, nuanced characters into her world building. I realize some people may be initially turned off by the idea of a second chance romance involving cheating, but James brings the context. (This isn’t justifying the cheating – but life isn’t black or white, and there is depth in the backstory.) Neither Jax nor Lucy are perfect people, thankfully, and reading along with their journey is enjoyable. In addition, James allows her characters to grow as INDIVIDUALS and not just within a couple construct, making the reading far more fulfilling. While this is the start of a new series, it is nice to get glimpses of the familiar – and less-familiar – Lund family, and I’m excited to see which less-familiar characters (all, please?) get explored in their own books.
Another excellent book from my favorite author. I would highly recommend it.
I wasn't sure if Jax could be redeemed from previous books, but I loved his journey in this book!! A definite must-read!!
I absolutely loved this book from the first page to the last! Jaxson and Lucy's story is a second chance romance story of love and forgiveness. Jaxson and Lucy are fantastic together and I loved the banter between them and how they worked together to raise their daughter. The flashbacks to how they met and their past relationship were great and added a lot to the story. Jaxson just makes you swoon with how wonderful of a father he is now and how good he is to Lucy. He totally turned himself around and became a man worthy of the wonderful woman who loves him and their daughter. I love the Lund family and I'm hoping for many more wonderful stories to read!
What is not to love about this book. I Want You Back is full of everything wonderful. Jaxson and Lucy are so perfect together but they get over a lot of crap from their past and so many hurtles crop up. This book kept throwing them in directions that I would have never thought of and their daughter Mimi is just so stinking cute and they typical hyper-active child that it cracked me up. Love this story and can't wait to see more of these wonderful characters by Lorelei James.
Heart wrenching, catch the sheets on fire, will keep you entertained to the very end. When you see the author of a book is Lorelei James, you expect a fiery cowboy romance. This new series is just a fiery but with a twist, no cowboys. We continue to see the romances of the Lund family bloom, as we did in her Need You series. Jaxson Lund is used to being recognized for both his face as a star hockey player and also by his last name. Lucy, who doesn't follow sports, and didn't ask his last name - has no clue who she is falling in love with until it's too late. This second chance romance is an organically blossoming love story, one that makes you gasp with delight and then bang your head against the nearest hard surface. Well worth your one click and an afternoon locked away!
I Want You Back by Lorelei James After retiring from his hockey career, Jaxson Lund heads home to reconnect with his family. And part of that family is his ex Lucy and his 8 year old daughter Mimi, who he ignored for her whole life till now. After changing his ways of being an self absorbed cheating drunk. Jaxson comes home to make amends and begin a relationship with his daughter Mimi and he hoping to start anew with his ex Lucy too. With Jaxson back to co-parent Mimi after being a manipulative, dead beat dad for the last 8 years. Lucy is finally able moved on, and begins to date again. On her own, she made a life for herself and Mimi, and has a good paying job. Lucy can finally let go what she learnt from her mother that men were nothing but cheating scum. This story plays out, showing their current lives, along with flashbacks to their former romantic relationship. As he slowly proves himself to Mimi and more importantly he’s finding that there still is sparks between him and Lucy. Second chance romance are not my normal. But this story has so much emotion, I fell in love with this story. I received this book as a arc. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Jaxson Lund and Lucy Quade have a history and a child. Ms James was able to keep the story running at a great clip and not lose any momentum. I was already in love with the Lund family before and now even more so. Lucy doesn't trust Jax except for when he has their daughter, then it is pretty much all in. Jax is trying to re-enter normal life after a career as an elite athlete - hockey player. Of course, he is running into lots of road blocks. After retiring he started acquiring properties and secrets. Lucy is trying to move on with her life but keeps reliving the past and remembering the love they shared. Over all it was a well written second chance at the happily ever after that both were looking for.
As usual I always enjoy Lorelei James books..... I had my apprehension regarding Jaxon’s story nor did I think he was worthy of being redeemable. But if anyone could do so Lorelei could. But what really made the book for me and being open to Jaxon being redeemable is his daughter Mimi. Loved their interaction, his devoted love and determination to be apart of her life, every aspect of it. And yes his love and regret of what his lost with Mimi’s mom was nice, I just think that with her strong personality she gave in a little to easy.... but that’s just my opinion. A few of the difficult situation was handled realistically, especially the beast child..... been there, don that!! I will admit.... I enjoyed the male cousins interaction too but I sure missed Selka’s one-liners ?thought I see at least one...?
I really enjoy reading series books that have characters from other books that you can find out how they are doing. This book does that while at the same time letting us come to know Lucy and Jax, who we were introduced to in an earlier book and while the chemistry was definitely there, but they would not act on it. Too much history that was not good. Jax has grown up a lot since then, but he has much to prove to Lucy before she will take him seriously about wanting to be a real father to their daughter Mimi. He is determined to prove to both that he is a changed man and that they can depend on him to be there for the long haul .Lorelei James writes characters that you just want to meet and be part of their lives. This is a very good read. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for an ARC for an honest opinion.
This book will take your breath away. From the ups and downs of Jaxson’s relationship with Lucy. To his coparenting of Mimi and all her little manipulating ways. Jax is finally trying to be the man that we all knew he could be once he laid off the booze and women. Take a trip down memory lane with Jax and the family and get sucked in the same way I did. You aren’t going to want to miss this part of the Lund family legacy.
I am SO pumped to be reading about more Lund’s!!!! This is a continuation of the earlier series and hopefully the beginning of another wonderful set of storylines. We met Jaxon Lund in the earlier books and knew a little about his early years. We knew his life with Lucy was less than perfect but we knew he would get a HEA because he was a Lund…and Lorelei is just sweet like that! You don’t have to have read the other books as this is a complete stand alone but just like other LJ series, its always better to have the entire stories about all of the awesome families.
Title: I Want You Back Author: Lorelei James Publisher: Berkley Series: Want You # 1 Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Rating: Four Review: "I Want You Back" by Lorelei James My Rationalization: If you like contemporary romances, second chances and sports[hockey] then I am sure you may love this read which dealt with infidelity, addiction and the consequences of unsafe sex. I found this quite an emotional roller coaster read of Jaxon and Lucy where there will be some secrets that will come out that will get a hold to you like nothing else for this couple. Will there be redemption for these two in the end? I liked how this author gives the reader a story with 'flashbacks and alternating POV to the present.' I did love how Jaxon took responsibility for his actions and did prove he was better now than in his past. In the end, the reader will get a heartwarming story of two people who really loved each other but had lots of baggage to sort through before they would truly be together. Now at this point, I do want to say that Lucy wasn't perfect in that she also had some issues of her own but in the end, they had a daughter Mimi whom they were now co-parenting and did find her quite something to deal with at times. I was glad to see they kept on top of that situation with Mimi. So, the end question for Lucy was could she trust that Jaxon would be there for their daughter? Be ready for some sexy steamy romance and some feisty characters that will definitely keep you turning the pages to see what was coming next. I will say that the story did have some up and downs for me but by the end, I thought it was a good enjoyable read.
Another great offering from Lorelei James. I 'found' her by accident a few years ago, now I read everything of hers I can get a hold of. Her style is straight forward, her story lines are timeless, and her characters are easy to fall in love with. I Want You Back fits all these qualities to a T. Single parents trying to come together to do what is best for their daughter is a common theme in society these days. Lucy and Jax must learn to co-parent and do what is best for Mimi. Throw in the fact that the attraction between mom and dad is still there and you have a great 'come back to me' love story. The thing you can take most from this book is that people can change and love and family are worth fighting for. I always love a HEA - especially when it ends with a family.
Lucy and Jaxson were introduced in the Need You Series and I couldn't wait to hear their story. I Want You Back didn't disappoint. It's now one of my favorites. It's a wonderful story of 2nd chances, learning to be a family, and how to trust again. Lorelei James really hit it out of the park with this one!
Lorelei James always sets the bar high and with I Want You Back she has once again blown me away. The second chance story between Jaxson Lund and Lucy Quade is not only a story between two jilted lovers, but also a story about their precocious daughter, Mimi, a story about reconnecting with family, and a story about rebuilding a new life upon a lot of burned ashes. I once heard that falling off the wayward path isn’t done in just one step. It begins with stepping off the trail, yes, but since you have the opportunity to step right back on the path it’s easy to right your wrong. However, the more you commit that act, hence stepping off the path again and again, eventually that trail you’ve taken gets further and further away. It eventually leads to more bad decisions until it becomes the norm of your everyday life. The good news is you always have the opportunity to find your way back from the wayward path, but just like stepping off wasn’t done in one step, neither is finding your way back. What exactly am I talking about? Jaxson Lund had stepped off the path and didn’t like the man he had become. He hid it well because no one in his family knew, nor his teammates, or even the media had caught wind of the mess he’d made of his life. However, once he decided to wake up and finally make a change, he began by walking that long road towards the man he used to be. What kept him up nights, he worried if it was too late and all the damage he had caused would be forgiven. Would the people in his life forgive all the wrongs he had done while he had living on the wrong path? Lucy Quade had been a single mom since the day Mimi, their daughter, had been born. Jaxson made her life miserable most of the time given he was an absent father, an alcoholic, and self-absorbed. There was a point early on in their relationship when she had loved him, but it also hadn’t surprised when Jaxson proved her right knowing that all men cheat and all men leave. When Jaxson retired from hockey and moved back to Minnesota full time, she wasn’t sure how their strained relationship would factor into spending time with their daughter. She wasn’t about to dwell on the how’s and why’s he seemed different than all the other times he’d attempted to visit in the past, but frankly she was tired of arguing and perhaps she owed it to their daughter to get along. This is a beautiful story of redemption, not only in Jaxson’s life, but for those IN his life. Let’s face it, we all get wiser, or should, as we age. We learn from mistakes and grow from those mistakes. I Want You Back is so much more than just a love story. The title is the perfect homage to everything the journey of the story leads the reader on. Getting back to a better you. Getting back to better relationships. Getting back to a better work life. Getting back to parenthood. Getting back the love you’ve missed. Just getting back to you. Jaxson and Lucy want to get back to each other, but it’s a tangled road that they both have to walk alone before they can reach the same destination. Thank you Lorelei James for making me part of your family!!
Omg, I don’t even know where to start with this review. Well first off I freaking loved this book. It’s just so real. I truly cried and laughed with these characters. I just finished this book and I already want to read it again. This book might be a spin-off series but trust me it completely stands on its own. I honestly love every book Mrs. James has ever written but I am not lying when I say this is my new favorite book and couple from her. I will be a Jackson fan forever.
Jaxson Lund knows he hasn't been a good father, for the last eight years he has only made a few attempts to spend time with his daughter. His career in the NHL has kept him on the road and away from her, but it's also enabled him to make excuses to not be around for her, and her mother Lucy too. He has spent the last few years drinking, carousing with women, and trying to get over being crushed by the woman he loved. But no matter how many liquor bottles he fell to the bottom of, or nights he spent with random women, he just couldn't stop the feelings for Lucy from bubbling to the surface. When Lucy found out she was expecting he offered to help her, but his intentions didn't seem genuine, and he wasn't exactly giving off a responsible air, or making her feel welcome in his life. Not to mention it would have required her to give up a lot of her own, so she decided to do it on her own. But a lot has changed for him in the last eight years, and he wants to prove to her, and his daughter, that he is a better man... he just has to hope they'll believe him, and be willing to give him a shot. As soon as I read the synopsis for I Want You Back something about it struck a cord with me, and made me feel like I needed to read it, and I am so happy my instincts lead me to it. This one was really tough on my heart, and gave my emotions a serious work-out, but there was a beauty to be discovered there too. The situation these characters found themselves tangled up in seemed impossible. But little by little I saw growth and forgiveness, a relationship start to take shape, and eventually love begin to bloom, but not without a few setbacks. This was such a beautifully crafted story, it shined a light on addiction, and also showed the importance of forgiveness. I really encourage anyone who stumbles across this one to take a chance on it, within it's pages you'll meet some endearing characters, that have an unforgettable story to tell. I requested an advanced copy of this title from the publisher, via NetGalley, and I am leaving my honest and unbiased opinion.