The Closer You Come

The Closer You Come

by Gena Showalter

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Overview

The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter shines in this Original Heartbreakers tale, featuring a man haunted by memories and the vulnerable girl he will do anything to protect.

Tortured by a violent past, ex-con Jase Hollister is looking to start over in a small town. The rugged bachelor suffering from PTSD longs for peace and quiet, always keeping his women at a distance—and his heart encased in stone.

Brook Lynn Dillon is a down on her luck waitress determined to avoid the man every woman in town wants—including her sister. The last thing she needs is his kind of trouble. But his every glance makes her burn…and her resistance is melting fast.

The two agree to a one-time fling, not expecting to be forever branded. Now, no matter how hard they try, they can't keep their hands off each other. But when a secret from Jase's past comes to light, they'll have to face a cold, hard truth: it's more than Jase's freedom on the line, it's their hearts.

"Showalter writes fun, sexy characters you fall in love with!" —Lori Foster, New York Times bestselling author

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373779628
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 03/31/2015
Series: Original Heartbreakers Series , #1
Edition description: Original
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 343,232
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over fifty books, including the acclaimed Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, and the White Rabbit Chronicles. She writes sizzling paranormal romance, heartwarming contemporary romance, and unputdownable young adult novels, and lives in Oklahoma City with her family and menagerie of dogs. Visit her at GenaShowalter.com.

Read an Excerpt

Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma

Population 7,437,416 Drive Slow and See Our City, Drive Fast and See Our Jail


Brook Lynn Dillon was not a fan of mornings. Or afternoons. Or evenings. When a girl reached a certain level of exhaustion, every time of day sucked.

She'd bypassed that certain level, oh, about seven years ago when, at the tender age of eighteen, she'd begun working at Rhinestone Cowgirl. Despite what every tourist passing through town assumed, the RC wasn't a strip club, thank you very much, but an up-and-coming jewelry store.

Her five-hour shift always kicked off at the butt crack of dawn, or as her mom used to say, before the rooster crows. Afterward she had sixty short minutes for a little R and R—the Reading and Reviewing of any new past-due notices—before working a ten-hour shift at Two Farms, the only "fine dining experience" within a fifty-mile radius. The description came directly from the owner, never mind that his idea of fine dining was using shiitake mushrooms in the beef Stroganoff instead of regular ones.

Today wouldn't have been so bad if her sister had completed her own shift at Two Farms, but halfway to the finish line, Jessie Kay had taken off without saying goodbye, and Brook Lynn was forced to take over her tables to save both their jobs. At least her sister left a note in her locker.

Don't stay in tonight. Go out and get drunk. Or, you know, at least pretend to be drunk. Your prudish ways are ruining our good name! XO JK

Brook Lynn had never hustled so hard for less reward. Her back and feet ached, and she wanted to go home and fall into some sort of coma even more than she wanted to win this week's lottery. Fifteen million and counting!

But here she was. Her best friend, Kenna, had called to tell her Jessie Kay had taken her own advice and gotten trashed, partying hard at the Glass house, acting as if the male attendees were going to die if she didn't give them a little mouth to mouth.

When Jessie Kay had a few too many "party favors," she became very…popular. A good-time girl. Brook Lynn, Miss Responsible, had never been a good-time anything. Too many worries balanced on her shoulders.

Tonight's worry? Tomorrow's possible front-page headline of the Strawberry Daily: Former Beauty Queen Turned Slacker Fails to Control Her Whoremones— Again.

Not on my watch!

Brook Lynn stepped out of her car, a one-wheel-in-the-grave beater she'd named Rusty. Like a vacuum, her pores opened up and sucked the stiflingly hot air straight into her body, and not even the sweet, addictive scent of wild strawberries and magnolias made it better. She wiped a sudden sheen of sweat from her brow and marched up the dilapidated porch steps, her gaze sweeping over one of the largest homes in the parish.

A hundred-year-old farmhouse in need of brand-new everything. White paint had chipped away, revealing rotten siding. Multiple wood slats had come loose, and the seal on several of the windows had broken, allowing moisture to pool between the panels.

Not altogether beautiful, but the fifty-two-acre spread had come with a greenhouse, a small dairy, two barns, a work shed, vegetable gardens and wild strawberry patches, all surrounded by hand-set stone walls.

Harlow Glass recently lost her family's sprawling estate, and Lincoln West, a newcomer in town, had snapped it up. He was obviously more tech savvy than manual laborish, considering he'd done no actual work that Brook Lynn could see. Which made sense, she supposed. He'd just moved from Oklahoma City to enjoy good ole country living in Strawberry Valley, and it was common knowledge that big, bad city boys spent the bulk of their time sleeping around, coiffing their hair and posting pictures of food on the internet.

Brook Lynn had interacted with the guy on more than one occasion, and shockingly enough, she'd come to admire his dry wit and puffed-up ego. He loved to brag about his own magnificence, but the hint of humor in his tone always saved him from falling over the edge into obnoxious.

Have you ever seen a body this perfect? No. And you never will, Brook Lynn. The good Lord has an A game, and I'm proof.

For a guy who spent all day behind a computer, he certainly was buff. And because she hadn't seen a body as perfect as his, she hadn't been able to rebuke him. But then, she had yet to meet his two roommates. Maybe they were hotter.

Problem was, West's friends kept to themselves. Not once had she seen them in town. Of course, that hadn't stopped Jessie Kay, who had a habit of looking for love in all the wrong places. She had not only met the two other newcomers to Strawberry Valley—she'd also already slept with one. Beck…something. Gossip claimed he was a player of players and had totally worked his way through the over-twenty-and-under-forty female population in the city before moving here, looking for fresh lady meat.

The other guy… Jase was his name, she thought. Less was known about him. To her knowledge, he hadn't hooked up with a Strawberry Valley resident, though there had been a sighting or two and plenty of interest. Older women whispered he was "hunkali-cious" while younger girls giggled nervously behind trembling hands.

A cacophony of voices seeped through the cracks around the front door. Brook Lynn wiped the dust from the upper panel of glass and peeked inside…and oh…crap. She hadn't expected so many guests. At least thirty people congregated in the living room, drinking beer, talking and laughing, and there were indications of others in the hallway and kitchen. Most were in their mid-to-late twenties, so Jessie Kay had gone to school with them—and the rumor mill about her actions this evening had likely already started spinning. These people wouldn't turn a blind eye to the fight to come, either.

And there would be a sister-versus-sister fight. Jessie Kay always resisted her own rescue.

Brook Lynn reached up and switched her inner ear implants to silent. The devices were a couple of years old but still deemed experimental, used to treat cases of hyperacusis as severe as hers—hearing everyday noises at such a blaring volume, it sometimes felt as if acid had been poured inside her ears. They allowed her to experience a sublime state of deafness whenever she desired. Which she did. Often.

Without bothering to knock, she stepped inside the house. Through a thick haze of cigar smoke, she saw the home's interior hadn't had any work done, either, and was in even more desperate need of refurbishment. Wallpaper had yellowed with age and peeled at the corners. The white shag carpet was stained and threadbare in places. In complete contrast, the furniture scattered throughout looked brand-new, flawless.

Finding no sign of Jessie Kay, she moved deeper into the house, reading lips along the way. A skill she'd honed over the years.

"—would never have guessed he was such a citidiot" the recently divorced Charlene Burns was saying. "But after tonight's antics?"

Citidiot. She had to be talking about West or one of his friends. They were the only city boys to move here in forever.

"I know!" Tawny Ferguson replied with a nod. "It's so, so sad."

"Can we really blame him, though? Smog probably putrefied already damaged brain cells. But Jessie Kay? That girl has no excuse. Trying to steal my Beck before throwing herself at Jase was such a slutty— Oh, hey, Brook Lynn." Charlene flashed a faux-bright smile and even managed an enthusiastic wave.

Brook Lynn held up her index finger and said, "One."

Both girls darted away as fast as their feet would carry them.

Over the years, Brook Lynn's count of three had served her very well. The only warning anyone received before her "viper's tongue" was unleashed. It was known for drawing blood and leaving internal injuries few could survive, all because she'd flayed Jessie Kay's ex-boyfriend with a verbal tongue-lashing. Once! But that's all it had taken. A legend had been born, and that legend had only grown—without any real help from her. Nowadays most folks would rather have their nose and mouth stapled shut—after being waterboarded—than clash with her.

A tap on her shoulder sent her wheeling around. "Kenna," she exclaimed, happy to see her friend.

The lovely redhead greeted her with a much-needed hug. "I lost track of Jessie Kay, but I guarantee West knows where she is. That boy has his head on a swivel. Come on."

Brook Lynn followed close behind and wished, not for the first time, that they could just pack up and run away together, leaving the rest of the world behind. But Kenna had a six-year-old daughter to think about. Not to mention a smoking-hot fiancé. And Brook Lynn, well, she had Jessie Kay, who would self-destruct without her.

Well, self-destruct faster.

Kenna led her through an overcrowded game room, where people hovered around a massive, elaborately carved pool table set in the frame of an old car, but no one actually played the game. Probably because a plastic sign hung from an aged chandelier, right over the center of the felt. Touch And Regret.

Another door led to a spacious kitchen. Though the walls were atrocious with an even uglier, darker yellow paper, the appliances were stainless steel and clearly fresh from the factory, the counters a lovely cream-and-rose marble. Someone had done some work in here, and her heart pinged with envy. My dream kitchen in progress.

Kenna stopped and waved her arm toward the sink…where Brook Lynn spotted West. He was in the middle of a conversation with a man she'd never met.

"I've got this," she told her friend.

Kenna cupped her cheeks in an effort to gain her full attention. "You sure?"

"Very. Go back to Dane before he starts hunting for you." Dane Michaelson, once the most sought-after bachelor in town, was now the reason Kenna breathed.

"I happen to like when he hunts me," Kenna said, wiggling her brows. "Think Animal Planet goes wild."

"You make me sick. You know that, right?"

"Don't be jelly. Your time is coming." Kenna kissed her forehead before taking off.

Brook Lynn's time wasn't even close to coming. She had zero prospects. And with that depressing thought, she focused on her quarry. As usual, the sight of West arrested her, even in profile. Not because she was attracted to him—she wasn't—but because, on top of that ultrafine body he liked to boast about, he had a face worthy of decorating the most beloved romance-novel cover. With his shaggy dark hair and piercing, soulful eyes, every unattached female in town was ready to throw herself at him—and many already had. But though he was nice, even charming and supersmart, he could have been standing in a full swatch of sunlight, and darkness still would have clung to him.

She did not need another fixer-upper in her life, and there was no question the guy would require work.

According to Kenna, whose fiancé had the inside tract, West allowed himself to date one woman per year, for two months. No more, no less. When the clock zeroed out, he dumped the poor, dear thing for some reason or other that sounded purely made up and never spoke to her again.

How crazy was that?

The guy with West was just as spectacular in appearance, maybe more so. Masculine and muscular, yet almost pretty. His eyes were a perfect honey gold, though his hair couldn't decide between blond and brown. Not that it mattered. The different colors blended together in beautiful harmony. Even his eyelashes started out black before curling into golden tips.

Brook Lynn read their lips to the best of her ability, considering they weren't looking directly at her and she didn't know their speech patterns, picking up snippets of their conversation and filling in the rest.

"It's only been six months," Honey-gold said.

"Yes, and I want him to survive the next six," West said. "This is going to cause problems."

"Not with me."

West glared at his friend.

"What? What'd I say that's so bad?"

"The fact that you don't know makes it worse."

West and Dane were working on some kind of project together, which meant Kenna, who was never far from Dane's side, and Brook Lynn, who spent what little free time she had with her best friend, had interacted with him more than anyone else in town. A few days ago, she'd asked him flat out why a guy who so obviously enjoyed the fast-paced city lifestyle had moved here—other than it being the greatest place on earth, of course. He'd merely turned on the charm, saying, "Why, to make all your dreams come true. You're welcome."

And now she had to try to get straight answers out of him. Peachy.

Determined, she walked over and tapped West on the shoulder.

He focused on her, a rebuke clearly poised at the edge of his tongue. When her identity clicked, he switched gears and grinned in welcome. "Well, well. If it isn't the girl I want by my side if ever zombies attack."

"When they attack," she corrected. It was only a matter of time. And yes, she was one of those people. A believer. "Where's Jessie Kay?"

The two men shared a look before Honey-gold took her hand and kissed her knuckles. "Hello, beautiful. I'm Beck, and if you'll give me thirty minutes of your time, I'll make you forget your friend and most assuredly your name."

Ah. The infamous Beck. Number two of the bachelors three. "Jessie Kay is my older sister, so I won't be forgetting her, I promise you. But if you seriously possess the skill to make me forget my name, I swear I'll find a way to marry you. Still interested in a hookup?"

Something akin to panic flashed over his features, though he managed to mask it quickly. "Forever with a beauty like you?" he said in the same easy tone. "You're only whetting my appetite, darling."

Women fall for that? Really? She focused on West—before she gave in to the temptation to teach Beck a lesson he'd never forget. "Where is she?"

West pushed out a breath. "You sure you want to know?"

She dropped her chin to her chest, her gaze staying on him and narrowing. "This conversation is fixing to start annoying me."

Beck chuckled. "Fixing to start?"

"Something they love to say here. Just go with it."

West frowned and said to Brook Lynn, "You do realize I'll be breaking all kinds of bro-code rules if I tell you."

"Better you break the rules than I break your face."

"Fair enough." Looking suddenly and inexplicably irate, he said, "She's in Jase's bedroom."

Jase, their other friend? Jessie Kay had turned her sights from Beck to him? Meaning Charlene Burns hadn't been blowing smoke. Great! "Where is Jase's bedroom?"

"Third door on the right," West said, even pointed. Beck slugged him in the arm. "Dude. What if they're still busy?"

Busy? As in exactly what she suspected?

A tightness came over West's features but he shrugged. "Her corneas will burn, but they'll heal."

"Dude," Beck said again. "There is such a thing as privacy."

Leaving the pair to their argument, she stalked out of the kitchen and down a hallway. The couples who'd migrated this way were pressed against the walls, making out, so no one noticed her. She came to the correct door and prepared to knock, announcing her presence…only to hesitate. If Jessie Kay was totally tee-rashed, the guy was taking advantage of her, and if Brook Lynn gave him any warning, he would stop whatever crime he was committing and hide the evidence. He needed to be caught red-handed.

Then again, if she walked in and interrupted two consenting adults while they were getting "busy," her corneas would indeed be burned.

What was more important? Her sister or her eyes?

Okay, then. Decision made.

Brook Lynn turned the knob. Or would have, if it hadn't held steady. Dang it! Locked out.

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The Closer You Come 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love Gena Showalters writing. I loved this book. Wish that he hadn't slept with her sister, but everything else was good.
WHiggins More than 1 year ago
I love this new series by Gena! She always surprises me with the different types of characters she writes and the experiences they have , present and past. The different genres don't seem to get in the way of the journey she is creating and it shows with this book ! The emotions you feel for these characters are compelling. I can't wait to follow the other characters and experience their ups and downs and really get to know them. Thanks Gena !!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not get over the fact that Jase was screwing Brooke's sister. It completely ruined this for me. How can you sleep with a guy that has been inside your sister? Bleh....no thanks.
Hfowler More than 1 year ago
Jase is an ex-con with a lot of scars and nightmares. All he wants is a quiet life and a fresh start. Brook Lynn is a small town girl trying to make ends meet and rope in her wild and crazy older sister. When they meet, he is actually in bed with her older sister, and she doesn’t give him a second thought until he dumps her into their backyard pool to cool off from her fight with her party girl sister. From that moment on they can’t help but think of each other and when he offers her a job, she can’t resist (partly because she gets fired from her other two jobs because of her sister and her health issues). I loved their chemistry. I liked that the relationship developed really slow and steady, it wasn’t rushed, it felt real. I liked how she helped him with his demons and the sparks definitely flew and were very hot. Their passion and developing love was great to watch. I loved how he was redeemed and saw that he did have a right to a happily ever after and how she was strong enough to go for what she really wanted, which was a life with Jase.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fast read that will have u laughing and crying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Oh Michigan stat to byruig generalf!ybou ybucan j?vjyhhy rhnt too high
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Idiots!!!! Stop giving the plot away in your reviews! You just caused this author to loose money because why do I need to read it now that I know "everything" that happens from Miss, I've only got 25 pages left. Thanks for nothing spoil sport!!!!!!
lprather66 More than 1 year ago
I have enjoyed Gena Showalter's series White Rabbit Chronicles, so when I saw The Closer You Come on Netgalley I knew I wanted to read it. I'm so glad I did! Jase Hollister is the ultimate bad boy who is trying to get a fresh start after his recent release from prison. Jase and his two friends, West and Beck, have made Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma their new home. They are hoping that the small town will help them escape their troubled pasts. Is it possible to make a new life when you are tortured by the mistakes from your past? Guilt and hate can consume a soul. Can they find the strength and desire to put it all behind them? Jase is looking for a quiet, uncomplicated life, which is totally out the window as soon as Brooke Lynn walked through his door. Brook Lynn Dillon has her own share of troubles. She is too busy working two jobs and trying to keep her older sister out of trouble to have any fun. Brook Lynn is too young to be so serious. Can Jase add a little fun to her life? Can Brook Lynn ease Jase's troubled soul? Jase is one dark, brooding, sexy man. He is very loyal and protective, but he can take that to the extreme. Brook Lynn is a hard worker...sometimes too hard. She loves her sister who is the only family she has left. Can Brook Lynn tear down the walls Jase has built up around his heart? The chemistry is off the charts for Jase and Brook Lynn. I enjoyed watching their relationship develop. It was a sweet, complicated, steamy romance. What an enjoyable read! Can't wait to read the next book in the series!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You couldn't have been that disappointed if you gave it 5 stars.The first book l read by Showalter was THE ONE YOU WANT,the first book of this series.I thought it had just enough spice and l enjoyed the pace.I haven't even started on this one yet and was kind of taken back when I seen how many pages.Sometimes those can drag oooooooon.I'm going to give one star to post and when finished I'll come back to rate it properly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
AboutThatStory More than 1 year ago
This was fan-freaking-tactic! Loved it and couldn't put it down. A totally addicting read. I loved Jase and Brook Lynn. Wonderful characters that had great depth. Loved all the detail and the ends and outs of their secrets, excellent development and pace. They each had such sad histories, some of it tragic, and I love how they persevered because of it. Both so kind and caring despite their hardships. I loved Jase and Brook Lynn’s pull towards one another as well as their animosity and flirtatiousness. It created this electric heat and chemistry between the two. They were fun and playful together but there were some emotional and tense moments as well and I could feel it all. I love how it all played out and how it was all revealed (because there were a ton of secrets to be learned!). I seriously couldn't stopped reading and cursed getting tired because I had to know what was next for them. There were so many great characters in this and I thought they were detailed and rich, making me want to know more about them. West, Beck, and Jase have history together and I love the bond they share. I am fascinated by both West and Beck and can't wait for their stories. Brook Lynn's sister Jessie Kay was a trip, I really liked her but I know there is so much more than she shows everyone. Loved the tension and bickering between her and West and can't wait to see what happens with them in The Harder You Fall, which is book three. All the different dynamics that came into play were so awesome. I am officially addicted! This was my first Gena Showalter book and it won't be my last. Excellent writing that captivated me. A full story with great details, I was hooked from beginning to end while I I learned all the secrets. It was sweet and entertaining and hot! The end had me totally stressing out, there was some drama and a bit of mystery. I was worried how it was going to end but I LOVE how all the details came together. So freaking good! Couldn't get enough! A definite must read!
sportochick More than 1 year ago
I have loved all of the books written by Gena Showalter that I have read and this book is no exception. The author knows how to tell a story that draws the reader in deep and has them reading it in one sitting. She has the ability to tell stories about people with real life hurts and fractures in their life without depressing the reader but showing hope for all things to turn out well. Jase is the bad boy that you just want to know because his hard outer shell cracks slowly and the reader gets to see the hidden parts that he doesn't want to let out. His character is very well written and I love his vulnerability and the love his two friends have for him. Every bad boy needs a good woman and Brook's character is perfect for him. She is someone who doesn't give up on a loved one while remaining sweet and lovable but determined. This book surely hints at what happened to form these three men to be who they are today and makes you want to get to know their back story. It also clearly shows how Brook and her sisters relationship became so dysfunctional but loving. I can't wait to read the next books to this series and I am going to go back to read the prequel for Dane and Kenna's story. I give this 5 STARS. AN ARC COPY WAS GIFTED IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST OPINION VIA NETGALLEY.
ReneeEntress More than 1 year ago
4.5 star The story has laughs, pain, secrets, and heartbreak. I was pulled right into this story. The story flowed well and I was kept interested. If you have not read the below I would recommend reading those books(s) first The One You Want (The Original Heartbreakers, #0.5) This is Brook Lynn and Jase’s story. Jase wants Brooke Lynn but she is just too good for him. She would never understand his past. Brook Lynn has always tried to take care of her sister and is always looking for or filling in for her. When she loses her job’s because she can’t do everything Jase hires her to clean and cook for him and his 2 friends who are sharing a house. After she loses her other job she works for Jase all day and cooks all the meals. Can Jase keep his hands off? Or is temptation just too much? Will they be able to work together to make a relationship work? Or is it all over for them? What happens when someone from his past comes back? Will he choose the woman from his past or Brooke Lynn? Will Brooke Lynn be back with no job and still looking out for her sister? I loved these characters and all the friends who are more like brothers. I felt I was able to connect with the characters and the story was a great read. I highly recommend this book, this series and this author.
JeriTRyan More than 1 year ago
Gena Showalter is known for her paranormal romances, but I think in “The Closer You Come” she shows perfectly that she can really handle a romance in every kind of setting. I am not sure if it is necessary to mention that her writing style is flawless and the storyline is fluent. What might be really worth a mention is the humor and the dialogues between our leads in this book.Although I must admit that I do not like how they meet and maybe due to this “start” I was struggling a little to connect to them in the way I should. Because the actual plot is really good and with another way for them to meet it would have been a 5 star book (I only add this for better understanding) So go ahead and enjoy this great piece :- )
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BooksAndSpoons More than 1 year ago
The tone of the story is an interesting mix of YA angst and dippy humor. Lots of lust filled inner thoughts, and banter between the friends, to lighten up the uneasiness of the everyday life. There's so much pain, sorrow, and regrets in the past of the friends. Their experiences in the foster care, and after, have broken their souls. The way there are there for each other, support each other, and love each other, is commendable. Because deep down, under all the destructive behavior, they are good men. They just have too much guilt to really live. Brook Lynn's relationship with her sister is odd, she is acting as it is her responsibility to take care of her older sister. They live in a codependent symbiosis, unstable at the most of the times. Jase and Brook Lynn's relationship starts off on an awkward way, as she busts into his bedroom right after he slept with her sister. Yes, just wanted to put it out there. But soon their thoughts are filled only of each other. The play the pull-push dance for a long time, wanting but not acting on it. When they finally take the step, it is the first step for Jase for healing and accepting his past. And for Brook Lynn letting go of her role as a warden to her sister. And when Jase finally let go of his inner guard, and confesses his love to Brook Lynn, it is true poetry. I admit something about the story was rather addictive. The connection between the friends, the protective strike the males had, the fun way the tragic story was told. There are issues the characters have, and some events, that were not easy to accept. Certainly made me think, and that is always a plus. Fascinating group of characters, interesting set up for the series ~ Three Spoons with a teaspoon on the side
RomanticReadsandSuch More than 1 year ago
My heart absolutely breaks for these people – none of them have had it easy. Luckily they have found each other and with a lot of love & understanding, they may finally be able to find the family and HEA that they need. Brook Lynn has spent a lot of years mothering her sister and trying to keep it all together. Unfortunately, she’s not had a lot of help. Meeting Jase (with her sister naked in his bed … yeah, that’s going to be uncomfortable) has them butting heads and creating sparks. But Brook Lynn isn’t looking for a fixer-upper in a man and there is no doubt that Jase needs some help. Jase is dealing with A LOT of issues. He’s spent almost a decade in prison and that leaves many scars, both inside and out. Fresh to Strawberry Valley, he’s looking to keep his head down and find some peace. Falling into bed with Jessie Kay early on brings a lot of complications he doesn’t need … especially an attraction to her sassy sister. But more time spent with Brook Lynn tempts him with things that he didn’t think he could have. He just has to decide if he’s willing to try for them. With The Closer You Come, Showalter delivers complex characters and an emotional storyline guaranteed to bring you laughter and tears. And with two more guys needing to come to peace with their past, the next books are guaranteed to be doozies as well. (Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
caroldh4 More than 1 year ago
RATING: 4.5 STARS The Closer You Come is book one in The Original Heartbreakers series by Gena Showalter. Thank you to NetGalley, Harlequin and Gena Showalter for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review. Gena Showalter is well known for her paranormal romances. Although I have some of them on my reading wish list, I have not read anything by her yet. I am glad, now, though, so that I wasn’t tempted to compare. I went into this book with an open mind as to what to expect, and I loved it. I really liked the book for the first half and I can’t tell you what happened, something just clicked, and I fell in love with it from there on out. Jase Hollister was just released from prison six months ago. He served nine years and is now trying to make a life for himself. His two best friends or brothers as he thinks of them, have bought a farm in Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma. It seems like the perfect place for him to start over. He just wants peace and quiet and solitude. The scars he bares from his time in prison don’t all show on the outside. He is scarred on the inside as well. “Feel nothing. Want nothing. Need nothing.” Brook Lynn Dillon has lived in Strawberry Valley all her life. There was a time when she and her sister were part of a loving family, until they lost their parents when they were younger. Then an uncle stole their inheritance so from there on out, Brook Lynn and her sister, Jessie Kay, have struggled to survive. Even though Brook Lynn is the younger sister, she is often forced to be the parent to her sister who prefers to spend all of her free time partying and in bars, frequently forgetting to show up for work. Brook Lynn is holding down two jobs and trying to cover for her sister but it’s just too much to handle and it was only a matter of time before everything fell apart. It’s on one of her searches for her sister at a party at the farmhouse of Strawberry Valley’s three newest residents that she first meets the hunkalicious Jase Hollister. But this first meeting did not go well, at all! In fact, he’s whose bed she found her sister in! But as time went on and they got to know each other, chemistry began to sizzle and bonds began to form. Jase, though, knows that he is not relationship material. He’s too empty, his soul is too dark. Brook Lynn is a good girl and she deserves better, a forever type of guy and he is far from that. So he fights against everything he is feeling. But that doesn’t stop him from wanting to help her, and protect her. What would Brook Lynn do if she knew what he had done, that he was an ex-con? He’s sure that she would run away, which is what would probably be best. “He was as far from perfect as she was close to it; his scars might appall her…or lead to questions he wasn’t prepared to answer.” Jase keeps his walls up but his actions contradict his words. He says no but his actions show that he cares, that he’s a good man. “Actions mean more than words…but she would be lying if she claimed she wasn’t looking forward to their next interaction.” These two were so much fun to get to know. I think part of my own slow build with my feelings towards this book was I just had to get used to the author’s writing style. She has a snarky sense of humor and it definitely showed with the exchanges between Jase and Brook Lynn. They had me laughing out loud with their texts and Jase’s “to do” lists for Brook Lynn.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Over 300 pages, worth every penny!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story
BrennetteRC More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story line.  The only reason that I didn't give it 5 stars because it was a bit stretched out.