Sometimes ugly pasts can paint a beautiful future. Bowen’s in recovery; an addict with bottom of the barrel vices who’s almost crawled his way out. The last thing he needs is the distraction of his cute friend/neighbor Gabby. Bowen’s own past was filled with women and his penchant for being a charmer. He charmed me and he’ll charm readers but Gabby will be a tougher cookie.
Gabby’s running from a past that’s dark and terrible. Keeping her head down and moving forward is all she can handle right now. But temptation lives in her building and he’s also Prince Charming. So when that dark past threatens, Bowen comes running to the rescue. Through weeks of back and forth, these two tortured souls learn more about each other and why they’re each a total wreck. But as they peel back the layers, it becomes harder and hard to mix the romance with the tough stuff. Gabby has trust issues, as any woman should with her past. So Bowen is tempting but can he fight for her while fighting for his own self?
I loved the whole notion of this book. Two people colliding when it seems they can never find their HEA; where the readers just want to scream at the hero/heroine for being stupid and just LOVE each other! Bowen was so charming but I didn’t feel the true struggle a recovering addict goes through with him. There didn’t seem to be temptation to use very much (which props to him) but it made me feel like his struggle wasn’t as difficult as Gabby’s was on the page. Gabby’s past coming back to haunt her was strange as well, the threats seemed to happen in quick succession and then petered out for weeks with almost an anti-climactic resolution. That mixed with their change-on-a-dime feelings for one another (Gabby would get so mad at Bowen, like breakup mad, but then 5 minutes later go on a date with him) made the story fall a little flat for me for a bit. A story with a great beginning and wonderful characters that I wanted to see so much growth with but the pull wasn’t as strong for me. A quick redemption romance read for those who love the trope.
For savvy programmer Gabrielle Alvarez, moving to Portland, Oregon means a fresh start with a blank screen. She wants nothing more than to erase the last traces of her old life, starting with an exotic tattoo to hide an old scar. Gabby’s instantly drawn to the enigmatic artist, who also happens to be her neighbor. Lucky she has no plans to date-especially sexy, brooding men.
Last year, Bowen Landry was the king of broken promises. He made hundreds to his sister to get clean and hundreds more to his band and his boss. But Bowen’s sober now and determined to stay that way. The last thing he needs are complications, especially Gabby with her curves, dry humor, and independent spirit. Gabby spells danger to Bowen’s peace of mind, not to mention his personal promise to stay celibate for one year.
Bowen is content keeping a firewall up between them until a stalker threatens Gabby’s safety. Alone in a new city, she has no choice but to turn to Bowen for help, moving into his apartment after hers is vandalized. While the two grow closer, Bowen can’t make any promises, and Gabby’s not asking. While the inexperienced Gabby can’t deny the charming, reformed bad boy, she’s unsure she can ever trust an addict again. If Bowen can help Gabby forgive her past and his, he may learn to believe in love again.