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Love So True by Marquita Valentine
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What a great story! Returning home after spending 5 years in prison is by far the hardest thing Lucas Lawson has ever done. Facing the people who's money he lost isn't easy but his family has dealt with it for five years now it's his turn. The only person in the small town of Jessamine to give him a chance is single mother Bailey Yates. She believes everyone deserves a second chance and knows how it feels to be the center of gossip. The relationship between Lucas and Bailey develops fast and fierce but is it the best thing for her and her small son? Lucas is afraid it isn't.

This is really a great story and I am loving this new series. I would have given this 5 stars but I found the ending of the book a little flat. The result was nice but it seemed a bit rushed. Over all though and excellent read and one I definitely recommend. ( )
  Bette_Hansen | Nov 3, 2015 |

Lucas Lawson made a big name for himself in the worst way when he was implicated in investment scams that whisked away the hard-earned money of his hometown friends and neighbors. But it's been five years, and with his time served, he's finally back home, where glares, whispers, and sideways looks follow him everywhere he goes.

Bailey Yates can't forget the kiss she and Lucas shared long before having to grow up fast turned everything around. She knows he's no one's favorite person now, but she also knows what it's like to be judged and shamed and looked down upon in a town too small for secrets. So when the hot ex-con needs a job, she gives him a chance, a paycheck, and a way into her life that she never expected.

The Verdict: Love So True starts off strong, with Lucas trekking for days just to get back to the little town that probably never wants to see him again. His parents are thrilled to have him back, but his brothers, neighbors, and everyone who watched his fall from grace are in no mood to forgive or let him forget. The trip on foot, Lucas's humble attempts to work for food, and the frosty reception he gets upon his return to the town of Jessamine create a heartbreaking, emotional start to a great story about two characters who are refreshingly unique to romance books.

Lucas was convicted of embezzlement, a crime that wiped out the investments of people in his hometown who trusted him. He didn't set out to steal from them, but he quickly realized that he was caught up in something shady. Still, he ran with it, happy to live the good life at the expense of those foolish enough to trust him with their money. He's not some poor schmuck who took the fall for someone else's wrong or was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. He's absolutely guilty, and now that he's been paroled, he wants to start over and make whatever amends he can.

Bailey Yates is not your typical romance novel single mother. She's got a good heart, but no one would ever accuse her of being a “good girl.” Always attracted to bad boys, tattoos, motorcycles, and anything else that would have responsible parents fraught with worry, her reckless decisions have left her the only parent to an adorable little boy. She's cleaned up her act as best she can, trying to be a good mother to Leo and prove to her parents that she's capable of taking care of herself, but one look at the ultimate bad boy gets her heart racing again. And she's not exactly shy about what she wants.

I think what I expected when I picked up Love So True was something more standard and filled with cliches. I probably would have liked it, but no way would I have loved it nearly this much. The characters are unapologetically real, and the chemistry between them is incredible. It's the kind of love story that had me rooting for them before they even laid eyes on each other again, and I loved following along as they made their way toward happily ever after.

The only problem I really had with the story was the ending. The book is rather short, and the author managed to pack some serious emotion and sizzling scenes into it, but what all that awesome leads up to is rushed and a bit confusing. One moment Lucas is running, and then he's not, and then it's over? It just felt like one more chapter, a chance to follow these two lovebirds just a little further would have made this the perfect read.

***FicCentral received this book from Wordsmith Publicity for free in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  ysar | Jul 8, 2015 |
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