After the Hurt

cover83267-mediumAuthor: Shana Gray

Publisher: Loveswept

Rating: 3.5 stars

Buy Links: Amazon

Type: Novel

Provided by Publisher

 

Blurb: Pepper Chapman refuses to throw in the towel. Six months ago, she made the biggest mistake of her life. Blinded by grief after her mom’s death, Pepper abandoned the man she loves. Now she wants a second chance at everything she gave up: strong hands driving her to ecstasy . . . a deep voice whispering naughty promises in her ear . . . the future they’d planned since they were teenagers. So Pepper comes home looking for forgiveness, ready for a new beginning—if he’s willing to give her a shot.

Retired MMA star Tank Sherman may be used to low blows, but Pepper’s emotional sucker punch left him reeling. Trying to ignore the pain and forget the pleasure of her body beneath his, Tank is prepared to ring the final bell on their relationship. Then Pepper shows up out of the blue, radiating pure sex. But Tank won’t let himself get hurt again, and that means resisting the heat that still burns between them. Because if he takes Pepper back, he knows he’ll never be able to let her go again.

 

Review: For a story about second chances, this was really sad and bittersweet but ultimately still hopeful. These two characters had built a life together and when Pepper just left, it destroyed Tank. He single-handedly brought their dream restaurant to fruition only to watch his ex-lover walk in after it was all through. Yes, he was bitter.

Pepper was fragile after her mother’s death, especially since she completely blamed herself for it. The listeria from the food they’d shared had compounded with her mother’s cancer treatment, and she just slipped away, leaving Pepper and the rest of their family devastated. Trying to live her new “normal” wasn’t working, so she just ran to Bali, where she and her mother had always dreamed of going.

Unfortunately, she had been unable to call early in the six months of her absence, and when her phone did get charged, she was too embarrassed. Now she really wishes she had, because she might have lost the one thing she truly believed in–the restaurant and her future with Tank.

I enjoyed the book and the plot had a lot of promise. The second half dragged for me and seemed unnecessarily wordy, which was a bummer since a lot of good things were happening. I kept reading because the storyline was intriguing and I wanted to see my HEA, but with the writing skills of this author (which were great) and some helpful editing, I would read another of her books again. Thanks!

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