Can’t Let Go (Original Heartbreakers #5) by Gena Showalter
Synopsis: New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter is back with a sizzling Original Heartbreakers tale about an icy war vet and the only woman capable of melting him…
With trust issues a mile long, Ryanne Wade has sworn off men. Then Jude Laurent walks into her bar and all bets are off. The former Army Ranger has suffered unimaginably, first being maimed in battle then losing his wife and daughters to a drunk driver. Making the brooding widower smile is priority one. Resisting him? Impossible.
To Jude, Ryanne is off limits. And yet the beautiful bartender who serves alcohol to potential motorists tempts him like no other. When a rival bar threatens her livelihood, and her life, he can’t turn away. She triggers something in him he thought long buried, and he’s determined to protect her, whatever the cost.
As their already scorching attraction continues to heat, the damaged soldier knows he must let go of his past to hold on to his future…or risk losing the second chance he desperately needs.
Review: Jude Laurant is a surly, broken man who has loved and lost so much. Two and a half years ago he lost part of his leg in combat, and his wife and twin daughters to a car accident caused by a drunk driver. Ever since then, he has been a walking talking shell of a man who prefers to go on in a numb state. He had only one problem with that, Ryanne Wade, the owner of the Scratching Post bar and a good friend to his best friend Daniel’s fiancé, Dorothea (Can’t Hardly Breathe). Ryanne is feisty, witty, flirty, spunky, and vivacious. Where he walks around feeling dead inside she is full of life and loves to tease him mercilessly. But he hates all thinks alcohol and bar related so he “hates” her, but he finds himself at her bar playing bouncer more and more because she means too much to his friends to let anything happen to her, which causes him to feel torn in two different directions. He doesn’t want to want her, he wants to remain faithful to his dead wife’s memory, but the more he is around Ryanne the harder it is to resist the temptation to live again.
Ryanne loves to tease and flirt with Jude, and she decides that he would be the perfect candidate to break her of her two and a half year dry, no romance, spell. She only has one problem, he hates all things her and isn’t afraid to say so. But she is one stubborn woman and sets out to seduce him, but when she succeeds the aftermath isn’t what she expected. One moment he is pushing her away, another minute he is pulling her towards him and her heart just can’t take much more of his back and forth. When her life is threatened by a gang leader who is trying to buy her out, Jude is the only one she can trust to keep her, and her livelihood, safe, but can she also trust him with her heart?
I love this series and I love coming back to the characters. The men are so broken, and the women have so many scars as well, but when they get together wonderful things happen and a lot of healing takes place. I loved their story, her personality made for a great back and forth between her and Jude, and I am really happy he got a second chance at happiness. Showalter does an amazing job of painting him as such a broken and ravaged man that you can’t help but feel for him and his loss and his internal struggle to let Ryanne in. Loved it and I am super excited for Lyndie and Broke next. Woohoo!