Saturday, May 23, 2015
ARC Review: Back to You by Laura Dane
ARC via Netgalley + HQN
Published: May 26, 2015
Goodreads / Amazon
Former model Kelly Hurley has finally put the ashes of the past behind her. After a passionate but turbulent marriage to rock star Vaughan Hurley that ended in heartbreak and divorce, Kelly rebuilt her life in Portland, where she settled so their two young daughters could be close to their father. Just not so close Kelly couldn’t truly make her own way without interference from the man who shattered her heart. Now Kelly’s finally ready to move on, and she’s planning to marry another man.
But not if Vaughan has anything to say about it.
Vaughan knows he was a fool all those years ago. A young, selfish—and prideful—fool. Even as he buried himself in the fast, decadent rock star lifestyle, he could never drown out the memory of Kelly’s beauty and love. Or the sweet, searing heat whenever they touched. For years, he’s had to deal with the pain of seeing her only because of their daughters, but it was never enough. Now Vaughan must prove that he’s the only man Kelly needs, before he loses her for good. And there’s only one way to do it….
I expected romance. And I got romance and flames and maybe a little too much Vaughn. Usually I can't get enough of the main guy. My gut told me to hit him with a brick. Also, a quick disclaimer, I'm not overly fond of giving second chances. Vaughn needed like 20 second chances. So did his mama for that manner. Being protective is awesome- sweet as candy even- but what she was was too far. Much too far.
Now, I bet you're wondering what in the world am I talking about. Well, I'm glad you asked. Here's what this book is about: Vaughn is a complete and utter fool (great job with the book summary). He is young. And he is selfish. And what he did after he was stupid was almost worse than what he did during the stupidity. And good lord, was he a donkey's butt.
*chases Vaughn with chain saw*
There are a few things I am capable of forgiving, infidelity is not one of them. Not by a long shot. I think that Kelly is so strong. And I think that's why I gave the book the rating I did. Because though everything- her career, her kids, her ex-husband and his family entourage- she had a backbone. And a really good one. She didn't get bitter. She didn't become her mother. She stayed true to her own values. And she made sure that her two daughters were as sweet and loving as they could possible become.
I seriously admire Kelly. She might actually be one of my favorite female characters ever. I also seriously dislike Vaughn. I wanted to punch him in the throat through the majority of Back to You.
The writing though, Laura Dane has serious skill. The characters felt alive. I mean, how can I hate a man to the extremes that I do Vaughn without serious writing skill. (he disgusted me, in case you haven't figured it out yet)
In the end, I hereby award the novel a grand total of 3.5 stars, because although I loved the character development, this story just wasn't me. I mean, it was good, but I wouldn't read it again. Kelly and Vaughn have an odd relationship. So do Vaughn and his mother. I think it takes a special kind of person to forgive, or learn to, or even try to, like Kelly did. I think it also takes a special kind of person to be unfaithful.