Monday, January 11, 2016

Unfinished: A First Love, Second Chance Romance by Susan Hammond

A First Love, Second Chance Romance
by Susan Hammond

My rating: 5 Stars Favorite

Publisher: Saturday Edition Books
Publication Date: November 16, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance - Women's Fiction
Print Length: 481 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
One summer, one secret, one last chance . . .

Nicole Chandler was seventeen the summer she fell in love with Jake Evans, the sexy, rough-around-the-edges mechanic who came to work in her father's marine repair shop. At twenty, Jake had seen more of the dark side of life than any kid ever should, yet underneath the hard exterior was a man who protected and cared for what was his.

For Jake, Nicole was a sunshine he’d never known—sweetness and innocence, feisty, brave, funny. And definitely sexy. He knew he shouldn't love her, yet she believed in him as no one ever had and made him laugh as though life might turn out okay. When the summer ended, Niki held his heart.

Then she broke it.

His secrets, her misunderstanding—the mistakes they both made—sent their lives on different paths, their story unfinished. Yet twenty-three years later, they still remember.

Nicole, now a successful artist, is starting over. When Jake finds her again, she’s ready to believe in what they once had. Yet after years of being alone, driven by nothing more than success, he may learn to forgive; but he can’t seem to forget. And he’s damn sure never again going to feel the pain of having someone he loves and trusts walk away from him.

Young love is fragile, but with histories and exes and families, grown-up love is messy. And while building trust is hard, rebuilding what was once shattered may be impossible.

Does first love ever really get a second chance?

Unfinished by Susan Hammond

Unfinished: A First Love, Second Chance RomanceDo you remember your first love back when you weren’t quite an adult? You know the one, you thought you would never get over it. Nicole was seventeen when she met the “love she would never get over.” Jake was a little older, a little more damaged, but Nicole actually believed in him, made him smile as she brought blue skies and sunshine into his lonely days.

The summer they met was like a perfect dream, except for the secrets, the misunderstandings and their youthful inability to realize what real love entailed. They made a promise and one of them would break it and shatter the heart of the other and someone else would ensure they never learned the truth. Years went by, Nicole married her best friend and Jake went on to make something of himself, to quiet the darkness of his past and never be helpless again. Their paths never converged, by design or by fate, who knows.

Fast forward over twenty years, past the confessions of others, past the defeat of a marriage of companionship and respect, but not all-consuming love and Nicole finds herself single, a successful artist and in the company of Jake one more time. Will the years and life experiences put what they had in perspective or will they discover that they were right, they were meant to be together?

When we are young we are told we are not mature enough to understand love, to work at getting past the hurt and anger, but Nicole and Jake seem to be trapped in a time warp, desperate to be with the other, but repeating the same mistakes over again. Wealthy, successful, a business mogul now, Jake reverts to the damaged mechanic he was when he met Nicole and she becomes the insecure teen with doubts. This is their one chance to face true love head on, scars and all, the chance to act like an adult and talk, listen, trust and believe, no more secrets, no more misunderstandings, are they strong enough to risk the future and accept the past as it is?

Susan Hammond’s Unfinished is a heartbreaking tale of mistakes, misunderstandings, heartbreak and never letting go. The heart knows what the heart wants and even a wonderful life that one wouldn’t change doesn’t fill that empty need for that one special person. Not many people get a second chance to finish their story, but even if you have never been a romantic, this tale will wrench you deep within your soul. Feel the frustration of being the fly on the wall, rage at the mistakes you see happening, cry when the devastation is the worst. Relish in watching Nicole and Jake coming to terms with the hand life dealt them and moving past the muck and mire of the past, all while hoping they find a happy ever after.

I received this copy from Susan Hammond in exchange for my honest review.

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