Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication Date: January 15, 2019 by Forever Yours
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Source: Publisher via E-mail
Get ready for all the feels in this sexy, "emotionally charged" (Library Journal) romance about a bad boy hockey player who wants a second chance to win the heart of his high school crush.
All Winnie Braddock wants is a quiet place to be alone and time to heal her battered heart. But the refuge she'd hoped for in her family's summer cottage is destroyed when she gets there to find Holden Hendricks literally camped out in the driveway. He made her life hell when they were kids, and despite what he says, it doesn't look like much has changed. She doesn't care if her brother hired Holden to renovate the house this winter; she wants him gone.
You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. Holden knows that hockey saying all too well. After all, he could have gone pro if he hadn't messed up so much as a kid. But now he's desperate to prove he's changed for the better, especially to Winnie Braddock. As the two work together to fix up the cottage piece by piece, they realize that perhaps they can give each other the new beginning they've both been waiting for -- if they're just willing to take the shot.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Now or Never is a second chance romance, and the finale to the San Francisco Thunder series. This last installment follows Winnie, the oldest of the Braddock girls, as she learns to deal with grief. Instead of being around her family, Winnie sneaks off to her family’s cottage where she runs into her old high school enemy, Holden. Growing up Holden always made fun of Winnie, and she’s not ready to let that go when she runs into him now.
From the beginning this book is heartbreaking. It picks up a little bit after When It’s Right. The Braddock family is all together and grieving. From the previous novels, we know how closed off Winnie is compared to her sisters, and we see that again as she closes off from everyone while she’s grieving. I knew this book was going to be heartbreaking, because of the content, and because of what we know of Winnie’s character.
“I love my family more than anything. I’ve willingly sacrificed a lot to be with them during the hard times, and I regret none of it. But…right now, for some reason I can’t understand, I don’t want to be anywhere near them. Or anyone. I feel a flicker of guilt at that thought, but I also know I can’t control my feelings”
Winnie is in mourning, and she’s angry. She lashes out at people and closes her off from them. Denault gave us such a realistic portrayal of grief in this novel, and it really affected my experience reading the novel. Not only is the portrayal amazing, but her behavior isn’t excused, Holden calls her out on it in such a caring and respectful way, and helps her try to work through her grief.
I’m so glad this wasn’t a book where the love interest “saves” the grieving person, instead he’s there when she needs him, and will call her out when she needs it. In fact, both characters do so much growing throughout the novel. Winnie is dealing with grief and her family, and Holden is dealing with repercussions from how he acted in the past. He’s a different person now that he’s grown up, but he has to work to prove himself to everyone that matters to him.
“Anger is like an old comfortable sweater that only later on I realized is made of barbed wire and leaves me with more scars than I can heal.”
Holden was kind of a terrible person when he was younger. He acted out a lot because of issues he was dealing with. Even though he was dealing with so much and acted out pretty horribly, his behavior isn’t excused. He acknowledges that how he acted was awful, and even though he was grieving, that’s no excuse for his actions.
I did hate that there was some drama between the two just because Winnie and Holden wouldn’t talk to each other. I hate when this happens in books. Thankfully it was over pretty quickly.
Overall this is a solid finale to the series, and honestly my favorite book of the series. I loved reading about the Braddock family and seeing how each sibling reacted to their father’s illness, how they all grew, and seeing how much they meant to one another.