Title: Never Let Go
Series: A Blue Ridge Romance, Book 3
Author: Allison B. Hanson
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Release Date: May 24, 2016
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
ARC Received From & Reviewed For: Pump Up Your Book
Just one gorgeous weekend away from reality. Then they can go on like it never happened…
Riley Fisher doesn’t have time to chase after men. As a single mother working two jobs, she barely has time to eat or sleep. But a girl has needs. So when handsome veteran Sam Brooks asks her out, she decides she deserves some R&R. She doesn’t expect anything else from him—after all, he’s hardly the type to get serious.
Sam came back from Afghanistan lucky to be alive, despite PTSD that hits whenever he lets down his guard. His therapist told him to forget about relationships. When he meets Riley, he’s not planning on breaking the rules. She’s cute, petite, and a total smartass—not even his type. But she’s hard to forget. Especially once he runs into Riley and her toddler on a rustic mountain getaway and sees what he’s missing. Her kid makes him laugh all day. And Riley makes him burn all night.
Too bad a relationship is impossible. But they can enjoy the attraction. It’s not like they’re going to fall in love…
It was supposed to be one night when they forgot the real world existed and enjoyed one another without knowing more than each other's names. As far as one night stands go, Sam and Riley's approach was spot on. And it would have been the perfect one night stand if the attraction between them hadn't exploded off the page.
But they each have their own problems, their own daily lives that they're just trying to get through. Riley's son, Luca, is the most adorable kid ever. He's truly the light of his mother's life, a fact that Ms. Hanson shows time and time again. The love between mother and son is undeniable and almost tangible. The issue of her cheating ex... Well, he's the thorn in her side. He's everything Riley doesn't want their son to mirror. Luca deserves a better example, but it's hard to get serious about another man when Riley's so busy.
Sam doesn't have children or an ex hanging around in the shadows waiting to take jabs at him. He has PTSD and survivor's guilt. I have never experienced either. Reading about Sam and his struggles made me wonder: which is the lesser evil? Maybe there isn't one. A past relationship gone wrong, coupled with warnings from his therapist, keep him from forming a relationship with another woman. If he hadn't met Riley, he probably would've stuck to that thinking. Except he met her, then met her son, and he didn't stand a chance.
This was a great story for me. It was slow from beginning to end. The passion between Sam and Riley ignited that first night but it simmered, slow and steady, throughout the rest of the book. Little by little and despite their best attempts at not wanting more, they got more. Luca added his own flair to their romance, bringing Sam a peace and calm he hadn't felt in so long. Sam, despite his issues, became Riley's rock, a man she could depend on, a man she wanted to have around her son.
The pace, honestly, was surprising. In my experience, one night stand stories can be really fast. Everything happens at an increased rate from sex to the morning after to realizing you have to, want to, need to be with that person from that one night. Yet, every now and then, an author comes along who pens a story like this and slows it waaaaaaay down. The journey is incredible. For Sam, Riley, and Luca, their journey ended in a new world filled with admiration, affection, love, laughter, and happiness.
Allison B. Hanson lives near Hershey, Pennsylvania. Her novels include women’s fiction, paranormal, sci-fi, fantasy, and mystery suspense. She enjoys candy immensely, as well as long motorcycle rides and reading.