Title: Whatever It Takes
Series: Second Chances #2
Author: L.E. Bross
Release Date: December 14, 2015
Tess is burdened with a responsibility she’s not quite sure she can handle, and Ryan is determined to save her from it—if she ever stops pushing him away—in this sexy follow-up to Right Where You Are, the first new adult novel in the captivating Second Chances series.
Tess is a lot of things. Strong. Independent. Determined. Completely overwhelmed by the responsibilities of being her little brother’s caretaker. But she can handle it. She has to. Because there’s no way in hell she’s letting anyone else raise Noah.
Ryan’s happy with a life on cruise control. He has no intention of tying himself down. That road only leads to heartbreak, a lesson he learned the hard way when he was fifteen. So why can’t he stay away from the one woman who broke his heart?
Tess knows exactly why Ryan keeps popping up right when she needs the most help: He’s got a hero complex big enough to save Cinderella. But Tess isn’t that girl, and she refuses to let him be part of her life. Not even when Noah takes a liking to him. Not even when they kind of, maybe, hook up.
Not even when she starts to fall for him…
Oh, Ryan! *flails*
I had a bit of a secondary character crush on Ryan when I first met him in Right Where You Are. He was such a solid presence, a good friend and sexy as hell.
It turns out all those things remain true, but that was only part of the story. Ryan has a hero complex. He’s smarting over some pretty significant damage done by his parents—who both basically checked out on him in their own way. On top of that, his first love disappeared off the face of the earth without so much as a Dear John letter so the one big life lesson Ryan has taken away from all this is: love doesn’t last. And, because that’s a life lesson he’s taken to heart, Ryan has no interest in pursuing a lasting relationship. Hook-ups are the extent of the emotional attachment he’s willing to invest. Then, an unexpected encounter with Tess, the infamous MIA first love, turns his world upside down.
Tess has not had an easy life. Shipped off to live with her emotionally detached father when she was just 15, she dedicated her life to academics in an attempt to please him. As a result, she let go of the only boy who ever meant anything to her. Her focus became tunnel-visioned and there was little time for distractions—even the sweet, hunky kind. When the rug gets pulled out from under her, and she unexpectedly finds herself as sole caretaker of her little brother, everything changes again, including her priorities. She’s not exactly thrilled when she runs into Ryan—she’s not who she thought she’d be at this stage of her life, and he’s so much more than she remembered.
Their chemistry is immediate. Though neither wants or needs a relationship right now, they continue to be drawn towards each other. Eventually a genuine friendship is rekindled and it doesn’t take long for that to turn more heated. I loved Ryan and Tess together—and I adored the relationship they both had with Noah. Kids don’t always work for me in these stories, but I really enjoyed Noah!
This story was so sweet, a little heartbreaking, and kind of adorable. I loved Ryan so much. I loved his protective nature, his capacity to forgive, and how naturally he related to Noah, Tess’s little brother. Tess was completely likeable—trying so hard to balance all these facets of her life to make a happy childhood for her brother. She loved fiercely and gave endlessly. I loved how much the little things meant to Tess, and how neither Tess nor Ryan held on to bitterness from decisions made when they were just children.
Swoony and sexy, without being overly angsty, this was a completely satisfying second chance love story. I’m officially hooked on this series now, and anxious to see what comes next!
~ Review by Shelly
L. E. Bross is living her own happily-ever-after in Maine with her husband, two boys, and a houseful of four-legged fur babies. You can find her at LeeBross.com and on Twitter @Lee_Bross. Right Where You Are is the first new adult novel in her Second Chances series.