Autry & Kitty’s Two-fer Review – Can’t Let Go (The Original Heartbreakers #5) by Gena Showalter

Can’t Let Go is a tale spun around intense heartbreak, suspense, love and angsty characters! ~ Autry, Guilty Pleasures

Blurb:
With trust issues a mile long, Ryanne Wade has sworn off men. Then Jude Laurent walks into her bar and all bets are off. The former Army Ranger has suffered unimaginably, first being maimed in battle then losing his wife and daughters to a drunk driver. Making the brooding widower smile is priority one. Resisting him? Impossible.

To Jude, Ryanne is off limits. And yet the beautiful bartender who serves alcohol to potential motorists tempts him like no other. When a rival bar threatens her livelihood, and her life, he can’t turn away. She triggers something in him he thought long buried, and he’s determined to protect her, whatever the cost.

As their already scorching attraction continues to heat, the damaged soldier knows he must let go of his past to hold on to his future…or risk losing the second chance he desperately needs.

Ryanne was dealt some pretty difficult cards from the start. Her father wishing she were never born and her mother jumping from one man to another, including Ryannes’ boyfriends. Running a bar is hard when you have a grumpy solider breathing down her neck. Learning to trust him and allow him to provide the protection she needs when her competition moves in just across the street.

Jude has made it his mission to guard the city from any demons. His life was turned upside down in such a tragic way; he hasn’t been living for quite some time now. Watching Ryannes’ customers and regular is second nature to him. When he notices a new business start up shop next to Ryanne’s, his head begins to spin, something bad to going to happen. Unable to watch it happen he provides protect for her, losing his heart in the process.

Jude and Ryanne have a very tumultuous relationship, neither one wanting to give an inch. Intense in every way from fighting to loving, Jude and Ryanne were intense. Together they spend so much time fighting each other; it sometimes felt as if they were going in circles, fighting over the same things. As a couple I found them exhausting to keep up with. I did enjoy seeing how the close friends were able to help clear up some blurred lines between the couple and keep everyone grounded. The secondary characters were the ones that kept peaking my interest. The trouble that brewed between the competitor and Ryanne added a suspense twist to the story that kept the pages turning. The emotions were all over the place, from wanting to shake Jude and Ryanne, worried they wouldn’t figure it out, and relief they finally did. This is my first time reading Gena Showalters’ work, I can say this was not a couple I would read again, but I would not pass up a chance to read more of her work.

3.5 stars

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I love Gena Showalter. I love how she can lighten up a tense and serious scene. I love how she weaves a story. I love how she brings out the true feelings of her characters. ~ Kitty, Guilty Pleasures 


Oh, wow. Was Can’t Let Go a wonderful story! I truly loved the storyline and how everything progressed between Ryanne and Jude.

Ryanne was hysterical. She knew just what to say to keep the gloomy Jude. Yes, he has a right to feel the way he feels about his life but there is no reason why she can’t try to put a smile on his face and maybe a little happy in his life. She lived with her own issues growing up and it take a lot for her to trust a man. But, Jude has her trust and she is doing whatever it takes to get him to accept it and her in his life.

Jude was distraught. He’s lived with the misery of losing his wife and twin daughters for two and a half years and can’t stand the feelings he’s starting to have for the flirty, vivacious Ryanne. All he can think about is Strawberry Shortcake when he’s around her and, of course, protecting her from Dushku. He can understand the protection part, he can’t get past his wanting her the way he does. He can’t tarnish the memory of Caroline and will never have children again. He could never live through losing someone he loves again.

Once Jude has a taste of Ryanne, he can’t stop. Unfortunately, he’s running hot and cold and Ryanne will not stand for that. It’s time for him to put his past to bed and look forward to the future. But, can he get over his fears? Can he allow himself to love again? Can he accept Ryanne and everything that she has to offer? It takes his in-laws and the support from his friends to get him to see what is staring him in the face.

I love Gena Showalter. I love how she can lighten up a tense and serious scene. I love how she weaves a story. I love how she brings out the true feelings of her characters. Ryanne was written beautifully and she was the star of the show. Jude was intense and, in his own way, loving – even when he didn’t think he was showing love. I giggled as Ms. Showalter brought the Lords of the Underworld into the story and how she did it.

It was wonderful being back in Strawberry Hill … visiting with Daniel and Dorthea … waiting for Brock and Lyndie’s story.

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