Rating: 4 out of 5.

This was the May choice for our “We Get Lit Book Club” Instagram book club. It was also my very first Colleen Hoover book, and I’m glad it was. I enjoyed this contemporary romance/drama about a mother’s quest to reunite with the 4 year-old daughter she had to give up.

Kenna Rowan served five years in prison for a tragic mistake. After her release, she returned to the town where it all went wrong, desperate to reunite with the daughter she had to give up. Things are not going well, and everyone in her daughter’s life are determined to keep Kenna on the outside. While trying to put her life together, Kenna meets handsome bar owner Ledger Ward, but he also comes with complications. Rather than being a hot one-time distraction, she discovers he also has connections to her daughter. As their relationship intensifies, so do the complications.

I listened to this on Audible and loved Ledger’s sexy voice. The narrators do a great job of portraying the characters in the book. I enjoyed the back and forth between Kenna and Ledger, and liked how their relationship evolved. Being the cynic that I am, I got a bit tired of all of Kenna’s repeated self-flagellation and sobbing, but the author wrote them as authentic, not manipulative. My rock-like heart still had trouble believing it was all real. Likewise, Ledger was a bit too good to be true, but hell, we’re already deep into the Hallmark Channel bubble of romance-land, so why not believe his white-hat, perfect hero with pure motives and a supportive and encouraging personality? Sure.

The story was predictable, the conclusion was unbelievable, and yet, I enjoyed the escapism this story provided. I didn’t cry (see above rock-like heart reference), but I can see how others without my affliction could tear up while reading this book. This was the first CoHo book I read, but it certainly won’t be the last. If nothing else, I won’t be able to avoid the pressure from Instagram. AmIRight??