Blurb: Isaac Laroche is cursed. All he wants to do is hide out and feel sorry for himself. Never mind that he got caught sleeping with his seventeen-year-old piano student, or that he abandoned her when the truth was exposed.
Isaac’s feisty high school sweetheart has different plans. Heather Swann has returned to their hometown of Mobile, Alabama, to regroup after breaking up with her troll of a fiancé. She’s restless and looking for a diversion, but she bites off more than she can chew when she sets her sights on rehabilitating Isaac with her unorthodox sexual, mental, and physical plans.
The two quickly reconnect, but their happiness is threatened by family secrets, old vendettas and the death of a beloved father-figure.
Can Heather handle Isaac’s baggage, or will her own come back to haunt them both?
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars for this decidedly grown-up sequel.
My Review: After reading and enjoying the first book in this series, WANT, I wasn’t entirely sure how I would feel about a sequel featuring Issac after the events that closed the first novel. As someone who really rooted for Dave when it came to Julianne (yes, I like nice guys), I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to really relate to or sympathize with Issac as a main character.
I need not have worried. Ms. Lawton was able to draw me into Issac’s angst and really feel for him, despite what a cad I thought he had been. By the time he’d run into Heather again, the author had me squarely on his side and feeling badly enough for him to want to root for him to find happiness.
I don’t do spoilers in my reviews, so I will keep the plot points talk to a minimum, but I will say that this book is definitely more maturely written than WANT. There are some interesting “adult” oriented themes here that would appeal to a more mature audience. Saying that, I did feel the shift to an NA genre from the original’s YA stamp was warranted, and made sense for the story when you consider Issac was a great deal older than Julianne in the original story.
I really enjoyed getting another glimpse into Stephanie Lawton’s skewed deep south society. Being born and bred in Upstate New York, I’ve often wondered if life in the south is really that interestingly dysfunctional.
NEED earned 4.5 stars from me. Shy of five, mostly because despite my general “like” of Heather, I never really felt connected to her the way I was to Julianne in the first novel. I am, however, willing to concede that some of that is my own bias — having enjoyed WANT so much.
I would not hesitate to recommend this one, and if you read the first novel, it is a MUST READ.
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