Philadelphia police officer Kylee Parker is dedicated to protecting and serving. She sees the work in absolutes: right and wrong, black and white, good guys and bad guys. That is, until she chases a drug dealer into a dead-end alley and finds the bad boy she had a painful crush on throughout her teen years has turned into a more dangerous and more attractive man.
Jayson Donovan knows he doesn’t deserve someone as good as Kylee Parker. As the right hand man to a local drug-pushing mobster, he’s solidly on the wrong side of Kylee’s moral compass. But he can’t help reaching for her time and again when he knows he shouldn’t.
Even when his secrets threaten them both.
A Love Restrained, from Becky Flade, is a second-chance romance with a nice, little surprise trope that I was tickled over! Kylee and Jayson were interesting characters in one of my new, favorite cities, Philadelphia. They crushed over each other in high school, but circumstances kept them apart until a chance meeting in an alleyway when Kylee, a Philadelphia police officer, arrests Jayson for dealing drugs.
What I liked:
- Jayson and Kylee are both fairly complex characters.
- While Jayson is living the life of a criminal, there’s clearly something else there. As the story unfolds we learn about his abusive childhood and the role Kylee’s parents played in saving him from it.
- Kylee comes from a wonderful, supportive family which has given her the confidence to live her life the way she wants. I liked her as a strong, confident police woman who is also a loving daughter and sister.
- They have great chemistry!
- The bones of the story are promising: corruption, drugs, a second chance at love, and family all make for a great story.
What didn’t work:
- A Love Restrained starts strong and grabbed me right out of the door, but it quickly seemed to get away from the author. There were too many things going that distracted from the love story. I really was invested in Kylee and Jayson as a couple, but halfway through, the book takes a turn that delighted me, but eventually derailed the overall romance. I would have loved to see more of them growing as a couple.
- Flade has a very unique voice. She switches from 3rd person POV to 1st POV with both characters and within the same paragraph almost constantly. While this actually worked on occasion, it did cause some whiplash. Towards the end, as the story raced to an exciting conclusion, dialogue and POV switched so fast that I gave up trying to figure out who was saying what.
- I think there’s a lot to like about this book. It has a strong family vibe and a very likable couple. It’s a quick paced read, but one that could be tightened up to make it stronger.
3 stars for A Love Restrained. Heat level: 2.5
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for honest feedback.
A Love Restrained was published in October 2017 by Tirgearr Publishing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
When I was little I thought everyone had stories in their head. I didn’t find out that wasn’t the case until kindergarten. I remember thinking that was sad; and that I should share the ones I had. I asked my teacher for help. I had her cut, fold and staple the paper into a suspiciously book-like shape. Then I drew the cover art and illustrated the interior pages. Finally, and most importantly, I dictated the text. And violà … a writer was born.
It took thirty years for me to get from that first attempt to being a published author. I think the road thus far has added some depth and experience to my writing. At the very least I learned I shouldn’t ever do my own illustrations.
A city girl, born and bred, I tend to place my stories in and around southeast Pennsylvania, or at least have a character or two from the area. Home is where the heart is and I make mine with my very own knight in slightly tarnished armor, three beautiful daughters, a son-in-law and two grandsons whom make every day a blessing. When I’m not busy living my own happily ever after, I’m writing about someone else’s.
I’d love to have you visit with me at www.beckyfladeauthor.com, on Goodreads, Facebook and Twitter, or write to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.