Back to You by Lauren Dane
Series: The Hurley Boys #3
Published by Harlequin HQN on May 26, 2015
Genres: Category - Harlequin, Contemporary, Romance
Buy at Amazon •
What won't he do for a second chance?
Former model Kelly Hurley has finally put the ashes of the past behind her. After a passionate but turbulent marriage to rock star Vaughan Hurley that ended in heartbreak and divorce, Kelly rebuilt her life in Portland, where she settled so their two young daughters could be close to their father. Just not so close Kelly couldn't truly make her own way without interference from the man who shattered her heart. Now Kelly's finally ready to move on, and she's planning to marry another man.
But not if Vaughan has anything to say about it.
Vaughan knows he was a fool all those years ago. A young, selfish—and prideful—fool. Even as he buried himself in the fast, decadent rock-star lifestyle, he could never drown out the memory of Kelly's beauty and love. Or the sweet, searing heat whenever they touched. For years, he's had to deal with the pain of seeing her only because of their daughters, but it was never enough. Now Vaughan must prove that he's the only man Kelly needs, before he loses her for good. And there's only one way to do it…
I’ve finally come to the end of the road with the Hurley Boys and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. I have given quite a bit of thought to finding some of her other contemporary romances, however (I really want to read Lush (Delicious #3) Damien + Mary’s story). I’ve really enjoyed my time with the Hurleys. For the most part.
I really, really wish that Back to You was book two in the series and not the final. Back to You doesn’t have anywhere near the emotional punch that The Best Kind of Trouble and Broken Open had for me.
Vaughan, the hero, was the biggest jackass of a husband that I can imagine in a series like this. He married and impregnated Kelly, the heroine, well before he took her to meet his parents. Vaughan’s mother, Sharon, was a total bitch to her although she’s like a mother to the rest of the women in the series. Vaughan then cheated on Kelly – causing the divorce – and Vaughan allowed his family to believe that the divorce was her fault. Causing even more awkwardness between Kelly and the Hurleys.
Then he waits 8 years + Kelly getting engaged to another man to decide he wants to step up and pull his head out of his ass.
Guess what was NOT in Back to You: Grovelling. Real grovelling. And Vaughn needed to grovel. A lot. But it was all so easy for him. WTF.
The book makes it perfectly clear that Kelly never wanted to divorce Vaughan and that she loved him to distraction. That she was suffering from unrequited love. And he is the involved father of her children. In fact, the ONLY thing Vaughan didn’t fail in was fathering his kids. It makes sense that Kelly would take him back. It made sense that Kelly broke her engagement (the reason was sound and important). It made sense but it wasn’t as romantic as I was expecting. I was expecting more…tension I guess. And grovelling. Lots and lots of grovelling.
So much. He made her feel so much.
And then she’d never had it again. No matter how many hands touched her, even in the same way he did then. Only this man seemed to render her bare, every nerve on fire, supersensitive. He played her body, and her heart followed.
Even the way he fucked was like music. One of those slow, ragged rock-and-roll songs about desire and longing.
All that intensity he exposed left her utterly defenseless, not just to how he made her feel physically, but the deep and until last week, hopeless love she’d carried all these years.
I swear, while I’ve enjoyed the heck out of these romances, they are much closer to what I’d call a “fantasy romance” than the contemporary that they are categorized as. Yet again, the Hurleys do not have to deal with the media. At all. It makes no sense here (again). Kelly is a former supermodel. Vaughan is a rock star. The band is on tour and hitting record numbers. Ezra (Broken Open) just started playing with [the band] again after a long hiatus. And Kelly is Vaughan’s ex-wife and mother of his kids. The media should be all over this one. Not one photo taken. Another major “fantasy” portion of this is the…ease in which the two were able to rekindle their relationship. IDK about Kelly but it would take more than two months of good behavior to make up for eight years of being a douche for me.
Back to You is also a lot more isolated than the other two books in the Hurley Boys series. The heroines in the first two books were best friends and they both appear heavily in those two books. Kelly appears a lot more in Tuesday’s book (Broken Open) than Tuesday appears in Back to You. Natalie (The Best Kind of Trouble) doesn’t appear at all and the Hurley brothers/parents have very few scenes. The lack of additional characters made it feel rather cozy but still isolated. I can understand the missing Hurleys – Vaughan’s dickishness made a close relationship between them and Kelly impossible. Which is yet another reason that Vaughan needed to be on his hands and knees begging for forgiveness. Ugh.
All in all, Back to You is a pretty solid book. I enjoyed it quite a bit and read it rather quickly. It just didn’t hit the same buttons for me as the previous two books did. All in all, it’s a good book that you’ll enjoy…just don’t expect any angst.