Sunday, April 5, 2015

Review - The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter

The Closer You Come
by Gena Showalter
Series: The Original Heartbreakers, #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 31, 2015

Just released from prison, Jase Hollister has a dark and twisted past.  And now, he has only one goal: stay out of trouble. Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, sounds like the perfect place for him and his two brothers-by-circumstance to settle down and live a nice, simple life. But model citizen isn’t exactly this rugged bachelor’s default setting—especially when it comes to a certain hot-blooded Southern beauty…

Brook Lynn Dillon has always been responsible. Not that it’s done her much good. The down-on-her-luck waitress is broke, single and fun-deprived. Until Jase comes along. He is dangerous, stunningly protective, breathtakingly sexy and as tempting as sin, and the passion sizzling between them is undeniable. But can it melt her resistance? After all, the right kind of trouble might be just what they both need.

I was really excited to get my hands on this one and Gena Showalter put together a solid story with a great cast of character, some heat, some snark, and some small-town color. I love these small town stories, and the Strawberry Valley residents did not disappoint – from the meddling and gossip, to the drama and manipulation, this town had all the color that you would expect.

The start of the book, specifically the first time Jase and Brook Lynn meet, put me off a bit, so things got off to a rocky start. As the plot developed and I got to learn more about Brook Lynn and her sister, Jessie Kay, and Jase and his friends, West and Beck, the story started to pick up. Jase is such a damaged bad boy – fresh out of prison, trying to get his life on track, and determined not to ever let himself feel too much. Brook Lynn has worked hard to provide for herself and her sister, always being the responsible one, working two and three jobs, and never having time to enjoy life and have fun. When Brook Lynn meets Jase, he throws her whole world off-kilter, but there are so many different issues and obstacles that they have to deal with. It was fun watching them dance around their attraction, and seeing them come to terms with the issues from their pasts.

I did find that the book tended to drag at some points and although we got some of the trademark Gena Showalter snark, there wasn’t enough at times to keep a nice flow to the story. The two twists at the end dealing with Jase’s past didn't seem to really flow well with the story for me. Jase’s previous relationship almost seemed out of place in the story, something to add just a bit more drama – I think the intent was to show how it impacted Jase’s outlook on his future, but there was a bit of a disconnect for me with this. And although I did like the suspense/drama aspect that dealt with Jase's prison sentence, I would have liked to have seen a bit more build up throughout the book – there were some moments, but it seemed like a rush at the end to fit it in to the story to create that drama-filled, action packed moment near the end of the book.

All in all, I did enjoy this book and will definitely be checking out the next books in the series. As I said, I loved the small town setting and the entire cast of characters and can’t wait to see how Beck and West find their HEAs. Any opportunity to immerse myself in a Gena Showalter story is one I’m going to take – and I highly recommend checking out all of her other books as well, especially her LOTUS (Lords of the Underworld) series.


  1. Well. Sounds like a pretty decent start. Hopefully some of the issues will work out as she gets into the genre :)

  2. She's set up a great small town with some colorful characters, so I'm looking forward to the next one.


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