Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley
After a tragic stint in the National Guards, Adam Connelly returns to Idaho and to Belle Haven, the animal shelter he owns with his brothers. All Adam wants is to be alone. Then he opens the door to the past—the woman whose heart he once broke. Still gorgeous, still tough-as-nails, but this time, unusually vulnerable.
Holly learned the hard way to never depend on a man for anything. Now, of all men, it’s the last one she wants to see, and the only one she needs. Her father has gone missing in the Bitterroot Mountains and she could use someone with tracking skills to help find him.
For Holly and Adam, each with their ghosts, a trek this desperate, this unpredictable, and this intimate, will have its share of risks—including opening their hearts one more time.
Rescue My Heart by Jill Shalvis is a steamy second chance at love romance between Adam Connelly and Holly Reid. Twelve years ago, Adam broke Holly’s heart after he dumped her when he joined the military. Now back in Belle Haven, Adam is the only person who takes Holly’s concerns about her missing father seriously. As they search for her father, Adam and Holly discover the red hot attraction between them burns stronger than ever.
As individuals, I really like Holly and Adam. They are fully developed characters with realistic strengths and weaknesses. Both have changed a great deal since they were teenagers but they are each fighting demons from their past and that plays a big role in their current relationship.
Holly’s heart may have been broken when Adam left her, but she did not let that keep her from falling in love again. With her rebound marriage to an older man over, Holly has returned to Belle Haven to run the business side of the family ranch. She has emerged from her failed marriage a much stronger woman who knows her mind and stands her ground against the alpha males in her life. Is Holly going to settle for the bits and pieces that Adam is willing to share with her? Or is she going to hold out for the fully committed relationship that she deserves?
Adam is the epitome of the strong, silent type. As a teen, he was rebellious and walked a fine line between the right and wrong side of the law. Knowing he would only destroy Holly’s life if they stayed together, Adam cut all ties with her when he joined the military. He returned to Belle Haven after a devastating tour in Afghanistan and he continues to suffer from PTSD. While he mostly has the PTSD under control, there are certain circumstances which triggers painful memories and sometimes crippling anxiety. While Adam is more than willing to indulge in some seriously hot sex with Holly, he must decide is he is ready for a real relationship with her.
As a couple, I found it difficult to connect with Adam and Holly. Most of the first half of Rescue My Heart is dedicated to the two day search for Holly’s dad. The story is slow moving and much of the conflict between them is internal as Adam and Holly try to work through their respective issues. They do not spend much time together outside of the bedroom and I was left wondering exactly what their relationship was based on other than their shared past and mutual passion. There are only a few interactions between them that did not involve sex, so their relationship felt rather superficial and rushed.
The supporting cast of characters is absolutely superb and I enjoyed them a great deal. Holly’s dad is a tough as nails rancher and I love how he acknowledged the changes he has observed in Holly. I already liked the gruff but caring man, but his obvious respect for Holly’s transformation totally won me over.
The other relationships that really stood out for me were those between Adam and his brothers Brady and Dell. Typical siblings in so many ways, Brady and Dell’s concern for Adam was always apparent. For the most part, they knew when to back off and when to push and they always have his best interests at heart.
Rescue My Heart is a wonderful novel about strong family ties and letting go of the past. Jill Shalvis does an excellent job with the PTSD aspect of the storyline and Adam’s struggles with the aftereffects of war are realistically portrayed. The dialogue is well-written and witty but there is also plenty of substance to this very sexy romance.
Although it is the third installment in the Animal Magnetism series, Rescue My Heart can easily be read as a standalone story. I am definitely looking forward to next book in this wonderful series.