Title: Back to You by Lauren Dane
The Hurley Boys Series Book Three
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
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…
Back to You by is a wonderful second chance at love romance. It is the third installment in the delectable Hurley Boys rocker series and in this outing, youngest brother Vaughan is hoping to convince his ex-wife Kelly to give their relationship a second chance. The novel is extremely sweet but in true Lauren Dane fashion, it is also deliciously steamy and just a little bit naughty.
Vaughan and Kelly have been divorced for eight years and Kelly has finally moved on. After Kelly announces her engagement, Vaughan knows he will have to act fast to win her back. She is generous enough to invite him to stay with her while their daughter is recovering from surgery and after Kelly breaks off her engagement, Vaughan finally works up the nerve to begin trying to reconcile with the only woman he has ever loved. He wants the chance to prove that he has changed from the spoiled, selfish man he was during their marriage. Vaughan isn’t the only one who has changed in the intervening years, and he is going to have work hard to win Kelly back.
After their divorce, Kelly willingly made a lot of sacrifices to ensure Vaughan and his family would be able to see their daughters on a regular basis. She gave up her modeling career and moved from New York to Oregon where she eventually opened a clothing boutique. She is a hands on mother who is very involved with her kids’ lives. Kelly’s relationship with the Hurley family has been difficult and she has dealt with a lot of hostility from the Hurley family over the years. She has made a lot of positive changes in her life and she has finally learned to stand up for herself (much to Vaughan’s surprise). Kelly still has feelings for Vaughan, but she has serious reservations about his ability to commit to a relationship.
Vaughan loved Kelly when he married her but he was not ready for a family. Instead of being honest with her (and himself), he did a lot of outrageous and hurtful things to push her into ending their marriage. He let his family believe the worst of her both during and after their marriage and he has never bothered to correct their misconceptions about her. Vaughan is fully committed to making their relationship work, but he is going to have to fully own up to his past mistakes before they can move forward.
Both Vaughan and Kelly have worked through their most of their individual problems before they attempt to reconcile, so most of the story concentrates on their renewed relationship. Vaughan still finds it difficult to verbalize his misdeeds but Kelly won’t even consider a reconciliation unless he takes full responsibility for his actions. While there is no denying that he made some terrible decisions and he did some very reprehensible things, it sometimes feels like Vaughan takes more than his fair share of blame for their failed marriage. Kelly also has some responsibility for what went wrong, but she never really admits to any wrongdoing. Kelly also insists on complete honesty from Vaughan, but she is not always as forthcoming as she could be about some of her own issues and idiosyncrasies.
What makes Back to You such a delightful read is the realistic portrayal of Vaughan and Kelly’s relationship. Their struggles are true to life and their pain over past mistakes is easy to relate to. Vaughan’s remorse is palpable and since he did so much damage to Kelly, he is very respectful of her need to take things slow. There is never any doubt they feel very strongly about one another and it is very gratifying watching them heal the wounds from the past while they work on building a healthy relationship.
Back to You is a very heartwarming addition to the Lauren Dane’s Hurley Boys series. It is well-written with a refreshingly unique plot. The characters are engaging and the dialogue is witty and laugh out loud funny. The sex scenes are scorching hot but there is always an underlying tenderness to them as well. Although it is the third novel in the series, it can be read as a standalone story.