*** AUTHOR’S NOTE and CONTENT WARNING: This story contains triggers for rape victims and soldiers. I did my best to remain respectful to the healing process for both. Hillary’s feelings are hers alone and ONLY represent how she feels about her attack. Dylan’s emotions about his time at war are his ALONE. You are all strong and beautiful, and you will soar again! ***

A broken soldier …

Dylan Meyer lived his life fast and hard, doing anything to keep his emotions masked. In Crystal Gulf, Texas, women, drugs, and alcohol are in abundance. After all, it’s a college town. But eventually, his lifestyle caught up to him. The birth of his daughter, Aubrey, forced him to grow up and take responsibility for his actions. He let his vices go, cleaned up his act, and allowed himself to fall for Harley Evans.

But Dylan is a liar.

He lied to himself. To Harley. To his best friend, Bach. And then he lied himself right into a U.S. Army uniform. When he went to war, he left Harley with his best friend in hopes that he’d look out for her while he was deployed. Not in his darkest nightmares did he think Bach and Harley would fall in love.

A fallen angel …

Hillary Hayes is an eighteen-year-old sophomore in college who understands the importance of rules. She’s followed them her entire life. She gets perfect grades, avoids dating, and won’t stray from the future her mother mapped out. On the outside, she’s perfect. Inside, she’s drowning.

That carefully crafted future disappears when she downs a beer at a party. What’s left of that night is the wreckage of the girl she used to be.
Until she meets Dylan. Her brother’s best friend.

When Dylan returns from war, he can’t move past the betrayal. His daughter’s growing up without him. Flashbacks and PTSD from his time in Afghanistan consume him. He loses himself in a dark depression. There is no light in his darkness …until he meets Hillary. His best friend’s little sister is the only good thing among all the bad.

He’s her safe place.
She’s his light.

Can two damaged souls ever find peace, or is the damage too much to overcome?

4 stars

I loved this. And you will too if you loved book 1. Yes, it was a very similar story to Bach & Harley’s but this time Dylan and Hillary had the spotlight. However, Bach still played a role (YAY!) but wait… I have to say that was weird because he wasn’t the Bach I knew from the first book. Yes, I know he changed, but he wasn’t the same Bach at all to me. It was Dylan from the first chapter of book 1. I took it with a grain of salt and enjoyed Dylan’s story, and it was so very good.

Dylan had demons, and let me tell you that’s putting it lightly. However, it didn’t mesh with his personality from book 1. I wish he hadn’t appeared like he had his shit together in book 1 100%. I wish he seemed a tiny bit lost, or at least have that alluded to. That part didn’t jive for me, but if I had only met him here he was amazing and I loved his broken heart and wanted to heal him.

Hillary was great. I was kind of surprised that she was so strong, yet at first let her friend(s) boss her around so much. As in boss her around where she got into a situation she typically would have avoided. It felt out of character for her to agree to so much up front and I wish it had been done differently, but I also still went with it.

The romance was chemistry from the get go. Some times there was so much over thinking and they got stuck in their heads, but I felt like their love and lust was really true. Dylan was one hell of a dirty talker and he brought his A game. I maybe should have been shocked but I was honestly just too busy enjoying his filthy mouth. #SorryNotSorry.

The ending was good (but a little dragged out, and I can’t even believe I’m saying this, but it was). So if you love epilogues this is the jackpot. You will be able to roll around and starfish in your HEA, but it was probably just a little over the top for me.

Ultimately this was a bit of a clone of book 1 with the names switched around, but in the end I still loved it AND the way it was written. I was totally absorbed and enjoyed the second go round, but as I’d seen it before it wasn’t quite as magical even though it really was still spectacular.

Rec this? YES! I thoroughly enjoyed it and all its smuttiness and even though it was familiar I would 100% rec it.

Happy reading!

Book Rating Breakdown
Dirty Talk Ability
Brooding level of the hero

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