Review: Never Really Over by Jennifer Van Wyk
Note: An advance reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Love Affair with Fiction.
Jennifer Van Wyk returns with a brand-new small-town romance featuring a second-chance romance between two people who were each other's first loves. Never Really Over introduces readers to Colton Samuelson and Layla Belk. They met as preschoolers, became friends over the years, and fell in love in high school. Then, at twenty-two, they went their separate ways, with Layla choosing to follow her dreams to work and live in Chicago, Illinois, and Colt holding firm to his lifelong plan of continuing to make a life and home in their hometown of Hollow Grove, Iowa. Twelve years later, one tragic accident changes both their lives. Colt becomes the legal guardian of his niece, Poppy, while Layla returns to care for her mother. Seeing the citified version of the girl he once loved has Colt wishing her away; Layla is hoping for a chance at redemption. Easier said than done.
Can I just say that I was quite happy that there was a fair amount of groveling in this book, and that I appreciated the fact that this was a twist on the more usual male main character redemption story angle? Just like with Colt and their close-knit circle of friends, Layla needed to win me over because if I'm being completely honest, I wasn't a huge fan of hers. And redeem herself she did. Yes, she had some missteps along the way, but over time, you could see she wasn't just trying; she was was reaching out and baring herself open to those she hurt most with her departure more than a decade ago. I loved seeing Colt and Layla come full circle, creating a family of their own with Poppy, extending it to include their old and new friends plus Layla's mom. There's some angst in the book, but it was still mostly a lighthearted and lovely read. I'm awarding Never Really Over 4.5 stars.
Date Read: 27 September 2021
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