Harley and Rose by Carmen Jenner
Ever since she was a little girl, thirty-year-old Rose dreamed of the day Harley would carry her across the threshold on their honeymoon. So what if this isn’t her actual wedding day, and that she’s only here because Harley was left at the altar just a few hours earlier?
Trading San Francisco for paradise and swapping her bridesmaid’s bouquet for a Blue Hawaii, Rose hopes she can finally escape the friend zone.
Once upon a time they had been more than friends, but life got in the way. She’s spent every day since wishing Harley would get a clue.
She’s always been his best friend.
He’s always been hers.
She’s in love with him.
He’s … not in love with her.
He’s … marrying someone else.
He’s … hiding something.
He’s … well—it’s complicated.
Okay so let me preface this review with saying that I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into with this book. This is the very first story I’ve delved into from the author. I’d heard great things about her, saw great things about her work, and when the opportunity came up to review her recent novel, I took the plunge. And if you know me well, you know that I typically don’t invest in stories that aren’t paranormal or supernatural in nature (and certainly not to the point of committing time to review one) unless I feel like it’s worth my precious time. I’d bore you with the details of my oh so busy life, but you all get it because we’re all busy, and I’m knee deep in writing my last novel of my current series, so time. is. precious.
So what made me commit? I kept hearing how this story would tear my heart out, and how wonderfully strong and broken the heroine (Rose) is, so I knew immediately this story had the promise of depth. And that’s something, whether paranormal or not, that can make anyone appreciate the ride, so I thought “why not? I’d love to see what this is about.”
And I’m glad I never looked back.
There aren’t many stories out there that make me cry, but holy cow, did this one achieve that. Again, Rose is so beautifully broken and strong (which someone could only be after being so broken), and she shares a relationship with “Lost Boy” Harley that most people long for their entire lives, but yet… they can’t ever seem to quite get in sync (despite their sizzling chemistry), and so the story spirals them into a roller coaster of hurt and desperation. I had an idea of what I thought this book was going to be and left it completely shattered. Despite how much I was rooting for them, this is not a happy, feel good romance. This is real. This is LIFE, people. But Carmen also knows how to weave a story with just enough humor to keep it balanced.
And because I don’t want to give ANY part of this book away, I’ll have to stop there, but I beg you… read this book!
PS – LOVE all the references to Peter Pan! It gives it that extra layer of magic that makes it so special.
“It’s why I call him Pan. He’s the original lost boy, and he’s always been so damn good at getting me to follow behind him like a lovesick Wendy with Peter.”
Carmen Jenner is a thirty-something, USA TODAY and international bestselling author of the Sugartown, Savage Saints, and Taint series.
Her dark romance, KICK (Savage Saints MC #1), won Best Dark Romance Read in the Reader’s Choice Awards at RWDU 2015.
A tattoo enthusiast, hardcore MAC addict and zombie fangirl, Carmen lives on the sunny north coast of New South Wales, Australia, where she spends her time indoors wrangling her two wildling children, a dog named Pikelet, and her very own man-child.
A romantic at heart, Carmen strives to give her characters the HEA they deserve, but not before ruining their lives completely first … because what’s a happily ever after without a little torture?
Find her here: http://www.carmenjenner.com/