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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.3 out of 5
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  • Beautiful!

    I cannot even express how unbelievably beautiful this book is! Sydney, of sweet and strong Sydney, she took my heart and she can gladly have it. So strong, so determined, so knocked down, set aside, and disregarded at every step for most of her life, yet, still hopeful, willing to live her best life, and giving with her heart and soul. Sydney is an empath, it is so clear, and even when her battery is empty, she gives what little she has for others. She is no pushover, she stands up for herself, but that she has learned to expect so little from others caused a physical ache in me. Cole was, quite simply, heartbreaking. His path to this point was overwhelming, and understandably so. His reactions were normal, expected, and not anything that I help against him. For Cole, coming to the realization of where he is in life, and where he is ready to go in life, is full of pain, remembrance, and love. He has been in self-survival mode so long, coming out of that is not easy, or even something he wants to do. For every bit of progress he thinks he makes, he has two setbacks. With the love and support of each other, their friends, their family, and unintentionally, those who do not support them, these two weave a tale with many tears, a few laughs, an undeniably attraction, and love that grows and has a life of its’ own, which is exactly how they needed and wanted it to do. Simply a stunning love story of overcoming loss and finding your path in life

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  • Angsty, dramatic & heart tugging

    All I have to say is prepare yourself for an angsty, dramatic, heart tugging, roller coaster ride of raw emotions and feels as this incredible read. I really liked Cole and Sydney and found them very easy to relate to. Their chemistry, attraction and emotional turmoil was intense and tangible as the story unfolds. I'll be honest here and admit that I felt so much in regards to this couple. I think it's really hard not to considering the baggage and emotional wounds they carry. I loved it and look forward to a return trip to Rose Bend just as soon as possible. This is my frank, freely posted review.

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  • Beautiful must read book

    This was a beautifully written, emotional story centered around Sydney and Cole. Sydney returns to Rose Bend, pregnant and divorced. One of the first people she sees is Cole, lawyer, Mayor, and brother to Sydney’s childhood friend, Leontyne (Leo). Cole is attracted to Sydney but he feels guilty about it because he’s still grieving the loss of his wife and son, from two years ago. Sydney has mixed feelings about her parents with justification. I won’t leave any spoilers, but I highly recommend this amazing book and hope everyone will give it a read, so you can fall for all these wonderful characters like I did. Everyone should be lucky enough to have the kind of adoptive parents Cole does. I received an advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley and this is my voluntary and honest review.

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  • Sweet story!

    Sweet story of friends to marriage of convenience to HEA Sydney and Cole have a long, intertwined history going far back into both their childhoods. He married his high school sweetheart, who later died in childbirth. She left their hometown behind and married Daniel, only to get divorced when she felt that her husband was the reason why she never developed drive to push for her career dreams. A one-night-stand with the ex-husband leaves her pregnant yet determined to make a life for herself, by herself, so she heads back to her hometown to start over. Losing his wife and child has left Cole deeply scarred and he honestly can't handle his attraction to a pregnant Sydney, nor is he ever again going to risk the kind of pain and heartbreak that love can lead to. Still, he can't seem to stay away, and when Sydney needs someone in her corner when her ex sues for custody of their as-yet-unborn child, Cole proposes the perfect solution - as long as they both understand that it's just friendship, with absolutely no possibility of romance. As this is a romance with a very satisfying HEA, these are famous last words, indeed. I love the chemistry that Sydney and Cole share, and she was so sweet and gentle with his heart while he tried to figure out what to do with all the unwelcome feelings. I was a left a little unsatisfied by her reasons for leaving her husband in the first place, as she seemed angry that he moved on with a woman who had the kind of career success she'd convinced herself she couldn't have while with Daniel. However, since the story is about her romance with her best friend's brother, we can forget the past with Daniel as easily as she does and wish her all the best in her future with Cole. Lots of wonderful secondary characters set in a charming small town gave this story depth with a nostalgic appeal. I'm looking forward to reading more in this series. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.

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  • Angst, drama, heat, and a whole lot of feels

    The Road to Rose Bend is filled with drama and angst! Naima Simone delivers her usual heat and wonderful dialogue, but adds an additional layer of emotion as she tackles some pretty heavy topics and emotional turmoil. From their first meeting it was clear that Cole and Sydney were just what the other needed to help move forward with their lives. Cole is still dealing with his grief over losing his wife and child, so even though there were a few times I wanted to give him a proverbial smack and tell him to wake up and see what is front of him, it was easy to cut him a whole lot of slack knowing that he was still going through the grieving process. Sydney was fierce - she left her marriage because she did not want to settle for less than she deserves, and that didn’t change once she found out she was pregnant. She has her own issues to deal with, and although it took her a bit to let go of some of her childhood baggage, I did love that ultimately she got all she deserved. There was a wonderful supporting cast of characters, many whom I suspect will get their own book (yeah!!!) And no one writes the mean, evil, selfish character better than Naima Simone, so you know there were a few of those thrown in to add to the angst and drama that Cole and Syndey had to go through. Reflective of the times, this book also addressed some issues of race and bullying. I really liked the way that these topics were addressed, and I really loved the exchange between Cole and his adoptive mother. This was another wonderful read from Naima Simone. I can’t say enough about her writing and the way she brings her characters to life. In typical Harlequin fashion, this was a quick read that leaves you with a happy for now, but since this is just the first in the series I can only assume that we’ll get to see a bit more of Cole and Sydney as more books are released. If you are looking for angst, drama, heat, and a whole lot of feels, then this is one you shouldn’t miss! I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book I received from the Publisher on NetGalley.

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