Friday, January 10, 2014

Review: Wholehearted by Cate Ashwood

Reviewed by Whuppsy
Wholehearted (Hope Cove #2) by Cate Ashwood
Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 208pgs
3 Pants Off

Hope Cove: Book Two

Officer Declan Grant responds to a call at the Hope Cove docks to find Lucas Hale barely alive after being beaten and tossed off his fishing boat. The violent crime rocks this tranquil community where everyone knows each other and doors are rarely locked. Despite Declan being new to Hope Cove, he wants to keep his new home and Lucas safe. He starts by volunteering to care for Lucas after he’s released from the hospital.

Lucas just wants to put the whole incident behind him and move on, but the more he gets to know Declan, the harder he finds it to push Declan and his do-right attitude away. The investigation into the assault continues, but Declan will soon face a moral dilemma, a choice that may topple his tidy life and force him to choose between Lucas and the law.

Book Two of the Hope Cove series starts with Declan Grant responding to a call to find Lucas Hale bloody and beaten on the docks. Something clicks in Declan and he’s just KNOWS that he’s got to keep Lucas alive and with him. He goes to the hospital and spends all of his available time sitting by Lucas’ bedside. It’s confusing to him as well that he’s got such strong feelings for this guy that he’s never seen before and yet can’t stop thinking of.

Lucas Hale is a young man who finds that he’s not one school so he tries a couple of different jobs before finding work on a fishing charter. He’s been working on this particular fishing charter a couple of times and he’s surprised when he’s attacked by the crew. He is scared and he’s hiding the truth about the attack from Declan and not really willing to help the investigation in any way. He’s snarky and mean to Declan to begin with. But he comes around.

Declan invites Lucas to go home with him after he’s allowed to leave the hospital. Lucas accepts knowing that he’s got no place to go and that he needs to heal. Lucas and Declan find a way to co-exist and they both start to fall even more for the other. Things are looking good for them as they start to open up and share their life stories.

Then it happens, the angsty moment arrives when Declan must make a choice. The choice that he’s made doesn’t turn out the way he anticipated. Lucas is hurt and heartbroken and leaves Declan. Declan is heartbroken and just wants Lucas back in his life. Lucas has cut all contact with Declan. Mack (from Brokenhearted who makes some great cameo appearances) tells Declan that he’s got some work to do on him and to allow Lucas the time and space to feel what he’s feeling and to decide what he wants to do.

I am torn regarding my feelings on this story. I love how the story isn’t just a romance, that there is a mystery and a bit of suspense that needs to be worked out. I just can’t help but feel that something was missing from the story. Something kept me from being fully invested into the characters. I cared kinda. I’m not really sure what it was that just wasn’t working for me.

I liked seeing Mack and Oliver and even Hadyn. I liked Declan’s character. He’d been through some horrible things from his prior job in Texas and still was a good, kind man. Good at his job. There was a lot to like about him. Even Lucas was a pretty good character. I liked that he was honest about how he saw himself. He was young and hurt. I get all of that and yet something was missing. The end of the book came about so abruptly that I was turned the page and was like what happened? Is this really the end?

I will say that it was a good book. I did like aspects of the book. I liked that each character had to find who they were and who they wanted to be. I loved the growth that each character must go through in order to be stronger and come back together and make their relationship work.

3 Pants Off
Review: Book #1 Brokenhearted

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