Title: Fight to Forgive (Letting Go #3)
Author Name & Publisher: J. Leigh Bailey (Carina Press)
Publication Date & Length: March 28, 2016 – 192 pgs
Recent college grad Aaron Elliott is a pro when it comes to avoiding conflict. So when he hears his mother and stepfather plan to sell the family’s rambling summer retreat, it takes everything in him to object. The lake house is where he feels closest to his late father. It’s where he fell in love with his best friend…and it’s where he let family pressure decide his future rather than following his heart.
A combat injury has naval officer James “Freddie” Fredrick dry-docked, possibly for good. But the pain in his shoulder is nothing like the hurt he feels when he sees Aaron back in town. It’s been four years since the love of his life left without a word—and though Freddie would give anything to deny it, the heat between them hasn’t faded.
Once upon a time, Aaron let Freddie go without a fight. He won’t screw up their second chance to have a happy ending. But unless he makes peace with the past, Freddie won’t be able to face their future.
What a great book! The central characters in this story are beautifully constructed, the writing is well crafted and I love reading about childhood lovers getting a second chance.
Freddie is a perfect leading man. Injured in combat, still grieving the loss of his father, supporting his family – the man is almost too perfect. With all the warmth and goodness surrounding Freddie and his family, I actually checked to see if this was a new pen name for Amy Lane.
Aaron is also lovely, though he seems more childlike than Freddie. He is also a slightly cliched poor-little-rich-boy. As a new-adult story, part of the joy is watching the recent college graduate develop a backbone, assert his independence and carve out an adult identity for himself.
The chemistry between Aaron and Freddie is brilliant. They anticipate each other and compliment each other as only long-term friends can do as lovers. This is a wonderful pairing.
There are a few frustrating plot issues. I know a romance needs conflict, but the miscommunication in this story was seriously overblown. Aaron’s wealthy family is only ever the cliched diabolical force for evil and the female characters are only roughly sketched – either nasty and predatory on Aaron’s side or insipid and maternal on Freddie’s.
Ultimately, I really enjoyed this.
Triggers: Assault, manipulative family
I really enjoyed this story, for the most part. I felt that it was a little drawn out with backstory – it would have been nice to see more of their story together, rather than their past. However, I really enjoyed watching them dance around each other in the uncomfortable way they did.
I was very upset that nothing came of the step sister – seems to me that should have been addressed more. As well as I wish that Aaron had been more forceful or stronger against his mother. I wanted to make sure that she knew what she was losing when she chose to go around her son, rather than include him in the decision.
Overall, this had a lot of potential to be a fantastic story, but it was just ho-hum because we really only read about their past.
I was really excited to read this book when I read the blurb. I liked Freddie and Aaron, you could tell they both really loved each other in the flashbacks, however, the story was very slow for me. Nothing really happened until almost ¾ of the way into the book. There were a lot of flashbacks that gave us the back story but it was just drawn out and then when we finally got tothe good part the book was over. I would have liked to have seen what happened to all the characters after everything was said and done. There was just so much miscommunication and so much back and forth that I just wanted to scream. Great potential but missed the mark for me.
j. leigh bailey is an office drone by day and the author of Young Adult LGBT Romance by night. She can usually be found with her nose in a book or pressed up against her computer monitor. A book-a-day reading habit sometimes gets in the way of… well, everything…but some habits aren’t worth breaking. She’s been reading romance novels since she was ten years old. The last twenty years or so have not changed her voracious appetite for stories of romance, relationships and achieving that vitally important Happy Ever After. She’s a firm believer that everyone, no matter their gender, age, sexual orientation or paranormal affiliation deserves a happy ending.
She wrote her first story at seven, which was, unbeknownst to her at the time, a charming piece of fan-fiction in which Superman battled (and defeated, of course) the nefarious X Luther. She was quite put out to be told, years later, that the character’s name was actually Lex. Her second masterpiece should have been a best-seller, but the action-packed tale of rescuing her little brother from an alligator attack in the marshes of Florida collected dust for years under the bed instead of gaining critical acclaim.
Now she writes Young Adult LGBT Romance novels about boys traversing the crazy world of love, relationships and acceptance.