*I received a free copy of Helping Her Remember from via ARC Publisher. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *Helping Her Remember by Kate Carley
Series: The Crawford Falls Series #1
on 26 February 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: ARC Publisher
How can two simple words make Dylan Bronstad’s heart ache and sing at the same time?
Even seven years ago, Kelly Anne Leeson had possessed that power. Back then, all Dylan wanted to do was drink and make love to her. Really, it was no wonder she’d climbed out of his bed and walked out of his life, leaving him with nothing but a nasty hangover and the lonely memories of their time together.
Today, Dylan’s life is on track. He’s sober with the support of his family and his tight-knit group of friends. But Kelly could derail all he’s worked to accomplish. Unfortunately, he can’t seem to stay away from her.
Lured by the offer of her dream job, Kelly returns home to Crawford Falls and the friends she’d abandoned a lifetime ago. Mending those broken relationships will require some honest answers and a fair amount of forgiveness.
But facing Dylan will take a lot more—like maybe a suit of armor to protect her battle-weary heart and the secret she fears she’ll never be able to keep.
While Kelly searches for a way to maintain the safe life she’s created for her son, Dylan works to remind her of the relationship they once had.
Just as they rekindle their relationship, secrets and half-truths threaten to destroy everything.
I expected to fall head over heels in love with Helping Her Remember – as I’m a huge fan of second chance romances. While I didn’t completely succumb to its charm, I did enjoy this story, the setting, and the characters.
Helping Her Remember is Dylan and Kelly’s story, the first book in the Crawford Falls series. And while I enjoyed getting to know both of the main characters and their friends, I wasn’t completely wowed by them. I think it was partly because when Kelly left Dylan behind, she also brought a very big secret with her. I could partly understand her reasons for doing so . I also thought she could have gotten back to her hometown earlier than she did. Keeping a child from his father is not something I look on lightly, and it made me less open to Kelly.
I also found Kelly to be very indecisive, she wanted to tell Dylan everything, but didn’t. She wanted to start over as friends, but was unable to keep a clear head around him. And I think the way she waffled and kept Dylan from the truth made her quite unlikeable. Dylan had completely turned his life around, going to AA meetings to stay sober. Keeping to himself. Caring for his ailing father with his brother’s help. He deserved to know he had a son, and was more than ready to be a dad.
I really enjoyed the small town feel in Helping Her Remember, and I will definitely pick up the upcoming books in the series. I want to get to know the side characters better. See them find love, and their own happily ever after. And I also want to see how Dylan and Kelly deal with life as a couple, and as parents.
Kelly has been raising her son on her own, with nobody knowing who his father is. And now that she is back home, she knows she has to deal with the past head on.
Dylan let the love of his life leave him in the dust. Partying, drinking, and sometimes hanging out with other girls made Kelly heartbroken.
Writing style :
Helping Her Remember is written in third person point of view, following Kelly and Dylan closely. The narration is in past tense and includes enough dialogues to get to know the characters well.
While I felt all of Dylans hope, and Kelly’s dreams, I was also a little bit frustrated because Kelly had such a hard time making up her mind about what she really wanted.
Although first and foremost, there was her son to consider. AJ was her number-one priority, and she’d never bing a man into their lives – even AJ’s biological father – without ensuring her son’s safety.
Holding a grudge? Not worth it. For sure, he’d missed out. He could be bitter. but Dylan knew it wouldn’t buy him back that time with his son. And he wanted Kelly Anne in his life, too. all that resentment and anger would never give him either.
Helping Her Remember Giveaway:
Helping Her Remember Excerpt:
“Isn’t that your turn?” she asked, huffing embarrassingly loud when they passed the county road and made their way up a fairly steep incline.
“I’m running you home.”
“Don’t need to. I’m a big girl, you know?” Kelly could feel his lazy perusal from her head down to her toes and back again. She was sweaty and gross, and he was checking her out. Unbelievable.
“Mmm. Yes, I know,” he said.
They ran in silence the rest of the way, because it was just too damn hard for her to talk. And he knew it. When they reached the top of the hill and turned onto her street, he said, “Let’s cool down.” They slowed their pace to a casual walk. “I never get to run with anyone. That was nice.”
“But you cut your run short for me. And it’s obvious, you’re in far better shape than I am, given that you can actually talk and run at the same time.”
Dylan just laughed at her comment, clasping his hand with hers, lacing their fingers together. “Go out with me, Kelly Anne. I’ve missed you, and I really want to get to know you again.”
The feel of his hand in hers and that sweet invitation sent a familiar surge of excitement through her. Kelly’s heart squeezed and her stomach did that little flip-flop rollercoaster thing again. As always, her body seemed to respond so naturally to Dylan’s attention. Or perhaps foolishly was a more appropriate definition of her response. While he apparently had warm memories of their time together, to her their relationship had been like watching an incredible firework display—spectacular, bright, loud—and then she’d been plunged into a dark, silent night all alone.
Kelly came to a stop near the side of her mom’s house and turned to face him, sucking in a deep breath and trying to ignore the nice hum of arousal playing through her body. “Jesse’s your best friend, right?” She didn’t wait, because she knew the answer. “Do you hold his hand like this when the two of you are together?” Classic Dylan reaction. He burst into laughter and then released her hand to give her a brief hug. When he stepped back, he wore that expression that generally got him exactly what he wanted. Kelly sighed and shook her head. “No, Dylan. I’m not interested in dating.”
Dylan moved in closer, tilting her chin up with one finger so she’d be forced to meet his eyes. Why did he insist on touching her like that? It did crazy things to her brain, not to mention the fact that it all but melted her resolve. “You’re kidding me. Come on, Kelly Anne. We were great together. Why not try it again?”
Because I know my heart will never survive.
About Kate Carley:
How Kate Carley went from majoring in mathematics and computer science in college to writing steamy contemporary romance still remains a mystery. She broke out into the indie publishing scene in 2015 with her debut novel, Challenged, a 2017 RONE award winner. Two more books completed her romantic suspense trilogy, Changing Krysset. With three published works under her belt, Kate is excited to launch her new contemporary romance series. Just like her first novels, the Crawford Falls series is set in a small town in Kate’s home state of Minnesota. When Kate isn’t busy at her desk writing, you’ll find her dreaming up new characters and plotting perfect ways to make their lives miserable before giving them their happily ever after.
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