Thursday, April 11, 2019

Release Blitz & Review: Forgiven - Carrie Aarons

Forgiven by Carrie Aarons
Nash Brothers, #2

In a split-second, a car crash killed almost everything between them. Ten years later, can one accidental ride fix tattered spirits, uncertain futures, and broken hearts?
Lily Grantham has always done what she’s been told. The daughter of a senator, she grew up as the good girl of Fawn Hill, and carried that torch right on through to adulthood. Her only wild streak? Bowen Nash. She loved that boy since the day they laid eyes on each other, and it nearly ended them both. A decade later, and Lily still can’t move on. Even if Bowen has made it clear he doesn’t love her anymore.

Bowen Nash never wanted the life he’s trapped in. Destined for baseball fame and the love of his high-school sweetheart, that existence vanished in the flip of an old pickup. Now, he’s stuck in the town that produced his worst nightmare. Pretending to hate Lily Grantham guts him day in and day out. But to protect her from the ultimate secret, it’s necessary to break his own heart each time they pass on the street.

They’ve been fighting fate for as long as it’s been chasing them. And now, time is up.
4.5 Stars
Sweet, angsty, the kind of small town romance that sweeps your problems away for a little bit. Forgiven is the second chance romance that readers will read and get that finally feeling. Ten years have passed since the accident, since Bowen walked away and Lily was left with a broken heart and no reason that she can find. Bowen Nash and Lily Grantham are meant to be, but there's secrets and heartache between them that neither are prepared to face. When Lily's best friend and Bowen's brother select the two to be their maid and man of honor, it's the push they both need to face one another. As Lily starts to question Bowen's hatred of her, Bowen realizes that maybe holding onto the past isn't worth losing the girl he never stopped loving.

I have to admit, I was prepared for a sweet romance and while we got that, Carrie Aarons gave me what I really wanted, a whole lot of angst. Second-chance romances just aren't right without the characters dealing with the hurt between them and I hate when issues are resolved easily. I honestly wasn't sure these two would find a way to work out, Lily has been beat down by it for so long and Bowen had turned quite surly, but they still fit together like puzzle pieces. Lily isn't the same girl she used to be in high school, her independence giving her the ability to pursue Bowen relentlessly. And Bowen, though successful in his own way, has really allowed the past and his self hatred to hold him back. Lily's pursuit shakes things up for Bowen, he either has to run or face the music, and that felt realistic to me as a reader. It isn't easy of course, her pursuit often makes her hurt more, but it also restarts the longing in Bowen's heart. It's a kind of push and pull, but as they give in and Bowen reveals the truth they finally realize the blame should've never lied on the two of them at all.

I docked half a star due to the situation that keeps the two apart. Looking at it from their youthful perspectives, it makes sense that it's what started it all, but as adults I had a hard time believing it was viewed as serious as it was. I think the time they spent apart was so long and though I'm glad they finally faced it, it made me sort of sad for the time they lost and the built up anger that Bowen had. I might have docked more had Carrie Aarons not made them tackle the issue over the entire length of the book, allowing them to restart their relationship and strengthen their bonds once more.

Forgiven is a story of love, loss, and forgiveness and it'll tick off all the boxes for the angst lovers out there. It is the second novel in the Nash Brothers series and so far my favorite. Carrie Aarons has created a small town series with all the drama, friendships, and relationships readers' hearts could desire, plus the brothers are handsome and the girls are fiercely independent. The entire series is the kind of romance readers root for.
What Reviewers Are Saying about the Nash Brothers...
“So what do I need to do to find a quaint little town like Fawn Hill? And some Nash brothers? Because good golly Miss Molly I am in love with everything here!” -The Book Branch



Author of romance novels such as Red Card and Privileged, Carrie Aarons writes books that are just as swoon-worthy as they are sarcastic. A former journalist, she prefers the stories she dreams up, and the yoga pant dress code, much better.
When she isn't writing, Carrie is busy binging reality TV, having a love/hate relationship with cardio, and trying not to burn dinner. She lives in the suburbs of New Jersey with her husband, daughter and dog.

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