~ About the Book ~
Landing a prominent chair in the Philharmonic Orchestra is part of Bree Ramirez’s determined plans to avoid her old life. Falling smack into her ex-fiancé’s path again? Nowhere close. But with a gang hit targeting her and her brother as loose ends, the pressure to get them out of Queens ushers her straight into the very arms she’s spent the last four years pretending aren’t still home.
On the brink of finally making detective and tackling his parents’ cold case, NYPD Officer Josh D’Angelo is prepared for just about anything. Except playing it cool with the only girl he’s ever loved. Then again, if being assigned Bree’s security detail opens the doors to winning her back, he’ll risk whatever the job requires. Including his heart.
But when Josh’s investigation brings him to a choice he promised Bree he’d never have to make, this unsolicited reunion may cost them their only shot at a second chance.
~ Excerpt ~
Josh peered behind him to the door. They needed to get her back to her apartment. Now.
She hustled up to the porch before Josh could stop her. “Gabe. Is he okay?”
“He’s not here. We need to roll.” He steered her down the walkway, but she struggled against him.
“The Sanchez Crew broke into the house, didn’t they? I can’t leave without my brother, Josh. If they . . .” She sucked in a breath.
Daniels put a hand on Bree’s shoulder. “He’s probably lying low right now. The kid’s got a good head on his shoulders. I saw it the first day he rode with us—
“Rode with you?” Bree’s gaze darted to Josh for an explanation.
Perfect. He squelched the inward grunt aimed at Daniels for spilling that detail right now and prodded Bree farther away from the house. “Gabe got busted for possession in October. I asked Sarge if he’d okay a ride-along to give him another perspective.”
“Another perspective.” Her amber eyes might as well have been flames. “So he’ll want to be a cop too? You think he doesn’t know what that life is like?”
“Better than a gangbanger’s life.” Josh strained to control his voice. Why did it always have to come back to this? “I was trying to help.”
“He’s my family. I’m taking care of it.”
“By stripping him of his roots?” His jaw twitched. “Your family’s been in Astoria for five generations. That’s called a legacy, Bree.”
“More like chains. What are his choices here? Join a gang or become a civil servant like our parents? Die in the streets or on the job?” Deep-seated hurt splintered through the shell hardening her voice. “There’s nothing wrong with going away to college. He deserves a chance at a good life.”
The life she thought Josh couldn’t offer her. Another jolt of rejection quaked through him.
She clasped her elbows, a sheen building over her eyes. Her tough-as-nails exterior gave way to trembling shoulders, and he was instantly back in the eleventh grade, cradling her for hours as she emptied every tear inside her after losing her uncle.
She could hide behind resolve if she wanted to. She could fight with him and pretend nothing penetrated her shield. It didn’t matter. He knew the ache and fears underneath it all.
Layers of brokenness looked up at him. “If anything happens to him . . . I can’t . . .”
“Come here.” He pulled her close and rested his chin over her head. “Nothing’s going to happen to either of you.” Not on his watch.
She balled the back of his T-shirt in her hands, and Josh held even tighter to the only life he’d ever wanted. The one he’d give anything to protect—including his heart.
~ Review ~
Crystal Walton is one of my favourite contemporary romance writers. Her writing is dynamic and her characters’ personalities ooze from the page. Add in a suspense plot and I’m all over it! While the suspense in this novella wasn’t intense, it added an extra something that was always crouching in the background waiting to spring, and led to a revelation I hadn’t anticipated; one that presented both Josh and Bree with a difficult choice.
I loved Bree’s passion, both for music and in looking out for her brother. Her uncle lost his life on the job, and she feels as though her father has always put his job before his family, so when her best friend and fiancé announced he was joining the force, it was a deal-breaker for her. She doesn’t want that kind of life, always wondering whether her husband has walked out of the door for the last time. And she doesn’t want it for her brother, either.
Josh D’Angelo is Hero material with a capital H. There is something irresistible about a guy who will wait as long as it takes for his girl to come back to him—years if necessary, even after she’s broken off their engagement. He can’t apologise for being a cop, but nothing pains him like the knowledge that Bree feels as though he chose them over her. He’s loyal, protective, and so tender with Bree… *sigh*
Both of these characters needed to reassess what they really want in life, which sacrifices are worth making, and find the faith to embrace them. Another great read from Crystal Walton!
I received a copy of this novel from the author. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
Series: #0 (Prequel) Home in You series
Release date: 17 May 2017
Publisher: Impact Editions
~ Other Books in Series ~
~ About the Author ~
Crystal received her bachelor of arts from Messiah College in PA, married her exact opposite in upstate NY, and earned her master of arts from Regent University in VA, where she currently resides with her husband, David.
She writes modern clean romances with humor, broken characters, and emotional plots full of grace and hope. When not working her accounting day job, she’s delving into the wonder of words, supporting her Starbucks habit, or laughing over movie quotes & singing eighties songs with her husband.