Publisher: Self Published on November 10, 2014
Reading Challenges: 2014 Standalone Reading Challenge
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It’s been four years since twenty-year-old Jessica Hayes has been home, but when she discovers her father is dying, she must return to her hometown in South Carolina and face her past. Jessica thought patching up her relationship with her father would be her biggest challenge, but when she runs into Ryan Dawson—the catalyst of all her problems—she wonders if coming home was a mistake.
Ryan knows he screwed up. Hell, he paid the price…with interest. But when he runs into his best friend’s little sister, Jessica, he’s reminded that his debt will never truly be paid. He may have turned his life around, but he can’t undo the damage. So, he does what he should have done all those years ago. He stays away from Jessica, and all the other personal demons that still haunt him.
Jessica thought she wanted nothing to with Ryan, but something is different about him and she needs to know why. When she discovers the truth behind his change, she puts her troubles aside and tries to help him. But is putting her heart back in the line of fire worth disrupting her stable life back in Ohio, or will the past repeat itself, leaving her brokenhearted once again?
I was approached by Juliana Haygert asking me to review this novel, which I had been eyeing anyways, so I just had to give it a try. I’m glad that I did. Captured Love was a really nice contemporary read.
Jessica Hayes returns to town after four years to make amends with her dying father. She was expecting that challenge, but what she wasn’t expecting was Ryan Dawson—half the reason she left—to be there too. Ryan is intent on avoiding Jessica this time around, especially with what happened four years prior. But Jessica becomes curious: why is a cop following Ryan around? Why is he working for a charity building houses? And as you know, curiosity killed the cat. The two of them are drawn together once again, but there is major baggage that they need to sort through before they can be together. There was a lot of history-fueled drama that kept me hooked once I started reading.
I liked Jessica’s character. Sure, I didn’t like the fact that she ran away from her problems, especially once I figured out why, but other than that, she was a nice, relatable character. She was driven and willing to face years of hurt in order to reconcile with her dying father, especially after initially being rejected and dismissed by him the first time she visits. I think that she exhibited some personal growth over the novel as she let go of the past and forgave those who had hurt her.
Initially I was anti-Ryan—it seemed as though everything that ad happened was his fault. But as I saw more of his character, I realized things had been blown out of proportion. His feelings were genuine and that made me like him a lot more than I had at the beginning. He really felt bad about the things that he did; I think that it definitely added a layer that I had previously thought absent to his character when first introduced.
The romance was definitely filled with tension. They had a history and it was obvious that there were still feelings between them. I personally thought that the reconciliation was a bit drawn out, but I was happy when they started to work things out. I especially loved how they ended up. It was really sweet.
Captured Love was a lot more interesting and drama filled than other contemporary new adult novels that I’ve read lately. I felt like the premise of scorned lovers definitely added a spice that is present in this otherwise almost-bland genre.