Title: Full Circle (Second Chances #2)
Publisher: A Bear on Books
Release Date: October 12th 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary, NA
Page Count: 191
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
The funny thing about circles is that, to draw one, the curve must go down before it can go up again.
Robbie Jennings knows all about ups and downs. Used and abused as a teen by those he should have been able to trust, he almost gave up on life. Then someone stepped in to offer him a second chance. Robbie took the lifeline and ended up with a new family who wanted him…and a boyfriend who loved him.
Nevertheless, Robbie knows the downs can make a man crash. Faced with the perfect storm of woe—a painful voice from the past, a loved one’s grave illness, and a heartrending betrayal—Robbie’s not sure he can close the circle one more time.
His new family must join forces to show him that, together, they can always come Full Circle.
“Mark told me I was good, and that any family would be lucky to have me as their son. Some lies you want to believe so badly you can taste them. Even if it was only you that knew it was a lie. Mark meant it, but I knew better.”
This review was very hard for me to write, because this story embodies everything I normally avoid in romance: the focus is not only on the MCs, it is told from multiple POVs (although the main narrator is Robbie), and there is child sexual abuse.
BUT, this is T.A.Webb’s come back, and I just can’t stay away from his writing. Plus, Second Chances is one of my favorite books, so…here I am.
This is Robbie’s journey to healing and self-acceptance. I will not spoil any plot points for you. But know, here be monsters.
This is not your typical romance. First and foremost, this story is about family. The family of Robbie’s heart. The one that chose him, after his own people let him down. The things that Robbie had to endure as a kid….I knew from Second Chances that is was bad, but it was actually far worse than I thought.
You stick around long enough, this whole fucking world will surprise you.” He nodded. “So plan to stay. Please. For you.”
I nodded. “For me.”
Second, this story is about healing. Not the one that happens magically and off-page, no. This is done the hard (and real) way. Right when you think that the characters are getting a hang of things, there will be a relapse. People screw up. Robbie REALLY screwed up, but he’s young and how can I blame him after all he’s been through? And Jason REALLY screwed up, I don’t have any excuses for him other than he’s young too and hasn’t been through Robbie’s hell.
The whole Jennings clan is back. This is probably my favorite book family ever. Still messy, boisterous and unpretentious. They always have your back, no matter how bad you screwed up. And they never censor sex talk in their house! This story is about them too.
“…It takes courage to love somebody. Giving your heart to someone means they can stomp it in the dirt and there’s nothing you can do about it. It means pain, and it means hurting, and it means no control. But it also means joy and love and being…cherished. No risk, no reward.”
So, I have no way to explain why this book worked so well for me (and I don’t care). Could be the author’s ability to gut punch me with emotions. Or that, despite the darkness, it felt so warm and familiar. Or that it just felt…bigger than romance, you know? (And let me tell you that I’m a proud romance reader, and I value this genre a great deal)
And don’t go thinking that the ending is not happy, because it really is. It is a strong HEA, all rainbows and sunshine and hope. But why, WHY did it have to get so ugly to get there, you ask? Well, like the author’s note says…
“…life is like that sometimes.”