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When the one you've always wanted . . .
At sixteen, Annabelle Morgan hoped her crush on Jake Wilder was just a passing phase. Now she's twenty-nine and nothing has changed—except Jake. The once-carefree Marine has come home with a giant chip on his shoulder. He insists a single mom like Annie deserves more than he can offer. Yet no matter how gruff his gorgeous exterior may be, Jake's toe-curling kisses convince her that this attraction is definitely mutual.
Becomes the one who wants you back . . .
Butting heads with feisty Annie was always a thrill. Add other body parts to the mix, and Jake is in serious trouble. He can't be a forever-and-family guy—and Annie's not a friends-with-benefits kind of woman. But love has a way of changing the best-laid plans, and surrender has never been so tempting . . .
The outcome is truly sweet.
4 1/2 stars for Truly Sweet!
In this final book in the Sweet, Texas series, we see the wonderful dynamic in the relationship between Annie and Jake. They had been buddies growing up, Annie's like the little sister he didn't have. But Annie has been nursing feelings for Jake for years, and the fear over his injuries really solidifies her feelings in her mind - she decides that she's not going to let her fear of rejection keep her from letting Jake know how she feels - she realizes that life is too short for those types of fears.
The author does a fantastic job of depicting a soldier suffering from PTSD and survivors guilt. His survivors guilt is so strong that it influences everything he is doing in his life, including his budding feelings for Annie. He feels incredibly unworthy of happiness in his life due to the loss of his best friend and the misguided guilt he feels over living when his friend died. The author's depictions of the emotions experienced by a soldier experiencing these emotions was realistic and emotionally wrenching for the reader.
Annie also epitomizes delightful character development, as she is a single-mom who struggles with every day living as a single mom, but eternally grateful for the gift she had been given in her son. She rarely demonstrates the "woe is me" attitude you often see in single moms in stories - she relishes every experience she has with her son and sees being a mother to Max as the most important job she has. The author provides a realistic view of life as a single mom - struggling from time to time with basic necessities but fiercely loyal to her child nonetheless.
But let's not forget the love story. the love story develops throughout the story, often derailed by the PTSD feelings Jake is harboring, or Annie's concerns over getting involved as a single mother, or even well meaning family and friends who aren't sure Jake and Annie should end up together. But it seems that Annie is just what Jake needs to help him see what he needs to see about the future, and do what he needs to do to heal and move forward - hopefully with her. Their happily-ever-after has such a feel-good feeling since he is the last one standing.
A wonderful read that I devoured in one sitting
I’ve read two of the shorts from this series, and this story, the last of the Wilder children finds his footing here. Jake is back from the Marines, but life isn’t moving smoothly. His best friend’s death combined with an injury has left him floundering a bit. Coming home isn’t giving him all the warm and fuzzies or making all the hurts heal, or alleviating his guilt.
Annabelle had a crush on Jake in school, and she’s sure that she’s over him, and they can move on to a more mature relationship, one without the bickering and poking at one another of the past. Old habits die hard: and unrequited love isn’t always ‘gotten over”, as she soon realizes.
These two are adorable together: the reliving their old interactions like two kids at the sandbox is funny, they both see the silliness there, but only Annabelle is wise enough to make a change. Jake’s surprised by his feelings for her, but he isn’t willing to take a chance on someone who is “too good” for him. She’s supportive, friendly and just what he needs, until he throws a wrench in the works and suggests they be friends with benefits, no strings.
The refusal from Annabelle was perfect to bring him to his senses, she did deserve more than he was offering, and being afraid really isn’t the point. You want the girl, you do what it takes- including trusting her to mean what she says. It only took him some time, and some fierce truths from Annabelle to get him to see sense. While not off the charts scorching heat, these two had a comfortable familiar chemistry that heated up as their more adult affections grew.
A wonderful read that I devoured in one sitting, that now has me going back and adding all of the titles I missed to my shelf.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
A Great Finale- Love the Wilder Family
A great finale to the series of Sweet, Texas. The perfect read full of emotion, happy tears, sad tears and lots of laughing. Jake, alpha wounded marine and Annabelle, single mom with the cutest toddler reconnect. There is an instant attraction but then Jake gets scared, he has inner demons that he needs to work though on the death of his fellow marine. Annabelle is that perfect person to help move along in life.
It was great to catch up with the rest of the Wilder family, love babies and weddings! Candis Terry, I am going to miss the Wilder family, but excited to meet your new friends. Highly recommend for small town romance lovers!