Book Review, Contemporary, Romance, Second Chance, Women's Fiction

Don’t Let Go by Sharla Lovelace


Do you believe in second chances?

Noah Ryan and Jules Doucette spent every moment together, first as best friends and later as young lovers. The two had planned a life together—until one unspeakable decision tore them apart for good. Twenty-six years later, Jules is still carefully living the life her mother planned out for her. She’s running her mother’s store, living in her mother’s house, following her mother’s rules, and keeping the secrets her mother made her bury.

Then Noah comes home and any sense of an ordered life flies out the window. Noah’s return does more than just stir up old memories—it forces Jules to see her life in a whole new way and uncovers secrets even she didn’t know were buried. Secrets that could easily destroy her world once more.


Wow!  Just… Wow!  I pulled this heartwrenching cry-fest of a novel from my TBR list and wished I had read it earlier. It’s no wonder this book won 2014 Kindle Indie Book Award Winner for Best Contemporary Romance.  My heart was wrung out from the first captivating chapter through my late-night binge read to the incredible end!

First of all, I love mature romances, and what Jules and Noah go through is an emotional rollercoaster. Their decision as clueless teenage parents affects the lives of so many around them. Jules is left abandoned and broken and forced to never talk about her situation ever again.

Forward twenty-six years later and we find Jules living in her childhood home filled with haunting memories, raising her teenage rebellious daughter and reluctantly running her mother’s bookstore. Her days run together as she gets her daughter ready for school and opens the bookstore. Her heart has been sealed away leaving her divorced with no desire to date and a no-strings-attached relationship with a local man. 

Then Noah Ryan returns from the military with a pregnant fiancee. Old wounds are ripped open as feelings come rushing back for both Jules and Noah. Feelings they cannot pursue. The painful and emotional turmoil that is let loose is devastating and beautiful at the same time. I sobbed for these two beautifully broken people trying to come to terms with the past. And then the secrets come to light. Secrets that tore my heart open and all I wanted to do was wring Jules’ mother’s neck for her betrayal and beat Noah’s father for his abhorrent treatment of Jules.

Jules is remarkable with her selflessness and kindness. She stays strong with amazing resilience, decency, and dignity. I was blown away by Jules’ compassion and friendship with Noah’s likable fiancee who was alone in a world filled with chaos. 

The story is told in Jules’ voice so we don’t get as much information about Noah. However, my heart broke for this teenage boy who is up against Jules’ formidable mother when it comes to the fate of his baby. He felt leaving that heartache was best even though he would never love anyone like Jules. From the moment he arrives back in town, you could feel the undeniable connection between Noah and Jules. And if that isn’t enough, the author throws in another shocking and heartwarming surprise that had this old girl sobbing. I won’t spoil it. You’ll have to read it. 

Supporting characters are important in this story. Julies has the strong support of her feisty Nana Mae and her best friend, Ruthie, who helps Jules in the store and has her back when things get hairy. Jules’ daughter Becca is a typical teenager trying to find her way and though mother and daughter butt heads throughout, they eventually learn truths and grow from it. Jules’ ex-husband Hayden is a good dad and you can see he still loves Jules, but he knows he can’t compete for her heart. Noah’s sister Linny has a small part, but she is a friend to Jules despite her crotchety father. 

I loved this book so much! You must experience this extraordinary second-chance romance where everything happens for a reason and true love prevails. You won’t be able to put it down.


Don't Let Go

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Sharla Lovelace is the bestselling, award-winning author of sassy, sexy love stories. Being a Texas girl through and through, she’s proud to say she lives in Southeast Texas with her retired husband, a tricked-out golf cart, and two crazy dogs. She is the author of the exciting Heart of the Storm series, the fun and sexy Charmed in Texas series, and five stand-alone novels including the bestselling Don’t Let Go.

Sharla writes modern-day, quirky love stories with snarky humor, dysfunctional families, drama, baggage, love problems, and sexy heat. Because who doesn’t find all that absolutely delicious?

Stay and look around… Check out her books, send her a message with the “contact me” form, and be sure to subscribe to her newsletter to keep up with when her next book is coming out! Also, if you hang out on Facebook and want to join her awesome reader group The Lovely Lattes, join in!

And if you hang out long enough, you’ll probably figure out that she’s all about the RED. Sharla loves red, so if you decide to send her a present–well–you know where to start.

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