Series: Willow Park #2
Published by Zebra
Publication Date: August 25th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.
In Sarah Hegger’s latest Willow Park Romance, long-held crushes and past frenemies reunite–and wonder if there’s ever a second chance to make a good first impression. .
Holly Partridge had no plans to return to Willow Park, Illinois, until her troubled younger sister Portia fled her home and aimed herself straight at Holly’s high school nemesis–too-gorgeous-to-be-true Josh Hunter. Riding a manic bipolar high, Portia’s only a danger to herself, but Holly needs to find her before she crashes. That means asking Josh for help.
The ultimate love ’em and leave ’em lothario, Josh was never good for anything but a broken heart. But now he’s lending a hand when Holly needs it most–and revealing surprising generosity and compassion. Has Josh shed his bad boy ways? Or is Holly suddenly grown up enough to acknowledge her own mistakes? Trusting Josh could be a disaster–or the first step in banishing the past to make way for a future happier than Holly ever imagined.
With a bipolar mother and an absentee father, Holly Partridge was forced to grow up way before she was ready and she took on the role of mother to her younger sisters while she was still in need of one herself. Now her sister has disappeared, without her medication and Holly needs to find her as quickly as possible. Her only clue to her sister’s whereabouts will take her to the one place she never planned to return to – Willow park, Illinois – and the one man she least expected to see again – her high school crush, Josh Hunter. Josh steps up to assist her and soon Holly sees that underneath the love ’em and leave ’em exterior beats the heart of a compassionate and generous man.
The last Josh heard, Holly Partridge was in Canada, so he’s quite surprised to find his high school nemesis at his doorstep looking for his help in finding her sister. Against his better judgement, he gets drawn into the search and finds himself learning new things about the enigma that is Holly.
Holly has an intense desire for order in her world as a result of her chaotic childhood and not talking about her childhood is her only way of coping with the seething emotions from the past. And of course, committing to a man means opening up and sharing with him, something she hasn’t been tempted to do until Josh. While their relationship starts out as antagonistic, the time spent together shows them both that there is more beneath the surface and shifts into a more respectful and loving one, but Holly’s secrets and her inability to let Josh in are sure to do more harm than good to what’s between them.
I really liked both Holly and Josh. Holly was strong and fierce and unrelenting in her determination to care for her sister even though she was so hard on Josh at the beginning and Josh had the patience of a saint while dealing with Holly.
NOBODY’S FOOL has moments of levity but is just as emotionally moving as the previous installment of the Willow park series and explores the effect of mental illness on both the person and the family- the secrets, pain, fear, uncertainty and for Holly, doing this twice over is too much. Dealing with the burdens of keeping family secrets and her sister’s mental illness while navigating a new romantic relationship soon overwhelms her and I definitely shed a tear or two with her, especially as she cried for everything she missed out on while growing up.
Even with the gut-wrenching emotions and the drama, I really enjoyed reading NOBODY”S FOOL because Ms. Hegger boldly and yet with so much care deals with difficult, real life situations that are not commonly explored in this way and in this genre.