Hadley Jacobs is over Machlan Gibson.
Sure, she’ll always be a little weak to the dimple in his right cheek and the way his five o’clock shadow makes him ruggedly handsome. But that’s not enough to cover every other thing about him because they all drive her nuts. Like how he’s won’t admit he’s wrong even when he knows it and how he drives his stupid car a million miles an hour on wet asphalt. As she rolls back into town and takes a seat at Crave, she won’t take the bait. She’s over him. Mostly.
Machlan isn’t over her.
It’s not because he hasn’t tried. He reminds himself over and over that she’s not the girl for him. After all, she drives him insane with her sassy attitude and the way she calls him out on everything. She beats him at poker, even though she doesn’t know the difference between a straight and a flush, and when she looks at him with her bright, blue eyes, it’s unnerving. When she climbs onto that bar stool and orders a drink, he puts it in front of her and ignores the sparkle in her eyes. He’s not over her, but she won’t know that.
But she does know that. And he knows she’s not as over him as she’s pretending to be. When life forces their hand this time, there’s more on the line than a pile of poker chips. It’s their forever.
Second chance romances is one of my absolute favorite tropes; there’s just something about two people who have a shared history…who have attempted and failed miserably to move on from one another because their feelings own them in a way that they will never let this once happy couple truly be free of each other. And even though this kind of story puts my emotional state on tilt, the journey these two characters take as their love guides them back to one another, offering hope amidst the heartache as well as love despite the pain.
Machlan Gibson and Hadley Jacobs once shared a love that they thought was everlasting, but it was also one with a long history of love and hate, pleasure and pain, and it’s those tenuous times that now make every interaction between them grueling. They drive each other crazy; they’re too volatile when they’re around each other, and their stubbornness is legendary, which means that sass, arrogance, and rudeness are what drive them. But despite their supposed hatred for one another, there’s still love, and regardless of what comes out of their mouths, what actions they take, or what their internal musings indicate, they’re the love of each other’s lives.
Crave is definitely a story that has readers’ emotions on overload. Because of how Adriana Locke illustrates their past struggles and their present concerns, there’s just so much to FEEL in Machlan and Hadley’s story, and there’s not a reader who will come away unscathed from the details of these characters’ lives.
Machlan and Hadley are extremely flawed characters who make mistakes, pay for them, and then feel they don’t deserve anything good because of them, but that’s only because these two can’t seem to let go of the past…let go of the heartbreak…let go of the feeling that they’re undeserving, and without that progress, there’s no way they can try again, which, in my opinion, is exactly what these two deserve after everything they’ve faced together and separately.
In order to understand just what went wrong and how everything came to a less than stellar conclusion, it’s important that Locke provides readers with the reasons behind Machlan’s present attitude and behavior and what it will actually take for these two to get things right, because unless they can find a way to move forward, together, nothing for Machlan and Hadley will ever be completely resolved, which means they’ll be in a perpetual state of limbo until everything gets figured out and a final decision is made one way or another.
Crave is definitely more angst driven than I anticipated, but with how the story played out and the details that Locke provided readers with, it’s beyond clear that the emotional toll from their past is still wreaking havoc in the present, which means that the love that they still have each other will either finally sizzle out or gain momentum and give Machlan and Hadley a second chance to make things right and not lose the love of their life.
Happily ever afters must be fought for and Machlan and Hadley have more than earned theirs, what matters now is if these two can get their raw feelings under control enough to dow hat needs to be done for both of their sakes.
4.5 Poison Apples
She resides in the Midwest with her husband, sons, and two dogs. She spends a large amount of time playing with her kids, drinking coffee, and cooking. You can find her outside if the weather’s nice and there’s always a piece of candy in her pocket.
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