Wade had everything he could ever want in life…then he lost it.
Now, his life—his forever girl—is living in a house he built for her while he’s struggling to move on and find meaning where there isn’t any to be found.
Landry Hill was his girl. his everything. His high school sweetheart. His first kiss. His first and only love. His old lady and wife
Then one day he does something monumentally stupid. And she walks away knowing she’ll never come back.
Fast forward five years, and he’s still just as in love with her now as he was when she left. The only problem is that she’s moved on with her life, found a new man, and seemingly forgotten him. Then there’s Wade—stuck in the same awful place where she abandoned him. The only thing he has left is his job as a police office and the Bear Bottom MC.
Just when they both think things can’t get any worse, life kicks them both in the teeth, and Landry finds out really quick that the only person she can depend on is the one that let her walk away.
With understanding comes a deal. One that Landry has no hope of ever breaking free from, and one Wade will do everything in his power to make a reality.
But one thing is still certain. The force that split them apart is still out there. And there’s no hope of escaping fate.
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By now, if you’ve kept up with my reviews, it has to be more than apparent how much I adore second chance romances as well as Lani Lynn Vale’s stories and characters. So the fact that I got both in How About No, Vale’s latest release, made Wade and Landry’s story that much better. But let me tell you, the author and the characters themselves make readers work for every step we take towards Wade and Landry’s second chance at love and it’s the characters’ stubbornness and pride as well as a few crazy situations that that threaten the couple’s reconciliation but as the title suggests, Wade’s not about to let this opportunity pass him by, so hold on to your seats and your kindle because it’s about to get as real and as honest as it needs to be in order for Wade to reclaim his girl, essentially reclaiming his life with her and his life in general.
I think because Lani Lynn Vale vividly illustrates the details of Landry’s tragic and horrific childhood as a second class citizen that has me championing for her from the very start. I can’t imagine being treated the way Landry is and still turning out the way she did…don’t get me wrong, Landry is more than scarred by her parents’ neglect, the numerous procedures, and the lack of an actual childhood, but the woman who Landry turns into, despite the pain and heartbreak that resonate from the pages of her memories, proves that people can choose to overcome or fall victim to their past.
I’ll be honest as much as I know that both Wade and Landry are to blame for their current state non martial status, my heart was always with Landry…did I think she was hasty in her initial reaction and her subsequent actions, absolutely, but her past mistreatment is still an open wound and Wade didn’t and still doesn’t truly understand the state of Landry’s relationship with her immediate family. Should she have told him everything…of course, but because Landry’s so used to everyone putting her last, that fear is always in the back of her mind, even when it comes to the love of her life, and the fact that Wade, unknowingly, plays into those fears is not something she can easily recover from, which means that Wade should have fought harder for an explanation from Landry for what he viewed as her over-the-top reaction.
I do feel like Wade’s ‘good guy’ personality needed to be fleshed out a bit more so that it was clear why he reacted the way he did when Landry refused to help her sister, yet again; there’s not much discussion as to why Landry knewWade wouldn’t react any other way than he did when it came to her helping her ‘family.’ The fact that Wade told her that she was overreacting didn’t sit well with me either because that reaction didn’t really align with my understanding of just how much in love these two were/are. If they had a bond like they professed they did, it shouldn’t have been this easy to walk away or stay away for two years. I get that both of them reacted without thinking and were too afraid and/or too stubborn to take back what had already been done, but the alpha male that Wade seems to be as well as the deep feelings that still exist between them should have forced his hand…he should have made his play long before she ends up next to him when he’s injured…saying to hell with anything or anyone else that could be a potential obstacle to their reunion and the fact that he doesn’t makes me a bit conflicted about him.
There are several supporting characters as well as fateful events in How About No that play a crucial role in Landry and Wade getting the life, the marriage, and the family that they both deserve; it’s definitely an interesting chain of events that occur to move the plot forward and to provide a means for the hero and heroine to finally face the conversation and the events that followed on that horrific night two years ago. There are quite a few variables at play throughout the story that add insight as well as promise for a future for these two and there are a couple of secondary characters, in particular, who I’d love to find out more about, so here’s hoping their stories eventually get told.
Wade and Landry’s story is both frustrating and endearing and that’s because these two characters allow their happiness and their marriage to dissolve without really putting up a fight, and while I can’t blame Landry for taking the drastic action that she does, dissolving a marriage where pure love still exists, I wish they would have fought more for one another…fought to understand the full truth of Landry’s past and the entire scope of her issues with her entire immediate family, including her ill sister. But I also know and believe that if true love exists then it will find a way to mend what’s broken and offer up a chance to make amends, which is exactly the opportunity that these two get in How About No.
4.5 Poison Apples
“No, Wade,” I snarled. “It’s not just that easy.”
He frowned. “What are you talking about? I realize that it’s tough, and it’s going to hurt, but baby, this is your sister! Your sister is your family. Your blood. You can’t just leave her in need.”
That was when I felt everything inside of me still.
“The first time I donated bone marrow to my sister, I was a toddler. Barely the age of two and a half,” I said, almost in a whisper. “The second time, I was four. The third? Seven. Do you see a pattern, Sergeant?”
Wade frowned and tilted his head to the side, confusion spreading over his face.
“My parents had me to be their donor baby,” I whispered. “They never wanted me. I was never allowed to be a child. I was a useful object to them.”
Wade looked startled. “What do you mean by not being able to be a child?”
I laughed maniacally.
“I’m saying that I was bred to be their baby’s saving grace,” I hissed. “And I’m not doing it anymore. My sister is an asshole. My father’s a conniving bastard, and my mother is the biggest bitch known to man. Don’t you think that there’s a reason that I’ve never spoken of them?”
He looked at me like I was crazy. “Honey, you told me that you had a falling out. But this is your sister.”
I looked over at where my sister was sitting out on the front porch, silently crying her big, fat crocodile tears.
She’d always been good at them.
There was a time when I was younger that all she had to do was get that look on her face, and I’d be scared shitless.
Because if Lina wasn’t happy, nobody was happy, least of all me.
There was always going to be hell to pay if a single tear fell down Lina’s perfect cheek.
Lina also looked like a little China doll. She had perfect blonde curls, soft, milky white skin, blue eyes the color of a crayon, and she was tiny.
I, on the other hand, was none of those things but short.
I had brown hair to her blonde, brown eyes to her blue, freckled skin to her perfect complexion, and when I tried hard, I was also skinny.
Except, lately, I had been drinking beer and having the time of my life—living it like I’d always wanted to live it.
“I won’t do it,” I refused again, sounding petulant now.
I knew he didn’t understand.
Deep down, Wade was a really good man.
He’d experienced a lot in his life. He was a cop and had seen some very bad things.
But, what he did not have, was a bad family.
His family was awesome. His mom was the best mother in the whole world, and his dad was the kind of father I’d only ever dreamed of having when I was younger.
God, even his brother was the best.
He had no clue what it was like to hate your family like I did.
Hell, the only reason he hadn’t heard of them sooner was because my sister hadn’t gotten sick enough to need me.
Had she, Wade would’ve learned the truth about who my family was a hell of a lot quicker.
“I’m going to tell her that you’re thinking about it, and we can discuss it more later, okay?” Wade offered. “I don’t want you to make any hasty decisions because you’re overreacting.”
Lani Lynn Vale is a USA Today Bestselling Author of over thirty titles. She is married with three children, two dogs, two cats, a donkey, and a couple (a couple also meaning over twenty) chickens.
When she’s not writing, you can find her curled up in her favorite chair reading.
Lani is married with three children and lives in the Great State of Texas.