ASK ME WHY by Harloe Rae
Release Date: June 20, 2019
Genre: Contemporary romance (Enemies to lovers, single father)
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One deep breath. Two slow blinks. Three hollow beats.
I’m still here.
After three years, that reminder isn’t as necessary. But everyone has their bad days. This is definitely one of them.
Until an adorable little boy dashes into my store.
His zest for life makes me smile in a way that’s been long lost.
Then I meet his father.
Well, confront is more like it.
Brance Stone is volatile.
And can’t be bothered to care.
Not that I want him to.
I get frostbite just looking into Brance’s glacial stare. But there’s something undeniable about him.
My misery suddenly craves company. The suffocating numbness lifts whenever Brance is near. That alone should have me running in the opposite direction. Try as I might, there’s no avoiding him. If only I could understand why. As if he’d let me.
I don’t ask. He doesn’t tell. A silent, bitter truce settles between us.
That was our first mistake.
It’s certainly not the last.
Ask Me Why is a perfect title for Braelyn and Brance’s story because it’s a question that each of them seem to struggle with throughout the course of their story. Asking why brings with it a large amount of baggage and an uncontrollable feelings – ones that make their daily lives difficult because moving forward is not something that can be done until the past is either forgiven or let go of, if it’s even possible.
Braelyn is definitely a broken heroine – one who has experienced more grief and hardships than any one person should have to – but what I admire most about her is the fact that despite everything she’s faced, she’s a survivor and while her life is still a struggle, she at least tries every day to live, maybe not fully, but with every effort to make each better than the last.
Even after finishing Brae and Brance’s story, I honestly still don’t know how I feel about Brance. I don’t usually have a problem with hard ass hot holes, but it was extremely difficult for me to like him or to identify any redeeming qualities in him for quite a bit of the story. I get that he’s been burned by woman, but he doesn’t know anything about Brae and it’s clear fairly early in the story that she is nothing like the women who have hurt him, but he still chooses to treat her horribly, almost like he’s punishing her for the sins of his past, and while Brae isn’t afraid to put Brance in his place, she shouldn’t have to deal with this kind of behavior but a complete stranger, and especially, when they start spending more time together.
While I didn’t truly understand why Brae was attracted to Brance and allowed him to treat her in the ways that he does, Harloe Rae does show another side to Brance – one that is devoted to his son and has other emotions beside anger and frustration. I think, for me, my perspective was already tainted and Brance’s changes weren’t enough to alter my view.
The story as a whole was well laid out and Brance’s son, Ollie, was a definite scene stealer who had a hand in bringing constant light and goodness to both his father and the beautiful candy shop owner whose candy he adores.
I have to admit…I truly didn’t understand why Brae was attracted to Brance and allowed him to do the things he does while also being a huge asshole to her every chance he got. The fact that Ollie played such a pivotal role in the story absolutely helped my enjoyment of Ask Me Why, and by the end, even if I still felt a bit like Brance was undeserving of Brae, I understood why she gave him more chances than I ever would.
3.5 Poison Apples
Ollie glances between us. “You remember my dad? He was here with me once.”
While his attention is diverted, she glares at me. “Oh, yes. I sure do.”
“He took me all sorts of places this week. That’s why we were so busy,” Ollie explains.
Her mossy eyes search mine, a storm brewing in those green pools. “Is that so?”
“Uh-huh. Daddy took me swimming and out for ice cream. We even went to the movies.”
“Lucky duck. I haven’t been to the theater in ages.”
He makes a squeaking sound. “What? No way. Wanna come with us next time?”
Braelyn’s slender throat bobs. I’m fascinated by the movement. I get a rise thinking about the conflicting emotions raging inside of her. How will she answer? There’s no way in hell she’d agree. The air grows dense, enough to choke on, as her silence stretches.
Finally, she opens her mouth. “I’ll have to check my calendar, buddy. It’s hard to get away from the store.”
He bounces on his toes. “Okay, great. Talk to my dad about it. Can I go play now?”
Braelyn beams at him. “Of course, kiddo. You know where the toys are.”
That’s all he needs to hear before darting down the designated aisle. I watch him disappear in a flash of red and denim. When I look at Braelyn, the thundering in my pulse roars. She’d been all smiles for him, but now all evidence of happiness melts away. When she turns to me, a scowl mars her features. My gut twists painfully, and that stops me short. Am I seriously jealous of my son? That’d be a hell no. I roll my shoulders and strengthen my resolve.
“Fancy seeing you here.” Braelyn crosses her arms, shoving a pair of luscious tits up for my viewing pleasure. I almost applaud the shirt’s low neckline, but thank the summer heat instead. No point giving her ass any credit for wearing less clothing.
I try to keep my focus on her face. “Is it?”
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About the Author
Harloe Rae is a USA Today & Amazon Top 100 bestselling author. Her passion for writing and reading has taken on a whole new meaning. Each day is an unforgettable adventure.
Harloe is a Minnesota gal with a serious addiction to romance. She’s always chasing an epic happily ever after. When she’s not buried in the writing cave, Harloe can be found hanging with her hubby and son. If the weather permits, she loves being lakeside or out in the country with her horses.
Harloe is the author of Redefining Us, Forget You Not, Watch Me Follow, GENT, MISS, LASS, and Ask Me Why. These titles are available on Amazon.
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