START OVER: A NOVEL (START AGAIN SERIES #2), BY J. SAMAN
PUBLICATION: JANUARY 30, 2017
Synopsis: I like to play by the rules. But when I get coaxed into crashing a party, I run into the last man I ever thought I’d see again, my one and only one-night stand, Luke Walker. It’s been ten years since we’ve seen each other, but our chemistry is just as palpable as it was that night so long ago. The only problem is, I’m leaving in one month for a pediatric fellowship across the country.
I like to keep everything close to my chest. But when I see Ivy Green again, the woman I was never able to get out of my mind, I want her. It doesn’t matter that my dark past and dangerous present mean I can’t keep her. That my secrets would destroy any shot at a real future. After all, she’s leaving in a month. What’s the worst that could happen?
This is my 3rd time (I think? Maybe 4th?) reading and reviewing one of J. Saman’s novels and once again found myself in love with her characters and the story line. Ivy is a Pediatric ER doctor that meets a young woman, Claire, in a bar one night and suddenly finds herself crashing an engagement party. Once mingling at the party, Ivy realizes that several of her colleagues are there, but also she spots Luke Walker – her only one night stand ever from when they went to CalTech. Although Ivy still feels the same attraction from last time that they met, she tries to shrug Luke off, especially since she’s a month away from leaving for a fellowship on the east coast. Ivy doesn’t think Luke remembers their night together, but as she starts spending time with him, she finds herself very drawn to him, although she also feels like he has secrets.
I loved Ivy’s character in this novel – literally, she was absolutely fabulous! Ivy and Claire meet while they are both drinking in a gay bar, although Ivy doesn’t know it’s a gay bar at the time. Once Ivy agrees to tag along to Ryan and Kate’s engagement party – whom she doesn’t know at the time, she even plays along that she is Claire’s date. Claire’s group of friends are all very welcoming making Ivy an instant member of their group, which made me love these people all the more. Ivy’s smart, independent, and driven – but it doesn’t take long for Luke to get under her skin. Luke seems absolutely adorable although it’s obvious from early on that he’s had some legal issues and some secrets. I loved Luke’s persistence, as well as, all the sweet little things he did for Ivy to show her how he felt.
As much as I loved these characters I was also SO frustrated with them several times! Basically just because they weren’t doing what I wanted them to do, lol! However, I loved that Ivy followed her dreams while Luke was trying to get the messes in his life straightened up. I found myself cheering for this couple very early on, once again as a result of the author’s incredibly relatable, realistic, yet gripping writing style. You’ve probably read before when I mention I felt like I was in the book participating in the conversation, rather than someone sitting there reading a book, and this is one of those instances. J. Saman makes it effortless to lose yourself in the story and the characters, although it does leave you somewhat disappointed when the novel ends and you’re snapped back into reality. She also manages to leave the reader with a HEA ending, but only after the rising and falling of various conflicts. When you read this novel, don’t make assumptions about what will happen at which point, because you will likely be wrong 🙂
This author is gifted in characterization and relevant subplots in her stories, making it a great pleasure to lose yourself in one of her books for awhile. If you have not yet read any of J. Saman’s novels then you are truly missing out on fantastic contemporary romance! I so look forward to reading more from this talented author in the future!
*I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review!
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