Series: The McBrides #1
Published by Avon on June 28, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Small Town, American West
Source: Self Purchased
The black sheep of fallbrook is back . . . And he's in for the surprise of his life.
Former bad boy, now-decorated Army Ranger Brody McBride is home and on a mission: Find the woman he never should have left behind and right the wrong he did eight years ago.
When the man she loved broke her heart and skipped town, Rain Evans picked up the pieces. But along with heartbreak, Brody left her something infinitely better than she could have imagined: two beautiful daughters. One she gave birth to, and the other she rescued from the woman who helped destroy her relationship with Brody.
Brody is shocked to discover he's a father, and he's more determined than ever to win back Rain and protect his girls. Can they rekindle the love they once shared and become the family they were always meant to be? Or will a danger from their past return and ruin everything?
*May Contain Spoilers*
The Return of Brody McBride is the first book in Ryan’s McBride series, the McBride series is focused on three men residing in a small town. I grabbed this book at a used book store and I am really glad that I did. I know that this book is not everyone’s favorite, but despite a couple of issues I really had a great time with this one….I stayed up half the night reading it, I just couldn’t put it down. So that should tell you how engaging this story was for me. This has a very painful beginning and the sort of elements introduced isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea….just fair warning. But I felt that Jennifer Ryan handled this scenario better than most authors would.
Our hero, Brody and our heroine Rain fell in love when they were young and innocent. They never imagined that their love affair would turn out the way that it does. Brody has some emotional issues, problems that he lets effect how he treats the only woman he would ever love. He treats her badly and breaks their relationship, fearing that he could never be enough for her because of his past. And while out drunk at the local bar, he ends up having sex with the hussy of the town and he leaves town wandering the world until he joins the military and now its been eight long years and he is suffering from major injuries from almost dying and saving one of his men, and major PTSD and comes back for the woman he has never forgotten….but he wonders if she could ever forgive him from the horrible things he did to her.
When he comes back to town, he has to face up to many truths, including the fact that he is a father of two girls…..with different mothers, but for some reason both are being raised by Rain which he is grateful for, but he is full of questions. Rain picked up the pieces of her heart, giving up her dreams of college, when she found herself pregnant and unable to find Brody McBride, and having to give up all her savings for college to the “other woman” so that she wouldn’t abort Brody’s child. Now she is working at her father’s shop, raising two girls that she loves dearly and hasn’t been able to move on from her feelings for Brody. Now has has returned, he wants her back and she is on the fence. She knows he deserves the chance to get to know his daughters, but can she forgive him and let the past go.
I found this story to now be the BEST beginning in the world, and there have been times I have read a story that starts out like this but even though I struggled with what Brody does to Rain, I just couldn’t put this book down and with each chapter I found myself slowly fallin in love with this couple. Now I do feel that Brody didn’t grovel enough, I mean, he really has hurt Rain SO much and he has a lot to make up for. But he is also damaged from his tours in the military, and is suffering from some major PTSD and forging a relationship with his daughters. I loved the two little girls that are introduced to the story, they are so precious and innocent and especially Autumn, broke my heart. She is very sensitive, and her birth mother caused some major emotional damage a few years previous so we see the after effect of that and seeing her slowly trust in her new father.
Then we have a bit of a twist to the plot, with a very bad villain….the birth mother of Autumn and manipulated Brody to sleep with her and considering she made sure he was so drunk he barely even knew what he was doing. But another issue I did have with this book is the lack of safe sex. I know they are young and all, but they must have known about protection, its not like they were shielded from “sex talks” growing up. So it just didn’t make all that much sense to be honest. We also didn’t much details on why Brody had such low self esteem and why he had issues with his father, so I am still curious about that since that is the reason why he broke it off intitially with Rain.
I did adore our heroine in every way though, she is so courageous and strong. I know in other reviews I have read of this book, many didn’t like her because she didn’t have a big “career” and gave up college. Well she gave up all her funds to save Autumn’s life, and she had two little girls to raise, and I think she wanted to do it with the only family she had left and not do it in the big city where she didn’t know anyone. You see how her priorities change and her dreams….she wants to work hard and be the best mother she can and boy is she such a good strong mother for these little girls.
Then we have the twist in the plot dealing with the crazy ….crazy woman who wants Brody and more importantly any money she can squeeze out of him. But she gets her just desserts in the end and I felt like this story ended nicely and we get some teasers for Own (Brody’s brother) and Dylan. So I am eager to pick up their books.
Overall I had a blast with this book, it worked my emotions and pushed some boundaries at times, but it was packed with intrigue, heartfelt emotion and redemption of the deepest kind….TRULY WONDERFUL!!