The Closer You Get by Rose Grey

Jessica and Ronan were once close friends, but they haven’t seen each other in years. Will they possibly find their happily ever after when so many obstacles still stand in their way?

What’s it About? 

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Two responsible people. Two impossible dreams. What could possibly go wrong?

Jessica Piers learned all about responsibility the day she became a single mom. Responsibility means working all hours to pay for ever longer jeans, tons of peanut butter and band camp tuition. At least she doesn’t have to worry about running into Ronan Durrell. He’s never coming back to the island. Which is good, because she’ll never forgive him for leaving when she needed him the most.

When Ronan is fired from a prestigious Boston architectural firm, all he feels is relief. Well, that and guilt. So he heads home to the island to figure out what’s next. One thing’s for sure. It can’t involve Jessica. Because dreams are fine for boys, but a man does the responsible thing. Even if it means walking away from the only woman he ever wanted.

First Impressions

This is the final book in the Durrell Brothers Trilogy, and I must say it’s bittersweet to see this series come to an end. It’s been fun to see each brother find their own unique happily ever after, not too mention the adorable pooches featured on every cover. In this third novel we’re presented with Jessica and Ronan; two people who were once close friends, but haven’t seen each other in years. At the start of the book we’re presented with a very brief mention of their former relationship, and as the story progresses we get more bits and pieces of how their friendship fell apart all those years ago. On the one hand, I feel like I never fully understood or got enough information on their teenage connection. It was kind of difficult to dissect their former dynamic, who they were back then and specifically how Jessica felt about Ronan.

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It’s clear he was in love with this popular diva, and that things sort of fell apart when she became pregnant with another guy’s baby. However, I still don’t really know how she viewed Ronan all those years ago. If he was merely a close friend, if she secretly yearned for something more, or if it’s only now after years apart that she recognizes how close their connection truly was. On the other hand though, I also kind of appreciated the fact that we didn’t get a perfectly succinct overview of their past. It lent a sense of realness to the story, as though we were truly running into these two former friends after years of no communication. They know all the intimate details of their past, and it could have been a bit unrealistic for them to reiterate everything that played out when they were young. In a way it was both a blessing and a curse to the overall foundation of the story.

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A Small Coastal Town

Another constant throughout this series, aside from some adorable canines and having a Durrell brother as the male lead, was the fact that our setting remains the same in this small island town outside of Boston. The unique blend of island inhabitants always lends both a sense of community and conflict to our tale. We’re usually presented with some down-to-Earth, lovable locals that you want to see more of whenever possible. Then you have the upper crust, elite, snobbily wealthy townsfolk who are constantly full of themselves by thinking they’re above everyone else. More often than not, it’s this latter group of locals who present our main characters with numerous issues, and this proves once again to be the case with this final read. Ultimately it’s inspiring to see our humble leads stand up against these stone pillars of affluence, but it’s certainly a long and bumpy road to success. It’s hard to believe that such distinct groups could emerge from this same small island without constantly slapping each other!

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Reversal of Fortune

The most fascinating aspect of this read was seeing how Ronan and Jessica’s views of themselves and of each other have changed so dramatically as their personal situations evolved over time. When they were younger, Jessica was one of the social butterflies of the school. Immensely wealthy, and consumed with status. Ronan came to this island to live with his grandparents after a family tragedy which has always been talked about in hushed tones. He was an outcast in many ways, and yet these two managed to find a friendship with each other in spite of their differences. After having a baby when she was just a teenager, and subsequently being disowned by her family, Jessica has now been thrust into a different social status than what she was used to. Upon re-connecting with Ronan she sees herself as a single mother with only a high school degree, whereas he is a well-educated city guy who she views as too good for her. Jessica now feels inferior to Ronan, whereas in their teenage days it was Ronan who felt sub-par. The question now is will they find a way to meet in the middle, and put their personal feelings of inferiority behind them to finally find happiness with each other?

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*A copy of this book was provided for an honest review*

Series: Durrell Brothers Trilogy, book 3.

Final Impressions: The main sticking point I had with this read was that I wanted Jessica and Ronan to fight for each other! All those years ago when Ronan walked out of Jessica’s life she was left feeling broken. Now he’s back, and he clearly desires her. Stand up and fight to keep him in your life! And the same goes for Ronan. Jessica was the woman of his dreams, and he always felt like he wasn’t good enough to be with her. The one time he voiced his feelings for her she turned him down. Now that the years have passed their situations are completely different. They have an undeniable chemistry which the both of them openly acknowledge, and yet Ronan still assumes that Jessica would never consider bringing him into her life. His heart was broken before, so he chooses to stay quiet about his feelings this time around. I just think I would have preferred to see him fight for her by presenting all the reasons he’s truly worthy of her love. It was like both of them just assumed for a large portion of the book that the other wouldn’t be interested in a serious relationship. Let this be a lesson folks: never assume!

Smut Level: No raunchy scenes in this read! At one point Jessica does feel self-conscious about wearing non-sexy underwear in front of Ronan, to which he responds with the line, “Champagne tastes good in any glass.” Smooth sir…very smooth.

Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. Simply Romance Press. 351 Pages.

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