Romantic. Emotional. Fascinating. Realistic. Compelling. Engrossing. I could go on and on about how much I loved I WANT YOU BACK by Lorelei James. Fans of her Need You series have been dying for the resolution of this storyline for years, and Ms. James delivers in a big way. The first book in her Want You series was 100% worth the wait.
Jaxson was a big-time hockey star and all-star jerk for years. After an intervention from his family and hitting rock bottom, he got sober and cleaned up his act. He retired from hockey and is at loose ends in his life and career. During the bad years, he was awful to his current ex-girlfriend Lucy, the mother of his eight-year-old daughter. Lucy has been hurt by Jax and doesn’t want anything more to do with him.
Ms. James doesn’t pull any punches with this book. Jax and Lucy both had to do some serious soul searching and have many difficult conversations to find their way to an HEA. It wasn’t easy for Jax or Lucy and the character development on and off the page was beautiful. My favorite part of this book might be the way Jax and Lucy have to deal with co-parenting. Parenting is hard, and their struggle to raise a happy and emotionally healthy child made them so relatable.
I expected good really good hero groveling in this book, and I got it. But I love that Lucy and Jax acknowledged that it wasn’t just Jax’s fault the relationship didn’t work. Jax grew, but Lucy did as well. Both characters were completely flawed, and I loved them for it.
I did think the flashbacks were a little jarring and intrusive at times, but I liked that they became fewer and further in-between as Lucy and Jax grew closer in their emotional connection. I also don’t think this book stands alone well. There are a lot of characters from the previous series so I recommend you start there.
Overall, this book took me through the emotional wringer. Once I picked it up and really got into the story, I couldn’t put it down. I am so obsessed with the whole Lund family/empire. I can’t wait to see who gets a book next!
**I received an ARC of this book in order to provide an honest review**
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