The Whole Man
by C.F. Rose
Evan O’Cleary was in college when she spent a passionate 48 hours with up-and-coming baseball star Jesse Walsh. But after he broke her heart, she vowed to never see him again. So why does her heart leap when she runs into him ten years later?
Jesse not only abandoned Evan, but also his dream of becoming a major league baseball player when his brother died in Iraq. Shattered by the loss, Jesse turns inward. He refuses to commit to more than a one-night stand, until he sets eyes on Evan again, whose body still draws him dangerously near…
Evan knows better than to trust Jesse, but when he protects her against an abusive ex-turned-stalker, one thing leads to another and she finds herself in a delicious encounter on his living room floor. Jesse may not be willing to commit just yet, but maybe Evan can break down the wall. As she gets close, though, Evan uncovers a devastating secret that could destroy their families and drive them apart forever.
Two lost souls struggling to find the way to mend their broken hearts. Their past was instant, almost a blur, it happened so fast. And now, ten years later, they met again, each still bearing shattered pieces of their hearts.
Jesse Walsh spent two days with Evan O’Cleary, both in celebratory mood, both high in spirits. But a war, a delayed flight, and a fire had put an end to their happy days. When they saw each other again, the past kept haunting them, torturing their present with guilt, forbidding them of a possible future.
This has been an emotional read. My heart cried out for Evan and Jesse, both victims of circumstance, both casualties of their own guilt, each hopeful for a second chance. This story was beautifully written, the pacing wasn’t rushed, the romance was slow burn and comforting. I cried a tear or two, mostly because of Evan’s mom and Jesse’s dad. My emotions were all over the place, but that was okay. In the end, everything became clearer and whole. And I loved how it all turned out. Thumbs up!
Cheryl Rosenberg, writing as C.F. Rose to protect the innocent, is a sportswriter turned romance writer. When she’s away from her laptop, you can find her at the gym or serving as her kids personal uber driver. She grew up on the East Coast, but survives in too-sunny Southern California with her husband, the three kids and two rescued mutts. The Whole Man is her first book.