- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 31 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Hachette Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: April 25, 2017
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06Y4BFS1T
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Too Hard to Forget Audiobook – Unabridged
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That being said, I had a really hard time with this book. I didn't have enough time to get to know Elliott's back story to be able to have a lot of empathy for him before he started treating Peggy in a borderline emotionally abusive way. He regrets it, but my inability to really understand his why of things prevents me from forgiving him. He holds up his faith as a reason, but it's never clear why his faith is so personally important to him in the first place, and the deceased wife he grieves for is an excuse instead of a real person. I didn't want Aaron to pull himself together and get the girl in the end. I wanted Peggy to get a good therapist, heal what he broke in her, and wait to find a man worthy of her.
It feels petty to add at this point and like I'm just piling on, but an honest review compels me to add that the publisher should have paid more attention to the copy editing on this one.
Tessa is still an auto-buy for me, and as a creative myself, I know that not everyone will like everything I create, so I feel like this is probably just that for me. I'm not a fan of the tortured soul treats the heroine badly dark romances, so if you are, this will probably be right up your alley. Almost everything she writes is five stars amazeballs creative, compelling, and sexy as hell, so I'm really looking forward to her next release.
Peggy Clarkson is on a cross-country road trip with her siblings to complete their mother's last wish of jumping into the ocean in NYC on New Year's Eve. They lost her older sister, Rita, in New Mexico to the amazing man she met while their car was broken down, Jasper. They lost her older brother Aaron in Iowa to the gorgeous, unique, daughter of the senator he was trying to work for, Grace. So, now it's just Peggy, who is the baby of the family, and her oldest brother Belmont. Sage, Peggy's best friend, is also traveling with them. Peggy's headed for a pit stop in Cincinnati, Ohio to her Alma Mater, for alumni weekend. But she's actually going to finally try to close the page on the one that got away, the head football coach at her University, Elliott Brooks.
Elliott is a hot mess. He's got a 12 year old daughter he barely seems to have a relationship with, though they live in the same house. He's got his deceased wife, who he knows he didn't do right by, and it kills him with guilt every day of his life. And, to try to assuage the guilt, he clings to his Catholic faith. Once upon a time, he also had Peggy. She saw the real him when no one else did, but he felt he couldn't be the right man for her, and at the end of her senior year, after a year of sneaking around together, he broke it off, broke her heart, and forced her to leave and not come back. All he felt after being with her was guilt, because he didn't deserve to have someone like her in his life. But, after she left, he pretty much numbed out to his life and didn't even realize it had happened.
Sparks flew immediately the moment Peggy stepped foot back on campus. Though her plan was to make his life hell by seeing exactly what he was missing, nothing ever goes according to plan. They really did a number on each other in the past, and it took being back together again for them to realize just how bad it was. Peggy figured out some not so great things about her self, and her self-image, that needed to change. Elliott realized how much his behavior was hurting everyone, Peggy especially, but his daughter Alice, and himself as well. They both had big hurdles to overcome. And a lot of the time it was painful to watch. You wanted so much for them to figure it out together.
There was a side plot that brought them together, that I loved. It involved one of Elliott's players, Kyler Tate (great name!) and his family in Indiana. There's going to be a novella about Kyler, and his high school sweetheart he's never gotten over. I can't wait to read that this summer!
I felt so many emotions reading this book. I cried, and I laughed, and I felt brokenhearted, and I cringed, and I smiled, and I felt relief. And LOVE. I felt love for the Clarkson family, as they've always felt so real. I was so gobsmacked by everything I felt for this book, I was afraid I wouldn't have the right words to express how much it affected me. Tessa's books are amazing because because even though they are fun, incredibly sexy stories (she's the dirty talking QUEEN!), that to the outside world (of non-romance readers) could seem frivolous, they're full of real things. Characters you can relate to, and emotions you can't hide from. I've always been a reader; a person who loves to read, and spread the love of books to everyone I know. I'm so thrilled to recommend this one.
I'm greatly looking forward to learning more about Belmont and Sage and their strong connection, and falling even deeper in love with Bel in the final book. I'm also sad it'll be the final book. I've been loving Belmont since book 1, and I just KNOW his book is going to be well worth the wait. I'm excited to see them all together again in NYC. I seriously cannot recommend this book highly enough. 5+ Stars!!
As others have stated, Elliot's behavior is near-abusive. Peggy's, on the other hand, is deeply masochistic. Rather than complementing each other, I felt like they were enabling each other. I just felt sorry for them, to be honest.
Love Tessa, but just couldn't get behind this one.