Monday, September 9, 2019

Book Review: Needing to Love You by Erin Rylie

Title: Needing to Love You (Houston's Finest #2)
Author: Erin Rylie
Publication Date: April 12, 2019
Publisher: Independently Published
Pages: 273
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Carlos Ramirez has always prided himself on two things: being damn good at his job on the Houston police force and being able to land any woman he wants. When a devastating car accident leaves him crippled and in excruciating pain, he begins to rely too heavily on his prescription painkillers. The only person who can help him heal is the only woman who has ever rejected him—and on more than one occasion. Living with Kelsey while he works through physical therapy wasn’t anything he ever expected to happen, but it might just be what he needs.

After a divorce that left her doubting her ability to love, Kelsey Byrne wants nothing to do with relationships. Unfortunately for her, the only man she could see herself loving needs a place to live and help while he recovers. She had a hard time pushing him away after a one-night stand, so how can she possibly keep him at arm’s length when he’s in her house every day, playing with her son, cooking her meals, and leaving her cute notes every morning? Carlos may be working his way into her heart one sweet gesture at a time, but can she give him everything knowing that she’s more than a little broken inside?

Needing to Love You is way outside of my comfort zone, but recently I was in the mood for an adult romance and this is the book I reached for! It ended up making for a great, quick read for my flight to Washington DC and back.

Carlos Ramirez is recovering after an accident and subsequent surgery when he finds himself at the mercy of Kelsey who has offered him a place to stay. He moves in with her and quickly finds himself at a pity party and in too deep with his prescription painkillers. As Kelsey tries to understand how to navigate Carlos's issues as well as her own, the two find themselves being drawn together and romance ensues.

I really loved Kelsey and Carlos! It was definitely difficult to watch Carlos struggle with addiction and feelings of not being good enough after his accident. I also hated seeing the two of them push each other away instead of leaning on each other when they both needed it. But the two of them when they were getting along were a fantastic pair! I loved Carlos's snarky attitude, Kelsey's quirk of spouting off random fun facts, and their banter back and forth. Their relationship was sweet and obviously passionate.

My favorite thing about this book is that, while it was a fantastic, spicy romance novel, it had a lot of depth and tackled real life issues. There were painful moments dealing with addiction, depression, and moving on after painful relationships. I felt that Erin Rylie handled these issues really well and I loved that it made the story so much more impactful.

Although this is actually the second book in the Houston's Finest series, it read fine as a standalone and I felt like enough was filled in by the author that skipping the first book was okay. There were certainly times when I would have been more in the loop had I read the first book, though.

Needing to Love You was my first book by this author, but I can definitely see myself picking up others!