~4 Crazies Stars~
“We were meant to be here, right now in this moment. We were meant to find each other again.”
Wide Open Spaces is a healing second chance romance that will break your heart and then put it back together piece by piece. Aurora Rose Reynolds always offers a sexy blend of strong characters and tender plot lines. Wide Open Spaces certainly did not disappoint.
Zach and Shelby were high school sweethearts. Although it seemed they would always be together, a teenage pregnancy ripped them apart. They made the decision to put their baby up for adoption. Both too young to deal with the loss, Shelby breaks up with Zach and runs away. Zach turns to drinking and women to cope with the pain. When Zach has a one night stand only months after Shelby has left, he finds himself once again with another unplanned pregnancy. This time, Zach tries to “do the right thing”. He marries the girl, and together they have twins.
“I never moved on. I’m still stuck in the past, trying to figure out how to get back the girl I let get away.”
Years later, Shelby finds herself divorced and raising her pre-teen son. Although she doesn’t regret leaving home, after her failed marriage she decides to seek comfort from her roots. She returns to Alaska and the house she grew up in. Even with facing the struggle of starting over as a single mom, she finds comfort in her grandfather’s home. It doesn’t take long for Shelby to bump into her old flame Zach. To her surprise, Zach is also divorced and raising twins.
“I wish my past didn’t hurt you so much. I’m sorry for hurting you the way I have. If I could take your pain away, I would.”
It is evident from the very first meeting that both Zach and Shelby still have feelings for each other. Shelby is quite guarded and focused on protecting her heart. Zach, on the other hand, is 100 percent focused on making things right this time around. With a vindictive ex-wife, Zach is more than willing to fight for Shelby and provide her all of the love and comfort she needs to last a lifetime. But after so many mistakes have been made, can they ever find a way to make it right?
“I’ve been in love with you for almost eighteen years. I carried your missing pieces around inside me for that long.”
Told in dual POV, Wide Open Spaces is a unique second chance romance. My heart broke for Zach and Shelby as they had to give up their child. I recognized the struggle these young characters were placed in. Both Zach and Shelby were given something more than either of them could handle. Sometimes the twists and turns in life are beyond our understanding and control. I thought this element of the read was an accurate reflection of missed chances in real life. I found Shelby and Zach’s reconnection to be inspiring and quite healing. The plot was quite entertaining with plenty of drama, upset exes, and crazy teenage kids just trying to find their way. When Shelby and Zach reconnect both emotionally and physically, it was quite romantic, and the banter between the two was quite entertaining. Wide Open Spaces is another Reynolds winner with a strong alpha male, a quick connection, and extra steam!
Overall, I highly recommend Wide Open Spaces to second chance romance fans. Although some readers may be upset with the circumstances these characters faced, I found their journey to be quite realistic to what many young couples face and was happy for both of them that they received a second chance.
*ARC graciously provided via TRSOR in exchange for an honest review!