Always for You: Jack by Alexis Morgan
Publisher & Release: Loveswept, April 19, 2016
Time and setting: Present Day, Pacific Northwest
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Book Length: 254 pages
Heat Level: Warm
Rating: 3 Gold Crowns for Romance 4.5 Gold Crowns for Family Fiction
No one understands family loyalty like Jack McShane. He’d do anything to honor his foster father’s last wishes, even if it means putting his own plans on hold to manage Joe’s construction business. An ex–Special Forces operative, Jack thrives on the thrill of globe-hopping rescues. But now he’s needed closer to home. His foster mother has her hands full with a troubled teen, and when Jack meets the hired tutor, he discovers a woman who stirs his protective instincts—and his deepest desires.
Caitlyn Curtis knows that good looks can hide a hot temper. After an abusive marriage crushed her dreams of a happy ending, she swore off men—until one intoxicating dance in Jack’s strong arms breaks down every emotional barrier. Tough but tender, he leaves Caitlyn yearning for more of his gentle seduction. Despite the violence he’s seen, Jack is a good man. And even though passion can be dangerous, the promise of Jack’s kiss tempts her to believe that love is a risk worth taking.
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Okay. This novel is a mixed bag for me. If I had read this novel as family fiction, then I would have probably given this book more stars. The writing is good and so is the pacing. I was engaged from the start until the end. I just wanted more depth to Caitlyn and Jack.
I loved Ricky and his story line. The depth of Ricky's character is awesome. I could feel his anguish over his neglectful, uncaring mother who put her own wants and desire far above her only son’s. I was truly happy Ricky found unconditional love from the family he went to live with after the brutality he suffered at the hands of his stepfather.
I liked Jack’s character a great deal and his relationship with Ricky. His determination to help a troubled kid is commendable. I enjoyed his relationship with his mother and foster brothers a great deal. Near the end, his reaction to what happens to Ricky is a bit over exaggerated. While I believe he loves Caitlyn, but his emotions are lackluster. Now, as I mentioned previous, if I had read this book expecting the story to be about a kid in foster care and a man who grew up in the system who is willing to help him, then the lack of depth to the romantic element would not have bothered me as much.
I enjoyed Caitlyn’s character quite a lot. Her desire to help Ricky is also commendable. She is a great fit for Ricky and Jack. I believe she has a heart-wrenching backstory, but it was breezed over with no depth to it. Since this is supposed to be a romance, I wanted more.
Here is my problem with this book. This is supposed to be a romance, but it is not. While the story does have romance, it is not the central theme of this book and is a must for this one to be categorized as a romance. Ricky's situation is the central theme. Also, this book shows a family coming together, offering a troubled teen unconditional love.
Bottom line, Caitlyn, and Jack should have had a lot more time together delving into their personal struggles revolving around the two of them falling in love. That part had no depth and I felt very little chemistry between them.
I did enjoy this book, but just would have liked to know going into it that it is fiction, not romance. It does have a HEA at the end, but it seemed to be more of an afterthought and felt rushed. Overall, I can recommend Always for You: Jack as long as you are looking for a feel good story about a troubled teen and the people who come into his life willing to help him. Happy reading!