Title: Once Loved
Author: Cecy Robson
Series: Shattered Past, book 2
Source: Review copy from publisher
He’s the campus golden boy. She’s picking up the pieces of her broken past. But in Cecy Robson’s scorching novel of second chances—perfect for readers of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn—their differences only make their connection more explosive.
Every memory Lety Tres Santos has from her childhood comes with a scar—some emotional, some physical. Her father is an abusive drug addict, and her mother enables his destructive behavior. College offers Lety a fresh start . . . until her father finds a way to ruin that, too. Now, after losing her scholarship to kick off junior year, Lety must somehow stay in school, pay tuition, and turn a deaf ear to the whispers that follow her. And she intends to do it all without Brody Quaid’s help.
Brody is a lacrosse star, a 4.0 student—and as a freshman, he fell hard for the beautiful and spirited Lety. But their relationship crashed and burned because he couldn’t break through the walls she’s put up around her heart. With Lety hurting more than ever, Brody strives to win her back and make her believe in real love and true partnership. That will mean opening up secrets locked away in his own past—and trusting someone more than he’s ever dared.
Lety knows how painful it can be to depend on the wrong man. She also knows how much Brody wants to do this the right way. But it takes more than sizzling desire to move on and build a future together.
Once Loved is the story of Lety Tres Santos and Brody Quaid. Lety is Mateo’s sister, from Once Perfect, first book in the series. We met Lety and Brody in Once Perfect and we saw them breaking up in it. Once Loved starts one year after the events in Once Perfect.
Lety is studying hard and trying to resist Brody’s advances. She doesn’t want to go back to him because she thinks she’s not good enough for him. She also knows that being with her means being with all the baggage she carries thanks to her messed up family and that’s the last thing she wants for Brody; but Brody has other plans for her and he can be very persistent.
It’s been a year since they broke up, despite the time apart they haven’t been able to forget what they once had. Brody wants her back and slowly he’s tearing down her walls and changing her mind. But when things start coming Lety’s way, her abusive father, Carlos, comes back into the picture. Sadly, he has the power to destroy everything Lety has worked hard for; that includes Brody.
WOW! What an emotional ride. This book made laugh, made me cry and experience all kind of feelings in between. Cecy Robson knows how to play with her reader’s feelings and she does it time and again in this installment.
I liked Lety since the moment I met her in Once Perfect and even though I wanted to shake her more than once, I also like her in this installment. My heart ached for everything she has to go through, for all the scars she bears and the responsibility she carries on her shoulders. Cecy does an excellent job bringing her feelings to life in the pages, making it easy to connect with her and to feel her pain.
As I said before, Lety frustrated me a little bit. I know that due to her background is almost impossible for her to trust a man, but Brody wasn’t any man, it was the man that loved her and protected her. I only wish she would have been more receptive towards him and his good intentions a bit sooner. I also wish she wouldn’t have judged him with the same measurement that she judge her father because they couldn’t be more different.
Brody! Oh! Brody, how do I love thee! Brody is an amazing hero; he’s good inside and out. He’s not perfect but knows his faults and tries to be and do better. He loves Lety and only wants what’s best for her. He wants to protect her and to be there for her, always. *swoon*
Brody’s life is not as perfect as it seems, he’s hiding a very sad past and has many scars of his own. That’s one of the reasons he loves Lety so much, because in her he found a kindred soul.
In this installment we see characters we love from previous book. We see how Mateo and Evie are doing in their lives. We also see Mateo and Lety’s sister, Sophia. Cecy planted the seeds for next book in the series, Once Pure. That will be Sophia and Killian’s story and I can’t wait to get my hands on it after what we see of them in this installment.
In Once Loved Cecy Robson brings to light very difficult topics like are domestic abuse and infidelity; she does it in a way that it not only feels real, but she also shows all the ramifications and repercussions they can have in a person and in a family.
Once Loved is a great addition to a great series and my favorite installment up to date. Once Loved can be easily read as a stand alone, but to get the full effect of Lety and Brody’s relationship I recommend you to read Once Perfect first. I recommend Once Loved to NA and contemporary romance fans.
Other books in the series
Other reviews Goodreads
Link to Follow Tour: http://www.tastybooktours.com/2014/11/once-loved-shattered-past-2-by-cecy.html
I abandoned the locker room in a rush. I’d barely spoken to anyone on my crew team, and while no one had said anything directly to me, I caught every stare, every whisper. Despite the dean’s best efforts, word had spread that the man arrested the previous day was my father. I wanted to scream. Carlos had meant to humiliate me, and he’d succeeded. Next to his fists, humiliation was his favorite weapon.
My duffel bag slapped against my back as I hurried through the athletics center, my steps slowing as I passed a group of soccer players. “Isn’t that Lety Tres Santos?” the girl in the center asked her teammates. “The one whose tripped-out father beat up the campus police?”
I whirled around. “Yup. That’s me.” They exchanged stunned glances. They hadn’t expected me to respond and weren’t prepared for my reaction. “Anything else you want to know?”
The three of them shut their mouths. It was easy for them to talk. Their fathers hadn’t arrived out of control. Their fathers weren’t ex-cons in and out of jail. And their fathers hadn’t spent a lifetime hurting them. I couldn’t say the same.
Carlos had arrived on campus only one other time, demanding money for drugs. If there hadn’t been witnesses, he would’ve struck me for denying him. My father was many things: an addict, bipolar, and an all-around asshole. Stupid was not one of his traits. So he’d left, but not before calling me a bitch in front of my friends.
One of the other girls shrugged. “Melody didn’t mean anything by it,” she said. “She was just asking.”
“There are better things to ask about,” I responded.
I stormed away. My mind insisted I should let the comments and attention roll off my back. Saint Jude’s was a small private college with a little more than two thousand students living on campus. Word traveled fast, and when the rest of the students arrived in two days’ time, it would travel even faster. But eventually, everyone would forget.
Except maybe me.
I pushed open the glass doors that led out of the athletics center. Two girls walking toward the building with volleyballs tucked under their arms saw me as I stepped out. One motioned to me with a jerk of her chin and spoke quietly to her friend.
I continued forward without another glance their way. I couldn’t fight everyone in the world, it was too damn exhausting. So I cut left in the direction of the soccer field, where a few players remained. Although I wasn’t anywhere near them, they stopped kicking the ball to watch me as I passed. Shame made me want to cower and lower my head. Instead I forced my chin up. I was a tough Philly girl, after all, even though I was all but sobbing on the inside.
I trained my eyes ahead, toward where the athletics fields ended and cross-country trails leading into the woods began. If I could just make it there, I’d find some solace from the whispers and judgmental stares. At least, that was what I’d hoped.