Introduction: Today I’m going to be reviewing “These Wounds Run Deep” by Ember Leigh. I found her book on NetGalley, and the description had me hooked. It’s a second-chance erotic romance novel, and I’m a sucker for those because I like the drama and to analyze how realistic the resolution scene is.
These Wounds Run Deep by Ember Leigh
As I started reading this book, it did not start off on the best foot. For the first couple of chapters, I thought I had picked up another silly eye-rolling bad book and even considered not finishing the book, but I’m not one to quit. I’m glad I stuck with it because the book got better…A LOT better. So let’s get into the review:
The book starts off introducing Ellie MacGregor, the female main character, as she works in her bakery. There’s way too much exposition and odd word choice in the first couple of pages. For example, she uses the word “smashed” when describing a character pressing their finger against glass. Then there’s also the sentence “Ellie knew how to wow people with her appearance”. There was more tell than show, but to be fair it’s something a lot of authors, including myself, struggle with. However, it still makes the beginning too wordy and like an infodump. She describes way too much about the environment and history of the character too soon.
Then Zach Carter, Ellie’s childhood friend and man she lost her virginity to ten years ago, arrives at her bakery. She’s still attracted to him of course, but she’s still hurt over what he did to her all those years ago. They make awkward small talk, and then Ellie’s background with him is revealed, and that’s how I got hooked. Even though I suspected that this book might be one of those rushed reconciliation things, I kept reading. From their tense conversation, Zach gets that he can’t just walk back into Ellie’s life after ten years of refusing to communicate with her. He’s back in town to help his family through some tough times, a genuinely noble goal, and his relationship with his family feels real.
Zach tries to worm his way into Ellie’s life, even telling her to get over the past and attempting the sympathy card using his family troubles. I hated him by this point, and Ellie rightfully calls him out and stands up for herself. I cheered her on and was happy when Zach had to concede defeat. Then he does the unexpected and sends her an apology letter explaining everything. Now, I thought it would be impossible for him to be forgiven based on his earlier actions, but after reading the letter there was one sentence that made me start to like him ever so slightly. I got too engrossed in the book to continue taking notes after chapter two, so I hope that shows how good this book is.
For the remainder of the book, Zach continues to pursue Ellie, and I was surprised that the forgiving process felt genuine. It wasn’t resolved quickly, and the author followed the tried and true format of “one step forward then two steps back”. Zach had to work hard to get Ellie’s trust back. Even near the end when all hope seemed lost, he had a private moment with himself where he acknowledged the long-term negative effects his actions from ten years ago had on Ellie. Even Ellie’s well-meaning best friend wasn’t allowed to get away with the “you’re stupid if you don’t forgive him” speech. From personal experience, I hate when friends or loved ones pull that card on the person who was wronged, and I’m glad to see that Ember Leigh handled it from a realistic point of view. The Happy Ever After ending was well-earned and believable. Also, since this is an erotic romance, I should mention the sex scenes were great. They had the right amount of buildup and didn’t rush into bed together. It was pretty much perfect.
Overall thoughts: Although the book did not start off strong, the quality improved as the book went along. Initially, there were too many weird word choices and metaphors that didn’t work well. However, I was able to push past it and get to the heart of the story, which was phenomenal. I love that Ember Leigh showed how second chance relationships require a lot of work and self-reflection. I rarely see second-chance novels that actually make the main characters work hard to receive forgiveness. Most of them slap a band-aid so they can rush and get the two main characters together. Ember Leigh didn’t do that, and I applaud her for that.
I would definitely recommend this book to others. I even went to her author page to see of there was a sequel to this story. There was an implication of two side characters possibly getting together in the future, and I would love to see that happen. For all her hard work and enjoyable book, she gets 4 stars for this novel!
This book is available on the Kindle Store, and here’s the link: http://amzn.to/2E0uVZ7
Ember Leigh’s Website: http://www.emberleighromance.com/
Ember Leigh’s Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Ember-Leigh/e/B00JEESPSW/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1
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Much love, Dana Kenzi 🙂
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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.