Title: Five Reasons to Go
Author: Candace Knoebel
Series: The Risky Hearts Duet #2
Publisher: Self-published by Candace Knoebel
Publication Date: October 25, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received an advanced copy from the author/InkSlinger PR for the purpose of this blog tour
Rating: 4 stars
One day a week. That was his rule. And it was also our downfall.
My marriage to Hank was one of convenience. When I got pregnant at sixteen, he took me in and kept a roof over my naïve head. We had an agreement—we could sleep with whomever we wanted so long as our children were kept in the dark. It worked great… until it didn’t.
Cocky Jack Swanson was never supposed to be mine. His marriage was open, but his heart was guarded… until he slowly let me in, revealing an alluring man with a painful past. With him, I felt what love could be. I felt wanted… needed. I’d never wanted to fall in love… but then I did.
And now… the rules have changed.
Jack isn’t the same man I fell for. Broken and gutted from his divorce, he’s a shell of who he once was. Sullen and worn down. I know I can bring the good in him back out, if only he’ll let me in. If only he’ll just stay, instead of giving me all his reasons to go.
Going into this book I was excited because I loved the first one, Ten Reasons to Stay. I wanted to know the story of Jack and Jess and what their storyline was during the time of Corinne and Cole. I was also the smallest bit apprehensive as well because in the first book I hated Jack and Jess with a passion. I was worried I might not like this book because I didn’t like them. Let me tell you right now, that is not the case.
Everything about Jess’s story had me loving her from the start. The fact that she was able to be this incredible person devoting her life to her children and other women no matter her situation with Hank was admirable. She was such a strong female character.
In Ten Reasons to Stay, I wanted to push Jack in front of a truck. I couldn’t stand him. He was a crap husband to Corinne. Although I wouldn’t excuse him completely, I did understand him much better in Five Reasons to Go. And I will say, without spoiling anything, that the character development Jack goes through in this book is top notch.
Jess’ kids were the best. At the end of the day they always had Jess’ back no matter what and recognized how much of her life she devoted to making sure that they were happy and weren’t subjected to the things going on between her and Hank. She wanted them to have the most normal childhood and I’m glad they appreciated her and the good man that Jack was as well.
Comparing the writing to the first book, I didn’t like this one as much. The super loved up moments between Jack and Jess or the sad moments when they were apart were written so dramatically. At many points it felt like every second sentence was a simile and it was killing me. They love each other or they’re sad not being together. We get it.
At first I got a bit scared with the plot because it went over the moments that coincided with Corinne and Jack’s story so quickly. But the more I read the novel and realized how much of Jack and Jess’ story came after Corinne and Cole, I understood. As I read further into the book, it made complete sense, and I’m glad that she ended up writing their story this way.
My one thing with the pacing was that sometimes it seemed to go by slow and at other times the book was skipping ahead by weeks or months. It was a little bit everywhere during the beginning when it briefly went over the parts that coincided with Ten Reasons to Stay and then really jumped back and forth when it was about two years after the first novel.
Overall, I would say this was a good finale to the Risky Hearts Duet. Despite a few issues with the writing and the pacing, it helped put the whole story together in a satisfying way.
About Candace Knoebel:
Candace Knoebel is a hopeless romantic with an affinity for whiskey and good music. Her love of words began when she met the boy who lived in the cupboard under the stairs. She’s a self-proclaimed Lost Girl. Words are her mirror.
With two completed series, her work ranges from paranormal to contemporary, all centered heavily around romance. Currently she lives in Florida with her husband and two children, and has just completed her fifteenth novel, Ten Reasons to Stay.