Back in high school, Lee Archer had the power to make Jessie Baxter’s cheeks flush and her heart race. But the popular athlete never wanted to be more than just friends. Ten years later, after a failed marriage and with her journalism career on shaky ground, Jessie’s come home for her high school reunion–and Lee still has the power to make her knees weak and her pulse pound.
Lee’s teenage years were filled with more trauma and drama than anyone guessed. Though his damaged past has helped make him a successful police detective, it’s hurt every relationship he’s tried. But seeing the grown-up, stunning Jessie might just change his commitment-phobic mind.
Jessie’s psycho ex-husband had her convinced no one would ever love her, but Lee is ready to step out of the friend zone and into her heart. Can she learn to trust again before she loses her chance to turn her first crush into her last love?
Elizabeth McKenna’s novel will have you remembering the angst of high school, the grief of a failed relationship, and the joy of finding true love at last.
Welcome to my stop on the tour for Elizabeth McKenna’s First Crush, Last Love. This mostly fictional romance is about Jessie Baxter and her longtime crush on Lee Archer. After clearly being placed in the friend-zone, the story follows Jessie as she moves on from adolescence to adulthood, obstacles in careers and relationships, and how some old flames never burn out.
I have a few friends that were high school sweethearts before they married, and I love their stories. I especially love stories such as this one, where someone gets that second chance on a crush they had when younger. However, this novel is much more than just Jessie and Lee’s childhood crush on one another and then reuniting. Elizabeth McKenna tackles child abuse, spousal abuse, career mistakes, relationship mistakes, and so much more.
Although I liked this novel, I struggled with both main characters, Jessie and Lee. Personally, I cringed several times at Jessie’s lack of self-esteem when they were teenagers and the way she allowed Lee to treat her. He could reel her in, hurt her, then start all over again when he wanted. I hated that she felt as if that was o.k., and even more so when she tolerated horrible behavior from Billy beginning when they started dating up through their marriage. However, as frustrating as Jessie’s tolerance was, I also reminded myself numerous times that we were seeing things through the eyes of a young woman who most likely still had much to learn about herself, confidence, and relationships.
Which leads to Lee… I tried, but even until the very end, I just couldn’t like Lee. Again, I can excuse some of his teenaged behavior because he was a young man, etc. But he was truly hurtful to Jessie several times when they were younger, only to turn on the charm when they reunite years later. I don’t think he deserved another chance, however, the heart loves who it loves – and Jessie had always loved Lee.
As stated earlier, there are some heartbreaking moments involving abuse, infidelity, jobs, relationships, and sometimes just life. I applaud McKenna for including such real-world struggles and obstacles, and although I wasn’t a fan of Jessie, presenting an honest portrayal of a shy, insecure young girl and the hurt and disappointment that can come into a life. Despite my issues with the characters, the story is one that in its completion, truly embraces romance and destiny. I especially loved the epilogue, which left my heart smiling!
*** Ebook 0.99 ***
Available to buy from……
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“Elizabeth McKenna has a way of making the characters so real.“
“This is a truly beautiful story of hope, love and a second chance at first love again.“
“The author infused lots of life into the characters, which in turn made the storyline come alive.“
Above quotes are from Amazon.com
Read an excerpt HERE
About the author
Though Elizabeth McKenna’s love of books reaches back to her childhood, she had never read romance novels until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene).
She had always wanted to write fiction, so she combined her love of history, romance, and a happy ending to write Cera’s Place and Venice in the Moonlight. Her short story, The Gypsy Casts a Spell, is available for free on her website here. She hopes you will enjoy her first contemporary romance novel, First Crush Last Love, as much as others have enjoyed her historical romances.
Elizabeth, aka Maureen Lippert, lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.
Find the author on the following sites….
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