[551]: The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter

21844938 The Closer You Come [The Original Heartbreakers, #1]
HQN Books | January 1st, 2015
Adult Fiction | Romance
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

From Goodreads:

Just released from prison, Jase Hollister has a dark and twisted past. And now, he has only one goal: stay out of trouble. Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, sounds like the perfect place for him and his two brothers-by-circumstance to settle down and live a nice, simple life. But model citizen isn’t exactly this rugged bachelor’s default setting—especially when it comes to a certain hot-blooded Southern beauty…

Brook Lynn Dillon has always been responsible. Not that it’s done her much good. The down-on-her-luck waitress is broke, single and fun-deprived. Until Jase comes along. He is dangerous, stunningly protective, breathtakingly sexy and as tempting as sin, and the passion sizzling between them is undeniable. But can it melt her resistance? After all, the right kind of trouble might be just what they both need.

My first foray into Showalter’s writing was fun. I’ve always wanted to read her supe series, but I don’t have the time to invest in them nowadays. I saw these books in my recent blog hopping and decided to check them out. Thankfully, they’re easy and fast reads, so I’m  caught up to the series.

So this story was surprisingly not all fun and games. Jase is an ex-con looking to spend the rest of his life in peaceful existence. It’s how he convinced his best friends to move to Strawberry Valley. There, he meets Brook Lynn (hate this name, by the way); the girl he threw in the pool on the night she barged in his bedroom. Oh and this, while he was having a carnal meet and greet with BL’s older sister. Needless to say, their meeting didn’t get off to a good start.

BL and her sister were orphans at a young age. Since then, they look out for each other. BL more than Jessie, because between the two sisters, she’s the responsible one. BL is an admirable character; there’s not one evil bone in her body. She gives everybody the benefit of the doubt, even their uncle who taught them how to hustle and who only stuck around to take advantage of them. Which is why I was surprised when she couldn’t give the same to Jase when he finally told her about his past.

I have always been a fan of stories that feature a character with some sort of physical disability. BL wears a hearing aid because of a disorder she was born with. Growing up, she’s taken a whole slew of insults from kids their age due to the wirings visible on her ears. Because of that, she’d learn to hide them with her hair. She’s worked hard to keep her sister out of trouble, but Jessie courts trouble any chance she gets.

This novel had a bit more depth than your run of the mill Harlequin romance. I supposed it follows the same formula as most New Adult romances out there: girl and boy overcoming their own difficult pasts to find happiness and love. But in this case, replace girl and boy with woman and man. The most important component in a romance novel is the chemistry between characters. Showalter knows how to make them believable and convincing without breaking a sweat. Overall, I’m off to a great start with these books, and I’m looking forward to reading the rest.



  • I’ve only read Alien Huntress series by this author and enjoyed them. Must check this out too!

  • I’ve heard so many people have love Gena Showalter, and since I recently got approved for this on on NG, like you, this will be my first ever book from her! BROOK LYNN is a horrible name. I second that. I’m more of a New Adult girl than Adult but okay. Always good to try new stuff, yeah? Great review, Joy 🙂

  • Great review Joy 😀 I’m glad you liked this book a lot. <3 The romance seems good 🙂 Not for me, but ugh, I do think it sounds pretty amazing. <3 ONE DAY 😀 Thank you for sharing your gorgeous review sweet girl 🙂

  • This one sounds like it has a great message behind it, although it kind of follows a few tropes, it sounds sweet in a way with the disability and the romance. Glad to hear you enjoyed it Joy!

  • Yes, I agree Brook Lynn? Horrible. It makes sense to me that a book by Gena Showalter would have more depth. I actually was wondering about them when I saw one recently and noticed it was by her. Glad you enjoyed!

  • Harlequin sure loves their cheesy covers! lol. I love New Adult, as you probably know, so I’m down to try just about everything within the genre, even if it seems like something I wouldn’t normally pick it up. I really like that BL has a disability requiring her to wear an hearing aid, it just adds a little something EXTRA to the story. I’m glad you were able to enjoy it, for some reason I’m getting a ” labor Day ” vibe from this book. I don’t even know if you’ve seen that movie lol.

  • I’ve enjoyed Showalter’s Paranormals, byt have yet to try a contemp – this series sounds fun! And, I like that she adds some depth to the standards with real issues. I’m glad you tried something new and enjoyed it.
    Thanks for the lovely review, Joy! 🙂

  • Sounds like an easy read! I, too, enjoy a disabled character. It adds depth to the story.

  • *The closer I get to you. The more you make me feel. By giving me all your love, your love has captured me*

    Did I get the lyrics right?

    Also, the first one is a novella right? I think I have that. Need to try it and pop my Showalter cherry. So many cherries!

  • Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings

    I’ve wanted to read a book by this author for awhile since I’ve seen her name around the blogosphere quite a bit. I’m really glad to see you enjoyed this and that it had more depth than a typical romance novel. Thanks for such a honest and helpful review, Joy! 🙂

  • Glad to hear it was a pleasant experience in her writing, and that it surprised you with more depth

  • Jazmen

    I’m not sure if I would ever want to read this but I like the fact that one of the characters is not perfect. Glad you enjoyed this! Good luck with the others!

  • I skimmed and thought I should point out that the fact that her name is Brook Lynn makes me want to pick this up automatically. What have you done? If I hate it, does that mean we’re even with The Deal?

  • I’ve had my eyes on this series for a long time now and I’m glad that this was enjoyable for the most part. I’m surprised it’s not more fun, but I can see why it was dark what with their pasts. Brook Lyn IS a really stupid name! But it’s funny how he threw her into a pool during their first meeting! I’ll be on the look out for your thoughts on the next book.
    Great review, Joy!

  • kindlemom1

    I love these easy and fast reads. I call them pallet cleaners LOL! I need these type of reads every now and then, especially after a harder dystopian or UF. I have yet to try this author but like you, I wanted to try her sup series but just can’t seem to fit it in. Maybe I will start here instead. 😉

  • Sounds good enough 🙂

  • I can never stray away from books like these no matter how cliche they are. They always seem to call on me everytime. Adding this because, you know, guilty pleasures. ;D