Rating: 3.75 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance
On again and off again couple Brad Sweeney and Jeff Hayden are apparently on again. After years of riding the roller coaster they call a relationship—living together, breaking up, Brad moving out—Brad and Jeff are ready to try again. So, first things first, a first date… well, a second first date. Some things never change, so Brad isn’t surprised when Jeff calls to say he’ll be late. Dinner and discussion go well. So well, they end up at Jeff’s for the night.
Their date comes to an abrupt halt the next morning, however, when Jeff’s ex-wife calls to inform him that she is pregnant. With his child. When Brad and Jeff broke up, a late night and high stress at work led to a passionate night for Jeff and Christine. It was one time and now Jeff is having a kid. Trying to balance the relationship he wants along while preparing for a child with his hormonal ex is hard enough, but when Christine breaks the news to him that she’s planning on moving to Denver and selling her half of the business, things get even worse.
Now Jeff has to make some decisions. Either he can stay in Tucker Springs and work even more hours while trying to balance out his rocky relationship with Brad, or they can sell the business as a whole and they can both move to Denver and raise their child. All the while Brad must figure out whether fighting for a most likely doomed relationship is worth it. Insecurities and fear bubble up, adding to the already simmering tension between Brad and Jeff. Only trust and compromise will get them through it. If they don’t give up first.
Seriously, the title is right on the money with this book because if this story is one thing, it’s definitely complicated. Here’s the thing with this author, she has a natural ability to create angst and tension out of almost nothing. I love it. I expect it and she didn’t disappoint with this story. In that sense anyway. I have mixed feelings for this book though. I’ve been invested in Brad and Jeff’s story since After the Fall, but I feel like a lot of this book relied heavily on their appearance in Nathan and Ryan’s story. I don’t feel that this book, It’s Complicated, provides enough depth of character for me to really want to see this couple make it. In combination with the previous installment, it works better, but as a story fully focused on Brad and Jeff, this story is on shaky ground.
I like Brad and Jeff, have since I really got to know them in the previous book. One of the things I like most about them is the reality of their relationship. I mean fighting is a normal part of being in a relationship. So I like them for that reason. And I like that in this book, they’ve seemed to learned from some of their past mistakes. They talk their issues out. But I’ll be honest, I would have quit trying a long time ago. Partway through this book, I kept thinking, “When’s enough enough?” It was just one thing after another. Brad and Jeff couldn’t catch a break. It’s like they’d have one good thing happen and a pile of crap heaped on them so they’d have dig their way out once more. It just felt like too much, like the end had no way of justifying the means.
As always, and one of the reasons I keep coming back to this author, the writing in this story is captivating. Regardless of how I felt about the relationship issues, I was glued to the pages wanting more. Hoping for some glimpse of happiness for these guys. I was there because this author knows how to entrap and keep an audience.
This story had its obvious ups and downs for me, but I have my reasons for loving this author. I didn’t dislike this story. For the most part I found it incomplete, as if it depended on the previous book in this series too much. But overall, I liked it okay.