May 4, 2017

REVIEW: Too Hard to Forget (Romancing the Clarksons #3)

Too Hard to Forget (Romancing the Clarksons #3), by Tessa Bailey
Publish Date:
April 25, 2017
Publisher: Forever Romance
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher via Netgalley
Genre: adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(Synopsis) Peggy Clarkson is returning to her alma mater with one goal in mind: confront Elliott Brooks, the man who ruined her for all others, and remind him of what he's been missing. Even after three years, seeing him again is like a punch in the gut, but Peggy's determined to stick to her plan. Maybe then, once she has the upper hand, she'll finally be able to move on.

In the years since Peggy left Cincinnati, Elliott has kept his focus on football. No distractions and no complications. But when Peggy walks back onto his practice field and into his life, he knows she could unravel everything in his carefully controlled world. Because the girl who was hard to forget is now a woman impossible to resist.

Once again, Tessa Bailey hit the mark with her third Romancing the Clarksons book, as yet another Clarkson sibling is left behind thanks to unexpectedly finding love on their cross-country journey. 

Too Hard To Forget had a lot going for it. If you're a fan of the second chance romance, May-December romance and/or forbidden romance tropes, you'll love this book, because they're all there. 

I'm so glad I had a chance to get to know Peggy Clarkson better. In previous Romancing the Clarkson book, it was hard to get a bead on her. We knew she was always upbeat and sweet, but yet she wears four - FOUR - engagement rings around her neck as a reminder of the four weddings she backed out of over the years. I honestly felt bad for the guys she was engaged to - can you even imagine? 

But, Peggy's actions all became clear in Too Hard to Forget, as we learned about her relationship with Elliott Brooks when she was a senior in college. Told partly in flashbacks, it's clear that Peggy and Elliott were in love at the time despite the fact that she was a student and the head cheerleader, and Elliott was on staff at the college as the head football coach. However, Elliott fell for Peggy very much against his better judgement, and when the guilt and pressure and how BIG his feelings for her had gotten proved to be too much, he broke things off with her in a pretty harsh way, and Peggy was forced to move on. 

Those four engagement rings hanging around Peggy's neck is a physical manifestation of her inability to move on from him despite her best efforts. And when her road trip to New York takes she and Belmont near her alma mater in Ohio, she seizes the opportunity to finally get Coach Brooks out of her system. Nice try, Peggy.

No, getting over him would mean shutting off her center of gravity. Pretending she'd never felt the organ race out of control in her chest, just hearing another person's name. Who would want to forget that kind of insanity?

Elliott hasn't been doing much better than Peggy. He's buried himself in his job and shut everyone else out, including his own 12-year-old daughter. Peggy re-entering his orbit completely throws him for a loop and once again he finds himself fighting their attraction as hard as he can. His efforts were pretty harsh, and he pushes her away so violently (emotionally, never physically) that the vibrant and bubbly Peggy that we've seen so far disappears. 

I was prepared for the hot sex. That's something that Tessa Bailey ALWAYS does perfectly. I was also prepared for the humor that was injected at times. And it was needed, because what I wasn't prepared for was the depth and breadth of emotions that this story evoked. Between Elliott's tortured soul to his daughter's misunderstood feelings to Peggy's search for closure to the unexpected quick glimpse into Sage's past, Too Hard to Forget packed an angsty, emotional punch. 

Speaking of Sage, the final Clarkson left standing is the one whose story we've all been waiting for, and it's going to be the last one, due out in a few months. I'm so excited to see Sage and Bel FINALLY get together, because I just know it's going to be absolutely explosive. And having all four of these couples together in one space finally is going to be epic.

Peggy the bombshell. Peggy the liar. Peggy the mediator. Peggy the grief-stricken. The angel. The devil. The baby. The old soul. 

You never know what you're going to get. 

1 comment:

Kristin (Book Sniffers Anonymous) said...

Wow. This sounds really good. I read the first book in the series and didn't really connect with it but this one sounds right up my alley.