Literary, etc is an eclectic blog where we talk & review books, films, & whatever strikes our mood.
Jessica Lemmon’s Can’t Let Go was originally scheduled for an October release with Hard to Handle set for September, but the dates were changed. While some may hate the ending toCan’t Let Go and call it a cliffhanger, it really isn’t one. If you haven’t read Tempting the Billionaire, you don’t need to in order to enjoy Can’t Let Go, but I do recommend it because you’ll have a better understanding of the time frame. It’s not necessary though!
Those that read Lemmon’s Tempting the Billionaire will remember Sadie and Aiden. Both are secondary characters and we know from Tempting that Sadie ends up dating Aiden. What we don’t know is exactly what happened between the two of them. Crickitt attempts to get to the bottom of it, but Sadie quickly changes the subject and responds to her questioning by stating, “All men are bastards.” Can’t Let Go takes place alongside Tempting and I really enjoyed getting the information gaps we didn’t have in Tempting filled. It’s because of this that I don’t consider the ending to Can’t Let Go as a cliffhanger and think of the novella as a supplement toTempting the Billionaire.
We have great character development and it’s pretty clear that both Sadie and Aiden carry emotional baggage. For Sadie, there’s an underlying issue involving her ex-fiancé, Trey. We also get a glimpse of her relationship with her family and their reaction to her phone’s ringtone says a lot. I suspect there’s more to this and I’m sure Lemmon will go into futher details in Hard to Handle. As for Aiden, his comes in the form of an unfaithful ex-wife and his mother’s cancer. It’s really easy to see why these two would open to each other in some areas and keep others a secret. As much as I want to shake some sense into them, particularly Aiden, I can’t fault them. In their position, I’d probably do the same thing. Ultimately what makes this frustrating is Aiden’s inability to come clean to his family about his divorce. What makes this even more heartbreaking is Sadie’s reaction to it and what she thinks of herself, “She knew the truth about herself, how she’d always been a little too hard to handle.” Ah, why doesn’t Lemmon just drive a stake through my heart? My poor Sadie.
A few people might question Sadie’s love for Aiden especially in such a short time period, but I feel I have to defend her. Remember, Sadie has been guarding her heart especially after the incident involving Trey (I won’t go into details because I don’t want to go into spoilers) and it’s understandable she’s cautious. When she meets Aiden, she’s not expecting a connection much less have a conversation about the past. Both open up to each other and it’s the sharing of these past experiences that bring them closer. I know a lot of people also complain about “insta-love” in romances and while these two fall fast, keep in mind that love at first sight does happen. What makes these two different is that both are cautious about falling in love, but they are also take the time to get know each other. Aiden is aware of her limits and even though he wants to push them he doesn’t and respects her.
The writing is engaging and there are several humorous scenes. Lemmon has a talent for writing flawed characters and making you become emotionally invested in them. I laughed and cried and by the end of it, I experienced a beautiful emotional roller coaster. If I can take a moment to virtually high-five Lemmon for her use of what I’ll call Easter eggs. This is the second time she’s referenced something related to her hero’s real life inspiration. I’m not saying what they are because it spoils in the fun of coming across these and I love that she does this!
I loved Can’t Let Go and I’m dying for Hard to Handle. I’m secretly hoping there’s a Trey and Aiden confrontation because let’s face it, Sadie needs a champion.
My favorite quotes:
“I hope you killed him and dumped the body in the cement foundation for the hotel.”
“I think I could be around you every day and never tire of trying to figure you out.”
If you’re a fan of contemporary romances, I highly recommend Jessica Lemmon’s Can’t Let Go. Just have a box of tissues at hand because you’ll need it. If you need to vent your frustration over Aiden, I’m listening!