Let me start off by saying that I absolutely loved this book. Forgiving Reed drew me in instantly with its gorgeous cover, and after reading the blurb I knew I had to read this book. I have really enjoyed the Scarred by Love series from C.A. Harms, so I figured that I would enjoy her Southern Boys series as well. Enjoy is an understatement, and I honestly couldn't put this book down. It was exactly what I was looking for, and had me very emotional. This book touched my heart, and it will be one that I know I will reread again in the future.
After losing the man she loves and the father of her baby, Kori heads home to get her life back on track with the support of her parents and best friend. She never planned to raise her baby alone, but now she is forced to learn as she goes while grieving the loss of Rhett's father Blake. When she comes face to face with the first boy to break her heart, she immediately wants nothing to do with him all the while feeling the attraction and pull she once did. But Kori knows letting Reed into her heart again affects more than just herself, and she isn't willing to go down that road again. Reed knows that he screwed up years ago with Kori, and he regrets the stupid choice he made when he was a teenager. He threw away the best thing that ever happened to him and lost his girl and best friend all at once. Now that Kori is back though, Reed is determined to show her the man he is now and that he will always be there for her and Rhett. But can Kori risk getting hurt again and let Reed have a chance to be a part of her and Rhett's lives?
I will be the first to say that Reed absolutely screwed up when they were teenagers. He made a really stupid decision and it ended up costing him. At first in this book he doesn't really come off as apologetic and seems to almost find his past actions to be inconsequential. But then we really get to see more of who he has become and how deeply everything has affected him. He quickly changed my opinion of him, and continued to prove that he was exactly what Kori and Rhett needed in their lives. He was sweet and kind, patient and understanding. The love he had for Kori and Rhett was unconditional, and he was so caring with them. He shared a special bond with Rhett and I loved how sensitive he was to always making sure that Rhett's father would have a presence in his life even if he wasn't physically there. Kori was struggling and was grieving, but she was so strong. This girl gave so much love and happiness to those around her and I loved that she was the rock her son needed. She never let him see her down, and she made his life her priority. She surrounded herself with positive influences and was able to give Rhett everything he needed and deserved. I don't know how she was able to be so strong in the face of all that she was going through, but I could not have admired her character more. The relationship between her and Reed was slow to build, and it felt so right. She had loved and lost twice before, and I was glad that she didn't jump into anything. Because it took time to develop, it felt so real and believable to me. It was exactly as it should have been, and I loved seeing their journey.
Overall, I really enjoyed this story and thought that it was such a beautiful journey for all of the characters. This book was heartbreaking at times, and filled with hope at others. I felt every emotion these characters did, and their story really resonated with me. I just felt so invested in what happened to everyone in this book, and I wanted them all to find the love and peace that they deserved. I thought that C.A. Harms did a great job of tackling some really tough subjects, and I really felt as though she did everything justice. I definitely recommend this book to NA fans, but also to contemporary romance fans. I think that this is a story that everyone can find something to relate to, and it shows that no matter how bad life seems to get, that love will always find a way to help us heal.
**Review Copy Provided by Enticing Journey Book Promotions**
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