If You stay by Barbara Meyers
A runaway daughter. An unforgiving father. A reluctant artist.
At 18, Joy Laurence took off with the local bad boy who left her widowed, broke and pregnant. Back then her formidable minister father hung up on her when she called home. Now that she’s back, he slams the door in her face. But for her adult daughter’s sake, she is determined to make peace with her family.
Although romance isn’t even on her radar, Joy can’t resist troubled and talented Granger Sullivan’s rough edges and skilled hands. And in his rebellious teenage daughter she sees her own reflection.
Joy’s excitement dies when reconnecting with her past results not only in broken hearts, but broken lives. Including hers.
She could admit defeat and walk away a second time.
But if she stays, can she find a way to reconcile with her loved ones and build the life she wants?
Publication Date 1/5/2022
Not an author I’d read before, but it’s good to swap things up once in a while (and I’d been read a lot of dark romance,) so with that in mind I grab the book…..
Joy took off with her boyfriend against the wishes of her father. Never thinking or looking back…..
But happiness isn’t always promised, and when Joy is left a young mum and widow, she reaches out to her father.
After telling her what he thinks of her, he hangs up, poor Joy is on her own…..
Future Joy and her daughter have grown up and Joy has returned back to her by home town.
She hopes that enough time has passed and that her father will finally forgive her and make room in his heart for his daughter and granddaughter.
But it’s not going to be that easy, her father still wants nothing to do with her!!
But with her mother on her side, Joy hopes to melt her fathers hard heart, but that comes with it’s own set of issues. Maybe Joy shouldn’t have come back! It’s only causing friction between her parents.
Granger is a struggling single father with a stroppy teenager. He has his own issues, one of abandonment (his wife left without looking back) and of inadequacy! (He blames himself for his wife leaving) so trust is a big issue with him.
Granger knows of Joy from his youth, he had a crush on her as a kid. But can he let his guard down and let another woman in? Or will his insecurities and lack of trust ruin what could be a second chance at happiness for Granger and Joy?
I had tears as I read this book, both with happiness and sadness.
There is families at war, sullen teenager angst, trust issues, condemnation and misunderstandings.
We also get tender moments, funny moments and moments where bridges are trying to be mended.
We get points of views from a lot of people, at first it was a little too much information being thrown at you.
But the further into the book we get, then more sense all the voices make. They all need to have a say.
it’s not just about a second chance romance, it’s about forgiveness, about families mending themselves and each other.
But when doors are shut in your face time after time, doesn’t that tell you something? Isn’t it time to admit defeat and move on….. Joy could, but I get that she’s a fighter. She’s had to be.
Granger is a little antisocial, but I get why.
There are so many characters that you’ll identify and sympathise with.
I read it in one sitting, and I’d highly recommended the book.
*Arc supplied by The Reading Cafe