Series: A Pound of Flesh #3
Published by Gallery on 6/21/16
From award-winning fanfic phenomenon Sophie Jackson, the third novel in the sexy and emotionally intense blockbuster A Pound of Flesh series.
Life in New York for ex-con Riley Moore is pretty damn good, until a call from his mother shatters the calm: his father has suffered his second heart attack in two years and is in a critical condition. Leaving everything behind, Riley flies home to Michigan for the first time in five years to support his mother and do his best to make amends with his father. He also tries not to think about Lexie Pierce, the only girl he ever truly cared about, and who broke his heart.
When they inevitably meet, memories of their love make Riley yearn to reconnect, despite the pain they both suffered. Though she's wary, and has a secret she’s hidden from him for five years, Lexie has little willpower when it comes to Riley and she agrees. Besides, after all that has gone before, she owes it to both of them to find out if they can love each other again.
Can they both overcome their sorrow and secrets and finally share their life together?
A powerful new voice in modern romance, Sophie Jackson has crafted a passionate love story with unforgettable characters that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.
In all honesty, after reading A Pound of Flesh, I hadn’t felt super compelled to keep up with this series. The writing was fantastic, which was an unexpected reaction for me as I don’t typically enjoy stories written in third person, but I felt a little let down by the story. However, having remembered Riley from book one and enjoying him, when A Measure of Love came across my screen, I figured I’d give it a go. I am happy to say that I took the chance.
Second chance romance stories are admittedly some of my most favorites. There’s something about the redemption of that love that gives me an ooey-gooey feeling and turns me into a love-sick teenager. So, imagine my delight when A Measure of Love is not only second chance romance but friends to lovers as well. Commence swooning.
Riley and Lexie become best friends at the age of 8 and their friendship tentatively and affectionately matures into love which Sophie did so convincingly well. It was sweet and tender and felt entirely genuine. I absolutely loved every single flashback and thought their use, while not usually my favorite, was extremely effective.
Naturally, as it does, life’s circumstances got in their way resulting in hurt and loss. Fortunately, Sophie doesn’t trivialize the reader’s ability to piece together a story. I enjoyed the way she paced herself and didn’t show her hand, but gave bits and pieces of this complex story as it progressed and developed. Somewhere around 80ish% though, it seemed to lose momentum. I did find myself skimming the remaining chapters as my disappointment overshadowed my interest in the HEA. I still felt for the characters and wanted to see a resolution but I was frustrated by the use of clichéd plot devices used to progress character development.
The majority of the story is told via Riley’s perspective which I loved. I really enjoyed his character and seeing him as a little boy compared to him as a man gave his character depth and complexity. Lexie was a bit harder to connect to so that when the crux of their initial conflict was reveled my response wasn’t as empathetic to her side of it. I’m convinced it is because A Measure of Love is more about Riley’s journey rather than a general distaste for, or underdevelopment of, her character. I also enjoyed Riley’s brothers and parents and found their contribution to the story important and valid. I was hoping for a little more direct resolution between Riley and his dad, however I am pleased with the outcome.
There is another element about this story that makes it completely heartwarming. I can’t say what, because spoilers, but it trumps my unease over the loss of momentum so much that A Measure of Love is a read that I can say is unforgettable. I would recommend this one to fans of second chance and friends to lovers stories and readers who enjoy themes of family, redemption and forgiveness.