Jessica Evans has no illusions about who she is or what she wants in her life. Her own background taught her that the only person she can count on is herself. The only trouble is she has very strong feelings for Wade which no amount of denial seems to assuage.
After Jessica shot down Wade’s proposal he hightailed it out of San Antonio for Arizona to lick his wounds. She’d claimed that she simply isn’t the marrying kind but he’s not willing to lose hope just because she’s obviously scared of a commitment. Wade approaches her at the auction stockyard where Jessica works as the manager and is hurt that she acts like she hasn’t even missed him over the past year. He’s well aware of her sexual appetite and fully intends to use it to his advantage. Jessica loves kinky sex and by having multiple partners she’s been able to keep her distance emotionally - or so she thinks. Wade can barely stomach sharing her with anyone but Clancey, Jessica’s longtime friend with benefits, gives her a perceived safety net. Wade has known Jessica since high school but he knows very little about her past and the secrets she’s guarded so closely.
Just when Jessica thinks she can hold Wade at bay her past comes back to haunt her and she finds herself face to face with a smaller version of herself. Thanks to Clancy Wade had a bit of forewarning that Jessica didn’t have a happy childhood but he never anticipated coming face to face with the man who made Jessica’s childhood a living hell. Is Wade prepared to accept Jessica along with all her ‘baggage’ and can he convince her that she can trust him to never purposely hurt her - physically or emotionally?
Oh my! I have to tell you that I don’t believe I can adequately express the emotional roller coaster I experienced while reading BOUND BY THE PAST. Jessica and Wade’s relationship is full of ups and downs and some unexpectedly heart wrenching scenes as Jessica has to decide if she’s going to trust Wade or not. The reason behind Jessica’s refusal to allow anyone close to her is stunning and heartbreaking but it makes her a strong character and someone that women could admire. Out of all the characters in this story it’s the secondary characters who bring it to life in a truly unique way. My heart broke for Clancey. He’s suffered his own disappointments and his feelings for Jessica go beyond friendship though it doesn’t appear that he realizes that until it’s too late. I cried for him more than once while reading this story
BOUND BY THE PAST is the second book in Ms. McKade’s TIES THAT BIND series. BOUND FOR THE HOLIDAYS was the first book . . . and now I’m praying that we’ll see at least one more story to add to this series. Clancey deserves his own story and I have to tell you if there’s a man out there who deserves a happily-ever-after then Clancey’s your guy!
Beautifully written Ms. McKade. This is definitely a story I’ll be adding to my keeper shelf.