Lacey's FOR KEEPS kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next. There were so many stories going on and a few unexpected twists. T.J. and Merry had immediate chemistry which they both fought throughout the story with some hot and steamy slip-ups here and there. Watching them take one step forward and at least two back each time they had a romantic moment was heartbreaking especially since they were so good for each other. It was interesting when they let their barriers down and talked about things that they normally wouldn't have but it seemed that each time they got closer there was always a reason why one or the other would pull back. Seeing the kids thrive except for Noah was heartbreaking but what was worse was watching him regress as the others became more confident and outgoing. There were a depth of emotions - hurt, sorrow, sadness, tears, pain, anger, fear, jealousy, happiness, friendship and love. The characters were multifaceted and we slowly got to know them as the story unfolded. There were friends and family that were always there for each other and helped shape who they were. There were a lot of lovable dogs and friendships and bonds formed too both canine and between canine and the humans. There was nice closure especially with the epilogue but a few loose ends remained. I hope T.J. and Merry's story continues in the next book in the series.
Lacey is a new to me author as well as a new author with this being only her second book published. I need to read UNLEASHED, book one in this series, which will help fill in some of the gaps. I'm happy to know there is a third book as well, EVER AFTER, which is Olivia's story and I look forward to reading it since there was an excerpt in the back of this book and it left me wanting more! This book was reminiscent to me of the stories written by two of my favorite authors - Susan Mallery and Jill Shalvis.