Jilted by Sawyer Bennent
Series: Love Hurts, #2
Released: July 11, 2017
Reviewed by Sheena
Eden Goodnight went to Los Angeles to make it big, not to be publicly humiliated by her cheating fiancé at a red-carpet premiere. But when Eden returns to her hometown to put the scandal behind her, she can barely find a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. Turns out the locals are worse than the paparazzi, and they all think she’s turned into a spoiled brat. But in a strange twist of fate, the one person who seems to understand what Eden’s going through is Cooper Mayfield . . . the boy she left behind.
Small-town charm is no match for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. At least that’s what Coop’s been telling himself all these years. As Eden’s old flame—and the landscaper for her family’s historic home—Coop feels some responsibility for getting her out of her funk. But as soon as he sees that million-dollar smile, he’s a goner. Soon they’re making out like teenagers again. But when a life-changing role falls into Eden’s lap, Coop just hopes she doesn’t give up on a love that’s meant to be.
Interesting, fun, light, sexy, fast paced, warm and unpredictable. All great adjectives to experience when reading a good romance novel, however, to have them all packaged in one novel is venturing into purple unicorn territory. After falling victim to merely skimming blurbs and jumping into some novels feet first only to discover a bunch of WTF from cover to cover, I broke out the spectacles and surveyed what I’d have in-store with Jilted. No cowboy hats- check (I hate Cowboy/Rancher romance… and I won’t be shamed for it!) Second chance love- check. Big shot heroine has to eat humble pie when the bright lights get too hot- check. Left behind lover is still in town and (possibly) pining for the one that got away-checkish (blurb left me concerned that the hero may be a little too nicey-nice young-man-next-door. Hopefully he is at least a little pissed at her for leaving him. Few things are as exciting as disgruntled sex and I was hoping for a big pay off!). Satisfied that Jilted was a go, I settled in and…wow.
First of all things are first person from Eden Goodnight’s (awesome name!) POV. Right away there is something interesting, about Eden’s voice that called out to me. I was primed and ready for the spectacle that would be her public humiliation, yet, unexpected nuances in the aftermath of her personal hell were well executed and I found myself a little off balance and liking it. There was so much to reconcile! Lots and lots of feels and righteous indignation. I loveee righteous indignation!
Soon after the demise of her whirlwind engagement, Eden is back in her small town and facing rejection and judgement at nearly every turn. The little Podunk townsfolk humble Eden as soon as she shows her face. I felt so bad for her, because by now, Eden was like my BFF, (I so enjoy when I have the urge to establish a girl squad with heroines!) and a cut to her is a wound to me and poor Eden was cut right down to size! Especially one Newberry resident and Coop’s ex- Ashley-the-viper.
“You’re a bitch, Eden,” Ashley practically yells at me, her face so close to mine that I can smell alcohol. “A selfish, egotistical bitch and not one person in this town likes you. Get a clue and get out because we don’t want you around.”
Her words are so hateful . . . so impactful . . . I can’t sit still while she hovers over me. I shoot up from the booth, causing Ashely to stumble back in surprise. I glance at Coop briefly and see his eyebrows furrowed as he looks back at me. I then turn to Ashley. “What the fuck is wrong with you people?”
And to Simone I say, “What the hell did I ever do to deserve the treatment I’ve been getting?” My glance goes to Coop, but I don’t address him. I look at Missy. “Were you just pretending to be my friend?”
The frost was definitely in the air, and unfortunately, all due to a huge misunderstanding years ago when Eden left town and hit the big time. It would have been an interesting twist had Eden earned all the cold shoulders and disdain, however, as it were, our girl was innocent and woefully misunderstood. Thank goodness for Coop, the one person she could count on to see the right of things. Their romance was a sweet friends to lovers to long lost to friends and lovers again. If Eden and Coop have a defining theme, it is definitely, nothing worth having is easy.
The heart of the story is Coop & Eden’s road to romance and HEA. They are both great characters with worthwhile careers that they put their heart and souls into, neither, rightfully wanting to abandon their professional passions, even when their chemistry and physical passions drove them to together. Coop is a decent, kind man. He isn’t a push over and treats women with respect. It’s always a treat to have a non jerky hero mix things up a bit, break up the monotony of male protagonists who need such deep redemption it overshadows the romance of it all. *sigh* This nice guy deserved to finish first and I rooted for Coop!
Eden and Coop work out their differences (read: have a lot of sex) but it never detracts from the plot, I never lost sight of their romance and the depth of the sacrifices and compromises they had to learn to make for one another. with the exception of a wayward butt plug (I know) the balance of emotional and physical connection was well maintained. (A glass butt plug folks.)
“I want you to get naked and get on your bed. I’m here in L.A. with you, and now I want what you promised me.” My eyes go wide as pleasure skitters down my spine from the rough need in his voice.
“Right now?” “Why wait?” he asks me, his hand gripping a bit harder, and the little sting to my scalp is exhilarating…
There was much to like about Jilted. Eden’s POV was my favorite, seeing Coop through her eyes made me love him all the more. There were times where I thought Eden and Coop were a little too nicey-nice- not quite flawed enough to be as realistic as they could be, but all on all, as far as characters go, they were good. The author is clearly adept at making a character unlikable to some degree (I’m looking at you Ashley) so in future books, I hope the protagonists have more not so shiny attributes just to add another creative layer or dimension to the overall story.
Jilted is a part of a series, the second entry, however, it stands alone without question. Jilted is a fun romantic romp and has a wide appeal, inviting for just about any romance reader. The plot was straightforward, barely any subplot, however, her small town of Newberry, GA is ripe with colorful characters who stood out in their own right. Jilted works as a lazy Saturday, beach or traveling read. I finished in a few sessions, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if you read it in a sitting. Savored or gobbled up, anyway you take it in, it goes down good.