Title: No Regrets
Author: Alex Jane
Length: 71 Pages
At a Glance: No Regrets makes an impact that is impossible not to feel and, in no uncertain terms, succeeds under the influence of Ryan and Lucas.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Ex-soldier Ryan Jones likes precisely two things—his kitchen and the music his father taught him to love.
After spending too many years running from his past, he’s found something like peace. Working all day as a short-order cook in a dying town, then drinking himself to sleep at night isn’t much of a life but he thinks it’s all he needs, until the day he notices the kid.
Lucas is quiet, barely twenty, sporting a shy smile beneath his frightened eyes, and bruises that Ryan can relate to all too well. Torn between wanting to help Lucas and simply wanting him, Ryan’s resolve to keep the kid at arm’s length slowly wears away.
Until Lucas disappears.
Ryan’s not the sort of man to be anyone’s white knight. But as it turns out, what Ryan is capable of, is exactly what Lucas needs.
Review: I’ve probably said this dozens of times before, but I’ll repeat myself: I have an immense amount of respect for authors who can tell a complete story in novella form. Author Alex Jane does so in No Regrets, and the reason it resonated so deeply with me is because she wrote this with the sole aim of drawing me into the story by the heart, through her characters, which didn’t need an abundance of build-up to strike a chord. It makes an impact that is impossible not to feel and, in no uncertain terms, succeeds under the influence of Ryan and Lucas.
Ryan is ex-military, so filling in the blanks of how he came to work as a cook in a diner doesn’t require a lot of word count to help readers understand that his boss, Marie, is a bit of a godsend. He doesn’t have much to his name, doesn’t need much, to be honest, but there’s no doubt that something is missing from his life—someone to share it with. And as much as he may believe that’s not what he wants, when Lucas shows up at the diner, Ryan can’t help but be curious about the guy who looks like he could be homeless not to mention burdened to his very soul.
No Regrets is an age gap romance, and that fifteen-year difference is a sticking point for Ryan, but there are far heavier issues here—the subject of Lucas’ obvious physical abuse being one of them. There is also a resolution to the conflict that might test some readers’ ability to suspend disbelief and made me wonder at what cost to Ryan the issue was resolved, but it works for this story. I bought into it for Lucas’ sake if nothing else, because I ended up loving him so much and wanting him to have the happiness he deserved. I loved Ryan too, loved them both quite a bit.
If you’re looking for a road trip read, a beach read, or just a quick shot of happily ever after, Alex Jane tells a sweet and thoroughly romantic story with a bit of a bite to it too, in No Regrets.
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