In An Ounce of Hope (A Pound of Flesh #2) by Sophie Jackson, Rehab was not somewhere Max O’Hare ever thought he would end up but it was the only option to try to save his life. After losing his first love, his unborn son and a slew of other things in his life, his best friend Carter helped him take the first step into rehab, but he’s proved himself since that day. Now clean and sober, Max finds himself face to face with a beautiful woman who captures his attention. But he keeps having to tell himself that his heart is not part of the deal.
‘If he was truly honest with himself, Max liked Grace. He liked her a lot, but the scarred, battered, and bruised muscle that beat in his chest just wasn’t up to the task of loving anyone ever again.’
Grace Brooks doesn’t normally want to get to know a guy better after her tumultuous past but somehow when Max shows up in town, she takes notice. There’s just something so open and honest about him, even as he stays out of the spotlight. So starting up a friendship and becoming running partners seems natural. As does their progression from friends to something more. Neither one of them is looking for a relationship, but can Grace keep things platonic with Max even as her emotions begin to get involved?
“Don’t be scared,” she told him as she rubbed the side of her nose against his. “Not of me. I only want to love you.”
His face collapsed as though it was the worst news he’d ever heard. “Don’t,” he begged. “Gracie, don’t. Please.”
She smiled a melancholy smile before she stole another kiss. “Too late.”
An Ounce of Hope was yet another stellar novel from Sophie Jackson. Now this may have been about our hero and heroine recovering from their dark, tragic backgrounds, but I found their attitude and the story itself to be uplifting and full of strength.
I am a huge fan of book one, A Pound of Flesh, which was about Max’s best friend Carter. And I wasn’t so sure I could really latch onto Max’s story after seeing what he put Carter and their other friends through. But…Max was a terrific character. Compelling. Emotionally damaged. He had such a great matter-of-fact manner where he would rather be silent than make excuses over what he had done or said in the past. And I had to give Max credit for not hiding behind his addiction and instead doing whatever needed to be done to get clean.
Grace was a bit more mysterious until we got to know what she was trying to overcome from her past. I loved her positive outlook on life and the way she was able to enjoy the smallest things, especially with her talented photographer’s eye. For Grace to be so upbeat after the things she had endured was amazing to me, which Max thought so as well. I really thought they worked well together as a couple. They were both artistic, were loyal to friends and family, and were overcoming emotionally devastating situations. What I liked most was that Max and Grace simply had fun and tons of chemistry when they were together. It kept the overall tone of the book from getting too dark thanks to the great dialogue and entertaining things they did.
Friends-to-lovers stories are among my favorite and An Ounce of Hope proves why. Max and Grace were the perfect blend of good-natured fun and hot and sexy. I absolutely cannot wait to see what Sophie Jackson gives us next in this fantastic series!
From the fanfic phenom whose debut A Pound of Flesh had over 4.5 million reads, this sequel, An Ounce of Hope, tells the passionate love story of Carter’s best friend, Max.
Max O’Hare can’t seem to let go of his past: his drug habit, the end of his relationship with Lizzie Jordan, the woman he knows he’ll never get over, and the loss of their unborn son.
After successfully completing rehab and learning to explore his deepest fears and dreams through painting, Max meets Grace Brooks. With her innate optimism, and her love of art and photography, Grace appears to be the perfect girl. Yet no one knows where she came from, or why she keeps her past so closely guarded. Over time, Max and Grace gradually allow each other in—but will he ever be able to fully let go of his past? Or will his heart remain closed forever?