ARC Review: Had To Be You

Had To Be You (Bad Boys of Red Hook #3)
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The last place he expected to find lasting love was back in his hometown…

Slater knew tragedy from a young age, but with the support of his foster family, he turned his life around. Now, back from a stint in the Navy, he’s packed up his motorcycle and returned to Red Hook to help to run the family restaurant—a job that comes with a tantalizing upside. Her name is Rocki.

Flirty, sweet, and outgoing, Rocki brings in crowds as the lead singer of the house band. And although she’s unable to resist the charms of this intense bad boy, she refuses to open her heart to him. Until a family crisis shatters Rocki’s easygoing demeanor, exposing something from her past she’d always hoped would stay hidden.

But Slater knows a thing or two about family secrets—and he sets out to prove to Rocki that their relationship could finally give them both a future worth believing in.

Had to Be You wraps up the Bad Boys of Red Hook series in a neat little package. The final brother to meet his match, Slater has come home earlier than expected to get away from the ex-girlfriend who played him for a fool. Rocki is the lead singer for the house band at the Crow’s Nest, and has plenty of secrets from those closest to her. When they meet, sparks fly, though not necessarily sparks of the good kind.

The chemistry between Slater and Rocki was almost instant, though they would try to ignore and fight it for some time. Slater immediately becomes protective of Rocki, even though she does her best to ignore him. The support Slater offers when Rocki needs it most shocks both of them, and his reasoning behind it comes as an even bigger surprise to Slater. When he starts having panic attacks and flashbacks related to his own childhood, he knows there must have been something big he has been blocking all these years.

This series as a whole was an easy one to be pulled into, and an easy one to pick up. I read parts of it out of order, reading this one before I read You’re The One (#2), which because of the Nicki storyline I wouldn’t necessarily recommend unless you’re into spoilers, but it still worked. There were only a few spoilers revealed by reading book 3 before book 2, but the holes I had by skipping #2 weren’t huge (and while I thought I was getting one spoiler in particular by reading Had To Be You early, turns out there was a clue left in You’re the One). But without having read Back to You first, there would have been a lot of missing background about the family and community as a whole.

This was a great closure to the series. All the overarching storylines get wrapped up with big ol’ bows, as well as Rocki and Slater’s own story. There are enough snippets of information that we see what Bree, Storm, Skye, Logan, and all the supporting characters are up to and how the other two couples’ relationships have continued on without the secondary plotlines getting in the way of the main couple. I enjoyed reading this book and series, and will look for more by Robin Kaye.

Thanks to PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW for providing me with an arc copy in return for an honest review.

Robin Kaye was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge next door to her Sicilian grandparents. Living with an extended family that's a cross between Gilligan's Island and The Sopranos, minus the desert isle and illegal activities, explains both her comedic timing and the cast of quirky characters in her books.

She's lived in half a dozen states from Idaho to Florida, but the romance of Brooklyn has never left her heart. She currently resides in Maryland with her husband, three children, two dogs, and a three-legged cat with attitude.


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