I’m always on the lookout for novels to add to my “literary comfort food” shelf. I don’t have many of them (Beth Ehemann’s Cranberry Inn series and Colleen Hoover’s Maybe Someday come to mind), but they are my tried and true books that I turn to when I feel a reading rut coming on or when I just want to submerge myself in an old favorite. These are the books that are guaranteed to give me tons of warm fuzzies, are just all around feel good reads, and always leave me happier than I was before I read them. I’m delighted to say that I’ve found another that I’ll be adding to the mix – Juked by M.E. Carter.
Juked is a sweet sports romance about a sexy soccer stud hero and a strong, girl next door heroine who have an unexpected, late night meet cute in a Wal-Mart that slowly blossoms into friendship and then beyond. It’s the beyond that becomes tricky as Daniel and Quincy struggle to define their connection while dealing with personal and life obstacles that threaten their evolution. Life is frequently messy and complicated and often pushes you right to your breaking point and I love how this reality was mirrored in these characters’ relationship. They are the perfect example of how your past can certainly shape you, but it in no way has to define you as you move forward.
M.E. also filled Juked with subplots of friendship and family and the lessons of forgiveness and loyalty tied in with these side stories wove nicely into the fabric of the romance and strengthened the novel as a whole. As a rule, I like an ending that is a bit more resolved than the one we get here; however, with that being said, I can’t think of an ending that would be more fitting as it stays very true to the characters and really serves as a new beginning. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we get more of Daniel and Quincy down the road, though, because I suspect there may be more to the story before their journey can officially be declared finished.
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