TITLE: Been There Done That by Hope Ellis
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Format: Kindle Edition (398 pages)
Published: March 31st, 2020 by Smartypants Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Blurb: Theirs was a forever kind of love, until it was stolen.
ZORA LEFFERSBEE’S once perfect life is no longer perfect. Her tenure at the University is in question, funding for her employees uncertain, and her faux-fiancé, Jackson James’s unpredictability is wearing on her last nerve. Just when Zora is convinced things can’t get more complicated, life proves her wrong.
What the heck is he doing here?
NICK ROSSI’s complicated life is still extremely complicated. He’s used to fighting for everything he has, but he’s also used to winning. Now a man of power and influence, his return to Green Valley after so many years hasn’t gone according to plan, especially with the woman he’s always wanted.
She can’t know why I left, or why I’m back.
A powerful woman intent on righting the wrongs of the world, Zora doesn’t have time or energy to deal with the man who broke her young heart.
A powerful man intent on righting the wrongs of the past, Nick can’t help wanting to protect Zora, even if his devotion is unrequited.
I am on the fence about this story. I sorta liked it but had issues with a couple of things mainly the character and plot development.
This was a basic second chance romance. Zora Leffersbee and Nick Rossi were childhood friends and they eventually fell in love. They planned to start their life together after high school but for no reason she understood, Nick left town one night with no explanation. Zora was heartbroken, but eventually moved on.
Twelve years later, when Zora’s department needed funding, a tech company came to the rescue. At that meeting, she found out that Nick, her first love, was one of the CEOs of the company. Nick’s company had the medical app that could save jobs in her department and possibly elevate her career. In order to make the joint venture work, Zora had to find a way to make peace with the man who broke her heart and left her behind over a decade ago without an explanation.
Second chance romance aren’t my favorite because most of the time I am unhappy with the length of separation and/or the “miscommunication” that led to the separation.
At the beginning, the reader was made aware that Zora’s career was at an unstable point. Then the man who left her came back at a time where she was professionally vulnerable with his cape on to save the day. Of course he was rich, stable and doing well. Twelve years is a really long time to not contact the person who say you love but have been watching from a far. He could have come back to her, found a way to explain himself or work his way back into her good graces. If she hadn’t needed the medical app, would Nick be attempting to talk to Nora? In addition, the author teased about the secret that cause Nick to abandon Zora for three quarters of the book so by the time I finally figured it out, I felt underwhelmed by it. It didn’t feel worthy of devastation his abandonment caused and so it couldn’t reconcile that explanation.
It was clear that they were hot for each other. Their young love was an innocent one and a true one so it endured but I had a hard time giving Nick grace after all that time. That is my dilemma with second chance tropes.