ESCAPE by Jay Crownover
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Series: Getaway #3 (standalone)
Published on: January 30, 2018
POV: Dual First Point of View
Rating: 3.5 STARS
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Escape by Jay Crownover is the third book in the Getaway series by Jay Crownover. Jay Crownover is the author I was already familiar with since her Riveted rocked my world, but Escape is the first book I read from the Getaway series. It didn’t negatively affect my experience though since the book works as a complete standalone; however, to fully enjoy the story and the whole characters I suggest you start with the first book before jumping into this one.
Escape follows the story of Brynn and Lane, two best friends since teenagers who turned to strangers over one night because of an unfortunate circumstance. Everyone in their small town knows that Brynn owns Lane’s heart and vice versa, so it was such a shock to the small community witnessing how life got in their way and separated the two, young lovers. The former best friends have since become the strangers and are trying to figure out the best possible way to live side by side.
Brynn had always had a difficult childhood and upbringing. Along with her young sister, she had been raised by an irresponsible mother and had to suffer the bad choices and mistakes their mother did. Throughout those years, Lane was the only friend who took care of her. However, it was only so much a teenager could do to protect another hopeless teenager, so when a heart-breaking event happened in Brynn’s home, the hopeless teenage girl accepted the only offer of help for her and most importantly her sister to survive, even though it crushed the heart of the boy she loved.
Lane has learned to shield his broken heart by cruising through life the only way he knows is expected. He is a hard-working cowboy who works in his family ranch while taking care of his older brothers. He is a well-known womanizer in the eyes of everyone and the loyal man to those who know him. Trying to escape the fact that he cannot have the woman he wants is what he has been doing since Brynn became a family member, but nothing prepares him to the fact that he might be losing her for good, forever.
Escape is a very good story that, no doubt, I enjoyed but left me with mixed feelings, unfortunately. I enjoyed the forbidden theme but was disappointed with the fact that it was not well-developed. A decade of ‘uncomfortable’ relationship was then resolved in less than five minutes. The story was off to a good yet dramatic start but, unfortunately, fell flat in the progress.
Their relationship didn’t rapidly progress but the main character’s rapid change of heart and the lack of emotional touches in their dialogs did affect me. I struggled to understand it especially after the hero’s dramatic reaction at the beginning. It was both confusing and underwhelming. Furthermore, the dialogs felt too sweet and perfect that it felt unrealistic at times. The fact that there was almost no drama surrounding their romance was something I found lacking since it didn’t make sense what made them separated for a decade. I didn’t feel completely invested in their story and found myself struggling to finish it. It doesn’t mean it is not a good book though; don’t get me wrong, please. It is a great book; the romance just didn’t work for me considering their history.
Besides, the fact that meaningful conversations didn’t exist between the main characters for years was hard to believe considering they both practically lived under the same roof. It was hard to wrap my head around the fact that the problem that should have easily been solved in mere minutes was prolonged because of the lack of communication for a decade.
On top of all, the hero was not as heroic as a lover as I hoped he would be. Although there was some progress throughout the story, his immaturity and lack of efforts to sort things out with her and chose a simple, quick way to escape the situation when it didn’t favor him had me unable to fully connect with his character.
However, even though the romance was not a winning point for me, I did love the main characters individually. Their sweet, caring, selfless nature was one of the highlights of this story. I loved seeing them go to extra length to defend and protect a stranger and risked their own lives in the process. It touched my heart and was one of the factors that saved this story for its lack of romance.
I also enjoyed the secondary story within the main one. It contained the message that was very dear and near to me and was very well-executed. The suspense was refreshing—not too much that it felt far-fetched due to its length—but enough that had me sitting on the edge of my seat with a little anticipation despite it not being perfect. The ending was beautiful as well and, although it was expected from the beginning, it added something I didn’t see coming, which I appreciated.
“I don’t want anyone else to get hurt because of me… because of who I am.”
“There is nothing wrong with who you are. You are exactly the way you were always meant to be, just like I was.. Some people hate because that’s all they know how to do. That’s their problem, not yours, and eventually, you will find someone who loves everything about you. Anything that happens from this point forward is not your fault, Bauer. That blame lands squarely on the shoulders of the people who only had one job, to take care of you, to raise you. They failed, not you.”
The supporting characters made me want to read their own stories. Their characters were unique, fun, memorable, and gave something to the main story. Moreover, the strong sense of family in which each member cared and supported one another was my top favorite as well. Combined with the suspense and the secondary story mentioned above, Escape had so much to offer more than the romance, which I loved.
Overall, despite my issues, I did enjoy Escape. It was a story about love, second-chance, family, and sacrificing for others. It might not be my top favorite by the author but the generosity of the characters touched my heart in the way I didn’t expect. Fans of Jay Crownover’s would surely not be disappointed. I look forward to more books by this author in the future.
This was how happy was supposed to feel. She was the only one who ever gave me that feeling. This, more than a good time, this was something that glowed radiantly from the place that had always belonged to her inside of my heart.
Thank you to the publisher for giving me this review copy for my unbiased review.