Can't Let Go
The Callaways #13
By Barbara Freethy
Releasing December 26th, 2017
Fog City Publishing
In Can't Let Go (The Callaways #13) by Barbara Freethy, Griffin Hale has a need for keeping his life private, but when he rescues Annie Calloway, his life changes irrevocably. Whether it's for better or worse, he's not sure at first, but he's determined to make the most of it by getting to know Annie better. But when trouble starts brewing, Griffin knows he's going to either have to tell Annie everything about his past or do something to make them go their separate ways. Will Griffin realize that Annie is his one chance at forever after, or will they go their separate ways because of the danger he's determined to keep her from?
This is the first book I've read by Ms. Freethy, and it's a story that has me wanting to read the other books of this series as well as the next one, which features one of Annie's brothers as the hero. Really, this book had everything I enjoy in a romantic suspense such as the brilliant suspense that had me wondering who was coming after the main characters and why once the hero begins to open up to Annie about his past; a good dose of romance that shows how good these two are together and shows how much Griffin needs Annie in his life; incredible main characters that had me captivated by their back stories and everything they go through on their journey to happy ever after; and riveting dialogue that had me wanting to know more about Annie's family and whether the hero and heroine will get their happy ever after, considering all that they go through including Annie's unwillingness to give up on Griffin no matter what they have to face to be together. Will they come out on top against the person or people coming after them?
As for the dialogue, it was intense due to the main characters back stories, especially that of the hero, whose back story took me by surprise because he's keeping a fairly big secret that could get people hurt if he's not careful. Moreover, the heroine is resilient and courageous when it comes to everything she faces because of the hero's past. I also liked how curious the heroine was when it came to life, especially the hero's because he's so mysterious and she wants to get to know him better. Yet, what I liked most of all about the heroine is that she didn't give up on the hero when he kept giving her reasons to walk away.
While the hero, he's been through so much and it's understandable that he's so private when it comes to his life and not letting people get close. Yet, in saying that, I liked that his walls came down for the heroine and that he let her in because Griffin needed Annie just as much as Annie needed him. However, what I liked most of all about the hero was how protective he was of the heroine, which was palpable from the moment they met when he was her knight in shining armor.
Overall, Ms. Freethy has delivered a wonderful and riveting read in this book where the chemistry between this couple was strong; the romance was delightful, as the heroine finds a way to get the hero to realize that they deserve a chance at forever after; and the ending had me worried for the main characters because of the danger they face, but had me loving the way this couple ended up getting their happy ever after. No way was Griffin going to let Annie get away after everything they'd been through together. However, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up nicely, as Annie deserves all the success and happiness she's found for her life. I would recommend Can't Let Go by Barbara Freethy, if you enjoy the opposites attract trope or books by authors Cristin Harber, Samantha Chase, Julia London and Melissa Foster.
From #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Barbara Freethy comes another stunning blend of heart-warming romance and spine-tingling suspense in her popular Callaway Series…
Talented graphic artist and animator Annie Callaway has been commissioned by a Hollywood studio to create the next superhero blockbuster movie, but a bout of creative block has Annie searching the Southern California beach scene for inspiration. A local Irish bar in an old train depot, run by the ruggedly attractive and somewhat mysterious Griffin Hale, piques her interest, and she finds herself weaving fantasies about not only Griffin but also the quirky characters who work there.
The last thing Griffin Hale needs at his bar is a nosy artist looking for personal stories to turn into movie plots. He has carefully cultivated a scene of complete normalcy for people who need it more than Annie could possibly imagine, and it's his job to protect them. But the beautiful redhead with the compelling green eyes is difficult to turn away. Annie's fantasy world where good always conquers evil is not the life that Griffin has lived, and he can't help but think she'll never be satisfied with anyone less than a superhero.
After a string of bad relationships, Annie willingly admits that most real men don't live up to her muscle-bound, cape-wearing protectors of the world, but when her stubborn curiosity propels her into a danger she never expected, she begins to realize that some heroes work in the dark…and a man who fights for you is a man worth fighting for. While Griffin is determined to keep Annie alive, he's not at all convinced he can give her the happily-ever-after she's looking for. But then some stories take an unexpected turn…
PRAISE FOR BARBARA FREETHY BOOKS
"A fabulous, page-turning combination of romance and intrigue. Fans of Nora Roberts and Elizabeth Lowell will love this book." NYT Bestselling Author Kristin Hannah on Golden Lies
"This book has it all: heart, community, and characters who will remain with you long after the book has ended. A wonderful story." -- NYT Bestselling Author Debbie Macomber on Suddenly One Summer
"Barbara Freethy is a master storyteller with a gift for spinning tales about ordinary people in extraordinary situations and drawing readers into their lives." -- Romance Reviews Today
"I love The Callaways! Heartwarming romance, intriguing suspense and sexy alpha heroes. What more could you want?" -- NYT Bestselling Author Bella Andre
A man walked into the bar. He wore dark-gray slacks, a white button-down shirt, and a striped navy-blue tie. His brown hair was cut very short, his face cleanly shaven. And he was the last person Griffin wanted to see. But whatever Paul Daniels had to say needed to be said with a bit more privacy. He tipped his head toward a table in the corner, then poured two shots of bourbon and walked around the bar, sitting down across from a man who inspired both loyalty and frustration whenever they met up.
"Could you look more like a fed?" he asked.
"I didn't have time to change," Paul Daniels replied. He took the shot with a swallow of satisfaction. "Smooth."
"You must be off the clock."
"Almost." That answer didn't make him happy. "I told you we need to take a break."
"And we did. It's been two months," Paul replied. "Megan is a twenty-four-year-old woman. She's jittery, fragile, and isn't doing well in isolation. She needs people around her that she doesn't have to lie to. It won't be for long—a week, maybe ten days."
"You always say that."
"And I'm mostly telling the truth." He drank his shot, breaking his own rule about not drinking while working, then said, "Where is she?"
"In the car."
"Rob is with her." Paul paused, resting his forearms on the table, as his brown-eyed gaze settled on Griffin's face. "She's not any happier about this than you are, but I think this would be a good place for her."
"Where is she from?"
"A long way from here. I'm not worried about danger finding her; I'm worried about her cracking or running. Some people can live a lie with no problems. Others can't."
He knew that better than anyone. The door opened again, and for a split second he thought it might be the person Paul had brought to the bar, but the woman with reddish-blonde hair and sparkling green eyes was much more familiar and even more disturbing. She'd been very attractive in the orange bikini she'd had on yesterday, but it had been hard to get past the enormous fear in her eyes. Today, wearing white jeans and a clingy blue top, she looked beautiful and back on her game. But why was she here? He couldn't believe it was a coincidence.
"Damn," he muttered.
"Ex-girlfriend?" Paul asked, raising an eyebrow as he followed his gaze.
"No, but not someone I wanted to see."
"You never want to see anyone. I'm still surprised someone as unfriendly as you decided to open a bar." Sometimes—like today—he asked himself the same question. But while there were a lot of people in the bar, he didn't have to interact with very many of them. As the redhead's gaze lit on him, a smile spread across her face. He felt like he'd just been struck by a hot, bright ray of sun. It warmed up places in his body that had gone cold a long time ago. "I'm going to get Megan and bring her in," Paul said, getting to his feet. "I'll let you deal with whatever this is."
"What?" he asked, a little distracted by the woman making her way across the bar. "I'll be right back." He had a lot more he wanted to say to Paul, but his friend was already gone, and the woman he'd pulled out of the ocean yesterday was almost at his table. He stood up, his nerves tightening. He could sense danger from a mile away. He didn't know why this woman was trouble; he just knew that she was.
Barbara Freethy is a #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of 60 novels ranging from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women's fiction. Traditionally published for many years, Barbara opened Fog City Publishing in 2011 and has since sold over 7 million books! Twenty-three of her titles have appeared on the New York Times and USA Today Bestseller Lists, including one title, SUMMER SECRETS, which hit #1 on the NYT. In 2014 Barbara was named the Amazon KDP Bestselling Author of all time! She was also the first Indie writer to sell over a million books on Barnes and Noble. Known for her emotional and compelling stories of love, family, romance and suspense, Barbara is a six-time finalist and two-time winner in the Romance Writers of America acclaimed RITA contest for her novels DANIEL'S GIFT and THE WAY BACK HOME. For more information, visit her website at www.barbarafreethy.com