2 out of 4 stars
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Mari’s whole life is turned upside down when she receives word that her fiance, Harley is dead. He had been hospitalized after his initial cancer diagnosis and was receiving treatment. His cancer quickly spread and his body had begun deteriorating. Harley had succumbed to the aggressive effects of the disease. Consumed by grief, Mari begins to write letters addressed to Harley, hoping to find solace in her darkest days.
Meanwhile, Harley’s manservant, Garrett, is heartbroken when he is informed by Harley’s parents that he has died. Garrett had spent years working for Harley and had, at times, taken on the role of a father.
Unbeknownst to Garrett and Mari, Harley is still alive. Harley’s parents have never accepted Mari, and believe that Garrett is after Harley’s money. The parents devise a cruel and deceitful plan to make everyone believe that Harley is dead. While he is heavily sedated, they have his body transferred to the Cancer Institute of New York.
When signs that Mari cannot ignore point to Harley’s existence, she begins to seek out the truth. Meanwhile, Harley is regaining his strength and is determined to find a way back to his old life. He desperately misses his fiance, his friends, and Garrett.
Will Harley and his loved ones reunite or will he be too weak to make it home?
Harley’s Return by Cassandra Parker is the third book in the Ride with Harley series. I would certainly recommend reading the first two books. With no backstory provided, I found it challenging to interpret the dynamic between characters.
At times, the writing was difficult to follow because the author seemed to switch between the first-person point of view and the third-person point of view in the middle of a chapter. This made the reading experience daunting because it forced me to constantly re-read certain lines. Each chapter was from either Mari or Harley’s perspective, but in the last quarter of the book, Garrett’s perspective was thrown in. I found this incredibly confusing.
While the description of the book piqued my interest, I was unable to connect with any of the characters. Mari and Harley often professed their unwavering love for one another, but it didn’t radiate off the pages. The characters went through the motions of a loving relationship, but they expressed limited emotion. Upon any little hiccup or conflict, Mari, in particular, was quick to wash her hands of the relationship. To me, their love lacked depth and sincerity.
Between font changes and a few grammar issues, Harley’s Return could benefit from another round of editing. I chose to give it a rating of 2 out of 4 stars. While I was excited to begin reading the book, I quickly lost interest in the characters. I would only recommend this book to readers that enjoyed the first two books in the series. The writing is clean, wholesome, and does not contain language that is offensive.
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