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Hometown Heartless

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One year ago, the boy next door was captured as a prisoner of war.

The boy whose window faces mine.
The backyard buddy who bandaged up my skinned knees.
The childhood crush that kept me up at night, wondering if he’d ever be my boyfriend.
The town hero I wrote endless letters to after he shipped out.
The green-eyed charmer who promised me a kiss the day I turned eighteen.

And now, he’s home.
But he didn’t come back as the boy I once knew.
He’s a man now, one with demons I can’t comprehend.
The damaged soldier keeps telling me I’m not his anymore.
That the war took him, turned him into someone unrecognizable.
What he hasn’t considered is that it took me, too.

He swears there is nothing left between us, that his heart died overseas. But with each look through our windows, we both know his lies are just that. With each fated meeting, the truth only becomes more evident.

Everett Brock occupies the shadows now.
And as much as I try to pull him into the light, it seems the switch is permanent.
What he doesn’t realize is that I’m willing to follow him into the darkness.

250 pages, Paperback

First published January 21, 2020

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About the author

Carrie Aarons

55 books2,803 followers
Author of romance novels such as Fleeting and Love at First Fight, Carrie Aarons writes books that are just as swoon-worthy as they are sarcastic. A former journalist, she prefers the love stories of her imagination, and the athleisure dress code, much better.

When she isn't writing, Carrie is busy binging reality TV, having a love/hate relationship with cardio, and trying not to burn dinner. She lives in the suburbs of New Jersey with her husband, two children and ninety-pound rescue pup.

Visit Carrie's Website
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5 stars
264 (38%)
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225 (32%)
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144 (20%)
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18 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 193 reviews
Profile Image for Grecia Robles.
1,407 reviews310 followers
September 13, 2022

Lo leí porque según era Friends to Lover y NO LO ES.

Los protagonistas estuvieron en un estira y afloja todo el tiempo que se volvió aburrido, tedioso y ya quería que se terminara.
Profile Image for ABookLover73.
375 reviews206 followers
January 25, 2020
FIVE EMOTIONAL STARS for Kennedy and Everett ❤❤❤!!!


It's not a secret that I love every book Carrie wrote.

She knows how to keep the reader's attention and she does it well in every new book.

The same is with this one.

This is the first military romance book that I've read and I absolutely loved it.

It's beautifully written and her words melted my heart.

"Hometown Heartless" is an emotional military romance with an angst and second chance tropes.

Kennedy and Everett's story broke my heart in a thousand pieces and then put it together again.

They both learned that love isn't simple and if you love somebody, you always find your way to be together.


No matter how impossible sometimes it looks.

If you're looking for a romance book about true love, this is the book for you!!!

Highly recommended!!!
Profile Image for Carlene Inspired.
917 reviews237 followers
January 24, 2020
4.5 Stars

A contemporary romance that'll have you falling hard for the hometown hero alongside the heroine, even as he breaks her heart. Everett and Kennedy were always more than just childhood friends, but their age difference and Everett's dreams of becoming a Marine have them putting their romantic desires on hold. The letters they send during his time away only serve to fuel the yearning between them, but one day Everett stops writing back and soon the town, and Kennedy, must accept that he'll never be returning home. It's a miracle when he one day does return, but he's not the Everett they all remember and the horrors of war leave him more than just scarred on the outside. Kennedy has moved on, so she thinks, but Everett's return and their encounters leave her wanting him more, even with his dark side.

Hometown Heartless is a novel about much younger aged characters than military themed romance readers are used to. Everett hadn't been gone long before he went missing and Kennedy is still finishing out her final high school year when he returns. The dynamics in this story are unlike any other military romance, a genre that is one of my favorite, so it is very unique. Some of the typical character interactions you'd expect aren't there, but Carrie Aarons still somehow is able to blend the horrors of war with the high school experience. It's a story about a boy leaving for war, returning a man, and yet no one is prepared for him to be the man he is.

There were certainly times the age of the characters impacted my reading. Kennedy is quite young and immature, she doesn't know how to handle more than her own high school drama, and Everett's experience, despite his age, is one that even adults with more life experience would struggle with. Additionally, some of Everett's experience is hard to picture, his decisions while away and the impact they left take some time to be explained in the novel, so I didn't connect to him right away. Of course, both of these factor in to the drama of the novel and ultimately make it a great read. Sure, I didn't always agree with Kennedy and rolled my eyes at her a lot, but her patience, the back and forth she puts up with from Everett, and the way they push one another really makes for an impactful coming-of-age romance.

Full of angst and packed with Carrie Aaron's well known emotional writing, Hometown Heartless is a love story you won't want to put down.

ARC provided.
Profile Image for Meredith Wilson.
383 reviews35 followers
January 20, 2020
WOW! This is by far Carrie's best book to date. I won't lie, I'm not a big fan of military books, but Hometown Heartless absolutely blew me away! This new standalone is intense and filled with so much emotion. I wasn't sure my poor heart would survive.

Everett and Kennedy were close high school friends who had feelings for one another, but never acted upon them due to their age difference. When he enlists in the military, they took those feelings to paper, expressing what they couldn't before he left. Then one day the letters stopped and word got back that he was a POW and presumed to be dead. Kennedy was heartbroken. She cried and mourned him.

Now Everett has returned home, but he is not the same person that left two years ago. He is broken, having suffered severely at the hands of the enemy. Due to this experience, he is now haunted, secretive and won't let anyone in. But Kennedy never stopped loving or wanting him. She tried to move on, but nobody could ever compare to Everett. Despite the fact that he is cold-hearted and mean, she just couldn't let him go.

Hometown Heartless is not Carrie's usual sweet, small town romance. This book was so much more. It's a story of grief and heartache. It's a story of strength and never giving up. It's a story of healing and finding yourself again. This story will tear out your heart and then put it back together again. All of the stars and more for Everett, Kennedy and Hometown Heartless.

Profile Image for Courtney.
1,528 reviews181 followers
January 13, 2020
Carrie has really upped her writing with this book.

Hometown Heartless is a standalone from Carrie Aarons and one that took me by surprise. I have read a fair amount of Carrie's books and this is first book that I have seen Carrie take on a topic that is riddled with so much emotion and depth to it.

Carrie has always been an author that I could depend on for a sweet romance with a bit of drama sprinkled in her stories. But none of her other books compare to this one. It's my first five-star book from her and a book that shook me in ways I had not anticipated.

Hometown Heartless is about two high school friends with always skirted around being more but never took that leap. When Everett chose to serve his country, he and Kennedy took that their feelings to paper and opened up more in those letters than they allowed themselves before he left.

Now Everett has returned home and he's not the same person he was when he left. He's haunted, secretive and keeps everyone at a distance. As much as Everett tries, the connection he shares with Kennedy will eventually blow up.

Carrie does a phenomenal job of making this story about more than the romance and the explosive chemistry between Everett and Kennedy. It's a story about overcoming demons, healing and finding yourself again.

Kennedy and Everett both grow a lot in this book, both together and separately. Carrie allows everything to happen naturally and organically with these characters. The flow of this book blends everything together so seamlessly and it was impossible to put down.

Carrie - you just reached another level in writing. You can see how much research you put into this book to make it all the more authentic. Hometown Heartless is a great way to start off my 2020 reading list!
Profile Image for Cassidy (cassidyreads).
406 reviews81 followers
January 23, 2020
Carrie definitely knows how to make me cry my eyes out. This story was beautifully written as well as emotional. Everett and Kennedy are the couple you root for from the very beginning of the story. Kennedy is the smart, loving and extremely caring high school senior who has been waiting to share her love for the guy she's been in love with for forever. Everett has "returned from the dead", he has returned home as broken as ever, he has returned home as a completely new person. After dealing with the unimaginable and unthinkable while he was away, Everett doesn't know who to really let anyone in, when he first returns from home. Kennedy and Everett are beautiful together, she is the light to his the dark. Watching them together is so emotional, yet so heartwarming at the same time. Everett slowly learns to let Kennedy and help him see the light. Overall this is my favorite story written by Carrie, it's realistic and emotional.

Thank you Carrie for my copy in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Nerdy Dirty & Flirty.
3,985 reviews316 followers
January 27, 2020
Hometown Heartless was a really interesting book for me. I had mixed feelings about it for several reasons.

First off there was the leading man Everett. I never really had that moment of connection with him. I never felt like I was rooting for him after the way he acted in the beginning. He was so hot and cold at times that I'm not sure how the leading lady Kennedy put up with him or forgave him. He had some occasional moments of brightness or likablity but it wasn't really enough to win me over.

One thing I did really like about the story was the slow burn feel. Especially given the setting and age of Kennedy. I thought it was handled with a decent level of steam for a high school age setting.

Kennedy was likable overall as a character. But she was also sometimes frustrating. She put up with a lot from Everett. And sometimes I couldn't really get why.

In the end this was a solid Carrie Aarons book. It just won't be my favorite but it was a good read.
Profile Image for Karla Lopez.
Author 3 books95 followers
January 25, 2020
If I could give this book ten stars I would.

This book was everything. Favorite book of the month hands down. Man, I have so many things I want to say. This book had raw, emotional, angst, beautiful, endearing , eye opening moments. I went into this book blind and I’m so glad I did. I feel like the impact of this story hit me hard.

When I say the first chapter drew me in...I’m not kidding. I was an emotional wreck from chapter one. Seeing him come home. Omg my heart couldn’t take so much emotion. I instantly fell in love with Kennedy. I loved her spirit and her will for the common good. I felt like I connected with her on another level. I love how sweet and quirky she was. She filled my soul with so much sunshine.

Everett’s character was so mysterious and he was the shell of the person he used to be. It took some time to get to know him, but man when you do it’s pure gold. He’s beautiful. All around. Yeah, there were moments were he was such a jerk, but I understood where his pain was coming from. He endured so much pain from serving his country. It was hard at times to see it all play out, especially learning about his past. My favorite way of seeing Everett was through Kennedy’s eyes. The boy was a romantic without even trying. From the letters, to the doughnuts, to the dance proposals, the tree house nights. I swear he made me swoon more each time.

Their love making was on another level beautiful. The waiting, the being ready, it was done so endearing. I couldn’t get enough. Man, the way these two characters love was so beautiful to watch unfold. They went through some of the toughest things. There were times I was in tears or I had a big goofy grin. The ending was everything I wanted for them. I’m so happy that they both found their place in the world and with each other. This story was raw, powerful, and beautiful.
January 16, 2020

Hometown heartless is not the first book I read by Carrie Aarons – but I think so far it is the best. I might not be able to go all the way with giving it “only” 4 out of 5 stars, but believe me when I say I have pretty high personal demands before I will give away this 5th Star

Checking my reading history with this author I have to say it is a 50/50 hit and miss – I’ve had everything from dislike to love – and that actually can speaks in favor of an author because it either means the writing is inconsistent (which is NOT the case) or it’s simply because of the different book types that have been released (that sounds more like it)

Anyway – reading a lot of novels featuring damaged soldiers – I think Everett is by far the youngest damaged soldier. Which is also what makes this book so different. Because just like the Blurb said “One year ago, the boy next door was captured as a prisoner of war.” – I cannot remember ever reading a book where a soldier this young returns and is faced with a life that is centered around others that still haven’t finished High school.

He really is a Boy in so many aspects of life – wherein vital others he is far older, has seen and endured far more than many other people in their whole life.

This setting makes this book stand out. It also leaves me wondering … my mind going in all political directions - even if it is said you should never discuss religion and politics – reading this book it simply cannot be helped. At least not in my mind. In some countries Everett would not have been old enough to even drink alcohol legally but he was old enough to be send into danger….. Sorry I just had to say it once what was going on in my mind constantly while reading this.

We have a boy that is considered man on one hand – and still treated like a child in many other ways As I said I read many books on broken/damaged soldiers and this one mixes the reactions of these soldiers perfectly with what I would expect a teenager to react when exposed to this situation. And if you think that might be a mess of whole new proportions – you are absolutely right – because it is a mess.

A Mess that made this a very interesting ride and there wasn’t much missing for this to be a 5 star read.


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Profile Image for Briana Cooper.
181 reviews11 followers
January 26, 2020
I have been waiting for what seems like forever for this book. And wow, it was so worth the wait!
Kennedy is such a soft hearted, focused girl. Thinking she’s lost the only person she loved, but finding a way to carry on, until he’s back.
Everett is a beyond broken man who has a good heart that almost cost him his life. Being a prisoner of war and then returning home just to have a target on his back by the US military.
Their emotional journey together throughout this book was heartwarming and heartbreaking, all at the same time.
Everett is trying so hard to overcome his demons & Kennedy just wants him to trust her with them. Share his burden. But he’s afraid to.
It was a great development throughout the story- him learning to trust her with his secrets. The entire story was developed well!
I was surprised by the conflict of this story, and the reasoning behind why he was kidnapped. I wasn’t expecting that!

Hands down, my favorite book Carrie Aarons has written! I couldn’t stop reading once I started. 5 stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Profile Image for Judith/books.series.forever  .
267 reviews62 followers
January 27, 2020

“Hometown Heartless” de Carrie Aarons es un romance independiente con un romance con un personaje militar, además de incluirse segundas oportunidades.

Everett Brock dejo todo atrás y se fue a la guerra, pero hace un año fue capturado, y con ello dado por muerto. Kennedy Dover estuvo destrozada cuando descubrió la muerte de su amor de infancia recordando los momentos bonitos y todas las cartas con promesas que se hicieron, promesas de amor. Pero las buenas noticias llegan y con ellas Everett, pero su vuelta es dura y ambos tendrán que remar a favor por un mismo bien.

Carrie Aarons lo ha vuelto a hacer. Tenía muchas ganas de leer un nuevo libro de ella, y con este he pasado un grato momento. Es un libro muy dulce, aunque los personajes tienen sus momentos malos por sufrimientos del pasado, pero esto no quita el amor juvenil que hay entre ellos, y el tira y afloja continuo.

Kennedy y Everett tienen un pasado junto, unido a muchas promesas que se hicieron antes y durante Everett se fuera a la marina. Las cartas han sido super especiales con toques románticos en momentos en los que Everett no estaba viviendo su mejor vida.

"Tengo tantos defectos, Everett. Y muchos de ellos tienen que ver con quererte incluso cuando me alejas"

Ambos no se comprendían, a Kennedy con todo lo que Everett había pasado y no se abriera, y Everett con su terquedad. Fueron divinas partes donde ambos quieren estar juntos y al mismo tiempo se repelen. Tiempo al tiempo para que se comprendan.
⚜Rate: ★★★★✩

"Hometown Heartless" by Carrie Aarons is a standalone romance with a military character, as well as including second chance.

Everett Brock left everything behind, went off to war, but a year ago he was captured, presumed dead. Kennedy Dover was devastated when she discovered the death of her childhood love, remembering the beautiful moments and all the letters with promises that were made, promises of love. But the good news arrives and with it Everett, but his return is hard, and both will have to row for the same good.

Carrie Aarons has done it again. I really wanted to read a new book by her, and this one was a great time. It's a very sweet book, although the characters have their bad moments because of past suffering, this doesn't take away from the young love between them, and the continuous tug of war.

Kennedy and Everett have a past together, coupled with many promises that were made before and during Everett went to the war. The letters have been super special with romantic touches at a time when Everett was not living his best life.

"I have so many flaws, Everett. And a lot of them have to do with wanting you even when you push me away"

Both of them didn't understand each other, Kennedy with all that Everett had gone through and didn't open up, and Everett with his stubbornness. They were wonderful parts where both want to be together and at the same time repel each other. Time to time for them to understand each other.
⚜Rate: ★★★★✩
Profile Image for Ashley Estep The Art of Reading .
774 reviews43 followers
January 19, 2020
3.5 stars for Hometown Heartless. I won't lie I loved this book to begin with, I couldn't stop reading. Kennedy and Everett had me hooked from the start and it was going to be a 5 star read for me. Everett was holding a secret he was afraid for everyone to know, and when I found out what it was I was shocked and so disappointed.

Everett was a POW and everyone assumed he was dead. The Marines came knocking on his parent's door delivering the news, his parents had a funeral for him. The girl he left behind cried for him, mourned him. Then one day out of the blue the Marine's call and say he's alive. And then they deliver him home. Everett is not the same eighteen year old boy that left two years ago. He's a broken man, he was tortured for almost a year. Kennedy never stopped loving or wanting Everett. The letters they wrote each other with those promises they made, she held onto them until long after his funeral. But she never really stopped loving him. Even being faced with the reality of the cold, mean, broken man she still couldn't let him go.

Everett and Kennedy's story was broken and sad. And I honestly did love it, but Everett's secret I just cannot get over. Two days later and I'm still trying to process it. The fact I did not agree with his secret doesn't take away from the fact that Carrie Aaron's writing is amazing, I did love most of the plot, and the characters were great. I thought her views on the Veteran system were right on and I loved that she included how hard it can be for them. I maybe in the minority with this rating but coming from a military family I just feel certain ways about things.
Profile Image for Jen (jensdreamylittlereads).
763 reviews54 followers
January 17, 2020
Hometown Heartless is a thought provoking, angsty and emotional read. It takes you on a raw, emotional journey of love, heartbreak, PTSD struggles and so many other emotions.

This story truly grabbed me from the very beginning and never let go. I love Everett and Kennedy together and found myself silently pleading that they would find their way back to each other. The push and pull between them is gripping and alternates between being heartbreaking and beautiful. Their story completely captivated me.

This story was full of emotion and it was difficult to put down. Another great novel from Carrie Aarons!
Profile Image for LianaReads blog.
2,120 reviews169 followers
January 10, 2020
Some decisions will change your whole life for good. Not all of them have a great outcome.
That’s what happens when our hero decided to join the army and is discharged after being kidnapped in the war.
He’s back home but he’s definitely not the same. What is the same thought, are his feelings for the girl next door, his childhood friend that somehow became more than that. But as usual, it’s a long and angsty way to that happily ever after.
Same beautiful heartbreaking and heartwarming love story from a favourite author.
Profile Image for Rosie.
648 reviews18 followers
April 16, 2020
4.5 Stars!

Despite one-clicking her books when they release, this is my first Carrie Aarons book and I am not quite sure why. Her writing is fantastic, pulling you into the story and really making you go through all the emotions her characters are.

Hometown Heartless is a little bit different to most of the books in the military-second-chance-romance trope. Yes, the hero goes off to war, promising to return to the girl he loves, and when he returns, he's not the boy who left years ago. But in HH, that's where the similarities end.
Kennedy and Everett have been neighbours since they were kids, and always danced around their attraction to one another, knowing it’s inevitable they’d end up together. Everett is two years older than Kennedy, and after graduation decides he’s joining the marines and goes straight off to bootcamp after he finishes school. Before he leaves, he makes Kennedy a promise and when he’s away for the first year, they exchange tens of letters. However, it all goes wrong a year into his first tour, when Everett is MIA, presumed dead and the whole town, including Kennedy grieve for him. However, a year later, he's found, having escaped his captors and is returned back to their small New Jersey town.

Everett has changed dramatically as you’d expect, he’s darker, suffering majorly from PTSD after the traumatic events he experienced, and he no longer sees the world through rose tinted glasses. Kennedy wants her friend back but she’s now living the typical high school senior life - popular, the cheer captain who’s probably going to be homecoming queen - Everett takes out his anger at the world on her. He sees everything she is and wants to cover it in the darkness he sees the world. Kennedy tries to understand why he’s changed but doesn’t understand why he’s changed towards her and why they can’t go back to the way things were.

As Everett begins to slowly recover from his time as a prisoner, he struggles to decide whether he should take a chance on Kennedy and start something romantic with her. He’s so hot and cold with her, and she becomes so frustrated with the way he treats her. Everett has so many underlying mental health issues which prevent him from opening up and were addressed in the most sensitive and clear way by Carrie. However, just as the couple are beginning to move forward together, Everett’s past becomes a part of his present and he must make the decision to stay and risk it all or disappear.

Hometown Heartless was so well written because the characters were so real. Some military romances have the heroes come home and within a couple of weeks, it’s like they have recovered from their traumatic experience. This is not the case for Everett. Although I have never known someone who has returned from war, everything Everett did was how I would’ve expected them to act. I was impressed with how realistically Carrie wrote this story, even down to Kennedy’s reaction. Yes, she was sympathetic and tried to understand what Everett had been through, but at the end of the day she was an eighteen-year-old girl who had no idea the trauma and torture Everett had experienced. She got a little bit annoying, because yes Everett was acting like a complete a$$ but after everything, he was allowed to not be okay right away. And that in itself made it even more believable, because in no way would a high school senior be anything other than a little bit selfish in a situation she can’t relate to. However, I loved Kennedy’s character, she was flawed but knew when to step up and try to help Everett and her reaction when everything was revealed was perfect.

Overall, I would say this book is a must read, it really makes you think about the repercussions of war and how it affects veterans, but is also a sweet second-chance story. I was rooting for Kennedy and Everett from the start and I am so glad they got their HEA. I will definitely be reading more of Carrie Aarons in the future!

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.*
Profile Image for AnneMarie Davee.
776 reviews
December 15, 2019
As an avid reader, it’s not easy to find a book that wraps me up as emotionally as this book did. Take a small town, a childhood crush, a boy who becomes a man in the Marines, a smart girl who is as kind as she is determined and a tragedy that is as heartbreaking as it life defining, and you have a story for the ages.

Everett and Kennedy went from childhood friends, to flirtatious teens, to pen pals, to wary advisories, to something more that becomes everything. Between their youthful promises and their adult realities, these two have a story that is both heart-warming and heartbreaking.

Carrie Aarons has written a story that is so easy to believe, it makes it that much more heart wrenching. To know that there are people out there struggling to adapt to life after experiencing PTSD, and to see what a difference love, patience and understanding can do for those who are suffering brought on the tears and the pride of seeing someone overcome such a life altering event.

I highly recommend reading and absorbing this amazing love story. The words she uses are powerful and the emotions they evoke kept the tears flowing and the hope brewing that love can indeed, overcome anything.
Profile Image for Rhonda Ziglar.
3,475 reviews29 followers
January 23, 2020
5 EMOTIONAL LOVE STARS!! Wow, what a beautiful emotional ride this was. My heartstrings were pulled from every direction with all the feels in this story. Everett and Kennedy's story will grab you from the beginning and hold on until the last words. This author's weaves a powerful emotional story in a beautiful light. This is one book you will want to read.
Profile Image for CeCe.
3,338 reviews109 followers
July 6, 2022
I wish the heroine wasn’t the cliche. Beautiful, head cheerleader driving in her Jeep driving down the street after practice with her hair flowing and loud music annoying the neighbors. How I am I supposed to believe that she was an old soul!?!? Give me a break. You may love it. Good luck. Why would he want her?!?!
Profile Image for Avidez Literaria.
534 reviews21 followers
January 27, 2020
“And yet, I still want you.” She shrugs, as if we’re stuck in this impossible situation.
“I’ve never wanted anything as much as I want you.” I breathe, relief flooding through me.”

Kennedy has her whole life planned. Senior at high school, all her efforts are aimed at be approved in the college of her dreams and being able to study nursing. For that, she has a goal plan. Study, focus and ambition are what move her. But the shocking news that the boy she is in love with is returning home will shake her perfect life.
Everett was presumed dead. Captured on a mission, he was tortured for a year before being rescued. Back in his hometown, even alive, he is dead inside. And amid people's happiness and expectations, he will not handle this return very well. Even more so when Kennedy is the only thing that keeps him sane. And the one he hates too.
Friends since forever, he made a promise to her: when he returned, he would finally give her a first kiss. Running away from all her advances, claiming she was too young, that promise is what she sticks to. And with his departure and countless letters exchanged, the devastating news she receives changes her plans. But with his return, what she hoped for may not happen because the boy she knew no longer exists. And in his place, the new version is willing to destroy her.
Everett has been through hell and survived. But the horrors still haunt him daily. With PTSD and refusing to seek help and open up to someone, he feels out of place and suffocated. And all of his anger will be channeled to Kennedy, whose life continues exactly as it was. Irrational anger, if I may add.
The path of these two will not be easy. The game of cat and mouse designed by them, will find certain blows in Kennedy, who will have her heart broken in each clash.
The book is emotional, dramatic, with a heavy load. Everett needs help. And Kennedy needs to learn to see the real world and the misfortunes of life. Both characters aroused both compassion and anger. Kennedy is too perfect, too innocent. An overprotected girl who cannot handle failures. Everett was the great star of the book, showing how trauma does not heal overnight. It takes acceptance, help and a lot of effort.
A beautiful story about loss, trauma, pain and hurt, but above all about love. A great love that is able to ease everything.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest Review *

Profile Image for Sara ✨ Next Book Review Blog ✨.
2,037 reviews5 followers
January 23, 2020
Oh my lanta! There’s something so emotional about military romances. Perhaps it’s because we get an up close and personal look at military lives and it’s emotional to “see” the sacrifices they make for our country and the people in it. Not to mention their family who suffer just because they love said military men/women. So while for the most part we get generic glimpses of those lives. It felt as if we were right there with Everett and Kennedy every painful step of the way. Carrie Aarons pulls together so much emotion that this story left my heart aching at times. It’s a difficult story but Aarons has a way of writing that makes a difficult story, beautiful.

I’ve been reading Carrie Aarons right after she released her third book so it’s been several years. I love to see how she’s progressed over time. It’s a joy to see the different genres she tackles and how she executes every single one flawlessly. The characters she creates are unique and damaged. Love always fixes them; it seems to always cut directly to the problem. Aarons shows how love can cut through any tough spot. Kennedy and Everett have shared an entire lifetime together. Aarons hasn’t created another couple who deserved a clean slate more than these two. Their lives have changed so much from the days of their youthful days. Aarons created something special here… hope and love flowing from the pages.

I received an ARC of this book with the hope that I would leave an Unbiased Opinion. I was not required to leave a review, positive or otherwise, and my opinions are just that... my opinions.

Check out my Blog: Next Book Review
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Profile Image for Kari Hansen.
8,742 reviews51 followers
January 23, 2020
When Everett decided to join the military his dreams of helping his country didn’t involve being taken prison and tortured for the last year. Everyone thought he was dead and at times he begins to wonder if that would have been better. He has returned home to find that life around him hadn’t changed but he had, and he knows that the best thing he can do for the girl he loved is to keep his distance.

Kennedy is in her final year of high school and was devastated when she believed he was dead. She picked up the pieces and moved on but now that he is back they are close physically but emotionally they couldn’t be farther apart.

This is an emotional slow burning love story about healing, forgiveness and second chances.
Profile Image for Nicki - The Overflowing Bookcase .
3,486 reviews151 followers
January 15, 2020
High school crushes do not always end in heartbreak, but when Everett Brock is assumed dead Kennedy's hopes and dreams are shattered. When he is found alive after being a prisoner of war, he returns home broken and not the same person that left. Can the two reunite and fix each others broken pieces? Can the letters that they wrote to each other while he was overseas be the catalyst to a new beginning or will they only be a memory of what was supposed to be? Completely heart wrenching and at times overwhelming this storyline had me wiping tears from my cheeks. With beautifully written characters and emotions that run high this deserves more than 5 stars.
Profile Image for Cee Cee Houston.
1,341 reviews21 followers
January 22, 2020
Hometown Heartless is the best book I’ve read by Carrie Aaarons. She is an author who strives to improve her art with each story she writes.
This is a gritty, gripping and emotional story told in dual POV, thankfully, as a lot of the internal angst from Everrett. Kennedy’s too.
This rawness of the psychological harm that’s inflicted on members of the military was captured well. I felt Everrett’s pain and dislocation from life. It’s not a sunshine and rainbows tale, there’s a lot of pain and pushing away before any of the niceness gets a look in. PTSD isn’t pretty, it ugly and heart-breaking and Carrie didn’t hold back in showing that.
But, even though he tries to spare Kennedy in his own hurtful way, Everrett still needs her. The connection they shared before hasn’t lessened. It’s only grown and that is his ultimate saving grace.
Fate meant for these two to find one another and you can’t mess with that.
This was a soul-searching, raw and gritty story you really need to read, One-Click your copy today.
Profile Image for Sarah Dale.
2,658 reviews66 followers
January 1, 2020
Oh wow Carrie out did herself with this emotional read. She wrote this so beautifully, so raw and emotional. She did warn me that it would make us work for the HEA and she certainly did this. I honestly think this was one of my favourites of hers and that's saying a lot as I love her writing.

Everett and Kennedy are a couple that embed themselves in your heart from beginning to end. They have lived next door to each other and been on a cusp of their relationship progressing until Everett enlists in the army and ends up MIA after been taken hostage on a mission. When he left he promised he would be back for her 18th for her first kiss, her first everything.
"Wait for me. I'm coming home for you"

Two years later he has been rescued and returns a broken man physically and mentally. He has been tortured and gone through unthinkable horrors and is not the same man.

The push and pull between Everett and Kennedy is gripping and alternates between being heartbreaking and beautiful. Their story completely captivated me. The bond is still there and could possibly be the only thing that saves him.

Well done Carrie on this beautifully emotional story. You have outdone yourself.

ARC received in exchange for an honest review from the Author

Profile Image for Marisela M. Chavez.
1,047 reviews3 followers
August 3, 2020
Wow! Kennedy and Everett story was beyond amazing. I just loved everything about them. How they navigated this new chapter of their lives and learning more about one another. This story had so much love, hurt, sadness and every emotion in between. Carrie Aarons did not disappoint, and can’t wait to read more of her books.
Profile Image for The Book Lover.
2,038 reviews27 followers
January 5, 2020
Carrie hit me in the feels with this book, it was an incredible story and the characters were incredible! I had to read it in one sitting because the hero pulled at my heartstrings and didn't let me go until the very end, simply amazing.
Profile Image for Jennifer D..
714 reviews13 followers
January 26, 2020
I love a good friends-to-lovers second chance romance! Kennedy and Everett's story pulled me from the start. It's a little angsty and will pull on your heart strings with all that Everett has endured. Their happy ending is worth all the heartbreak and loss they each have endured. It will give all the feels.
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