Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Never Really Over

Rate this book
A Single Parent Romance

Jennifer Van Wyk's Never Really Over is an all new small town single dad romance about forgiveness and a love that stands the test of time.

With one phone call, Colt’s life turned completely upside down, inside out, backwards, spiraled out of control... however you want to say it.
He was used to life not going as planned, but this little detour changed his life forever and completely terrified him. But he didn’t have time to dwell on the fact he was now this toddler’s one and only parent.
His little niece Poppy needed him and he was determined not to fail her.

But life continued to throw curveballs. While trying to learn his new normal, Layla, his first and only love, breezed back into his life. That might have excited him, but he hadn’t counted on the fact that she’d changed over the years.
Gone was the girl he fell in love with, replaced with someone he could barely stand to be around.

Colt didn’t have time to deal with a snobby, bitter grump when he had a farm to run and a toddler to raise.
She may still be the most gorgeous woman he’d ever laid eyes on, but to him, beauty was about more than what was on the surface.
The problem was, he was starting to wonder if the new Layla wasn’t really who she was.
He tried to resist her but sometimes love is never really over.

Never Really Over is a complete standalone. This farm boy romance is sure to make you swoon, laugh, and tear up a few times.

319 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 21, 2021

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Jennifer Van Wyk

28 books1,392 followers

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
214 (46%)
4 stars
157 (34%)
3 stars
71 (15%)
2 stars
11 (2%)
1 star
7 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 125 reviews
Profile Image for AJ.
2,832 reviews921 followers
September 22, 2021
5 stars

What a beautiful story! An emotional small-town, second-chance-romance with an irresistible single-dad farmer and a woman trying hard to make up for the mistakes of the past. It’s a story of forgiveness, second chances, and finding where you’re meant to be, and it gave me all the romance butterflies. I loved it!

Colt and Layla were high school sweethearts and madly in love. But Layla wanted more from life than small-town living, and when Colt refused to go with her, she headed off to the big city all alone, wanting to experience a different life, and leaving Colt and all of their friends behind.

12 years later, Colt’s world has been upended when the death of his beloved sister leaves him the sole guardian of her 7 month old daughter. It’s a role he takes on without hesitation, and even though he is devastated and grieving, he puts his heart and soul into caring for little Poppy, determined to give her the best life possible, and oh, my ovaries!

“She’s mine. Forever I’ll be here for her and be her everything. I would have been with her forever, anyway, I’m just in it a little deeper now. Not hard to love her. She makes it easy.”

At the same time, Layla has returned to town. She feels she’s accomplished what she wanted from her life in Chicago and something has been missing for a while. Turns out, that something is her small home town. But as comforted as she finds it being back at home, she knows she’s got amends to make.

I messed up all those years ago when I left and didn’t look back and I know it.

Colt and Layla’s reunion isn’t easy. Even though they both moved on from their relationship, there is still so much hurt between them. Colt feels that Layla dismissed everything that he loves about his simple but life, and is understandably wary about letting her back into his life – even as a friend. Layla knows she messed up, and she’s desperate to prove that home is where she wants to be, and she soon realises that her feelings for Colt never went away, and she prepares to fight for her man.

One look at Colt today was a stark reminder of what and who I’d lost … I’ve learned. I’ve grown up. I experienced the life I thought I wanted only to realize I didn’t want it after all.

I fell in love with Colt when I was barely old enough to understand what love is and never fell out.

It’s a difficult situation, and I could absolutely understand where both Colt and Layla were coming from. Their pain and longing for each other is palpable, but their connection is strong, and I could feel all of the emotion between them. There is anger, pain and guilt, but overriding all of that, they still love each other deeply, and watching them work through their issues and find their way back to each other is just gorgeous.

“Do you want to live the rest of your life without Layla by your side or man up and take back what’s always been yours?”

There is flirting, meaningful looks, winks, grins and gentle touches, and I felt every. single. moment of it! There’s also a whole heap of eye fucking which managed to get me all riled up and excited for everything that I knew was to come. And when they finally get there, they’re completely open and honest with each other about what they’re feeling and what they want, and I was in a world of swoon as they found their way back to each other.

“Colt,” she whispers, her voice a lustful combination of turned on and scared. I know the feeling.
“Yeah, baby?”
She makes a noise in the back of her throat. “Oh, shit, you called me baby. I can’t handle this.”
“Sorry. Am I overstepping?” I ask, reluctantly removing my hand from her.
“No! It’s just, she drops her head, shaking it back and forth, “I never thought…”
“Never thought what?”

“I never thought we’d be able to even consider getting back to this.”
“Are you considering it?” I ask her, even though I know the answer. I need to hear it from her lips.
She watches me closely. “I am. Might be stupid, but it goes beyond consideration straight into hope, I’m hoping for this.”
I smile and give her neck a little squeeze. “I’m right there with you.”

Oh Colt. The man is amazing, and he absolutely stole my heart. He’s so freaking dreamy – both as an unexpected single Dad, and as a man opening his heart again to his first love, and actively working to create something real. And as mad as I was with how Layla initially handled herself, her apologies are heartfelt, and she works really hard to make it up to all of the people that she hurt. It’s not an easy journey for them, but it’s one they both want, and they put a lot of effort in to find their happy. It’s functional and blessedly angst-free, and I loved watching them overcome it all.

“I feel like we have so much to overcome and it’s a mountain in front of us, Cold. How can we possibly climb it?”
“By letting it go.”
“That simple, huh?” I laugh. It’s hardly simple.
“No, it won’t be easy but is anything in life worth having ever easy?”

Little Poppy is a big part of the story, and she is just gorgeous. Her relationship with Colt absolutely melted me, and I adored how she had him wrapped around her little finger. Watching Layla become a part of their unit was really special.

There’s also a fantastic bunch of friends and family that bring so much to the story. I loved how this group had each other’s backs so fiercely. It’s the kind of friend circle that anybody would want, and I love how up in each other’s lives they are. And special shout-out to Dalton who is freaking hilarious. I love that dude!

I loved this book. It’s sweet, emotional, funny and sexy, with just the right amount of drama, and it’s a beautiful story about second chances, forgiveness, and fighting for the one you love. It’s an absolutely gorgeous love story, and it left me feeling all fluffy with a huge smile on my face.

“Fuck, Lalya, I missed you. Do you have any idea how much?”
“I’ve got an idea, because I missed you too. No one else compares to you, Colt. You’re the best man I’ve ever known.”

5 stars!

An Advanced Reader Copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Jenn the Readaholic.
1,540 reviews37 followers
September 11, 2021
Ouch. This story begins with broken hearts. And anger. And a fight. And some nasty words. And then it gets even harder to keep the tears at bay because life truly slaps Colt and Layla upside the head(s). When Layla returns to town, Colt is determined to remain angry and hateful and hurtful. After all, she broke his heart. But he’s forgetting that she broke her own in the process. So when Layla lets her defensiveness run the show for a few minutes, Colt is convinced that his cruelty is not only acceptable, it’s deserved. Oh, but how wrong he is....

As much as I wanted to be angry at Layla for younger Layla’s actions, I couldn’t be. I got it. She wanted to experience more, just in case. And Colt didn’t get it, then or now. Or he sure didn’t seem to get it, want to get it, or care about moving past it. So it was a pleasant surprise to see Colt start to thaw, even when he really didn’t want to. He and Layla made their way from young heartbreak to adult love, complete with the bumps and bruises of time, yet it was exactly what they needed.

But I have to say, one person stole the show for me. Colt, Layla, and Poppy were fabulous. Dalton, though. Dalton was pure gold. The guy who seemed so shallow and carefree at first was truly the best friend anyone could hope for. And he definitely earned the “I told you so” bragging rights here. So come for the tale of Colt and Layla, but definitely stay for the magic of Dalton and Bridget. You won’t be sorry you did.
September 11, 2021
This is my first Jennifer Van Wyk book and I can honestly say it won’t be my last. I inhaled this sweet and emotional second chance story of Colt and Layla. Two high school sweethearts, with one content where they are in life and the other one wanting to explore the big world. After years apart and a sudden turn of tragic events happen these two are back in each other’s lives. I literally laughed and cried throughout this book. Colt is one of the best characters I’ve read in a while. This family man is loving and loyal and he proved daily with his love towards Poppy. It was great to see Layla humble herself and grow and know when it was time to say sorry. These two were an emotional rollercoaster but it was one hell of a ride to read. Loved every page of this book!
Profile Image for Kaitie.
930 reviews19 followers
September 12, 2021
I will never get tired of saying this…. Every single time I think I’ve found my favorite Jennifer book I end up making a list out of myself. Because the next one always tops it! And Layla and Colt are no different! I went from crying to rooting on these two fiercely! Second chance romance at its finest is displayed in this story. Being one of my favorite tropes I couldn’t put this book down! Layla and Colt are special. This story is special. One click as quick as you can because this is another MUST read!
Profile Image for Flavs is Mrs David Gandy♥~♥’.
2,875 reviews2 followers
September 28, 2021
4.50 Stars

I haven’t read much of this authors books, but I really love it 😊 It has such a emotional deep romance stories. You cant help but be invested in the characters and the stories.

This one started with Layla leaving her long time boyfriend Colt when she decided to leave their home town and move to Chicago. Colt was stunned as he thought they will get married and live happily ever after. But Layla wanted more, she wanted to experience the world. So he let her go.

Now its years later and Colt just went through a tragedy and now he is the guardian to his niece. And for someone who was thrown into this situation he was doing amazing. But with that also comes the fact that Layla is back home, as her mother was in a car accident. For him this does not affect him at all, he has been over her for years and doesn’t need her in his life… Or so he claims!!

Layla for the last couple of months has been thinking about moving back home. When her mother was in a accident this gave her the perfect chance to move back home. But then that means she will see Colt. The love of her life. The one she never got over. However it seems that Colt and all her old friends has moved on. Grown up and had children of their own. Not only does she have to come face to face with Colt but she needs to prove to everyone that she wants to be a part of their lives now. Will they let her in or has she lost her chance at her happily ever after!!

Loved the story, it was filled with so much anger in the beginning and then just sadness. Not only for what Colt lost but also for Layla who had to go out in the world only to figure out what she really need in her life was actually back in her own hometown 😊 I loved Layla’s friend Dalton, he seriously just brought the lightheartedness to the story. And little Poppy was too cute for words. Definitely a favorite story for me 😊 ❤❤

Read on behalf of
Fay’s Corner
Profile Image for World Of Books 65.
1,904 reviews35 followers
September 29, 2021
This is my first book by Jennifer Van Wyk, and boy was I impressed with Never Really Over, this is not your everyday 2nd chance romance, because in Colt and Layla's story it was Layla that is the one that caused the heartbreak at 20, and to honest at the start I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to like Layla, let alone fall in love with her as the heroine of this book, but Ms Van Wyk's, brilliant storytelling completely changed my mind, to the point I was really rooting for this girl to get HEA.

Never Really Over will completely take over your day, the emotional scene when Colt has to take over the care of his sisters baby just had me a blubbering mess, to the fact that I didn't look a pretty sight at all. This story is raw, it is emotional, it is tragic, there is a lot of hurt and anger to be overcome before this couple could ever think about being together again. But there is one word that sums up this story Captivating, from start to finish.

Highly recommend
October 1, 2021
Having read this authors work many times before I always look so forward to picking up her books! As soon as this one was announced the synopsis piqued my interest right away and i knew it had to be the next book of hers that i read. I enjoyed this story!

Colt and Layla's journey isn't an easy one. I really liked how these two had a history and how i wasn't sure how things would play out after their reunion. I loved how I felt so much with both of these characters and how I got to dig deeper with them.

With Never Really Over, Jennifer Van Wyk has created such a good read that'll make you feel so much! I can't wait to pick up what she releases next!

*I volunteered to read and review a copy of this book from Love Affair With Fiction / the author*
Profile Image for Susan.
965 reviews9 followers
September 19, 2021
Never Really Over tugged at my heartstrings right from the beginning! I am a huge fan of second-chances, and Jennifer Van Wyk is one of the best!

Colt and Layla had been high school sweethearts. But after college, Layla decided that she needed more to life than to live in a small-town, married to a farmer. Years later, both pretend to have moved on, but after an accident that leaves Colt raising his niece, Layla returns. Hurt and anger are still present, but there's still something there.

I really felt the emotions throughout this book! I understood the hurt and anger, the passion, the compassion. But I think what was best of all was how Colt was with his niece. That really got to me.

As usual, I found another book from Jennifer Van Wyk that I couldn't put down!
Profile Image for Debbie.
1,627 reviews51 followers
September 21, 2021
I love a second chance romance. And I'm a sucker for a book that gives me all the feels. JVW always delivers!

Colt and Layla. High school sweethearts. Her want for something more than what their small town had to offer ends their relationship years ago. And they have both moved on with life.

I'm not a big book crier, but this one definitely got me. It also had it's laugh out loud moments as well. Sweet sweet Tootsie Pop. Colt's love her for was amazing.

Watching them struggle to deal with the past and try to figure out the future made for a great story! Emotional rollercoaster of a relationship. So buckle up! But it's worth the ride.

I had been missing JVW in my life!

Profile Image for Lynn.
785 reviews11 followers
November 6, 2021
A great book!

Second chance, small town, single new parent. It was amazing! Love how Jennifer Van Wyk tells stories! Loved Layla and Colt and how they were teenage sweethearts. Now she’s back in their same town. Loved watching them connect again. Loved their friends and love this book!
1,472 reviews3 followers
September 12, 2021
Good second chance romance full of regrets, growing up, tragedy, forgiveness, sacrifices, friends, and finally happiness.
Profile Image for Paula Genereau.
2,904 reviews27 followers
September 30, 2021
What a beautiful story. I absolutely loved it. 1000 thousands stars is what I give it. 5 just isn't enough.
Profile Image for Ally.Always.Reads.
732 reviews106 followers
February 22, 2023
I love JVW. I live for JVW’s books.
Now if only she can make her heroes real and give me one…
Profile Image for mimi_reads.
177 reviews11 followers
October 1, 2021
What an emotional ride this book took me on! From start to finish I was drawn in and feeling the all of the feels right alongside Layla and Colt. I really felt invested in their relationship. This is second chance romance at its finest.
Profile Image for Jessica.
2,771 reviews20 followers
September 16, 2021
Sometimes you need a second chance at life.
She needed to follow her dreams first. She didn’t want to be boggled by the what if’s. Of course, neither did he.

Layla and Colt have known each other since they were kids. Started dating in high school and at the age of 22, Layla breaks both of their hearts. Ouch!

Fast forward twelve years and Layla is back in town to help her mom. Colt is now raining his niece after a tragic accident takes her parents away. This story has so much heart break. Be prepared for some tears. But the ending makes it all worth it.
I greatly enjoyed this one. :)
315 reviews2 followers
October 4, 2021
I am such a sucker for small town, single dad, second chance romance. Especially when is written so well. Colt and Layla were high school sweet hearts. LIfe happens and Layla moves back home. Very emotional. Such a great story. I have enjoyed Jennifer Van Wyk's work for a while so this was an easy choice to read.
ARC given for an honest review.
2 reviews
October 30, 2021
Um, cute story but all over the place for me. Sorry.

I felt at times that the story was going to get better the more you were into it but that wasn't the case here.
Profile Image for Angief.
360 reviews
November 5, 2021
it was ok

This is my first book from this author. I really liked the first half of the book but I did get a little bored for the last.
October 1, 2021
Love deserves a second chance

I'm ashamed - yes, I said it. I have several of Jennifer Van Wyk's books on my kindle and I've not read one of the. Well, that's about to be quickly rectified, especially after reading NEVER REALLY OVER. Colt Samuelson and Layla Belk's story had me laughing, crying, swooning and sighing, it was just that good. Two high school sweethearts separated by the decision of one, a decision that leaves them both heartbroken.

"I'm sorry I left. I'm sorry I broke both our hearts in the process."
"I actually forgave you a long time ago, Layla. You did what was right for us. It took me a while to realize that, and I was angry, but I've moved on."

Twelve years later both of their circumstances have changed and the two of them find themselves living in the same town once again. Colt has become the legal guardian of his adorable nine month old niece Poppy, after the death of his sister and her husband in a horrific car accident. Running a farm and learning to raise a baby on his own, while dealing with his devastating grief, Colt is shocked to learn that Layla has returned to town to look after her mum, who was in the same car accident. Their first meeting is not a pleasant one, there is so much anger and hurt between them, and a lot of harsh words are exchanged. Can Colt allow Layla back into his life, risking the possibility of having his heart broken again? Will Layla be able to convince Colt that she's still the same person who he loved many years ago, and not the one who he believed she turned into?

One thing that's definitely not changed is my attraction to her. She's got this girl-next-door beauty and those eyes that I can still get lost in.

Colt Samuelson stole my heart. the way in which he took on the responsibilities of raising Poppy, his niece, had me sighing. This man was amazing, mixing farm life and Poppy wasn't easy, but he struggles on. He and Poppy just fitted together, I loved her little antics and Colt's reactions to them. Tougher for Colt though, was how he was going to react with Layla being back in town, he obviously still has feelings for her, but are they enough to allow her back into his and Poppy's lives? Layla had me so angry at the start, but as the story progressed I understood why she needed to leave, but her words were what hurt. If there was one thing she did get right though, it was her words of apology that really won me over, they came from the bottom of her heart. Watching Colt, Poppy and Layla together was heartwarming, but will the hurts from the past prevent a future of possible happiness?

"No one else compares to you, Colt. You're the best man I've ever known and I was a fool to leave you."
"The fool was me, not chasing after you."

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was the secondary characters. They were more like family than close friends. Both the men and the women were always there to help Colt out whenever he needed it, even when he didn't ask for it. They were so caring, but also certainly knew how to have fun. Even though Layla hurt them, they found it in their hearts to give her a second chance. Then there's Dalton! OMG, that man!! I didn't like him much at first, but by the end I loved him, he was the best bestie a girl could ever ask for.

"Haven't you figured out by now? When it comes to us, nothing was ever over."

From beginning to end NEVER REALLY OVER was an emotional story. one moment I was laughing, the next there were tears forming, and at times even a bit of anger and frustration emerged. Colt and Layla enjoyed a lot of flirting, some sexy times, but there was also plenty of family fun too. A beautiful second chance love story that elicits all the feels, and will leave you with a smile on your face.

NEVER REALLY OVER is a story that cannot be missed.
Highly recommended.

Read and Reviewed for Reading Is Our Satisfaction

✨✨✨✨✨ FIVE not to be missed STARS ✨✨✨✨✨
Profile Image for NICUnurse Stephanie .
694 reviews16 followers
September 29, 2021
I simply adore Jennifer Van Wyk’s writing and have since I stumbled upon her debut novel, From the Ground Up. I’ve devoured all of her books since. Some authors, you connect with their writing from the first paragraph, and some, you don’t. Obviously, I connected with her words from the get-go. Maybe it comes from growing up in a small town, or maybe it’s something more. I haven’t quite put my finger on what it is. Regardless, I just simply love her books. Full disclosure: Never Really Over had so many similarities to my own love story, there was no way I was not going to love it.

This story had all the perfect elements of the quintessential small-town, second chance, single dad romance. The proud farm boy thrust into single parenthood by a tragic accident who is handsome, loving, loyal, and hardworking, even if he’s held on to anger and resentment beneath the surface for too long. The girl who left to figure out who she was then came home years later a bit wiser and feeling a heavy load of guilt. Colt and Layla both had a lot of growing up to do, and they needed to do it independently. Otherwise, their relationship wouldn’t have stood the test of time.

Never Really Over is a poignant tale of grief and overcoming guilt in the aftermath of tragedy, rebuilding a life that’s beautiful in spite of your past, and admitting that sometimes, a relationship was always meant to be despite it all. Jennifer Van Wyk writes from the heart. She feels her characters’ emotions well and translates them into beautiful stories. And just so it’s not all heavy, she sprinkles some sarcasm and snark (sometimes more than a little) into the storyline. (I mean, Dalton certainly steals the show at times! We all need a Dalton in our lives. And Poppy��who wouldn’t love her?! ) Fans of small-town, second-chance, single-parent romance will love every moment of this book. It’s definitely going on my to-be-reread pile.

NICUnurse’s Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Profile Image for Jennifer.
746 reviews12 followers
September 30, 2021
This sweet yet sexy novel is about high school sweethearts Colt and Layla. Colt was happy with their small-town farming life but Layla took off to the big city to see if there was something different for her. Twelve years later, neither are really over the other when Layla decides to return home. Colt is suddenly the guardian of his young niece, Layla gets a very chilly reception from Colt and his friends, but she presses on trying to get back into everyone's good graces. Colt and Layla quickly realize that they never really moved on and are fighting that pull to get back together. 

This book had a lot of pluses for me. I absolutely adored Colt from beginning to end and my heart melted with the way he loved and took care of Poppy. There is a perfect blend of sweet and sexy, and I also enjoyed the quick pacing. One of my favorite parts, however, was a secondary character. Childhood friend Dalton, also in the process of leaving city life and moving back home, was absolutely amazing. I loved his personality and determination from the beginning and he just got better and better. Can he have his own book about him and Bridget?

My only tiny bit of criticism about this book is the plot itself. I feel that the young couple breaking up so she can go find herself, only to return later, has been done too many times. I was breezing through some titles on my Kindle (some old and some new) and I estimated I've read 5-6 books with a similar plot this year alone. I understand story development but I need a book that doesn't start with heartbreak and someone leaving. Is there another way to work a second-chance romance?

Anyway, Never Really Over is a great book with outstanding characters. This one will give you all the feels and leave you with a very warm and fuzzy feeling. Trust me that this is a HEA that will leave a smile on your face!

*Thanks to GMB and the author for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review!
Profile Image for Shirley Frances.
1,792 reviews110 followers
September 30, 2021
This was my first book by Jennifer Van Wyk and I have to say that I was blown away! Everything within this story worked and I am glad that I had the chance to experience it.

Colt and Layla's journey back to each other was packed-full of emotions, great secondary characters and a delicious romance. I liked that the author didn't make it easy for Colt and Layla to rekindle their romance because their breakup was messy and a lot of things needed to be worked out if it was ever going to work. I loved that I got to experience it as it was happening since it made it possible for me to become invested in Colt and Layla's relationship. That's not to say that I didn't have issues with Layla in the beginning. She really didn't make a great impression on me, which is why I appreciated every little bit of work the author put in to "show" me how much Layla had grown as an individual. I also enjoyed seeing how Colt (slowly, but surely) allowed himself the chance to explore the thought of getting back together with Layla. He was cautious and at many times doubtful, but his journey from 'never again' to 'let's try again' was a treat for me to read.

Of course, it helped tremendously that Colt and Layla had a well-connection history that although dormant while they were apart, still lay under the surface whenever they were in each other's presence. From Colt's incredulity at Layla's return and Layla's heartbreak at realizing how big a mess she had left behind to their shared doubts about working it out and their struggles to leave the past behind all the way through their joy at finally being together, the emotions that emanated from these two were palpable and I enjoyed a single one of them thoroughly.

So if you enjoy a second chance romance between a loving single dad and the woman who wrecked him but atoned for her mistakes, then this is the story for you.
Profile Image for Kayla Tynes.
95 reviews2 followers
September 30, 2021
Get ready for some heartache, because this book is full of it. This was such a beautiful story, but man, sometimes it was hard to read. This story takes you through the journey of loss and how painful it is, but also takes you through a love story that is heartbreaking at times but in the end, just beautiful.

I will say, I loved absolutely everything about Colt. I don’t think I could have even dreamed up a more perfect man. He has every quality on my checklist and he has a huge heart. He cares deeply for his loved ones and isn’t afraid to show emotion. His nickname for his niece is so sweet and how he is with her is swoon worthy. Some of my favorite scenes were of Colt and his little adorable niece.

Honestly, I really struggled with Layla. The majority of the book I was not a fan of hers. I thought she was a little snobby and selfish. I didn’t think she was good enough for Colt in the beginning. In fact, the opening scene of this book, I thought it was Colt having a scene with an old girlfriend before he actually met the heroine of the story. I was shocked when I found out it was actually Layla who was the heroine. Her character is also the reason I’m giving four stars instead of five. I just really struggled with her. In the end, she does redeem herself and I came to really like her, but it just took me a while. Her scenes with Poppy are what won me over. You could really tell that Layla felt deeply for the little girl and they had a strong bond. I also got a kick out of all the side characters. I thought Dalton was hilarious and I’m hoping he’ll get his own book! I loved Layla’s boss as well. It was good to see Layla have him as a father figure. I really enjoyed reading this story and I absolutely loved the epilogue. The author created a beautiful world of characters in this small town romance and I can’t wait for more!
Profile Image for Jennifer Bemis.
381 reviews16 followers
September 24, 2021
It's hard not to love a book that has a little girl nicknamed Tootsie Pop!!!

It has been 12 years since Layla walked out on Colt for a life in Chicago vs his family farm in Hollow Grove. She wanted bigger and better things and he liked the simplicity he has on his land. He is doing good for himself, has a niece, Poppy a.k.a. Tootsie Pop, that is about to turn one and has finally let go of his anger he felt towards Layla. An unexpected tragedy ends up bringing Layla back into his life at the worst time as he becomes the guardian for his niece.

Layla thinks she is happy in Chicago but when she has to rush back to Hollow Grove to be with her mom she starts to realize maybe it isn't as bad of a place as she once thought. Then there is the love of her life, the man that no other man has ever been able to measure up to, Colt. She knows she hurt him and she knows she has some apologizing to do....she just didn't plan on having to do it as soon as she does.

The way these two dance around each other at first builds up so much sexual tension that makes this one of the slowest burn books I have ever read. They are determined to make a go of it this time around and not let the past weigh them down. The new relationship they build is so much more because they have had time to grow apart from each other vs growing up together.

I am a sucker for second chance romance and this one will definitely be sticking with me for a while. There is so much to love about Colt, Layla and Poppy. Not just those three but all the side characters too...especially Dalton. This was my first book by Jennifer Van Wyk and I cannot wait to read more of her books. I was given an advanced copy of this in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Keri | Reads & Salt.
401 reviews18 followers
September 29, 2021
🎶 𝘾𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙩𝙧𝙮 𝙗𝙤𝙮𝙮𝙮𝙮 𝙄 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚 𝙮𝙤𝙪 🎶


* Second chance romance
* Small town romance
* Single parent male main character
* Emotional loss
* Found family


Overall: 4/5
Shock: N/A
Angst: 4/5
Tears: 1/5
Spice: 3/5


Layla and Colt go their separate ways when Layla finds herself curious of life outside of their small town. After over a decade apart, Layla and Colt meet again after tragedy strikes Colt’s life. The loss of his sister causes his life to be flipped upside down when he becomes a single parent after taking custody of his niece, Poppy. He is determined to not fail his care of raising Poppy and is grateful for the support of all his friends. When Layla comes back to reunite with him and help, Colt doesn’t think she is the same girl he fell in love with. He tried to resist her but it is almost like there are other forces bringing them together.

Never Really Over is a story of loss, forgiveness, and growth. The first half of this book is heartbreak after heartbreak. I felt sad for both of these characters. I understood Colt’s anger towards Layla and I understood Layla’s need to get away. They were young when they split and now they have grown from their previous decisions.

Colt and Poppy were so freaking cute together. His love for her was swoon worthy. I could understand why he was so stand offish towards Layla, especially since his focus was on Poppy. Once Colt started to open up more, I felt so happy for their little family of three.

I loved all the side characters in this story where they would drop everything and help Colt. This small town romance was not only about the love between Layla and Colt but the love between their found family.

Thank you to the author and Give Me Books for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Courtney.
1,693 reviews1 follower
September 29, 2021
This story was an emotional journey for not only the characters but for the reader as well. It starts with two high school sweethearts who thought they had their future already planned out, yet Layla had other plans of going out to explore her future in Chicago. Colt was beyond devastated when she changed their plans, neither one wanted to hurt or be without the other but how could it work when Colt loved where he is and Layla wants to see more? They both say things that they don’t mean but it still impacts them both and they walk away with pain and anger in their hearts. Years later tragedy strikes, Layla heads home to help her mother and possibly set up a future for herself since she is over the Chicago scene. When chance encounters keep bringing them together they have so much anger, regrets, heartache, and love still inserting it makes them confused and lash out. Colt had a right to be angry with her yet he should have realized that she needed to spread her wings then chased after her. Layla had a right to chase her dreams, yet she didn’t have to be so cruel with her words and cutting everyone out of her life. Layla has a lot of making up to do, asking for forgiveness, and learning to go back to her roots again. Colt has a lot on his plate but he needs to learn to deal with his feelings a little better because not all his anger is all about Layla it’s about his loss as well. Such an emotional ride with hopes for a second chance, learning to forgive and be forgiven, and learning to let love in your heart again. (PS. I LOVE Dalton, he was the kick and comedic relief they all needed).
Profile Image for Michelle Abascal Monroy.
336 reviews34 followers
October 4, 2021
Never Really Over by Jennifer Van Wyk is the perfect smalltown/second chance romance!! This are some of my favorite tropes so i enjoyed a lot this story!!

We meet Colt and Layla who love each other since they were kids, but when they were 22 Layla took the decision that living in an small town wasnt for her so she left everyone including Colt and she moves to Chicago. Colt is heartbroken becausa Layla leaves and because he thought she was the one for him and that they will end up getting married and having kids.

Fastforward 12 years and Colt is doing good in his ranch and helping his sister with his little niece and Layla is still in Chicago but staring to feel is time to go HOME. But then something happened that change Colt life and makes Layla decision to go home more easy. Colt find himself in a new situation that make him have more resposabilties but he knows he has the support of his friends and then he finds that Layla is back in town because her mother needs her help. Layla start to realize that maybe what she thought wasnt enough when she was younger is definitely enough now. So she start getting in touch with old friend and start apologizing for living everyone the way she did , but the difficult thing is make Colt to recognize that between them is NEVER REALLY OVER.

If you want to know if Colt and Layla find their HEA you need to read this story because let me tell you is FANTASTIC!! I really enjoyed it so much!!
Profile Image for Passionpages50.
861 reviews
September 26, 2021
This book broke my heart over and over, but Jennifer Van Wyk did such a phenomenal job of piecing it back together!

Talk about your second chance love stories! Colt and Layla are one for the record books. ❤️

I didn’t want to like Layla, I really didn’t. She just couldn’t see what the rest of us could see oh so easily. Colt was a KEEPER! Fast forward some period of time, and our young Layla is all grown up and had finally, THANK GOD, gotten a freaking clue!!! Just as I was about to shake some darn sense into the woman. 🤣

As yummy as a good ole’ small town southern boy can be, and make no mistake, Colt was something extremely special....his role as a father was just heart melting! Absolutely irresistible.
Watching his love and devotion to Poppy literally took my breath away. So sweet!

This book wrenched every emotion under the sun out of me. I laughed, thank you Dalton LOL, I cried, I cursed, yes I curse a bit, but more than anything I swooned over Colt and the wonderful man’s man that he proved himself to be.

If you want a terrific second-chance romance with all of the feels that comes with the small town hero, JVW has just the thing for you. I highly recommend you pick up your kindle and climb into Colt’s lap. Let him carry you on his journey towards love. It’s worth the trip! ❤️
Profile Image for Kayla Busch.
336 reviews4 followers
September 30, 2021
A sweet and charming small-town romance about love, loss and second chances. This book was so good. I was immediately drawn into Colt and Layla's story. It's a complicated one, full of heartbreak, but throughout the book I was rooting for them to find their way back to one another. From the very first chapter, it was evident that these two were perfect for one another and meant to be. Colt is literally one of the sweetest guys and it broke my heart to see all the pain and hurt he went through with Layla and then when tragedy struck his family. I didn't see what happened to his family coming and it was so devastating, but the way he handled things and made the most out of it for his niece Poppy, was honestly awe-inspiring. When Layla reentered the picture, it was hard watching her have to prove herself to her old friends and Colt but I knew she was strong and would get through it, because I knew her intentions were pure and that she knew what she wanted in life, which was to build a life with Colt and Poppy. It was beautiful watching Colt and Layla reconnect. The love between them never disappeared and it only got stronger the more time they spent together. This second chance romance will give you all the feels. I highly recommend checking it out.

Displaying 1 - 30 of 125 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.