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Never Give Up

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I shouldn’t want him after he rejects me… except I do.

Devastation and devotion are two sides to the same coin, and Brian Miller flips the coin to my heart without any effort.

He thinks he’s not good enough, that I deserve better than a damaged single father.

I know he’s got something dark hiding beneath the surface, but his demons can’t be any worse than the one stalking my every move in our small town. The one no one can bring to justice.

I’m not a little girl, despite the age difference between us, and I know the truth. Brian will never forgive himself for not being there when I needed him most.

But he’s the only man who can rescue me now.

249 pages, Kindle Edition

Published January 31, 2023

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About the author

Rue Lennox

8 books874 followers
You know the stories Rue loves to write. The ones filled with heroes who make you swoon, anti-heroes who smile viciously as the world burns down around them, just as long as the woman they love stands at their side… Then there are the happily ever afters that bring you to your knees whether you want to be there or not.

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5 stars
67 (43%)
4 stars
54 (35%)
3 stars
20 (12%)
2 stars
7 (4%)
1 star
6 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 86 reviews
Profile Image for Kandace Allen.
85 reviews2 followers
January 10, 2023
Tropes and Trigger Warnings
Forced proximity
Best friends

If i could i would rate this book a 10/10 it was absolutely phenomenal!!!!!

This book was an emotional rollercoaster! Ive never been sucked into a book like i was this one it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time.
Brian a cop catches feeling for his best friend maya who’s a 911 dispatcher. Maya has a stalker who try’s to take everything from her including her life, but with determination and love she doesn’t stop fighting.

This is a dark romance with many trigger warnings but definitely worth the read. This book had me crying one minute and the next swooning for Mr. tall dark and handsome. It does not end on a cliffhanger thank god i don’t think i could have handled having to wait🤣 but i am excited for the next book to come out i cant wait to read more from this amazing author, just everything was fabulous!!!
Profile Image for Sarah.
266 reviews7 followers
January 8, 2023
1 ⭐️
3 🌶️

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

CW: please note that one of the reasons this book received a 1 star is because of the complete lack of appropriate CWs in this book. The blurb that serves as a CW is not effective and needs to be changed.

- [ ] Stalking
- [ ] Physical assault
- [ ] Attempted SA
- [ ] Strangulation
- [ ] Medical content
- [ ] Blood
- [ ] Mother attempting to unalive her own children
- [ ] Suicide of side character mentioned
- [ ] Child physical attack/ attempted murder graphic detail.
- [ ] Kidnapping
- [ ] Stabbing
- [ ] Drugging
- [ ] Flashbacks/panic attacks
- [ ] Divorce
- [ ] 🌶️ content

Other reasons I didn’t like this book:
1. The MMC is a complete tool bag and the epitome of someone who needs therapy to work on himself instead of jumping from relationship to relationship. He was an ass from the beginning of the book until the end and he had zero growth.

2. Lack of respect for trauma/ experiences- when someone is In the hospital after a brutal attack and they have NEVER been together as a couple and the author brought in 🌶️ thoughts into the MMC head at that moment I began rage reading.

3. There was zero build in a relationship we are to trust that there was some sort of friendship before the book started that might have given us a foundation to why the FMC liked him so much but we had nothing and so when they get together it’s like bam we love each other.

4. It felt like the author threw every bad thing at the wall to see what would stick and so we have a book full of violence to the FMC ,side characters and traumatic back stories without cohesion and it’s unsettling.

5. The police investigation is so weird. It started with the friend telling her they are not investigating it because they are too close to her and then he’s asking if she had a consensual relationship that turned violent with the guy that attacked her. Cops are not always great after sitting in on hundreds of police interviews I can understand this but I’ve never in my 10 years of working with SA survivors had them jump directly to that. Especially when she has said she didn’t know the guy.

Also the door scene where the MMC THINKS SHE INTENTIONALLY KEPT KISMET TO HERSELF!! Like 🤬 you are trying to make her seem like she is lying and it’s weird.

6. If the MMC called the FMC perfect one more time I would have screamed.

My take away: The FMC should dump Brian and date someone else. She deserves better than Brian.

Profile Image for Angie Barnes.
1,347 reviews6 followers
January 30, 2023
Rue Lennox has written a 5-star book. This is the story of Maya and Brian. Maya and Brian have been friends and she decides to tell him how she feels about him. He tells her that she doesn't know what she is talking about and rejects her feelings. She is hurt and tells him that she can't be friends with him anymore and walks away from him. She doesn't know how she is going to work with him and get over him but she has to. Maya goes home after work and just as she gets ready to go to bed, someone breaks into her house and attacks her. Her attacker almost kills her more than once and then stabs her. She was able to call 911 before her attack and when Jake and Brian get there, Jake is the first one to Maya. He stops Brian from seeing how bad Maya is by telling him he can't see her. This wakes Brian up as he thinks he could have lost her. Every time Brian tries to talk to Maya, she doesn't want to talk to him. She reminds him what he told her. Brian has finally got his ex-girlfriend Ashley to move out of his house. She was watching his sons James and Jonathan at night when he worked. She oversteps when he goes to help Maya that first time by telling him he is not putting his family first. When Maya is able to go back to work, she has one of the guys coming and getting her and taking her back home, and checking the house. One time, Jake comes back out and tells her that she can't go in since someone had broken in and trashed her room. She tries to put up a brave front about it but Brian knows she is scared. Brian finally gets himself together and has gotten Maya to talk to him. At first, she doesn't believe what he is telling her. She decides to give him a chance and he offers her a place to stay until they catch the person after her. They think they have the person and Brian and Jake take his boys on a fishing trip. Maya is still staying with Brian and while he and the boys are gone, her girlfriends come and stay with her. They go out for a girl's night out. The cab driver is giving her some weird looks and she is not comfortable with them. While a few of them go home to get some things, she decides to go and get a few things from her apartment. While she is there, she knows someone is there. She put up a fight this time more than before. Her neighbor calls the police and reports seeing someone breaking into her apartment and hearing a scream and then nothing. She tells the police that she didn't see anyone coming out. Brian's fishing trip is cut short by heavy rains they didn't expect. He, Jake, and the boys are on their way home when Jake gets a call about Maya. When they get to her apartment, no one is there. They see a lot of blood and Brian thinks the worst. Jake gets a call and is told about a guy by the name of Andrew. They get his address and Brian and Jake go there. They are told that he is not there by his wife. Brian sees signs of abuse on her and tells her that if she doesn't help them, he is going to charge her with everything he can concerning Maya. She tells them where they can find Andrew. When they get there, Brian finds Maya and she is not breathing, he starts CPR on her and brings her back. Someone calls Jake and said that they needed another ambulance for another victim they found in the woods. The victim was Andrew. Maya had stabbed him before she passed out from him choking her. Brian goes to the hospital to see Maya and tells her what happened with Andrew. Andrew is now in the same hospital as Maya and is not expected to make it. She is not charged with anything since they have a lot of proof of what he did to her.
Will Maya and Brian stay together or will they break things off?
This was a wonderful book and I would recommend it to anyone.

I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Laura (lady_h_reads).
224 reviews25 followers
January 31, 2023
Never Give Up was my first read by author, Rue Lennnox. It was an entertaining dark contemporary romance. It keeps your attention throughout with an ever-present threat to the FMC, Maya, and you cheer the MCs to their HEA. It is a challenging road for both of them.

What I didn’t like was feeling like I was thrust midway into their love story on the first page. It was enough of an issue that I kept backtracking to see if I had missed a few chapters or if this wasn’t truly a standalone. I never did feel like we got a good understanding of what their previous relationship looked like before Maya was rejected. I would have liked that to have been fleshed out more.

Otherwise, I really liked the thriller aspect of the story with the stalker and how it affected Maya and Brian’s feelings toward her. That stress, coupled with his initial rejection of her affections, even if he claimed, in his mind, it was for her own good, made for some great angsty reading. The back-and-forth between the two MCs was great.

It’s medium burn with medium heat. The main focus is on rebuilding emotional connections and healing Maya (mentally and physically).

Never Give Up is a standalone. It is dark with elements that may be triggering; please read the TW/CW in the author’s note.
Profile Image for Donna McEachran.
527 reviews15 followers
January 17, 2023
I have wanted to read this book for a long time...and I'm glad I did!! Maya is so strong. Brian is lost, having doubts about his future. I really like Jake so will look forward to reading his book.

I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Kelly  DeMarco.
1,550 reviews3 followers
January 13, 2023
Triumph after tragedy
Never Give Up by Rue Lennox is a fitting title for this book. Maya is dealt some serious blows, one right from the start. As this romantic suspense gets rolling right away with the heartbreak, the hits just keep on coming for poor Maya!
This book is traumatic, and not for the faint of heart. That being said, I was gripped in Maya and Brian's story from the beginning. Full of emotional drama and trauma on top of physical trauma, Maya has a lot to overcome from the beginning. Both of their struggles are real, yet Brian is more stubborn than most, holding onto the past as an excuse. The portrayal of this male character is probably more realistic than some romance readers would like. That doesn't make him less worthy in this readers eyes and heart though. As more details of his hang ups are revealed, it becomes apparent that his resistance has some merit, but on the other hand, Maya doesn't deserve to be lumped into the same category of the women before her. As Brain comes to his senses, granted slowly, Maya works through her own struggles and as a result of her experiences, she's not trusting of Brian's change of heart. Maya's resilience and Brian's determination, make this couple a sure thing when all is said and done.
Overall, Brian works through his fear to realize Maya is integral to happiness and shows Maya with actions and words to win her heart forever. Despite the tragedy and heartbreak, love triumphs for Maya and Brian's HEA.
I read an ARC of this book and voluntarily share my review.
3,884 reviews8 followers
January 31, 2023
I was excited to get this story from one of my favorite authors. She has recently changed her pen name to Rue Lennox. When I started reading this story I knew I had read it before. Then I realized it was previously published under a different title using her old pen name. I was very excited to read it all over again. It was one of the first stories I read by this author. It was the one that hooked me. This is a really good small town story with some intense moments and definitely might be triggers for some especially those who have dealt with rape and violence. I do think the author did a good job with such difficult subject matter. Maya has gone through every women's worse nightmare. Brian is living with guilt and what if. This story was tough at times because of everything she endures and goes through. She has an incredible family though that is so supportive and is there for her in so many ways. The story is suspenseful with danger, mystery, passion, love, anger, pain, sorrow, fear and great twists and turns. I look forward to reading more from this author!
Profile Image for Jen Adams.
135 reviews2 followers
January 13, 2023
Thank you Rue for the ARC!

Age gap
Single dad
Friends to lovers

Maya and Brian work together closely and are friends, but Maya wants to take things to the next level. Brian is a single dad with a lot of regrets. Not wanting to bring that upon Maya, he shoots down the idea of a future. Maya doesn’t have much time to deal with the rejection as she is in danger and things get serious quickly. Brian soon realizes that life can change in the blink of an eye and how you live it matters. This changes everything.

“I don’t know why I let this happen to me.”

“And you should be comfortable if you’re going to tear my heart out with your hands.”

"Words have no power over us."



He says there can never be anything between us… but I still want him.
Devastation and devotion are two sides to the same coin, and Brian Miller flips the coin to my heart without even trying.
He thinks he’s not good enough—that I deserve better than a damaged single father.
But his demons can’t be any worse than the one stalking my every move in our small town—the one no one can bring to justice.
Despite the age difference between us, I’m not a little girl, and I know the truth. Brian will never forgive himself for not being there when I needed him most.
But he’s the only man who can rescue me now.
Profile Image for Michelle.
347 reviews2 followers
January 9, 2023
Oh my freakin' god!!! Never give Up was sooooo goood!!! I loved Maya, and my heart shattered for her and all the trauma she deals with in this book, it showed how strong she is, and with the love and support of friends and family, you can survive and live again. Maya is in love with Brian, but Brian is an asshat, who won't admit to himself let alone anyone else that he may have feelings for her too.... Maya decides to cut Brian out of her life, although she will have to deal with him at work since she is a dispatch, and Brian is a cop. Everything gets turned upside down when something happens to Maya. Brian can't deal, and Maya is in a kind of denial as to how serious this situation could be. because of what happens to Maya, Brian is in her orbit weather she wants it or not, of course she pushes him away...or at least tries anyway. She even tries to convince herself that she doesn't have feelings for Brian and maybe never really did. What will happen with them? Will they find their way to each other, will the person that hurt Maya be caught? This book had me on the edge of my seat, and kept me there till the end!!!
Profile Image for Melissa Slabaugh.
109 reviews1 follower
January 15, 2023
Maya is literally blowing up her friendship with Brian as we meet them. She wants more, but his past has him convinced that despite his feelings for her that he’s too damaged to be the right man. But when Maya becomes the target of someone’s dangerous obsession suddenly Brian’s regretting his rejection and fighting for another chance.

I love a heroine who owns her feelings and isn’t afraid to express them even with rejection staring her in the face—more of this energy everywhere please. Brian has a heavy past and honestly a messy current situation when we meet him, but the way he (along with some help from Jake) works through his issues and grows is so appealing.

In her About the Author section Rue has a quote that reads—“Rue loves to torture her readers.” Just here to say consider me successfully tortured and loving it. Rue Lennox wants to turn me into a sad girl romance reader—and she’s winning. The emotional paces she puts you through with her writing are beautiful.
Profile Image for Kat.
176 reviews2 followers
January 2, 2023
Oof, the feels of this book!!

The book jumps right in with the rejection and no context. Brian’s excuse for rejecting Maya was later revealed, which I didn’t think were great excuses but we all have our own problems. He believed that he was too old, not good enough, and they’d be better off as friends. I do wish we got to see their friendship before this book took place just so we can get a feel of what it was like and to see their friendship evolve to something more. I think I needed a bit more build up.

I would say the first half of the book was more suspense than romance since nothing happens between the two until halfway through the book. But even then I do wish we got to see more of them being a couple.

This book takes place in a small town in Maine. There is an age gap (but we don’t know by how much) and Brian is a single father to two boys.

Rating this a 3.5 but rounding up to 4 stars! Can’t wait to read more of Rue’s books.

I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
3,943 reviews22 followers
January 15, 2023
Maya and Brian worked close with each other and where friends, but when Maya wanted more Brian rejected her, but soon life takes a dark turn for Maya, will Brian be thebone to keep her whole? Well written engaging drama, dark themes and more.

I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for CYNDY.
914 reviews18 followers
March 4, 2023

I enjoyed this book. I breezed right through it because I needed to see who this was going to play out.
Profile Image for Debra Soehner.
730 reviews4 followers
January 7, 2023
There is some stalking/violence in this story but it’s a fabulous tale of an emotionally wounded person that is trying to be better as he feels he isn’t good enough for Maya. Brian makes a mistake and has deep regret that he couldn’t prevent Maya from getting hurt. Wonderful story.

I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Jaimie.
835 reviews12 followers
January 31, 2023
I really enjoyed this book. You get so much with it and the characters are easy to connect with.

Maya and Brian have a great friendship and connection. You can tell they care for eachother so much. But both have a history that they can't get past.

These characters are ones you will like and feel for through their struggles.

This story is one that can be sensitive to others so please be sure to read the trigger warnings.
140 reviews1 follower
December 21, 2022
I really loved this book about dedication and hate. The feelings are so closely related
To bad the hate came from Him.
Profile Image for Char (1RadReader59).
2,135 reviews9 followers
March 19, 2023
Specific Trigger Content
On the page and Mentioned only please read the synopsis. 

I was sent the first five chapters of this book and was immediately hooked, on this storyline. The characters are compelling enough, to bring up old tapes of stories from the past. Hearing the truth of the situation, Maya’s found herself in, she knew that she needed, to tell, Brian Miller how she feels about him. They have been great friends, for several years now. He helped her after her divorce, talked her through learning the codes for dispatching, and, she helped with things concerning his boys. As well as, the advice they passed back and forth, about failed relationships, and what they wanted, in the future.

Then one day, out of nowhere, Maya starts to talk to, Brian with a look in her eye. One he had seen before, and knew could only lead, to heartache. He tried hard, to shut it down before she uttered, even one word telling her not, to say, ‘it.’ Because it will ruin everything. “If you say it, we can’t go back.” He told her by not saying anything, they could preserve their friendship. His promise is almost worse than, the rejection she can see on his face. He tells her, by not saying the words, he sees in her eyes it keeps them safe. Then asks, don't you want to stay safe? To which she replies, ‘No, I want more.’

He explains, he can’t give her anything. Brian looks stricken telling her, he thought she knew that. He thought she understood… He is not the one for her. They have never done anything, but talk and share in the misery, that’s torn apart both, of their lives. He once again tells her, “There can’t be anything between us, Maya.” His hand on her arm drops away, cutting through the fog in her brain. As he does that, he takes a step back, sealing the coffin on her hopes of a future, between them. She asks, why? He explains, the boys are all he has left, and all his attention must be on them. Meaning, no room for her. “They’re my life.”

Maya takes her time, walking the mile to her house, and enjoying the brisk air. Getting the chance, to clear her mind after work, and her encounter with Brian. In the summer, she enjoys walking to work, and, she loves the quiet that comes with time alone. Brandi is like an older sister, watches her back, making sure that she gets taken care of. When she is, too lazy or tired, to take care of herself. After the day she has had, exhaustion and the need for sleep, propel her up the stairs toward her bedroom. But at the top of the landing, she goes completely still. The window being open, the living room light being on, and her leaving a note instead of sending her a text, she can overlook. Altogether though, it is scaring her, yes, but she can overlook it. However, the door is open to her bedroom... Never! She is afraid, Brandi’s cat will get out, and Brandi has never gone into her room, ever without her permission.

Maya is feeling the goosebumps, creep along her skin, making the little hairs on the back of her neck stand on end. Maya’s heart hammers as she stays still, listening as cold panic whispers inside her, demanding action. I’m not alone. Run. Yup, this is where life takes on an even bigger turn than, her telling her best friend she is in love with him, and him being a coward and running from her. Saying that they can not be more, than friends. The edginess of this book keeps you on your toes, for sure. Maya is one strong woman, and I loved how Blake calls out his friend. The ending pissed me off. Brian is still in love with his ex. So, she is still, only getting a part of him. He is in love with a dead woman, and how can she compete with that? Really? Why should she have to? Since his ex almost killed his boys, why would he even still want her? Who is the weak one here?
Profile Image for Maryger Chacon.
260 reviews
January 31, 2023
This story caught me from the first lines, and what can I say that it had me crying in just the first pages, it is an intense story full of strong moments, that move your foundations but where you fall even more in love with the characters and admiring them even more, Maya is a super strong woman, fighting for her independence even when the circumstances and in the danger she finds herself does not let fear dominate her, Brian is a strong man, but he feels lost and broken, unable to allow himself to love, so who tries to push Maya away, although that will change when tragedy strikes and she has to face the possibility of losing her forever.
These characters captivated me, not only Maya and Brian, but also Jonathan and James, Jake, Brandi, Poppy, even the boss Paul and Brian's parents, I loved it, it is a story with many strong moments, I recommend reading the author's warnings to the beginning of the book since there are situations that not all people can handle, it was really a journey with very real characters, I loved this story and I can't wait for the story that will follow, I highly recommend it, it's great! *Thanks to Rue Lennox for my ARC. I voluntarily leave my honest review*

Esta historia me atrapo desde las primeras lineas, y que decir que me tuvo llorando en solo las primeras paginas, es una historia intensa llena de momentos fuertes, que te mueven los cimientos pero donde quedas aun mas enamorada de los personajes y admirándolos aun mas, Maya es una mujer súper fuerte, luchando por su independencia aun cuando las circunstancias y en el peligro que se encuentra no deja que el miedo la domine, Brian es un hombre fuerte, pero se siente perdido y roto, incapaz de permitirse amar, por lo que trata de alejar a Maya, aunque eso cambiara cuando la tragedia la golpee y le toque enfrentar la posibilidad de perderla para siempre.
Estos personajes me cautivaron, no solo Maya y Brian, sino también Jonathan y James, Jake, Brandi, Poppy, incluso el jefe Paul y los padres de Brian me encantaron, es una historia con muchos momentos fuertes, aconsejo leer las advertencias del autor al comienzo del libro ya que hay situaciones que no todas las personas pueden manejar, fue en verdad un viaje con personajes muy reales, ame esta historia y no puedo esperar a la historia que seguirá, se las súper recomiendo es buenísima! *Gracias a Rue Lennox por mi ARC. Dejo voluntariamente mi reseña honesta*
Profile Image for Em xo.
17 reviews2 followers
January 5, 2023
Rue Lennox approached me and asked if I would be willing to read and review an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review, and after she told me the vibes of this book, I have never said yes quicker. I absolutely loved it.

This book has rejection, angst, anger, love, suspense, twists and turns, romance, smut, and everything else you could want in a book.

Brian is a single dad, who doesn't think he is good enough for love, and although his reasons aren't great, I felt that they highlighted a vulnerability that isn't often seen in men, especially in reality. I absolutely ate that shit up. Maya is a badass woman, who refuses to get down on herself after being rejected by the man she loves, and does all she can to continue moving forward, despite working with him and not being able to get away from him at all. I wish more of their personalities were allowed to shine through in the book, I wish we got more sarcasm and wit from Maya, more of the dad side of Brian and more of the love between them both.
This was a slow burn romance, but when it all came crashing together, it was fireworks galore. The couple did have to go through twists and turns to get their happy ending though, as well as a heart breaking attack - handled very well by Rue, I felt.
I loved the blunt side of friendship given by Jake, and I loved that he didn't hold anything back. Brian needed that from someone, he needed to be put in his place and told to grow up and be reminded that it isn’t all about him.

Throughout this book, I found myself laughing, almost crying, holding my breath and crossing my fingers.
The only thing I could've loved more in this book would've been more of it. More angst, more tension etc. I would’ve loved to see more of the friendship between Brian and Maya, see how it evolved from colleagues to good friends to more etc. And I would’ve loved to see more interactions between the two of them that weren’t steeped in arguments between them. I wanted more romance, and a touch more smut.
27 reviews
January 14, 2023
Never Give Up…
…is a good title because I didn’t. Give up, that is. I received this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This is the first time I’ve read this author’s work and I’m going to purchase one more so I can see what she has done elsewhere.
This one was not for me. I like lots of dark drama but to do it right there has to be build up. The author needs the stamina to stay in the scene and give me more info. I want to know everything. Several scenes started and finished with nothing in the middle so she left me hanging with lots of questions that were never answered. I have to take a star away.
I found this book hard to track for a couple of reasons, the main one being editing. I do a lot of ARCs and I don’t like to take stars away but I have to take another one for editing. I found myself often replacing words with what I thought the author meant to say but she didn’t. The word was missing or was a past tense when it should have been present tense etc. There were places where the paragraph stopped halfway through a sentence and then continued in the next paragraph but the two didn’t match up. This really pulled away from continuity.
I also have to take a star as I didn’t find the two main characters likeable. Their reasoning didn’t make sense to me and both of them were often jerks. I like an alpha male and a strong female lead but they need to have redeeming qualities. Unfortunately these two don't seem to have any. They are both weak and I was happy to leave them behind as I think the future does not bode well for them. Their relationship isn't going to last if they don't grow up.
As I said I don’t like to take stars away but there is no point in doing an ARC if I’m not honest and these are my honest feelings after reading this book. I believe this story has potential but it just didn’t satisfy my desire for a dark hero and a strong heroine.
Profile Image for Laura .
624 reviews16 followers
January 21, 2023

Rue Lennox knows how to write suspenseful police romances! I mean I knew this, but Never Give Up just reinforces this knowledge.

Brian and Maya's story captivated me. Yes their friends to lovers part of the story was good (and steamy), but that suspense? YES!

When it comes to the relationship, I wish I understood Brian a bit more and his reluctance to the relationship. Is an age gap really that much of a deal breaker? Or was it the fact that they, technically, work together? I loved how Maya knew what she wanted, and wasn't afraid to speak up. Then there was the bond that she had with Brian's kids, that made me smile.

Let's talk about that suspense... Maya suffered through so much. It was as though the person was playing a bit of cat and mouse with her. Seeing how her police family rallied around her to keep her safe, and to find the person behind it all, really touched me. They were there for her in her darkest times, and helped her the best they could until the case was closed. There were times while reading that I literally gasped out loud because of what was happening. My heart broke for Maya with everything that happened. Also, I can't lie, Brian's over the top protectiveness was something I liked. He just wanted to keep her safe, and solve the case at the same time.

I cannot wait to see who the next book will be about!

Should you choose to read this book, please double check the trigger warnings, as there is a lot that goes on in this story.
1,146 reviews5 followers
March 25, 2023
Never Give Up is the first book set within the Birch Harbor: Damaged Heroes series. Ms. Lennox used to write under a different pen name, so this book may feel a little familiar. Maya’s heart belongs to Brian, shortly after he crushes her dreams, she is attacked. Trying to heal, figuring out what she wants, and dealing with a stalker, Brian wants to claim Maya for his own. But will she give him a second chance, and can he keep her safe?

Oh man, this book is heartbreaking, almost painful to read at times, but I loved every second I spent within these pages with Maya and Brian. Even knowing what was going to happen did not help my emotions from going crazy. I cried, I cheered, I swooned, and loved that this couple would not give up on love. Maya is a survivor, a fighter, and I loved that she knew what she wanted and went after it. She felt broken at times, but I swooned when Brian was willing to give her what she needed - space, confidence, and love. Brian had his own demons he was battling, pushing away Maya as long as he could, but once he realized that she could be taken away from him, he fought to win her trust and heart again. I liked their passion, but their connection was the driving force between them. I enjoyed the tension that the stalker added to the book and to their romance as well. I loved this book. I am so excited to be back with the men and women of Birch Harbor!
January 30, 2023
So I’m bought in to this series and the world the author has created without a doubt. Well written with a realism to it that is painful at times, the author doesn’t shy away from broken and flawed characters at all.

There are elements to this story that don’t quite track through for me, like plot lines that stall or change direction from the beginning to the end. This did make this a 3.5* book for me as I was left with some lingering questions.

I have to admit I didn’t love Brian at the beginning. It was less to do with his rejection of Maya and more to do with him keeping his ex around as a glorified babysitter despite knowing she wanted him back. I get that it was part of his character development but it did make him seem a huge douche. Also one minute the ex is there and then she’s not mentioned again? And why does she say his parents don’t care about the boys? They were fab grandparents for the rest of the book?

I also felt there was a massive part missing about his ex (the boys mother) in that we know the “what” but not the “why” and I kept waiting for that to come out but it never did.

Despite this it was a suspenseful and drama filled rollercoaster of a book that I enjoyed and I’m looking forward to the next in the series.

I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
653 reviews3 followers
February 1, 2023
Mia is single, younger than Brian, a widower with 2 boys. After telling him how she feels he backs away, telling her he has nothing to give her more than friendship. That night she is viciously attacked in her home.
I didn't like Brian. He is emotionally weak. He relies on his ex girl friend to help him with his boys, and still lives with them pining for him. He thinks he deserves little so offers little and then wants it all with Mia and moans it may be too late.
I didn't warm to Mia at times. She has been through a dreadful experience, but floats between determined and strong, to the point of still putting herself at risk, yet fearful and obstructive in help being offered. Whilst her reasons are valid, her behaviour is not. The strength and courage are also her weaknesses.
The story deals with a lot of emotional trauma, both physical and mental. The topic of the main theme was well written. Mia's happy, sunny disposition is a contrast to Brian. Her personal situation is opposite to his; Brian is wallowing in guilt from the past. Walls are built and need to be knocked down on both sides. It's push / pull situation on both sides. I enjoyed the story and was pleased at the inevitable HEA, but I did not find it as engaging as I expected it to be.

I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
76 reviews
January 21, 2023
3.5 Stars: OK story, but had a beautiful ending and great secondary characters

I would like to give this book 3 1/2 stars, but since I have to give it whole numbers, I felt that it was closer to 4 stars than 3.

The ending was beautiful! I liked that the book had some twists and turns, leading you away from the real culprit. The embedded love story was sweet but predicable. It was an easy read with lovely characters. The secondary characters were awesome! I loved Brian's parents! Especially his dad. And Brian's sons were just the cutest and so lovable! Jake is a BFF for sure, the most caring friend one could ever ask for! I can't wait for his story!

I felt that some of the story arcs were vague or weak. For example, it is revealed late in the book how Brian's wife died. I think it would have helped me think more of him if I had known what he was struggling with earlier in the book. As it was, I thought he was a jerk until we know how she died. I think as a reader I might have had more sympathy for him had I known.

Overall, I still think this was worth the read.

Thank you Rue Lennox for this Advanced Reader Copy.
Profile Image for Ally Doby(Schleicher).
502 reviews4 followers
January 30, 2023
I have said this before and I will say it again: in the About The Author section after the book it states: “Rue loves to torture her readers. She smiles while ripping out their hearts with her words.” This is 1,000x true!!!

I loved this book and could not put it down! This story is the first book in this series and told in first person POV by both the main male and female characters. The suspense, angst, twists and turns, the smut, the fear and that inner voice of yours reminding you to breathe because you were holding your breath way to long and didn’t even know it will have you second guessing everything you thought you could predict what would happen in this story.

I love all that Maya is such an independent, strong, perceptive, loyal and loving person. The fact that she is also a fighter and never gives up is an inspiration to every woman out there. I love that Brian, even if he couldn’t express himself the right way at first, never gave up on Maya. I loved all the side characters and all the little Easter eggs Rue left for the next book as well. I cannot wait to dive more into all these characters
Profile Image for Sara.
1,212 reviews4 followers
January 30, 2023
I’ve read several books by this author under a different pen name, and Maya and Brian, along with Jake are side characters in a series I loved.

This book was previously released under a different title by the author’s previous pen name. Based on reviews of that version,
I was always very I hesitant to read that version of the book. This version seems to have been rewritten and while it still has some big triggering themes, it doesn’t have OW drama and cheating.

This is a very emotional book as Maya is in danger and actually hurt by her stalker. The relationship drama between Brian and Maya is challenging, but given what the story alludes to having happened with his deceased wife and then an unhappy relationship with his ex-girlfriend I can give him some leeway for not wanting to mess up his friendship with Maya.

Both Brian and Maya have a lot of baggage from before this story begins, and then what happens during the book should qualify them for lifetime therapy. It’s a rollercoaster ride of emotion, and danger.

I’m looking forward to Never Too Late which will be Jake’s book.

I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Profile Image for Hanan (Bookstagramer).
1,332 reviews10 followers
January 31, 2023
**3.5 stars**
I enjoy reading the book.
I read it in one sitting.
I mostly liked characters and plot.
Brian is a police officer in a small town. Single father of two. I absolutely loved his boys.
He’s a good dad and loves his job. But unlucky when it comes to relationships and love.
Maya is an amazing young lady. Happy and sweet. Always wanting to help and is there for those who need help. So her job as a 911 dispatcher fits her perfectly.
I liked that she knew her mind and what she wanted and went after it.
Unlike Brian who goes back and forth. He can’t seem to take a step forward.
He’s not the go after what he wants type. And that didn’t endear him to me.
When the heroine has more guts than the hero well that’s definitely not a turn on.
The plot is exciting and has some suspense. But didn’t quite flow well.
Due to the evidence on hand and the evidence found. I won’t be more specific as to not give away spoilers. But that part didn’t quite make the cut for me.
But overall I liked the story but didn’t love it.
Jake was also a sweetheart and I’m excited he’s getting his own book.

Profile Image for Kirsten | Bookish.kir.
107 reviews92 followers
February 10, 2023
I voluntarily received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This is a dark second chance, workplace, stalker romance. If you have any triggers, please read the full warnings at the beginning on the book, there are quite a few.

Maya is a 911 dispatcher who has feelings for her cop coworker Brian. Brian is an older, widower with 2 boys, who believes he has too much baggage to be able to give Maya what she wants.

The book immediately starts off with Brian’s rejection of Maya. I wish we would have gotten more backstory of their previous “friendship”. It just felt as if I was missing a large part of their story.

The entire story felt a little bit chaotic to me. We went from a rejection straight to massive trauma to Brian asking for a second chance with very little groveling to Maya’s forgiveness to another massive trauma.

We also never really got a good idea of how Maya knew her stalker unless I missed it. There was a brief mention of what he did for work, but nothing more than that. It just made the story fall a bit flat in my opinion.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Imogen Dior.
446 reviews1 follower
February 18, 2023
Great Read!

Never give up was a solid and entertaining read. The plot was well done with suspense, romance and love woven into the book super well. I liked Brian, he was great at his job and was an amazing father to Jonathan and James. He definitely had some faults but he loved Maya he was just so scared of everything i think, when he started fighting for her it was great to read. Maya was a force to reckoned with and I adore her. She was such a fighter and a true inspiration. You could tell she genuinely wanted to be strong and didn’t want her attacker to win. She fought for herself, her love, for Brian and James & Jonathan. I also loved a lot of the secondary characters- Jake was awesome! I do wish we could have seen more of both their work side of things as i think it would have been great to read more. Overall a great read and this was my first read by Rue Lennox but it will not be my last!
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