The Rebel by Raleigh Ruebins (Red’s Tavern #2)

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Title: The Rebel by Raleigh Ruebins (Red’s Tavern #2)
Author: Raleigh Ruebins
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Amazon/Raleigh Ruebins
Heat Level:  
Overall Rating: 3h 3.5 hearts

Synopsis via GoodReads:  Everyone wants to be with an adult film star.
They clearly don’t know Liam Hardy like I do.

Red:
At first Liam was just a regular at the bar, and I was the clueless cowboy bartender keeping his glass full… then keeping him full in my bed at night. I had no idea he was about to blossom into a famous adult film star.

But he ripped through me like a storm, losing himself in reckless partying until I had to walk away. I left and opened my bar, Red’s Tavern, here in the middle of nowhere, Kansas.

I never expected to see Liam–all stormy-eyed, tattooed, and smoking hot–show up at my bar now, ten years after we’d cut things off. And it gets worse: he’s asking me to film an adult video with him for his new company. Two words: Hell. No. No matter how hot it sounds to ride in that rodeo again. No matter how much I want to fix that loneliness I’m noticing in his eyes.

My bar is the only boyfriend I need, and I’m plenty happy with my dogs, my old-west house, and my friends.

But I couldn’t help but kiss him. And now I’m aching for him and letting him film videos of me, doing things I’d never dreamed.

And I remember how perfectly we used to fit together, body and soul. Liam’s always been the only one who could get to me…

Like we were made to light each other the hell up.

Review: 3.5 stars.

Liam ♥ Red
This is a second chance love story about two people finding their way back together after ten years and battling all the baggage they bring with them. These two had put each other, and most importantly, me, through heartache time, and time again.

This book…… really fucking frustrated me.

It’s the second in the series; but can easily be read as I did and enjoy it as a standalone.

Liam ♥
I completely fell in love with Liam, but he was so very, very broken. He made you want to wrap him up in a warm, fluffy blanket, cuddle and protect him from the world that had treated him so badly.

He moved away from his toxic life in LA to try and start over in nowhere, Kansas. He ran to the only place and person that ever made him feel safe, Red. He tries, so very desperately to stay sober and make good decisions, be a responsible adult in the only way he knows how. I was very proud of him throughout the book. He struggled to forgive himself for everything he’d done in his past and heal from everything done to him.

It really bothered me how his sobriety was handled though. The emotional aspect was there, but the alcohol withdrawal was not accurately depicted, and it scares me that someone could read this and think that they would be okay. More research was needed in this aspect. Someone with a severe, ten-year alcoholism history would not recover without significant withdrawal symptoms, and should not attempt recovery alone. Withdrawal from alcohol, as severely depicted in Liam’s case, can possibly kill you without medical supervision. It’s uncommon, but it happens. I’ve seen it. –>From someone in the medical/mental health field shrugs

PSA over. Moving on.

Red.
Red, was just, God he infuriated the ever-living hell out of me.

The two of them were so good together….and so very, very bad. The love you feel between the two of them is palpable, but neither one of them can get out of their own way long enough to repair it. Even though he says it, Red can’t seem to forget the addict he repeatedly had to put back together and see the man he’d grown into. Which, granted, is difficult, so I’ll give him a pass on that one. He was so used to having to constantly save him, that he had a hard time trusting him. Neither of them could seem to forgive and forget long enough to build something new.

So many times, he’d give off all these confusing vibes. First he wanted Liam, then he didn’t. It was just sex, but it wasn’t. I felt as though he led Liam on SO many times. He’d be just what Liam needed, then ten seconds later, he’d shove his foot in his mouth and wreck everything. Ugh!

Throughout all of this, Liam is hanging by his fingernails, struggling to remain sober.

Despite its flaws, I enjoyed it, probably more for Liam than anything else. I fell in love with him, as I tend to do with stories about broken men. The last 25-ish% saved it I think. I loved the last ten percent or so. I was reading with a big grin and hearts in my eyes when they finally pulled their heads out and admitted that they needed each other

Pick it up if you like second chance stories. ♥

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