When it comes to love, second chances don’t come cheap. But in her contemporary romance Beautifully Damaged (The Wild Rose Press), Laura Pavlov shows us what can happen if we’re brave enough to take the risk.

When Jackson Vance met Peyton Kroft at age ten, he knew they’d be a match. The flight to his fight, his Peanut was Jackson’s balance in an unsteady world. Living with an addict mother and a sister who he constantly had to protect wasn’t easy, but Peyton made everything better. He swore he would never leave her, but when strategy struck, Jackson forced himself to abandon the one person he thought he’d always fight to keep.

Nine years later he returns, this time as an owner of a restaurant he plans to build in her hometown. But Jackson wants more than Peyton’s design expertise, he wants to make peace with the girl he used to know. Except, Peyton’s not a girl anymore. She’s a woman, and she’s with someone else.

Peyton has a boyfriend. Sebastian, the future mayor of San Francisco, needs Peyton on his arm through the upcoming election. But when Jackson strolls back into her life, all she can do is remember what they once had — an undeniable connection she has never had with the one she’s with. Still hurt and confused over their shared past, Peyton tries to keep her distance from the man she once loved. But as they grow closer, she discovers the last thing she wants to do is run away.

As the election draws near, the stakes get higher and Peyton finds herself dealing with a lot more than just her feelings for her first love. Jackson wants to keep her safe, but at what cost? He has nothing to offer her, yet he can’t deny that Peyton may be the only one who can pull him out of the grief that still haunts him and threatens to swallow him whole.

The bond between Jackson and Peyton is evident from the start. Pavlov not only depends on the present action to give the reader a sense of their relationship, but she also weaves their history into the story without distracting from the novel’s plot. They’ve both lived separate lives in the years they’ve been apart, but it’s clear the core of who they are to each other hasn’t changed.

Jackson’s internal struggle is well developed and believable, and as the story unfolds, his motivation becomes clearer as the reader gets a sense of the emotional stakes at play. This also drives the physical action and how he responds to Peyton in a way that’s both engaging and authentic.

If you’re into second-chance romances with plenty of angst and emotional twists and turns, then this one is for you. Pavlov’s novel will remind you there are still some things worth fighting for.

Beautifully Damaged is available for purchase.

Learn more about Laura on her Author Profile page.


About Laura Pavlov

Laura Pavlov writes sweet and sexy contemporary romance that will make you both laugh and cry. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, mom to two awesome almost-grown kids, and dog-whisperer to a couple of crazy Yorkies. Laura resides in Las Vegas where she is living her own happily ever after.