Review: “Bring You Back” by Ava Hunter

Series: Nashville Star #4

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: October 10th, 2022

Add to Goodreads | (Available on KU)

CW: attempted rape and abusive partner (past), alcohol addiction and domestic abuse (past), threats and stalking, gambling and money problems, mentions of suicide and attempted suicide (past)

This time, Jace Taylor has gambled more than he can afford to lose.

When a loan shark shows up at his front door demanding he pay him fifty thousand dollars or else, Brothers Kincaid bassist Jace Taylor thinks his life can’t get any worse. That is, until his wife, Emmy Lou, leaves him. With his marriage on the line, he’s determined to win back his wife’s trust—before the love of his life is gone for good.

Former Rodeo Queen Emmy Lou Montgomery loves wide-open spaces, glittery tiaras, and horses, not a lying heartbreaker of a soon to-be-ex-husband who dares to look too damn good in his Wranglers. Determined not to repeat her old mistakes, she returns to her family farm to put herself first.

Only forgetting about Jace might not be so easy when he shows up and moves in, asking her to give him the summer to prove he can be the man she deserves. Emmy Lou does her best to avoid Jace, but when they’re stuck working on the rodeo together, soon their summer turns downright scorching as one spark has their marriage catching flames.

But just as Jace and Emmy Lou realize they’re ready to go all in on their second chance, secrets from Emmy Lou’s past slink out of the shadows. Secrets she’s still running from.

Secrets that will do whatever it takes to keep them apart. . .


I want to start this review by saying that I wept quite a bit through this story. That just goes to show how powerful and beautiful Ava’s writing is too. It’s a marriage in crisis story about two people with broken hearts and broken pasts trying to find their way back to each other. I’m always so wary of this trope, because of how ugly it can sometimes get. But Ava wove this story so beautifully and whatever ugliness existed, it was from the secondary characters (like excuse you, Mama Belle!).

In Bring You Back, you’ll find:

✨ second chances

✨ a rodeo queen and her rockstar king

✨ farm life

✨ a woman fighting for what she wants

✨ a man battling for what he screwed up

✨ a couple looking for a fresh start

✨ incredible brothers (we’re getting their books, right Ava?)

✨ a little bit of suspense

✨ and a whole lot of feels!

From book one, we’ve watched Jace and Emmy Lou be totally and completely in love, we’ve seen the couple blend in with the rest of the characters we’ve met through the books. But it was only at the end of Need You Now did we know just how much more lay under the surface. Jace’s gambling and the secrets he’s kept from Emmy Lou breaks down their marriage in ways that neither of them expected. And Emmy Lou throws down the towel and runs back home, leaving Jace alone in Nashville to pick up the pieces of his mess. The book starts with a bang and from that moment on, it’s just intense all the way through. Ava has a knack for weaving romance, suspense and angst into a story that really hooks you from start to finish and this one really did the trick.

Speaking of angst…my god, brace yourselves. Jace and Emmy Lou’s pasts keep popping up over the course of the story and it’s so beautifully crafted, but be prepared to tear up a few times. There were so many sections where I had to re-read because my eyes were misting over. Jace’s history is complicated and Emmy Lou’s is a whole different ball game, but the one thing they both have in common is their love for each other. That’s one of the things about this trope that always gets me—they’ve got these years together to fall back on when the going gets tough, but how do they navigate that and the present situation and not completely screw it up, right?

“He wants to be the king of Emmy Lou’s heart like he used to be. The man who put that smile on her gorgeous face, who dimpled her cheek. Who took up space in her bed at night, the good kind of space filled with her soft sighs and sweet moans. But most of all, he wants to be good to her, be there for her.”

Emmy Lou and Jace’s love story is one for the books. With every memory, every interaction and every minute they spend together, you can feel that love. And if you’ve read the previous books, you already know just how deeply they do love each other. All of Ava’s couples love so deeply and hard that it’s impossible to shake off those feelings even when things get bad. I loved the little things they did for each other, how well they knew and could read each other and how desperately they clung to their marriage even though it was shaky for a good portion of the story.

Bonus love for the Montgomery Brothers. I know they’re all getting books, because Ava’s awesome like that, but I loved them so much! They were the best part of Emmy Lou’s family and I swear, I swooned and laughed and loved them all equally. I can’t wait to find out which one of them is my favourite soon. 

Thanks to Ava Hunter for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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