Coming Apart at the Seams is book two in Jenna Sutton’s Riley O’Brien & Co series. The couple has a history from book one but I didn’t feel like I missed anything by starting with this one. Both the author and the series are new to me and the book has one of my favorite tropes – best friend’s little sister. What I didn’t learn from the blurb is the hero, Nick Priest, has a stuttering problem, one that he has kept hidden from most of the people in his life.
Teagan O’Brien is the younger sister of Nick’s two best friends. She lives away from the family and when Nick, football star, is traded to a new team he ends up in the same city as Teagan. On a whim he looks her up and decides to hang with her for a bit. He has always felt comfortable around Teagan because they have a way of communicating to where he doesn’t have to speak, she kind of does the speaking for him. They have fallen into such a rhythm that Teagan doesn’t even seem to realize he has a speech problem, Nick is that good at covering it up.
Teagan has always had a bit of a crush on Nick but has never done anything about it. Nick is a total womanizer and she knows she is slotted firmly in the friend zone. Slowly over time it become apparent to Nick that he is at his most comfortable and happiest when he is around Teagan and he starts to seek her out more and more. Teagan is having a hard time with Nick being there all the time because she cannot seem to date and ends up comparing every man to Nick. It was so much easier to keep him relegated to the back of her mind when he isn’t around all the time.
Eventually their close proximity leads them to a sexual relationship which immediately leads to disaster. Nick freaks out and at a time when Teagan really needs him, he lets her down. Teagan is devastated and realizes she can’t count on Nick to be anything other than the jerk he is so she leaves and returns home. It doesn’t take Nick long to realize how he screwed up but other circumstances keep him from reaching her and telling her how he feels. Now with time in between his screw up and where they are, Nick knows he has to do everything he can to win her back.
Coming Apart at the Seams starts with Nick desperately trying to make amends with Teagan. He can’t seem to get out what he wants to say because his stuttering is at its worst in times of high emotion. These parts of the book will reach right inside your chest and grab at your heart. Ms. Sutton does such a wonderful job of making you feel the desolate emotions Nick is going through trying to get Teagan to listen to him. Because he has never fully explained about his stuttering issues she cannot understand why he won’t talk to her or just spit out what he wants to say. Every confrontation they have seems to end with Nick trying to kiss her and while that is enjoyable, they will never get over what he did to her if they keep on like that.
This was my first book by Jenna Sutton and I can easily say it will not be my last. Coming Apart at the Seams has a fantastic blend of a great love story and some delicious angst. There were times I felt so awful for Nick. He knew he had screwed up and needed t fix it but words had never come easy to him and he couldn’t get Teagan to understand. Eventually he does and things work out but the buildup to that point, is done so perfectly. I really felt for both of them. Overall, this was a win for me and I hope when I start book one, it is just as good. Final grade- B+
Every black-and-white image showed a different view of Riley O’Brien & Co’s signature blue jeans. He was pretty sure the jeans-clad ass in the photos was his own. He chuckled wryly. the banners proved what he’d always known: he was nothing but a giant ass.