Jenna and Preston’s story: She’ll have to let go of the past in order to find a love that could last a lifetime. All I wanted when I moved to Fairhope was to disappear. I wanted to become a ghost. A stranger to everyone who knew me before, including my parents. Especially my parents. I never expected to become someone. A friend. A faithful employee. A scholar. And least of all, a lover. Love is a word I never truly understood until I moved here and witnessed it with my own eyes. My own heart. I always believed love was a fairy tale, and now that I’m starting to fall for Fairhope’s most eligible billionaire, Preston Wright, it all feels like some cruel joke. A dream I need to shake myself out of before it’s too late. Before I make the same mistakes my mother made and end up right back where I started. I know I should stay as far away from him as possible, but fate keeps pulling us back together. I’ve never been so afraid of something in my life. And I’ve never wanted someone more.
While each book in the Fairhope series can be read as a stand-alone, some characters interactions and events will be more meaningful if you follow this series from the beginning.
Jenna Lewis has spent the past three and half plus years doing everything she possibly can to get by. She works full time, she is finishing her college degree and, when she is able, she spends time with her friends. Since she left her hometown and family behind, Jenna has done everything within her power to forget her wretched past and move forward with her life. It will be a cold day in Hell before Jenna gets sucked back into her family’s drama and Hell will have actually frozen over before Jenna becomes like her mother.
Preston Wright is spoiled rotten and he knows it. He also hates it. As a member of the ultra-wealthy Wright family, Preston has never wanted for anything in his life. He has money, he has a built-in, waiting for him to get out of college job at the family firm and, he can have any woman he sets his sights on. Preston also has a mother who is consumed with her son marrying the right sort of girl, a father who is convinced only his son can follow in his footsteps and, he has a bevy of beauties lined up and wanting Preston for his money and the prestige his name will bring them. It will be a cold day in Hell before Preston marries a woman chosen by his mother and Hell will have actually frozen over before Preston gives up on the hope of having Jenna Lewis.
Jenna is always keenly aware of her economic status in relation to her friends. Though her friends couldn’t care less about Jenna’s bank account, everyone knows Jenna is barely scraping by. Her stubbornness and fierce determination to make her own way makes it hard for Jenna to be comfortable around men or comfortable making herself available to any man for more than a night or two. Heaven help the man who tries to “take care” of Jenna or buy her gift. Charity is a no-go since the larger the gift, the closer Jenna comes to becoming her mother.
Preston’s laser-focus on Jenna is not just uncomfortable but unsettling. For months he has slowly worked to get to know Jenna better even though she has given very little indication of her own interest in him. If only Preston knew . . . .Jenna certainly has an interest in Preston but her own stubbornness and intense desire to remain independent keeps her from acting on her own feelings. Jenna really doesn’t give a crap about Preston’s name and money; in fact, Jenna wants very much to get close to Preston without him spending lavish amounts on her. With a no-strings-attached deal in place, Jenna and Preston enjoy one another’s company both publically and privately but neither are prepared for the depth of their emotions. When push comes to shove and Jenna’s past comes crashing into her present, the fallout from her decisions leaves everyone reeling and her future looking very dark indeed.
The Bottom Line: I very much enjoyed The Fear of Letting Go in large part because of the strong characters and themes woven throughout the read. Jenna and Preston are both incredibly strong individuals who are both rebelling against what is expected of them. Jenna is desperate to make her own way and avoid any hint of her mother’s behavior and Preston is almost stupidly determined to avoid doing what is his parents expect from him. Surprisingly, these two incredibly strong people come together rather than clash and when the end rolls around, they discover their strength is not just something they have as individuals but something that is enhanced through their partnership. Aside from love, The Fear of Letting Go also touches on the themes of friendship and selflessness. This tight-knit group of friends don’t just like one another, they genuinely care about each other. There is such a strong bond between each of the characters and as the story progresses we see how each and every member of the group does whatever is necessary to support each other. In all, Sarra Cannon has produced another strong, emotional and, simply good read. It can certainly be read as a standalone but I highly recommend reading the other books in the series in order to enrich your reading of this title.
Sarra Cannon writes contemporary and paranormal fiction with both teen and college aged characters. Her novels often stem from her own experiences growing up in the small town of Hawkinsville, Georgia, where she learned that being popular always comes at a price and relationships are rarely as simple as they seem. Her best-selling Young Adult paranormal series, Peachville High Demons, has sold over 175,000 copies and been featured on Amazon’s Top 100 eBooks of 2012 for Children & Teens. A spin-off series will begin in late 2014 with Emerald Darkness. She is a devoted (obsessed) fan of Hello Kitty and has an extensive collection that decorates her desk as she writes. She currently lives in South Carolina with her amazingly supportive husband and her adorable son.