Title: Things We Left Behind (Knockemout #3)
Author: Lucy Score
Release Date: September 5th, 2023
Standalone/Series: Part of a series
Genre: Adult Fiction – Contemporary – Romance
My rating in stars:
My rating in words:
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
There was only one woman who could set me free. But I would rather set myself on fire than ask Sloane Walton for anything.
Lucian Rollins is a lean, mean vengeance-seeking mogul. On a quest to erase his father’s mark on the family name, he spends every waking minute pulling strings and building an indestructible empire. The more money and power he amasses, the safer he is from threats.
Except when it comes to the feisty small-town librarian that keeps him up at night…
Sloane Walton is a spitfire determined to carry on her father’s quest for justice. She’ll do that just as soon as she figures out exactly what the man she hates did to—or for—her family. Bonded by an old, dark secret from the past and the dislike they now share for each other, Sloane trusts Lucian about as far as she can throw his designer-suited body.
When bickering accidentally turns to foreplay, these two find themselves not quite regretting their steamy one-night stand. Once those flames are fanned, it seems impossible to put them out again. But with Sloane ready to start a family and Lucian refusing to even consider the idea of marriage and kids, these enemies-to-lovers are stuck at an impasse.
Broken men break women. It’s what Lucian believes, what he’s witnessed, and he’s not going to take that chance with Sloane. He’d rather live a life of solitude than put her in danger. But he learns the hard way that leaving her means leaving her unprotected from other threats.
It’s the second time he’s ruthlessly cut her out of his life. There’s no way she’s going to give him a third chance. He’s just going to have to make one for himself.
MY THOUGHTS (spoiler-free):
“He was tall, dark, and evil. I was short, fair, and awesome.”
Lucy Score’s Knockemout series is one of THE discoveries of 2023 for me. I read the first book in the beginning of the year and fell absolutely in LOVE with the town of Knockemout and its inhabitants. And almost ever since that very beginning, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the third book because Sloane and Lucian were so intriguing and entertaining that I NEEDED to know their story. So finally reading their story was bittersweet because it also meant the end of this beloved series and the final time I’d get to read about these characters.
But while bittersweet, it was also an amazing finale and delivered pretty much on all my expectations. Here’s my quick rundown:
Sloane and Lucian’s present: enemies to lovers
We spend about 90% of the book in the present and in that present time, Sloane and Lucian are constantly bickering and fighting to the point where their friends strap period-pain-simulators to both of them to be activated if they can’t get through one dinner without insulting each other (spoiler: they can’t and it’s hilarious). Their chemistry is undeniable however and one day they decide to have a one-night-stand to get each other out of their systems. Which works about as well as you’d think… Their journey was highly entertaining AND steamy (and yes, sometimes frustrating too) as the adorable small-town librarian and the uber intimidating suit daddy slowly find their way back to each other.
Sloane and Lucian’s past: friends to enemies
We FINALLY learn what happened between these two in the past and it is absolutely heartbreaking. Seeing what they were and what they became had my heart going through the ringer. I do wish we had just a tiny bit more of the flashbacks, I wanted to see just a bit more of Sloane and Lucian becoming and being friends before it all fell apart.
Ever since book one, their has been an ongoing mystery going on as well, which came to a climax and resolution in this third and final book. I loved this aspect of the story (I don’t read that much romantic suspense, so I enjoyed seeing it here), but I do have to say that I felt like it was resolved just a bit too quickly and easily.
The rest of the Knockemout crew
While I loved Sloane and Lucian, I have to admit that my favorite scenes were whenever the rest of the Knockemout characters came together. They are all just so amazing and hilarious together, I laughed so much and I just want them to be real and adopt me into their friend group. They’re one of the best found families I’ve ever read. And that brings me to…
The epilogue AND bonus epilogue
Bring on the waterworks because these epilogues were bittersweet perfection! It was the perfect way to end the series.
Overall, I highly recommend this series to anyone who loves small-town romances with loveable characters, amazing found families, lots of steam, humor, emotions and suspense. It really has it all!