Lesson Learned by Peri Elizabeth Scott

Lesson Learned by Peri Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short story (55 pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Adrian Matsakis is a successful businessman with terrible luck in personal relationships. His ex-wife wrecked him, and when he tried again with Jessie Brandt, she too betrayed him.

He is shocked and outraged to learn he has a son with her and is determined to take custody. He’s never forgotten Jessie but can’t forgive her, especially now.

Forewarned of Adrian’s intent, Jessie preempts him by inviting him to co-parent, and he reins himself in. He can’t resist reminding her of her perfidy, however, just as she continues to maintain her innocence.
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They struggle against the chemistry—and more—sparking between them, and when Adrian double checks the facts around Jessie’s supposed betrayal, he’s staggered to learn the evidence was planted.

He sets out to make amends, and Jessie must decide if she’ll allow him back into her heart, and give Adrian a place to finally call home.

Jessie had been devastated when Adrian threw her out, but she refused to try and mend their relationship when it had so clearly been one-sided all this time. Discovering she was pregnant hadn’t changed her mind and she was determined to raise her son as best she could without anything at all from Adrian. However, when Adrian learned about their child, he was determined to be part of the child’s life, no matter what it took.

I initially found it really difficult to like Adrian’s character. While I felt bad he’d been horribly used by his ex-wife in the past, for the first few chapters I didn’t feel this justified his behavior towards Jessie – a completely different woman who didn’t even know Adrian’s ex-wofe. Adrian’s distrust and attitude towards Jessie and their child was quite a turn-off for me. I was grateful when Adrian’s initial reaction settled down and he acted more maturely and responsibly.

While it took me a while to warm up to Adrian’s character, I related to Jessie’s character straight away. I also was pretty impressed with how calm she was to Adrian crashing back into her life and how willing she was to include him in their child’s world. If I’m honest I’m not sure I could have acted as graciously and so while I’m not certain Jessie’s complete acceptance is realistic, but it certainly made the story smoother and my enjoyment of it as a whole, a lot better.

I was pleased with Jessie’s backbone during her and Adrian’s discussions and overall felt this plot of them settling the past and deciding to try and reconnect to build a family unit took up the vast bulk of the storyline. I’m not sure I really believed in the longevity of their relationship – Adrian carried some deep scars from his ex-wife and had proven to be fairly hotheaded and blind when it comes to certain matters of trust. I did feel though that both he and Jessie were determined to work on their relationship and absolutely do their best by their son, so while this wasn’t what I would classify as a traditional romance or happy ever after I think plenty of readers will enjoy the story and be pleased Adrian and Jessie could find each other again.

Not your average romance, this story is in many ways realistic and messy but still satisfying and easy to read.

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