Shelter (Getaway #2) by Jay Crownover
His life is chaos and confusion. It’s a storm of uncertainty and raging emotion.
Sutton Warner is a mess. Everything in his life feels like it’s unraveling.
He’s let a lot of people down lately, including his daughter. Sutton always promised his little girl he would never disappoint her and that he would always be there when she needed him. Until he wasn’t.
The truth is, he’s used to disappointing the women in his life. First was his mother who couldn’t find a reason to stick around when he was growing up. Then there’s his ex. The woman who takes unbridled delight in making his life incredibly complicated.
Luckily, his daughter is still young enough to believe her old man is some kind of hero. But, he knows the day is coming when she realizes the truth, that he’s just a man with some serious flaws and a list of ever-growing weaknesses.
Finally, there’s the woman he’s desperately trying to forget with every shot tossed back and each pill popped.
He more than disappointed Emrys…he almost got her killed.
Her love is steady and sure. It’s a shelter shaped by conviction and silent assurance.
Emrys Santos is lost. Everything in her life feels pointless and futile.
She’s been busy running away from her feelings and all the people who love her the most—including her best friend, the one person who knows exactly what she’s been through. They promised to always stick together and to lean on one another. It was a promise Em had to break so she could lick her wounds and figure out her next move. For once, there is no easy way out of the tangled web of emotions she’s caught up in, and right now, she recognizes that all roads lead back to Wyoming…and back to Sutton.
The man she nearly got killed.
I liked Sutton's story way better than Cy's and not because Sutton was a better man than Cy was. I just liked the interaction between Sutton and Emrys more than I did between Cy and Leo.
Cy and Leo took so long to get their shit sorted in Retreat that I just didn’t enjoy their story as much. Sutton and Emrys form a strong, though damaged, relationship of their own in Retreat, so I felt like there was less background building that needed to be done before you felt invested. I will say that getting more of Leo in Shelter has me liking her a lot more.
Sutton and Em are dealing with some major fallout from their shared experience in Retreat. Both felt like they let the other one down in the worst possible way when the complete opposite was true. They both experienced something horrible and neither one of them handled the aftermath well. Of the two, Emrys seemed to be the stronger. Sutton had strength but that strength also turned into his weakness when he couldn’t reconcile what happened with how he felt he should have protected Em.
And, while Retreat had a conflict that was pretty straight forward, Shelter does have a satisfying mystery woven into Sutton and Em’s story. I thought I knew who was behind all the crazy stuff happening to Sutton until about 70% in when I found out I knew nothing. It added a nice unexpected twist to a story I thought I had figured out.
But my favorite part of this book was that Sutton and Em weren’t tied into what everyone expected of them. They worked through their trials and the decision that Sutton made at the end is not one I would have seen one of the brothers making. Sutton being able to admit that the ranch might not be the place he could be happiest, and his family being strong enough to support his choice, makes me love these brothers even more.