Review: This Can’t Be Goodbye by Kelly Siskind

Posted November 24, 2023 by Jen in Contemporary Romance, Rating B, Reviews Tags: , , , ,

Book cover of This Can't Be Goodbye by Kelly SiskindThis Can’t Be Goodbye
Kelly Siskind
Rating: B+

What I’m Talking About:

When the Bower family disappeared from the small town of Windfall, NC, in the middle of the night, without a word, many of the town’s residents were shocked and hurt, including E’s best friend, Avett. This Can’t Be Goodbye shares the story of Avett and Naomi dealing with the pain of losing a friend and how one misunderstanding leads to years of bitterness and misery.

This Can’t Be Goodbye was originally released as a free prequel novella under the name 5 Tricks to Seducing Your Enemy. The new title has been re-written to include the POVs of both Avett and Naomi, along with the addition of new scenes. Both changes were needed and successfully add much value to the story. 

Avett Lewis, a regimented veterinarian on a five-year plan, has had a crush on Naomi since high school, and they became good friends after E’s family left town. But after Avett sabotaged Naomi’s bid for class president in high school, she never spoke to him again. He’s never understood why until he finds out there was a big misunderstanding, and now he wants to clear the air. I appreciate that Avett discovers the misunderstanding early in the story so that the bulk of the book is spent on the pair learning to be a couple. After years of grudges and hurt, I love that each is willing to open up the lines of communication and address the mistakes of the past. Seeing the relationship and past from both POVs balances the story and allows me to walk in the shoes of both characters, making me care about them as a couple. 

While Avett and Naomi get their HEA (no spoilers, this is a romance!), their journey isn’t easy, and at times, love isn’t enough. They are on different paths and it’s heartbreaking. My favorite line from the book says it all: “I’m on the treadmill of life Naomi hates, my future mapped out, taking me where I always thought I wanted to go. Except, somehow, she has altered the speed and incline and everything’s getting harder.”

In the end, This Can’t Be Goodbye is a wonderful addition to the Bower Boys series that can be enjoyed as a standalone romance, introduction to the series, or a lovely return visit to Windfall.

My Rating:  B+

About the Book:

She’s the bane of my existence and the last woman I should want.
Then why does learning we can’t be together damn near shred my heart?

Naomi James holds a grudge like it’s an Olympic competition.

She’s always in front of me in line for our coffees, going out of her way to annoy me—not advancing when she should, paying in pennies and nickels—all because I did something stupid seven years ago.

Even worse, the slope of her long neck and smell of her tropical perfume drives me to distraction.

Apparently, my body didn’t get the we-hate-Naomi memo.

She’s so aggravating, I have half a mind to quit frequenting my favorite coffee shop. Until I discover why she’s harbored a grudge this long.

Now all bets are off, because hell. She thinks I said awful things about her, which I most certainly did not, and I can’t live with this misunderstanding. Or how often she invades my dreams. Or the fact that I’ve wanted her for seven years.

But just when Naomi looks ready to forgive me and admit she’s angry because she cares, any future together gets ripped away from us…

Release Date: November 29, 2023
Publisher: Self-Published
Bower Boys prequel
Contemporary Romance, novella
Book Source: Author

Purchase Info:
Amazon (affiliate link)

Reviews in the Series:
50 Ways to Win Back Your Lover by Kelly Siskind (Bower Boys #1)
10 Signs You Need to Grovel by Kelly Siskind (Bower Boys #2)
6 Clues Your Nemesis Loves You by Kelly Siskind (Bower Boys #3)
4 Hints You Love Your Best Friend by Kelly Siskind (Bower Boys #4)
7 Steps to Seducing Your Fake Fiancé by Kelly Siskind (Bower Boys #5)