One day a week. That was his rule. And it was also our downfall.
My marriage to Hank was one of convenience. When I got pregnant at sixteen, he took me in and kept a roof over my naïve head. We had an agreement—we could sleep with whomever we wanted so long as our children were kept in the dark. It worked great… until it didn’t.
Cocky Jack Swanson was never supposed to be mine. His marriage was open, but his heart was guarded… until he slowly let me in, revealing an alluring man with a painful past. With him, I felt what love could be. I felt wanted… needed. I’d never wanted to fall in love… but then I did.
And now… the rules have changed.
Jack isn’t the same man I fell for. Broken and gutted from his divorce, he’s a shell of who he once was. Sullen and worn down. I know I can bring the good in him back out, if only he’ll let me in. If only he’ll just stay, instead of giving me all his reasons to go
I loathed Jack in the first book in this series, Ten Reasons to Stay. He was godawful. I was convinced there was no way he could ever be redeemed in my eyes, so I was very leery about reading this book. I’m glad I did, and though I’m not sure I’d ever choose Team Jack over Team Corinne, he was able to win a piece of my heart I wasn’t sure I could give him.
I am exceedingly happy that the timelines of Five Reasons and Ten Reasons weren’t entirely concurrent. Jack needed redemption and I don’t think going through all the pain and frustration he cause Corinne and Cole would have allowed him the room he needed to overcome those wrongs. I was happy to see that timeline condensed into a few chapters where we got to see the first building blocks of their relationship, while not delving too extensively into the details of the demise of Jack and Corinne’s relationship from his side.
Jack and Jessica were lovely together. They were both so broken, especially once they reconnected, I’m not sure if either of them would have been able to pull themselves together had they not had one another. They gave each other the strength and support they needed to face what they’d been ignoring. Both Jessica and Jack had fabulous healing arcs in this story, growing from empty shells who were barely surviving to wonderful, thriving people who were full of life and love.
My biggest wish for this book would be some serious continuity issues being fixed. The first was the age of Jessica’s daughter, she went from being twelve (based on the years Jessica had been married) to two years later being 16, then back to 14. There were a few other minor instances, but the age was a huge mistake to overlook. There were also some other grammatical and spelling issues that need to be addressed.
Five Reasons to Stay is the second book in Candace Knoebel’s Risky Hearts duet. It can be read as a standalone, but there was a lot that happened in the first book, Ten Reasons to Stay that help put into perspective how much Jack grew from the beginning of this book until the end of it. Five Reasons to Stay is written in dual first-person perspective, narrated by Jessica and Jack.
One day a week—Thursdays—my husband and I could do whatever or whomever we pleased.
Protection was non-negotiable.
And no matter what, we had to be home by midnight.
Jack was the one who wanted an open marriage, but we were supposed to keep things simple. No strings. No commitments. It seemed so easy…until it wasn’t.
Devilishly handsome Cole Blackwater was only supposed to be a fling, but everything about him made me feel alive. Wanted. Seen. When I realized he was my husband’s boss, I should have broken things off right then…but I didn’t.
One day a week, I could pretend that I was his and he was mine…until Cole wanted more.
But how could I decide between the man I’d promised to love, honor, and cherish, and the man who tempted me to break every single vow I’d made?
Candace Knoebel is a hopeless romantic with an affinity for whiskey and good music. Her love of words began when she met the boy who lived in the cupboard under the stairs. She’s a self-proclaimed Lost Girl. Words are her mirror.
With two completed series, her work ranges from paranormal to contemporary, all centered heavily around romance. Currently, she lives in Florida with her husband and two children and has just completed her thirteenth novel, The Taste of Her Words.