'My Heart to Keep' is book #10 in Bailey Bradford's 'Love in Xxchange' series and as excited as I was to read another book in this series part way through I just felt the story slipping away from me.
Things started out interesting enough we have Fred who is the head bartender at the newly revamped and classier Xxchange. Fred's pretty much given up on relationships because he just keeps getting used and emotionally abused. So he's guarding his heart and no ones getting in. That is until Martine shows up. Only Martine is really Remy and he's not having a good life and Fred well...Fred's a kind hearted soul and he decides that Remy needs his help and he's going to give it. Things go not too badly until Remy's past starts coming back to mess with his future. Take all this and add in the reappearance of some favorites Xavier & Chase, Les & Adam, James & Glenn, Josh but sadly no Nick. Still I loved this and I loved how the author worked them into the story they weren't just random appearances each of them had a reason and belonged which made having these familiar characters all the better.
Yet in spite of all this somewhere around the 75% mark I could feel it or maybe I stopped feeling it. The story was slipping away from me, whatever had been holding my attention wasn't there anymore. I was starting to feel like it was the end of the day and everyone was discreetly getting ready for last call so they could grab my drink and push me out the door. Suddenly it was over and while I got an ending to my story I felt a bit, rushed and stilted and just incomplete. Not like there were questions left unanswered just like it was done because it was expected...you know, it's a book and a book needs a beginning, a middle and an ending so here you go here's your ending. It just didn't work for me. I saw somewhere that this is the last book for this series and I've got poking around but sadly found nothing to confirm it one way or the other. Honestly, I hope not I'd love to see more stories with both new and old characters. I'd like to find out what happens to Jeremy he's someone that we meet briefly in this book and there's a definite story to be told there. While I would have enjoyed a better ending...an ending to the series is not what I had in mind.
So here's hoping that there are still a few more drinks to be had at The Xxchange or maybe even over at The Inferno.