Thank you to Chloe Walsh, Bloom, and Raincoast for the new Bloom edition of Keeping 13, the second book in the Boys of Tommen series.
Did I dive into Keeping 13 basically one minute after finishing Binding 13, yup I definitely did! What a cliffhanger, maybe one of the most brutal I have read this year. This book wrecked me even harder than Binding 13, it had me bawling my eyes out.
Falling in love was the easy part. What comes next is the test. Johnny Kavanagh’s first, last, and only true love has always been rugby…until now. Following a devastating injury that has left him stripped of his beloved number 13 jersey, Johnny struggles to hold onto his dreams as they crumble around him. Lost and desperate, he sets his sights on unraveling the mystery of the girl with the midnight-blue eyes who haunts his every waking Shannon Lynch. But navigating the future, even together, isn’t as easy as it once seemed. Keeping secrets has never been a problem for Shannon. The life she was born into demands nothing less. After all, demons and evil men don’t just exist in fairytales―they exist in her world, too. Traumatized beyond repair after her return from Dublin and desperate to protect her little brothers, Shannon finds herself struggling like never before, barely keeping her head above water. Her walls are up and her trust is shaken, and only one boy has the ability to reach her heart. But when new truths come to light and old wounds are reopened, will love be enough to help them heal, or is their future forever broken?
Check out my more detailed thoughts below…
- Characters: Johnny and Shannon have my heart! This book took all our characters on such an emotional journey. I want to ensure I do not spoil the events of this sequel, but I thought the worst was behind Shannon and her brothers Joey, Tahdg, Ollie, and Sean, but it was not. I will not get over the emotional wrecking ball that is this story and neither will Joey (I cannot wait to read Saving 6, I need to know that Joey and Aoife are going to be okay!). Chloe Walsh has pulled off what I love in an ensemble story when the side characters are so rich that you cannot wait to devour their stories too.
- Setting: This story is set in 2005 Ireland, in the small town of Ballylaggin and I had no idea just how attached I would get to this town and all the people in it. I love all the Irish slang and the early 2000s references. This small Irish town matches the heaviness of the book perfectly.
- Pacing: I read this book in a few days, back to back with Binding 13. It made me stay up late and get up early to read, which is always a good sign of just how much a book is enthralling me. I do feel the need to say that I still find this series too long and I will be interested to see how the lengths affect future instalments.
- Romance: I adore Shannon and Johnny and their relationship. This book features their physical relationship much more than the previous instalment. As they are given so many more moments to be alone together in their feelings. I adored the reformed gentleman Johnny, matched against the bolder Shannon who in falling in love with Johnny grew her confidence and willingness to ask not just for what she wanted, but what she deserved.
Keeping 13 receives four out of five stars.
You can pick up the story below…
Thank you again to Bloom and Raincoast for the review opportunity. Thank you for reading and su