Review: Older by Jennifer Hartmann #NewRelease #ReleaseBlitz

by Jennifer Hartmann
Pub: April 9, 2024
Source: Valentine PR
4.5 stars

Before he discovered my age, he uncovered my heart.

Bruised and abused, and victim to a loveless household, I shimmered with new life the moment he found me drowning my sorrows in a lake beneath the stars.

A chance encounter. An unspoken connection.

I was smitten; he was curious.

But, as everyone knew, fate could be decidedly cruel.

He called me Halley, like the comet.

I called him Reed.

And my best friend?

Well…she called him Dad.


Older is a forbidden, slow-burn, age-gap romance standalone, ending in a HEA.


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After years of physical abuse at the hands of her father, Halley finds an escape and a chance to start again when she is taken in by her best friend's mother. Living in a stable and loving home is foreign to Halley, but even as she revels in her new environment, she struggles with the aftermath of years of abuse. She also can't forget the connection made with an older man at a house party the previous summer. Their interactions were impactful and meaningful and she hopes there can be more... until she learns that the man who has captured her heart is her best friend's father.

One of my favorite aspects of Jennifer Hartmann's writing is her ability to create characters who feel like living, breathing beings, whose every emotion feels like they are my own. Halley and Reed were perfect examples of this. A young woman who desperately needed to be seen - and wanted. And the man who saw her clearly - and wanted her desperately. While theirs was a forbidden love, it never once felt as if Hartmann was writing a trope. This was the story of two people who connected, who loved, and were in an impossible situation. Could a love be right when it was sure to leave so much collateral damage in its wake?
While Older was not as dark as some of Hartmann's previous books, the angst and heartbreak were in full effect. The pining and the longing were delicious torture. And while Hartmann always delivers an HEA, it's a long, heartbreaking road to get there. But for characters and stories as well written as Older, it's so worth the journey.
 4.5 stars


Meet Jennifer

Jennifer Hartmann resides in northern Illinois with her own personal romance hero and three children. When she is not writing angsty love stories, she is likely pondering all the ways she can break your heart and piece it back together again. She enjoys sunsets (because mornings are hard), bike riding, traveling, bingeing Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns, and that time of day when coffee gets replaced by wine. She loves tacos. She also really, really wants to pet your dog.


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  1. Thank you for this review. I may add this one to my list.

  2. I really appreciate that the author didn't rely on cliches or make it too trope-y, but instead crafted a romance that just happened to come out of a hard situation.

    1. Angela - Exactly. It was like the characters cam first and the tropes just happened to follow.

  3. Oh, boy. Just reading your description of this book has me feeling tense. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    1. Deanna - The angst in this one... wow. Less dark that her others but super angsty!

  4. The heroine's background is heartbreaking, so I am sure there was a lot of emotion, but I struggle with this trope.

    1. Sam - Halley's home life was so awful. It was satisfying to see her taken in and shown unconditional love.

  5. Sounds like another Hartmann win that I can't wait to get my hands on!

  6. This sounds messy, but so good! What a difficult situation!

    1. Rachel - Their situation was so impossible most of the book. It was messy, for sure!

  7. I wanted this ARC but I didn't want to overload my schedule. But I'm adding it to my to TBR. I'm happy you enjoyed it.