An Ounce of Hope (A Pound of Flesh Book 3) by Sophie Jackson (Epub)



Ebook Info

  • Published: 2016
  • Number of pages: 385 pages
  • Format: Epub
  • File Size: 0.70 MB
  • Authors: Sophie Jackson


From the fanfic phenom whose debut A Pound of Flesh had over 4.5 million reads, this sequel, An Ounce of Hope, tells the passionate love story of Carter’s best friend, Max.

Max O’Hare can’t seem to let go of his past: his drug habit, the end of his relationship with Lizzie Jordan, the woman he knows he’ll never get over, and the loss of their unborn son.

After successfully completing rehab and learning to explore his deepest fears and dreams through painting, Max meets Grace Brooks. With her innate optimism, and her love of art and photography, Grace appears to be the perfect girl. Yet no one knows where she came from, or why she keeps her past so closely guarded. Over time, Max and Grace gradually allow each other in—but will he ever be able to fully let go of his past? Or will his heart remain closed forever?

User’s Reviews

Sophie Jackson writes fanfiction under the online handle Jaxon22. She is the author of the award-winning A Pound of Flesh series, including the e-novellas Love and Always and Fate and Forever. Follow her on Twitter: @SophieJax Review Jackson’s newest installment to her heart-stopping series, A Pound of Flesh, is capable of blowing your mind. This romance contains loads of passionate moments where we finally get to witness Max’s story Romantic Times [Sophie] writes the type of stories today’s reader wants: beautifully created characters filled with emotion, and a storyline that sticks with you long after you turn the last page — Tara Sue Me, New York Times bestselling author of the Submissive series Max and Grace’s story has truly left an imprint on my heart. They made the most adorable couple and I was invested in their relationship from start to finish. The pair had been through so much heartache and I just wanted to see them find their fairytale ending. An Ounce of Hope has captured my heart and although there were times where I felt as though my heart was being torn in two, I loved everything that I was reading Hopeless Romantics A Pound of Flesh is an intriguing tale of acceptance, and understanding, and finding love in unexpected circumstances. What sets it apart from others is the way Sophie weaves storylines to build suspense before everything ultimately comes together, leaving the reader guessing and gasping until the very end — J. M. Darhower –This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition. Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. An Ounce of Hope 1 The first time Max O’Hare thought about taking his life was the day of his father’s funeral. It was a bleak mid-October morning, the kind where wind whips at your face, and rain doesn’t fall, but pours in torrents and makes even the most happy-go-lucky of assholes consider what the hell they were cheerful about in the first place. Max had watched them lower his father’s casket into the ground, right next to Hazel O’Hare’s, Max’s mother. The beautiful headstone above her plot, which showed in stunning gold lettering how she was only twenty-six when she was killed in a head-on collision on her way to her son’s second birthday party, now had a neighbor. After a courageous eighteen-month battle with pancreatic cancer, Connor O’Hare had finally succumbed to the cruel disease at the age of forty-five, leaving Max an orphan. An orphan who couldn’t help but wonder just what the fuck he was meant to do with his life. Sure, there was the family business, a specialist auto body shop where Max had learned his father’s trade as a mechanic with an enthusiastic eye and a hero-worshipping ear, but that shit became superfluous when Connor was no longer able to work. The fuck hot muscle cars and the roaring engines; none of it mattered. All that mattered was when the next round of chemo was, and what ridiculous figure the medical bills were amounting to. Not that Max’s father ever complained or worried about that. He’d smile when Max started to stress about appointments and money, and tell him life was too damned short to sweat the small stuff. But that was the way Connor O’Hare was. Maybe that’s why he never lost his shit when, as a teenager, Max was brought home numerous times in a police cruiser, or when he was arrested for dope possession and car boosting. You’ll find your way, his father would say with a disappointed shrug that made Max’s teeth grind in guilt; these are just bumps in the road, son. Max wasn’t so sure, but similarly, he didn’t know why he got into the shit he did. Boredom maybe? Hell, he couldn’t even use having a shitty home life as an excuse. His father was a good man who did his best raising his son alone. No. Max was a law unto himself, his own worst enemy. He wished to be strong like his dad, noble and dedicated, but he failed every damned time. True to form, Max’s father’s battle against his illness was valiant, and he stayed brave to the very end, but his death wasn’t that of a warrior. It wasn’t romantic. There were no whispered words of love or declarations of life lessons and regret, what with him being unable to speak—the cancer had affected his lungs and throat by then. Max simply watched his father become more and more ravaged by an illness, which stole away the tough vibrancy he’d known and respected. All that was left was an aged shell of a man who slipped away in his sleep while Max held his hand from his permanent vigil at the side of the hospital bed. Such was the grief that gripped Max, that he didn’t even cry. His eyes stayed resolutely dry, as though sorrow blocked every part of him, every tear duct, vein, and artery. Yeah, that shit was grim. He had friends around him, of course. Friends—who were more like family—and were prepared to bend over backward for him. Anything we can do. I’m here if you want to talk. Jesus, he could barely get out of bed in the morning and they were expecting him to talk. He appreciated it, sure, but their words were breaths on a breeze that, as time passed, continued to guide Max into a dark depression. That darkness culminated in his downing a bottle of vodka and snorting a dozen lines of coke, while staring passively at a bottle of pills he’d found among his father’s things. It’d be so easy, he’d thought. So fucking easy. And painless. That’s what he wanted above all other things: a pain-free existence. But he hadn’t gone through with it. Cowardice was not something Max was proud of, but, like his best friend, Carter, had explained: he was twenty years old and had his whole life to live. And live it he did. He got shitfaced, fucked women, dealt in shit he had no business getting involved in, became a regular dealer, got shot at, got arrested, got bailed . . . rinse and repeat. Not a life so much as an extended hangover, punctuated with pockets of deliriousness. He kept the body shop afloat with the money he made from dealing, paid his employees, and partied from sunset to sunrise. And as the months passed, the pain Max had felt the day of the funeral slowly ebbed, leaving a numbness in which he freely basked. He didn’t feel pain. Christ, he didn’t feel anything. And that was just fine. He doubted he’d ever feel again. He wasn’t sure he even wanted to. Until she tumbled into his life . . . Max lifted his eyes from the sumptuous cream carpet under his feet, settling them on the man sitting opposite him. Elliot waited patiently for Max to say something else, but Max knew he was done. He’d said more than he’d wanted to already. He hadn’t spoken about his father for a long time and scratching at that particular scab was as agonizing as it had been on the day of the funeral eight years before. He reached for the glass of water on the small wooden table at the side of his chair and took a long sip. The silence was suffocating in its expectancy, causing Max to fidget and shift in his seat. “From your quiet, I assume we’re done for the day.” Elliot smiled and wrote quickly on the legal pad resting, as it always did, on his knee. Max didn’t answer, but took a deep breath, knowing he’d been let off the hook. Max had learned quickly that Dr. Elliot Watts was a persistent bastard. Yeah, he was a therapist and that shit was his job, but he’d been relentless from the get-go. Nevertheless, Max had to admit he liked him, no matter what dark paths of the past the doc asked him to travel. “You made some good progress here today, Max,” Elliot continued with a small nod. “I know talking about your father isn’t easy.” Yeah, no shit. Scribble, scribble. “So, you’re fifteen days in. How are you finding the medication?” Max shrugged. He was on a plethora of funky-looking pills, which he had to take each morning: antidepressants, Ritalin, amantadine. Each one had a very specific purpose in helping with the aching despair, sleepless nights, and the cravings. And they did. For the most part. Hell, drugs were drugs. They weren’t the drugs he wanted, the drugs he knew would kick his anxiety’s ass, the drugs that would stop his dick from being a flaccid waste of time, the drugs that would supress the monstrous appetite that was adding to his waistline, the drugs that beckoned like a fucking siren’s call every time he tried to close his eyes at night. But drugs were drugs. With every half-assed beat of his heart, his blood moved sluggishly around his body. It was desperate for the fire of a line, the life, the euphoric detachment. Jesus, he needed a hit. Just one fucking hit. Elliot sat up a little straighter, as if sensing the hunger that practically crippled Max from the inside out. “How are the night terrors?” Dread seized Max’s bones. He swallowed and rubbed his hands together. His discomfort spoke volumes. The night terrors were just that: terrifying. Nightmares so vivid and distressing the mere thought of sleep left Max cold. They’d started just days off the powder, just days after he’d been admitted, and, despite Elliot’s prescribed medication, they weren’t abating. The bags under his eyes could attest to that shit. “We can increase the dose if you need it, Max,” Elliot said softly. “You need your rest.” Max sighed and gave an imperceptible dip of his chin, his pride unable to outweigh the fear of what waited for him when he slept. “Okay. I’ll get that changed for you.” “Thank you.” Max’s voice was quiet, but his gratitude was immeasurable. “Do you want to talk about the terrors?” “No.” Max rubbed at his temples, where the grotesque images that accosted him at night threatened to claw out. Elliot’s silence made Max lift his head. “That bad.” Max pulled the hood of his sweatshirt farther around his face, burying himself in an attempt to hide. He wore his hood up for both his individual and the group sessions, and weirdly, Elliot didn’t seem to mind. Max wasn’t entirely sure why he did it, but it helped take the edge off the stress he felt at the thought of talking to strangers about shit that had happened years ago. It was a cocoon, a wall that made his stay in rehab a little bit easier. “Maybe you could write about the terrors in the notebook I gave you last week. I know it’s still empty.” Elliot smiled wryly at the derisive look Max shot him. Writing in a fucking notebook? No, thanks. “Fine, look,” Elliot said, sitting forward, “you know where I am if you want to talk more. We’re all here to help you through this. You’re not alone, okay?” Max scoffed inwardly, holding his eye roll. Sure, he was surrounded by people who had his “very best interests at heart,” people who wanted to “help him get clean,” wanted to “talk it all out together,” wanted to make sure that he was “comfortable,” “at ease,” and not frantic with the need to bust out of the fucking place and find the nearest junkie stash. Yeah, he was well and truly surrounded by well-meaning folk. And he’d never felt more alone. –This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition. Read more

Reviews from Amazon users, collected at the time the book is getting published on UniedVRG. It can be related to shiping or paper quality instead of the book content:

⭐ We barely got to know Max in “A Pound of Flesh,” but I was curious to know everything about his story. In the previous book, we learned Max was left devastated and heartbroken after the death of his son and his fiancée leaving him. He was about to hit rock bottom when his best friend, Carter, basically picked him up and took him to rehab. Through psychological and art therapy, Max is finally able to kick his cocaine addiction and attempt to move on with his life.When Max meets Grace, another wounded soul, while spending time with family away from New York and his old haunts, he begins to soften some of the sharp, hard edges he has taken on as his “body armor” of protection against “feeling” anything ever again. The journey these two embark on toward finding themselves and life again is both heartwarming and heartwrenching. Sophie Jackson takes us on, at times, a wild roller coaster ride of emotions. There are definitely some fun, happy times for these two characters as well as tears. It is a journey I loved traveling with them.

⭐ Loved. This. Book.Oh, the feels.I so loved Book 1 in this series, and I Max’s struggles just broke my heart. I desperately wanted to see him overcome his addiction and find the HEA he deserved.This story of second chances and beating demons was intense and emotional and had me hanging on every word, hoping for the ending I wanted. Max and Grace’s story touched me deeply. Two souls in need of healing but afraid of getting broken again. The writing was beautiful, the story was beautiful, and the emotions it invoked were beautiful. It both broke my heart and warmed my heart.I highly recommend this book. Especially if you were a fan of Book 1 (A Pound of Flesh). Though this book could be read as a standalone, I suggest reading Book 1 first. It gives you insight into the other characters mentioned in the story and the events that led up to where this story begins. And it’s a great book.This is one of my favorite reads so far this year.

⭐ A Pound of Flesh is an amazing story that was so rich in character development and a beautiful story of Carter and Kat. While this book also displayed the authors obvious writing talent, it left me wanting So Much More. I’m not a fan of friends with benefits stories and didn’t realize that’s what this was when I started it. I wanted to really like Max, I just kind of liked him. I was so looking forward to his story after reading the first book. Grace was sweet, but kind of lack luster. The ending definitely left me wanting something more than, we care about each other, let’s see where this goes…. I’m going to finish the novellas for Carter and Kat’s story. I can’t get enough of them!!!

⭐ So much loss has devastated Max and he tries to kill the pain with drugs. Luckily he has good friends that got him help. He finds the strength within himself with his wonderful support of family and friends.The nightmare Grace had survived broke my heart. Her resilience and fortitude was admirable.I loved Tates t shirts. Their sayings were hilarious.

⭐ Great!!!!!

⭐ 5 stars!!!Sophia Jackson has done it again. This story was amazingly written! With redemption; then came hope and love!!!! Who wouldn’t fall in love with a story like this????

⭐ I just loved this book. I was not a huge fan of Max in the first book but he redeemed himself and I just loved his whole story!!

⭐ Such an amazing story. I completely enjoyed reading about Max and Grace and their incredible journey. (Sophie did a fantastic job. Again)

⭐ Beautiful and amazing story about how you overcome your fears and let love win.

⭐ I absolutely loved Sophie Jackson’s A Pound of Flesh last year, so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on more of the series! An Ounce of Hope is Max’s story, Carter’s best friend and a cocaine addict. I wasn’t particularly a fan of his in APoF, but I found myself rooting for him and hurting for him so much in his book. An Ounce of Hope is an intense, emotional romance between two broken people as they struggle to heal and build a new life for themselves. It was a little slow at times, but overall, it’s another stunning read from Sophie Jackson.The death of his unborn baby and loss of his fiancé had Max spiraling down into a dangerous coke addiction, but with the help of his best friend, Max is finally entering rehab and on the way to recovery. And with his therapist and art, Max has found a way to curb his addiction and rebuild his life once more. His heart is still broken over Lizzie, but when he meets Grace after leaving rehab, she seems to breathe life into him, even if he won’t allow himself to go through such heartbreak again.Grace had an abusive ex-husband who left her physically and emotionally scarred. She’s terrified of men, unsure of so many things in her life, but the one exception seems to be Max. With Max, Grace can open up her bruised heart and see herself creating a new, better life for herself. The two of them become close friends, but when their relationship crosses over into something sexual, feelings start to develop – but can Max reciprocate them and be the kind of man Grace needs?An Ounce of Hope is an emotionally exhausting story. It’s a tough journey for both Max and Grace, but you have high hopes for the both of them, because these are the kind of characters who deserve something good in their lives. They’ve been through such difficult times, but they come out of it even stronger. I really enjoyed their romance – it wasn’t easy to read, and sometimes it dragged it bit, but Sophie Jackson has woven a fantastic story about loss, healing, and recovery that I really recommend.


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