Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Backwoods by Jill Sorenson

Title: Backwoods 
Author: Jill Sorenson
My Rating: B+

Genre: Romantic Suspense 
Series: Aftershock #4
Main Characters: Abby and Nathan
Release Date: May 2014
Publisher: Harlequin
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
The more you trust, the more you risk… 

When plans for a wilderness retreat with her teenage daughter Brooke go awry, Abby Hammond reluctantly pairs up with Brooke's stepbrother and his dad, Nathan Strom, for the weeklong trek. The only thing Abby has in common with the bad-boy former pro athlete is that their exes cheated with each other. That…and a visceral attraction that's growing more complicated with every step through the picturesque woods. 

Nathan's wild-card reputation lost him his career and his family. After years of regret, he's ready to fight for what truly matters—and that includes Abby's hard-won trust. When Brooke goes missing, Nathan knows he's her best and only hope of rescue. But the deeper into the rugged mountains they go, the more dangerous the territory will prove—for their safety and for their hearts.

My Review:
For the first half of the reading of this book, I felt like I was watching a horror movie. They are hiking in the woods and you know something bad is going to happen, but just don't know when it's going to occur. That sense of suspense was definitely there for me throughout the first half of the book and I kind of liked that. With that being said, the build-up to that something happening lasted so long...it felt a bit anti-climatic when it did happen because "the bad thing" just wasn't that momentous of an event in the book. In fact, the actual first contact happened off the page and the reader didn't find out about it until a couple of hours after it happened. After all that build-up, I just expected some heart-pounding action and suspense and danger. Don't get me wrong...there was some of that, but what was there was fairly shortly lived in the book. But that was my only real complaint about the book. The rest of it was really good. 

There were two romantic stories in the book....Nathan and Abby; and Leo and Brooke. They are on a backwoods backpacking trip. The only one who's truly excited about being there is Brooke...everyone else ended up there through a bizarre set of circumstances. 18 yo Brooke and 19 yo Leo are step-siblings. Leo's in trouble with his parents and he's been forced to come because they hold the purse strings. He's also incredibly attracted to Brooke although knows that the family situation makes them a REALLY bad idea. Nathan is Leo's dad and he fills in for the other set of parents who have to cancel at the last minute. Leo and Nathan do not get along. Abby is Brooke's mom and she came along just because she knows that Brooke's father is unreliable (he's the one who cancelled last minute) and she doesn't want Brooke to end up abandoned somewhere in the forest.

It's an interesting family dynamic. Everyone here is related, but the adults don't know each other at all, even though they are all family. Immediately, there are sparks between Abby and Nathan. But the same thing that is keeping Brooke and Leo apart is holding them back too. They already have a complicated family situation (their ex's are married to each other now) and it will just mire things more for them to become involved. It's really complex, but I liked that. Their reasons for staying apart are good ones, but their circumstances make bonding between them inevitable. This is a high-stress situation where they relied upon one another for life. Before the life-threatening part occurred, they had already connected by friendship and respect. The danger aspect just made them that much closer. 

And both Nathan and Abby are great characters. Nathan is a recovering alcoholic. He knows that his marriage fell apart because of his mistakes. He's also made some awful choices as Leo's father. That's one of the things that binds him and Abby. She counsels him a bit about where he's handling his son wrong and hurting both of them. Abby is a survivor from the earthquake. When it happened, Brooke was home alone and Abby was trapped in her car for 3 days. She has lingering mental/stress issues because of that. Nathan helps to see that she isn't weak because of that. I liked the two of them together. This was a great example of a good relationship making each person stronger. They were both definitely better people by knowing each other. 

I enjoyed the book. I enjoyed the backwoods setting. (I want those hot springs!) I enjoyed both romantic story lines. I'm hoping that we get to see more of Brooke and Leo after a few years pass. Their story is most definitely not done. As well as Wyatt...I would love to see what Jill Sorenson does with him in the future...she's incredible with wounded scarred characters and that kid most definitely has issues, but you could see his good heart in this one. Definite future hero material.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

1 comment:

Felicia S said...

Eventually I will try Jill :)