Author: Jen Frederick
My Rating: B+
Narrator: Connor Kelly-Eiding and Andrew Eiden
Genre: New Adult
Series: The Woodlands #1
Main Characters: Grace and Noah
Release Date: September 2014
Publisher: Pear Tree LLC
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy
For four years, Grace Sullivan wrote to a Marine she never met, and fell in love. But when his deployment ended, so did the letters. Ever since that day, Grace has been coasting, academically and emotionally. The one thing she's decided? No way is Noah Jackson - or any man - ever going to break her heart again.
Noah has always known exactly what he wants out of life. Success. Stability. Control. That's why he joined the Marines, and that's why he's fighting his way - literally - through college. Now that he's got the rest of his life on track, he has one last conquest: Grace Sullivan. But since he was the one who stopped writing, he knows that winning her back will be his biggest battle yet.My Review:
The beginning of this book started out so good. I loved the fact that Grace and Noah had been pen pals for four years because it built up so much history and emotion between them.
I had an issue with the fact that Grace is 19 in this book. I loved the idea that the two of them truly fell in love during their correspondence, but with the timeline between the two of them, that meant Grace was ages 13-17 while they corresponded. Okay, yeah....now I'm liking the beginning of that story line a whole lot less. Noah would have been a grown man while Grace was little more than a child throughout most of their correspondence. Now, that whole aspect that I loved is feeling more than a little icky.
Luckily, I didn't really do the math throughout most of the first half of the book so that didn't occur to me until later. By that time, I was enjoying the story.
And I did enjoy this story overall. It's a New Adult romance so there's a lot of immaturity and angst on the part of Grace. She's young and the author wrote her that way. She's only 19 and doesn't know how to aim her life, unlike Noah who's much older and has been on his own with goals and reasons for life for a long time at this point. The two just seemed like they were at such different stages in life, even though they are both in college.
I liked how devoted Noah is to winning her. He's dreamt of her for years (yeah, there's that ick factor again...2 years before he dumped her and she was only 17...not even legal...ew. I just really wish the author had made her at least a couple of years older) and now he sees this as his opportunity. He came to this college specifically to win her heart and I do love his devotion.
The Woodlands is the name of this series and there are 5 guys total who live in this gorgeous house out at the Woodlands. Noah is the first to have his story told, but I liked all the guys, especially his best friend, Beau. I definitely plan to read more in the series because the book was written really well and it was interesting. My main issue was with the age thing, but everything else about it was actually pretty good. It stalled out a bit at the end, but overall I enjoyed it. I just wish that the rest of the series was available on audio too.
Note...the audiobook is done by two narrators because the book is broken into two POV's...both in first person, alternating between the hero and heroine. So there is a male and a female narrator. Both the narrators on the audiobook were VERY good. Noah has a bit of a southern drawl and they both did pretty good with him, although I will admit, I liked the male's version just a slight bit better.