Series: Woodlands #4
on April 13, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Winter Donovan loves two things: her sister and her sister's ex boyfriend. She's spent her whole life doing the right thing except that one time, that night when Finn O'Malley looked hollowed out by his father's death. Then she did something very wrong that felt terribly right.
Finn can't stop thinking about Winter and the night and he'll do anything to make her a permanent part of his life, even if it means separating Winter from the only family she has.
Their love was supposed to be unrequited but one grief stricken guy and one girl with too big of a heart results in disastrous consequences.
This book hooked me from page one.┬á To start off, what an interesting title for a book.┬á At first blush, it appears to be a truly straightforward indication of how the book will proceed.┬á Winter Donovan has always had an unrequited crush on her sisterÔÇÖs boyfriend.┬á However, by the end of the book, I started to wonder if she has an unrequited love with herself.┬á Nice dichotomy there.┬á Winter was adopted as a baby by a family who truly loved her.┬á However, there are lingering abandonment issues deep down.┬á Jen Frederick subtly explores these themes of self-worth and belonging as things begin to sizzle between Winter and Finn.┬á Add in a sister/ex-girlfirend with a raging addiction problem who is all too happy to lay all of her problems on her younger sister and youÔÇÖve got a recipe for disaster (whewÔÇªwhat a load!).
There are several references to the movie Joy Luck Club and what it means to be a First Wife.┬á Just like Finn did, I would recommend watching that movie, if you have not already done so.┬á It sure helps explain quite a bit about Winter and how she thinks.┬á I think the true battle with Winter is not if she should be with Finn or how she can help her sister, but can she truly see that she┬áis worthy enough to love herself.┬á Her level of sacrifice (even running away from a love she wants) all stems back to this.
Finn OÔÇÖMalley has found himself in between the proverbial rock and hard place in several ways. ┬áAttracted to his ex-girlfriendÔÇÖs sister, but hesitant to let anyone too close. ┬áDealing with the death of his father whom he idolized, but hated his philandering ways. ┬áFulfilling his fatherÔÇÖs dream, but loathing the work. Regardless of these burdens he carries, the beauty of Finn (buried underneath a few bottles of alcohol and a heap of fast women) still shines through. ┬áHis devotion to finally following his heart and winning Winter is the same force that guides him out of the other difficult situations in his life. ┬áHow can you┬ánot┬álove him?!
FrederickÔÇÖs writing is blunt at times in how she showcases the rippling effects of addiction.┬á She infuses some levity and heat to counteract the seriousness of the situation with WinterÔÇÖs sister, as well. ┬áLike her other novels, Frederick takes on serious subjects to thicken the plot and keep you wrapped up in the characters. ┬áThis is the fifth novel in the Woodlands series ÔÇô check them out to meet the other characters who make an appearance in this novel.
4.5 stars and recommendation! ┬á A great read that shouldnÔÇÖt be missed!
~ Review by Loredana
(Previously posted on TBE)