Wednesday, April 24, 2013

UPDATE: Now Available! Undeclared (Woodlands #1) by Jen Frederick Review:

Goodreads Book Blurb:
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.

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I received this eARC in exchange for an honest review from the author.

Genre - New Adult/Contemporary Romance

4 Amazing, Oorah Stars!!
Sweet, Fun and Sexy! I Absolutely Loved This Read!

The Rundown:
Grace Sullivan pen-palled with Noah Jackson for four years. What started out as a high school class project to write to a Marine while he was overseas at war, turned into something way more than she ever expected. Divulging secrets, feelings and complaining the repetitiveness of ever day life to one another through hand written letters, Grace finds a true confidant in Noah and he find a solace his war torn heart needed. But when she proclaims romantic feelings for him and tells him she wants to meet him, he throws down the “friends only” card and leaves her heartbroken.

Two years later, Noah suddenly shows up in Grace’s life asking for a reconnection she’s not sure she has the heart to give him. But his determination and feelings for a girl who kept him sane in the harshest sand of a foreign desert gives him the courage to state his case in hopes she will eventually forgive him.

The Review:
Undeclared (Woodlands # 1) is Jen Frederick’s debut novel and she comes out swinging! I loved this read. It was sweet, oh so sexy, beautifully told and well written and had just enough angst to keep my little angsty heart puttering throughout the whole story.

Noah Jackson was perfect in every way! He was compassionate, considerate and sexy as hell! His old school values mixed with his slight debauchery made him a perfect alpha male and you can’t help but adore every part of his character. And the fact he’s a Marine and a mixed martial artist fighter is just icing on the cake! He comes back into Grace’s life after a two year absence, meeting her face to face for the first time and is determined to reconnect with her. He lost himself for a while but now that he’s taken steps to secure their future, he’s not giving up without a fight. All he needs to do is win her over before it’s too late. He is completely swoon-worthy and watching him compete for Grace was romantic and exciting.

Then we have Grace Sullivan who is awkward and socially inept. She’s undecided about school, about life, about herself. She thinks she’s not good enough and has let fear and cowardice control her decisions and rule her heart. Some of these hang up’s were caused by her family life and some caused by the rejection of Noah when she opened up to him. She’s kept her heart locked up tight, first because she was saving herself for a man across the ocean and then because she was afraid to let it free once it was shattered. Her biggest flaw other than the lack of self confidence is her lack of drive. She has passion and talent for photography which astonishes anyone she allows to see it but it’s hidden behind insecurities. I liked her character but Im a sucker for a strong female lead who can be both shy and sexy. She was both these things but her insecurities kept her from shinning. I wanted her to shin as bright as I know she could. Thankfully, she takes charge at the end and things shift in her favor. It was both frustrating and a delight to watch her character struggle.

I also adored all the sub-characters. Lana is Grace’s fiery cousin and best friend. I love when best friends are protective and the lead cheerleader in the heroine’s corner, rooting for their success. Lana was no exception. She had her own hang-ups but that never distracted her from supporting Grace, just like a true BFF should. And then there is the fascinating and charming Bo, Noah’s long time best friend and wingman who was a true joy to read. He’s fierce loyalty and protectiveness only made him more appealing as he looked out for Noah through everything. The next story in the Woodlands Series will be about him and I can’t wait!!!

The Wrap Up:
This was an excellent read that was filled with true romance, sweet and fun moments and interesting characters that kept me reading straight through. I’m definitely looking forward to the next book in the series and I’m keeping a look out for future works by this author.

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