Welcome to my stop on the blog four for Unraveled, the latest novel in Jen Frederick’s Woodlands series. Read on for info about the book and author, my five-star review, an excerpt and a chance to enter the tour-wide giveaway!
Unraveled (Woodlands #3)
Published: January 18, 2014
Kindle ARC, 280 pages
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Twenty-five-year-old Sgt. Gray Phillips is at a crossroads in his life: stay in the Marine Corps or get out and learn to be a civilian? He’s got forty-five days of leave to make up his mind but the people in his life aren’t making the decision any easier. His dad wants him to get out; his grandfather wants him to stay in. And his growing feelings for Sam Anderson are wreaking havoc with his heart…and his mind. He believes relationships get ruined when a Marine goes on deployment. So now he’s got an even harder decision to make: take a chance on Sam or leave love behind and give his all to the Marines.
Twenty-two year old Samantha Anderson lost her husband to an IED in Afghanistan just two months after their vows. Two years later, Sam is full of regrets—that she didn’t move with her husband to Alaska; that she allowed her friends to drift away; that she hasn’t taken many chances in life. Now, she’s met Gray and taking a risk on this Marine could be her one opportunity to feel alive and in love again. But how can she risk her heart on another military man who could share the same tragic fate as her husband?
Note: Although these books are part of a series, they do not need to be read in order
Unraveled tells us the story of Gray and Samantha. Gray is a Marine and Sam is an Army widow. Their paths collide while Gray is in town visiting his friends Bo and Noah (both smoking hot and from the earlier books in the series) while he’s on leave and trying to decide what he wants to do in the future. Sam is slowly healing after the loss of her young husband in Afghanistan. They both have a huge amount of baggage and neither are really ready for a relationship, but their attraction and chemistry can’t be denied for long.
My heart ached for Sam in the beginning of this book. It’s not easy being a military wife and the pain of losing a spouse the way she did, after only two months of marriage, is something I would imagine is nearly impossible to ever get over. After two years, Sam hasn’t been ready to move on. Enter Gray. Honestly, I had a bit of a hard time connecting with Gray. Or maybe I should say liking him. He did come off as a bit of a macho ass alpha male, but as more about his past is revealed, I could begin to understand where he was coming from. One thing was for sure, from the moment of his first encounter with Sam, I half lusted after him. Holy hell. He is one sexy mo-fo. The way he talked to Sam? Damn. They were both passionate and well-matched. I think the speed at which their relationship developed was perfect. Neither of them was rushing anything, and after spending a lot of time together as friends, they gave in. Then they grew together.
If you like your romances sweet and sexy, with strong, smart women and sexy, protective men, you have to check out Jen Frederick’s Woodlands series. From the first moment I picked up Undeclared, I fell in love with her characters and her writing. There’s more than just romance in these books. There are some seriously steamy scenes that leave me fanning myself, but there was also real emotion in each of the books that took me for a ride. Unraveled definitely put me through the most of them, though. Tears were cried. (I know, I know… it doesn’t take that much to make me cry, but still.) This is one of my favorite new adult series.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
“I’ve been watching you all night.” His mouth was right above the tip of my ear and I felt something crack inside me, a fissure was forming in the mask I’d donned earlier today or perhaps his breath, his touch, his words were simply hastening the demise of the barriers I’d held between myself and everyone else for two years. Because inside my body, it felt like there was an awakening and every fiber of my being reached toward him, upward and outward as if I was a flower on the first day of a spring rain. I lifted my head to gaze up, wide-eyed and anxious with anticipation.
Some part of my brain was telling me that the storage closet was just two steps to my right at the end of the hallway and the exit door was just beyond that. My Rover was outside and all three were safer than standing here almost in his embrace but I couldn’t hear the warning over the pounding of my heartbeat. He bent toward me, his face serious and even in the low light of the corner I could see the gold flecks feathering out from the center of his eyes.
“I’m going to kiss you now.” His voice was deep, rough and matched the rest of his thoroughly masculine body.
“I know,” I whispered back. And I wanted that kiss from Gray who ordinarily wouldn’t be my type at all. I wanted it more than I wanted to breath. When his mouth molded against mine, it felt like bliss as if my whole cold body had been submerged into a warm bath. If I thought I was engulfed before it was nothing like I felt at that moment. My entire world—my thoughts, my feelings, my senses—were full of him. I tasted the mint and hops on his tongue. I inhaled the cinnamon, bergamot, ocean of his faint cologne into my airways. I felt the calloused palm on my waist and then lower against the exposed skin of my thigh. His dense muscles were drawn tight under his skin and the fabric of his t-shirt and he felt as strong as a citadel. The moan that had been building since he first backed me into the wall escaped. It had been so long since I’d had the touch of a man’s hand on any part of me and I nearly wept at the pleasure of it.
Don’t miss out on the first two books in this fantastic series!
Jen Frederick lives with her husband, child, and one rambunctious dog. She’s been reading stories all her life but never imagined writing one of her own. Jen loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at email@example.com.
$200 GC to retailer of your choice
Full set of Woodlands print books (5) with dog tags.
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