Couldn’t make myself finish! I hate it when I waste money on a bad book.
This may be one of my favorite Peel books. The last few chapters of this book just had me smiling and happy the whole time. I hate when an entire book is dedicated to the difficulties of a couple and then it all wraps up in about three paragraphs and you don't really get to revel in the happiness. This book is not like that! It such has a satisfying ending.
Enough gushing about the ending. The rest of the book is pretty phenomenal too. Whitney may be my favorite character of all. I know she's not the focus of the book, but she's just the best (spoiler alert: We get to see lots of her in the other books in the series too and she does not disappoint!).
Jonah and Ariana are so great. He is so patient with her and she is so spunky and amazing. I love this story!
Jennifer Peel delivers every single time, and this was no exception. I enjoyed the second chance romance for her and Jonah, I LOVED little Whitney, and I can't wait to read Dani's and Kinsley's stories next. The narrator was excellent; in the emotional scenes she was so so good especially! Highly recommend.
(May 2021) I just finished listening to this book and loved it just as much as the first time I read it. The narrator did such a great job. She really brings these characters to life. Not just by reading the words of the story but with little things she does in the narration. She beautifully added the emotions of these characters into every scene. I loved it! If you were like me in waiting for a while to read this one, don't wait any longer. Such a great series! The third book is about to come out and I am anxiously awaiting it. Check out the content section at the bottom of my review.
*****Review from my first reading of the book Oct. 2020******
I've had this book waiting on my kindle for a few months. And I kept saying I would read it soon. Well that soon turned into a few months. Then I saw that the next book in the series was coming out and I saw it was a marriage of convenience story and I knew I couldn't wait to read it. But it's a series that needs to be read in order (in my opinion) so I quickly grabbed my copy of Return to Sender and dove into Pine Falls. I know I can always count on Jennifer Peel to write an emotionally tugging story that draws me in, wraps around my heart, draws out some tears, gives me a new perspective and touches me deeply.
Ariana was a very complex character. Her backstory is heartbreaking and has caused her to put up walls, blocking herself off from living her life fully. She thinks she knows what her past is but there are many things she doesn't see it completely. The story dives into her healing and learning as she discovers more truths about her heart, her sorrows, her heartbreaks, her anger, her safe places and her decision to move forward or not.
Her friends/cousins were foster children and understand a lot of Ariana's heartaches and reticence. I really liked these three friends. Dani and Kinsley are adopted by Ariana's grandparents. I loved the love and healing that the Stanton grandparents help these girls find.
Jonah walked away from Ariana but now he's back. Oh I loved so many scenes between these two. Especially their second, first meeting. Does that make sense. When he comes back in town, she's avoiding him like the plague but there's some sneaky plans that come about and she finds herself face to face with the love of her life. The have a sweet friendship that I loved watching grow and get better.
There are so many great words of advice that can be applied to all of us in our relationships. Good and bad. Words of wisdom to help us know that we are of great worth and that we are capable of doing hard things and moving past the ugly and the hurt.
There's a sweet love story and a very precocious 5 year old who just melts your heart and has you wanting to hold her tight and protect her from her sorrows. And Jonah's love and devotion...it's endearing and has you rooting for him and Ariana to find their way. I just finished the second book in the series and loved it just as much or more than the first one. Read them. Be ready to be pulled into the emotions and loneliness. But also the joys and love and healing.
Content: This book has several topics that can be triggers for many. I would suggest it for more mature readers. It doesn't get graphic in said topics that I consider it clean but as I said I think better suited for more mature readers, it would be one I wouldn't let me teenagers read until they are older. Some of the topics are pregnancy out of wedlock, adoption, foster care, therapy, alcohol and drugs (very minor), divorce, not knowing your father, sex (the characters do not have sex in the book but there is talk about it, some in the sense of avoiding it because of trauma from childhood), there are mild innuendos throughout as well but spoken in relationships building up to being married and not having relations until then. That seems like a lot but I really felt that the author did a really good job taking these situations that truly happen in life and hurts so many, and shows how those who have experienced it can heal and find joy and peace in life and love that is true and real and healthy.
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