Whore. Slut. Typhoid Mary.
I’ve been called all these at Central College. One drunken night, one act of irresponsible behavior, and my reputation was ruined. Guys labeled me as easy and girls shied away. To cope, I stayed away from Central social life and away from Central men, so why is it that my new biology lab partner is so irresistible to me?
He’s everything I shouldn’t want. A former Marine involved in illegal fighting with a quick trigger temper and an easy smile for all the women. His fists aren’t the danger to me, though, it’s his charm. He’s sliding his way into my heart and I’m afraid that he’s going to be the one to break me.
Impulsive. Unthinking. Hot tempered.
I allow instinct to rule my behavior. If it feels good, do it, has been my motto because if I spend too much time thinking, I’ll begin to remember exactly where I came from. At Central College, I’ve got fighting and I’ve got women and I thought I was satisfied until I met her.
She’s everything I didn’t realize I wanted and the more time I spend with her, the more I want her. But she’s been hurt too much in the past and I don’t want to be the one to break her. I know I should walk away, but I just can’t.
I’m always nervous when it comes to reading the second (or third, fourth, etc..) book in a series — even the standalones. After I fall in love with a book I can’t wait for more but there is always this hesitation before I begin that next book. My first thought is usually, will it be as good as the first book? This is always tricky for me but when it comes to the Woodlands series by Jen Frederick she absolutely outdid herself with Unspoken. This is a follow-up to Undeclared following Bo and AM. I was blown away. This book is as enjoyable as Undeclared and it gave us a different perspective/different love story.
We first meet Bo in Undeclared. He is Noah’s best friend and “partner in crime.” They do everything together right down to joining the Marines. Bo heads to Central with Noah to finish up college and he also participates in MMA Fighting. While at Central Bo is a magnet for the ladies but one girl begins to stick out…AM. They are paired up in Biology as partners and everything seems to change for both of them. While AM is set on avoiding everything Central minus her classes she has heard about Bo’s own reputation. She wants nothing to do with anyone or anything at Central after her unfortunate encounter ended in her being called every name in the book by her peers. AM is someone who makes Bo question himself. He’s never wanted to be serious with anyone and AM makes him feel all sorts of emotions. She helps him deal with his past and while there are some pretty hilarious moments when it comes to Bo and his internal monologues. There are some really heavy topics. There are also some pretty steamy moments 😉
This book delves into a slightly different aspect of college life…rumors, reputations and the gossip surrounding intimate encounters. It’s crazy how much bullying occurs in a college/new adult book. Just goes to show you how much gossip and rumors surround us. The problem with rumors are they are usually based on a very small percentage of the truth – sort of like the game of telephone, by the time the message is spread to the last person it’s been so ridiculously mangled that no one knows the real truth. Gossip and rumors spread like wildfire but can rarely be taken back as easily. AM knows bullying and mistreatment from her peers. It’s heartbreaking but she is strong and overcomes what is thrown her way. She makes you feel empowered by the end of the book.
Bo and AM are amazing together. They make each other better. They support one another and ground each other in a way that makes you envious of their relationship. AM had one bad night, one mistake that now follows her all over Central. No matter what the truth is no one wants to hear it. She’s now the girl with the “reputation” but Bo knows her, he really sees her for who she is and not the rumors surrounding her. This book is as beautiful as Undeclared and I highly recommend the series to all. They are both stand-alone novels but I do recommend that you read them in order (although it isn’t necessary), for me it was nice to be acquainted with Bo from Book 1 and see his character develop. Again, it isn’t necessary but just my recommendation. I cannot wait for Book 3!!!
Undeclared (Woodlands, #1) – Book One
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.
Undeclared is a beautiful story of two people who grow to love one another over the course of four years without ever meeting or speaking. Their relationship is solely formed through the written word…letters. But six years after their first letter Grace is heartbroken and Noah is back fighting to win her over and explain his two year absence.
Grace begins writing Noah, a marine while in High School. He is deployed in Afghanistan and they quickly form a bond. Both have lost a parent and their shared experience makes them feel closer. They discuss pretty much anything from the weather to ambitions. Grace sends care packages frequently and the guys in the unit quickly grow to love her but the letters are what keeps Noah going and what helps him pass the time. Although Grace believes Noah only sees her as a little sister her letters get him through some pretty tough times and all he can do is think about her.
The problem is Noah doesn’t know how to reciprocate Graces sentiments, instead he pushes her away and friend zones her. Grace is crushed and after four years of correspondence Noah practically disappears. For two years she hears nothing, no contact, no reason, just silence.
Grace, now in college is still dealing with the heartache. One day as she sits in the school library she swears she sees Noah but her cousin Lana quickly tells her to snap out of it and get real. She’s obsessing over someone she’s never met. She won’t go out and meet other guys because she is so set on Noah. But Noah is back and he’s been watching Grace biding his time hoping to figure out a way to explain his absence. He realized a long time ago he wanted Grace but his own fears kept him away. Now all he can think about is gaining her trust and showing her how much he wants her in his life but will Grace give him the opportunity?
I really loved this book. The dynamic between the two main characters is incredible. Their love is undeniable but they’d both built up walls at one point or another. Trusting one another came easier than I expected for these two and there was minimal drama which I liked. This book is all about the power of love. The pull between these two draws you in — it’s “magnetic” and the ending will leave you completely satisfied.
(1) iPad mini for US/Canada or Apple Gift Card in the amount of an iPad Mini for International winner, and (5) Print copies of Unspoken with dog tags – International
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About the Author
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.