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Unraveled (The Woodlands Book 3) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 274 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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By: Jen Frederick
Gray Phillips is a Marine who is torn about whether he should sign his reenlistment papers or if he should separate from the Marines and transition into civilian life. There are options either way, but he doesn’t know what he would do if he got out. He’s torn for many reasons. Both his dad & granddad are retired Marines, his granddad had 30 years and encourages Gray to stay in. His dad had 20 years & after retirement became an elected congressman & wants Gray to see all the options. But Gray also wants to find love & enjoy a committed relationship, but because of a cheating ex-girlfriend who broke his heart and trust and made him convinced that no relationship could survive a deployment.
Samantha Anderson married her high school sweetheart shortly before he was deployed to the Middle East. Two months later, he was killed in an IED and she was widowed. For the last two years she’s been living in the fog of his death. Her family is ready for her to move forward in her life and start living again, while her mother-in-law tries to keep her son’s memory alive and it seems like she wants Sam to stay the martyred widow. Either way, no one has awakened Sam in the last two years with any vague hint of attraction, until one night Gray comes into the bar where she works, with his friends Noah, Bo & the rest of the Woodlands guys.
Gray & Sam have some stop & go motions that take them forward & backward. They both are trying to learn to move on and trust again. Sam is learning to take risks and be adventurous and Gray is learning to trust a woman & that she won’t be a lying, conniving cheater. They both have issues that they are working on and if they can get over them, they could build a beautiful, long-lasting relationship.
I truly adored these characters and the hardships that any war takes on relationships and the secondarily involved people (wives, girlfriends, family, etc.) The ability to learn to love & trust again in the face of adversity & not knowing if the other person will accept you after a colossal mistake also takes a toll. But moving forward fearlessly is admirable & the way love should be.
I really wished that the epilogue would have just been a chapter and a couple more chapters with epilogue being set several years down the road, just because I really want to see what the future holds for them. I wouldn’t mind a spin-off series with them like Jen Frederick did for Noah & Grace’s and Bo & AM’s kids in The Charlotte Chronicles.
I think this may be my favorite of the series so far. I don't give 5 stars lightly, but this one came close. There are some editing errors that had me stumble over a few sentences, a pet peeve of mine as it ruins my reading flow, but other than those I had no issues with the writing.
Sam navigating the waters of dating again is touching. Her reservations are understandable. I think she knew she was ready to move on but was having a hard time getting past the guilt of letting Will's family know she was. They held her back from moving on for their own personal consolation. For them, she was an extension of Will that they wanted to keep static to fool themselves into believing he wasn't really gone. I felt sympathy for Will's family, but the expense it was costing all of them was too much. They really need to move on for all their sakes.
Gray may need some therapy for all the issues he has. It’s nice that the guy in the story doesn't have it altogether for a change. Unfortunately, or maybe typically, he allows his insecurities to get in the way and mess it all up.
I thought the way this story played out and the time it all took was very well written. Usually it is all wrapped up neatly in a matter of days. That is not the case here. The HEA was hard won. I also loved the last few chapters and how it didn't just abruptly end with them getting back together. I liked the wrap up to the story.
I still love Bo and Noah in this one and I love that the previous characters are so involved in the story.
Sam was a really complex character. I could feel the two different sides of Sam. One side was an older Army widow who feelings of guilt and heartache. The other side was a twenty-two year-old young woman who wanted to be an adventurous young adult. Meeting Gray was the best thing that could have happened to her. I love the ability to heal being around him gave her. I loved Gray. He was a good guy with his own cross to bear. His wasn't as hard as Sam's, but it threw some great twists in their story.
Unspoken is still my favorite Woodlands book, but Unraveled is a close second. I can see the progression and improvement in Jen Frederick's writing with each book.
Most recent customer reviews
I love this series! Seriously, love it!
Sam Anderson is an Army widow who can't seem to move on.Read more
I was curious to see how Jen Frederick would write a believable love story between a young widow...Read more