My first book by this author (and her debut novel, to boot) was a complete success. ICYMI, when I finished the book and posted my final update, these were my words:
Wow. Also, WOW. I absolutely loved this. Complex characters, complex relationship, a FUBAR, and then... WOW. Y'all, get this as soon as you can.
Noah wakes up in a remote cabin in Colorado during a blizzard right around Christmas time, with no recollection of who he is or what he's doing there, and furthermore, no idea who the gentle, handsome man taking care of him is. The handsome man introduces himself as Jason and makes Noah feel safe. He only tells Noah that he slipped in the snow and hit his head, which explains the headache and bumps on his head as well as the amnesia.
Jason dotes on Noah during his recovery, but refuses to tell him much more than his name, claiming that he's been in touch with an ER doctor, who advised him not to plant any ideas in Noah's mind, and to let Noah remember on his own. Which should perhaps take a few days.
At first Noah seems okay with this, but then doubts set in, primarily after observing Jason hide what's being discussed during the phone calls with the doctor, and also because Noah catches Jason on more than one occasion looking super guilty.
As the memories come back slowly, Noah remembers Jason being loving and kind toward him, but also gets snippets of Jason acting in anger. And snippets of his mother and father, a tragic death, manic research in a library, and a best friend who doesn't call him Noah.
Eventually, it all comes flooding back, and I had one of the most massive surprises in my book-reading career. I seriously sat there with my mouth wide open, in complete shock as to what had just happened on page. Note the FUBAR comment above.
At this point, the book's 2nd part begins, and we find ourselves in NYC. I won't tell you much more than this because I don't want to spoil the experience, and I won't tell you how it ends either. Just remember, this is a romance.
Told entirely from Noah's POV, we don't get but glimpses of what makes Jason tick through Noah's eyes, but the author included enough of Jason on page to make me care about him just the same. I did have one small niggle, which I can't explain here, because it would be a spoiler, just suffice it to say that there has been some major loss in Jason's life, and how it was handled here was a bit too unrealistic for my taste. I suppose grief can manifest itself in a variety of forms, and everyone deals with grief differently, but Jason's characterization didn't quite gel with how his grief was handled here.
And yet, I absolutely loved this book. It has complex characters, a complex plotline, superb character growth, and the author made the characters work for what they ultimately achieve. Noah looks deeply inside himself and realizes what he's done, what he's lost, and what he wants - and then goes after what he wants as best as he knows how. He has help along the way, but the humility he displays, not only at his guilt and failures, but also his triumphs was extraordinary.
This is the first book in a 4-part series, with each book covering a season. I'm not yet sure how connected these books will be, but I will tell you that this book can be read as a standalone.
** I received a free copy of this book from its publisher via Netgalley. A positive review was not promised in return. **