5 Trouble tree stars
Usually, I’m put off by flashbacks. They are too often used as page-fillers and add next to nothing to the story. Here, it felt like 70% of the story was in the flashback and I couldn’t had been happier.
You know that ideal first love, that summer love when you’re a teenager and the world around you seems so vivid and new, suddenly exciting and full of life? That’s what this book is about. Sure, the “present-day” narration is a second-chance romance, but the real story happens 6 years prior to that.
I adored both characters. They are so genuine and unwavering in their love. I’m a staunch supporter of the idea that you’re never too young to truly fall in love and Knox and Felicity proved me right.
Felicity was a very great character, holding the insecurity of every teenager, but also not backing away from what is clear since the beginning is going to be the best adventure of her life.
Knox… he was just perfect. I didn’t care too much about his “present” version, being a bit too much on the broody side, always pushing her away and such. Still, the past version of him had me on a gooey puddle on the floor in the span of a paragraph. Knox is not your usual alpha-man. He’s assertive and arrogant at time, but he’s also this teenaged guy who, above everything else, wants to do right by the girl he’s fallen in love with. He sure has climbed mu book-boyfriend ladder and claimed his righteous spot in the top ten. His spontaneity and the utter adoration he felt toward City were moving.
I also absolutely freaking loved the setting, the quiet beauty of their “place”, their forest, their dock. Kage devoted a great part of the book to building their relationship which, starting as a friendship, soon progresses to more.
Plus, in the previous instalments, the “forbidden” element was caused by more internal elements (Quinn being committed to another woman, Noel being Aspen’s student, Ten not wanting to betray Noel’s trust…) Here, instead, the only obstacle were the opposing family, in a true Romeo and Juliet fashion. The struggle of course was there, namely Knox’s lack of opportunities that would allow him to provide for her, being him also older than she is. Still, when they’re together, the angst is absent. They are each others’ oasis.
With a wistful sigh, she traced the heart with her finger. “God, we were so young.”
“Too young,” I agreed.
“But that didn’t seem to matter. Love doesn’t understand time. It doesn’t care if people change. It just grows where it grows.”
“And it bloomed inside us.” Slipping a hand into my jeans pocket, I pulled out a knife and flipped it open. “Here’s to a new us.”
Then I went about carving a larger heart around the original one
As plots go, this wasn’t the most elaborate one, but I liked the many ha-ha! moments when you connected the dots binding Knox to the different characters already met in the previous books. Also, before starting, I’d been led to believe by I can’t remember who or what, that this book wouldn’t feature any of the other characters of the series. So it was a very enjoyable surprise to see all the other Forbidden men once again.
As usual, Kage delivers an emotional romance (Knox’s story is heartbreaking at best) that doesn’t hold any punches. And yet it’s still one of the sweetest romance I’ve ever come across. The purity of their love shines through the pages from the budding start to the all-encompassing forever-ness that is the present day narration, in which Felicity shows all her strength while trying to get her man back from the dark place he’s in.
I liked how empowering that part was, although the only flaw was the rushed quality of it. Even though I think the flashbacks are the true jewel, I wouldn’t have minded to see them together in the present a bit more. Still, it’s also true that these characters keep showing up in the other’s books so I’m sure this is not the last we’ll see of Knox and Felicity (BTW, Knox’s last name is “Arrow” Parker… are you spotting a theme?)
Also, it wasn’t the hottest of the series, too, but there was something so special about them being each other’s first, from their first date, to all the other steamier stuff. The trust, the novelty… Kage portrayed it so magically and yet truthfully. It’s not sugarcoated and that’s what makes scenes that otherwise would only be sexy, so meaningful and heartwarming.