It’s no secret Jen Frederick’s Woodlands series is one of my favorites. Readers caught a glimpse of things to come in the epic epilogue of AM and Bo’s story, and now we get the full story in The Charlotte Chronicles.
Nate and Charlotte grew up together, their parents sharing the top floor of their building. Nate’s younger brother, Nick, is Charlotte’s best friend, but Nate’s always been the one she’s wanted. The year she turns fifteen, he finally notices her as more than a younger sister he has to look out for. And he is not pleased about it.
Their relationship starts slowly, but once it catches fire, it quickly blazes out of control. Too fast for Nate, and he does the only thing he can think of – he pushes her away. Nine years later, he’s back and ready to make up for the mistake he made all those years ago. Whether Charlotte will give him the chance to do so is another question.
The story’s split into two parts. Part one is when Nate and Charlotte are teenagers, exploring each other and their feelings. It’s sweet and hot and fumbling, exactly what you’d expect of a relationship too intense for people that young. There’s confidence and insecurities in equal parts, and the pace is quick. Part two is nine years later, and here’s where the story stumbles.
Something about their reunion didn’t work for me. A lot of it sits squarely on Nate’s shoulders. He never once backed away from the choice he made, but when he decided it was time to change his mind, he went full bore, and it didn’t work for me. Charlotte’s reluctance was resolved too quickly, and while I wanted them to have their happy ever after, it felt rushed.
Their chemistry faltered some in the second part, too. It’s almost like the years they spent apart actually happened and they lost something of their connection.
I liked Charlotte, for the most part. The choices she made were unselfish and mature. And I liked her with Nate. She’s gained a lot of confidence in the years since she’s seen him, and it shows. But Nate gets all alpha-caveman on her and doesn’t really progress past that point. That, combined with her own inability to move on from him, weakened them as a couple for me. There was also a bit of ridiculousness that happened during their nine-year split that bordered on unbelievable. Commendable, certainly, and more realistic on Charlotte’s side, but unbelievable just the same.
It’s a good story, a solid and satisfying one, and will definitely please those who’ve been waiting for Nate and Charlotte to get their moment in the sun. Plus we get intriguing bits of Nick…and I really want to read that story. After Finn’s. And maybe Kaga’s. *adds all the books to TBR list*
Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.