Summary (From Goodreads): Lana Biel has always wanted to shake the dust of Vermont off her feet and see the world, one exotic country after another. But when a lighthearted spring fling changes her life forever, she turns to the one man whose strong shoulders can lighten any burden: her best friend, Eli Ward.
Eli has always been there for Lana--after all, that's what best friends do. But Lana isn't the only one hiding something. Eli is keeping secrets of his own that threaten their relationship. Yet as summer turns to fall, new desires awaken between them, even as old fears tear them apart. Then, when another Vermont winter fills the valleys with snow, Eli and Lana are given the chance for an adventure greater than they ever dreamed possible...and a love that will last for all time.
It was really hard for me to give this book time, I felt like putting it down and giving up after the first few chapters. It wasn’t written particularly well, and I didn’t like the characters a whole lot. I still don’t. However, the story ended up being pretty good.
It was hard for me personally to look beyond the bottom line of the story: Lana had sex, got pregnant with a baby from a man she didn’t love, then she fell in love with her best friend. Her sister desperately wanted her to put her baby up for adoption so she could have it, and her father who never fathered them came back in the middle of it all and caused nothing but problems.
There were a few parts that just seemed out of place—Ron (the baby’s father) coming back and proposing, Gene (sister’s husband) walking out, and the apologies from the father. It just didn’t feel realistic. I’m not quite sure why.
But when I did look beyond that, I saw a very realistic story with good strong characters and the choices and words that they make and speak.
I got into the story about a quarter of the way through, and couldn’t put the book down. The events that happened lined up well, the pacing was good, and it was very original.
I really did like this book, I’m just not particularly sure why I liked it. Maybe it was the fact that the characters acted like real people, they weren't just characters. There were no “happily ever after” moments, although the ending was very good. I think, taking into consideration that in real life or fiction, it’s not really going to get better than it did, it was a very good story.
I’ve read a lot of really good reviews for this book, so don’t let my pessimism discourage you. Again, I liked it, but I’m not sure why. I doubt I’ll ever read it again, but then very few books make it to my “repeat” pile.
Content: For a romance book, this was free of details. There were some scenes, but they weren’t described. There was very very little language (I think there was one bad word total).
Recommendation: Ages 15+
**Thank you to Anna from Hachette for providing my review copy!**