The Problem with Forever

The Problem with Forever

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Overview

"Heartbreakingly real…a remarkable novel about the power of first love and the courage it takes to face your fears." —Kami Garcia, #1 New York Times bestselling author

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a riveting story about friendship, survival and finding your voice.

Growing up, Mallory Dodge learned that the best way to survive was to say nothing. And even though it’s been four years since her nightmare ended, she’s beginning to worry that the fear that holds her back will last a lifetime. Now, after years of homeschooling, Mallory must face a new milestone—spending her senior year at a public high school. But she never imagined she’d run into Rider Stark, the friend and protector she hasn’t seen since childhood, on her very first day.

It doesn’t take long for Mallory to realize that the connection she shared with Rider never really faded. Yet soon it becomes apparent that she’s not the only one grappling with lingering scars from the past. And as she watches Rider’s life spiral out of control, Mallory must make a choice between staying silent and speaking out—for the people she loves, the life she wants and the truths that need to be heard.


Praise

"This book blew me away, completely. Gripping from page one, I—quite literally—couldn’t put it down."
—Christina Lauren, New York Times bestselling author

"We’re left breathless and a little haunted and wanting more."
—Danielle Paige, New York Times bestselling author

"An achingly real masterpiece… Heart-wrenching, heartwarming, heart-everything."
—Wendy Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781504739689
Publisher: Blackstone Pub
Publication date: 05/17/2016
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

About the Author

# 1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. Find her on Twitter @JLArmentrout or become a fan on Facebook and Goodreads.

Customer Reviews

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The Problem with Forever 5.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Problem with Forever is a beautiful, emotional mess of literary fiction. My personal favorite character is the main character Mallory who struggles with an abusive past in foster care shared with her childhood best friend; Ryder. They are taken away from each other after a tragic accident and fear they will never see each other again. This novel spun my emotions round-and-round with every turn-of-the-page, and it provides any reader with the guarantee of crying, laughing, and yelling! Even as a teenager, Mallory’s memories haunt her continuously, day and night. Using this as an advantage, Armentrout takes Mallory’s childhood experiences and gives them an important role in this book. Those experiences explain why Mallory keeps her lips shut for a majority of the time, and why she had been terrified of social interaction. I loved how the author portrayed the main character experiences to be the reason why she is motivated to become a “normal” teenager. Jennifer Armentrout does a magnificent job of depicting all the aspects of Mallory’s personality throughout the story. The reasons why Mallory is my favorite character in this book is because of how determined she is to overcome her fears. She fights against her nightmares to try and experience the world like a “normal” teenager. Mallory brings herself to go to school every day; although she still fears it, which I find very admirable for someone who largely fears social interaction to carry themselves out into the public eye. She fears social confrontation and having to talk to people, but Mallory goes anyway. I am so proud of the person Mallory has become by the end of the book; she is able to talk to people in full sentences, go places and not be shaking due to her social anxiety, and made many friends by the end of the novel that she made through Ryder. Her making friends is a big improvement because at the beginning she only has one friend, who is mainly an online friend. With our main character being able to do all these things it shows growth, determination, and strength; all of which could make anyone proud of her success. Though Mallory is dramatically affected by her past, you can see throughout the book her growth and determination to overpower the restraints of all her painful memories; this makes her an even stronger character in my eyes. She is taken to a new and loving family after the accident, and following a couple years of mental rehab to open up (and a lot of homeschooling) Mallory decides to test her limits and enroll in a public high school for her senior year. Even with all of these amazing changes, Mallory is thrown back into her damaging past. When Armentrout introduces Mallory’s childhood best friend back into the picture, it is a perfect twist in the main character’s life. She had just begun to get back on track when everything is thrown back out of proportion. The author takes her own simple idea for a book and transforms it into a separate world, that seems so real and unbelievably, believable! This novel is a dramatic roller coaster of emotions all the way through and gives us a different view of how others might see the world as scary and overpowering; This different view brings readers a bigger outlook on life itself. Jennifer Armentrout takes us to Mallory’s reality and makes it nearly impossible to stay out! I highly recommend this book for all of my fellow armchair travelers interested in romance, self-discovery, and the ups-and-downs of the life of
AReadingRedSox More than 1 year ago
I'm a huge fan of Jennifer Armentrout's, and the only thing I'm sad about is that I didn't read this book sooner. It's SUCH a great read y'all: the romance, the character development, the issues that are dealt with. A truly perfect contemporary! Check out more great book reviews on my blog, A Reading Red Sox, here: http://areadingredsox.blogspot.com/
Katiekoz More than 1 year ago
4.5☆ This book is different from the other stuff that JLA writes, but it's still her writing so of course I'm gonna like it. Mallory and Rider are such interesting and complex characters that have been through so much already in their lives. I loved reading about Mallory and how she progressed and grew as a person throughout the book. JLA does such a good job with writing her characters and making me feel for them. I instantly empathized with Mallory and Rider. I can't even imagine having to go through what they had to face and coming out of it ok. I love Rider! He is such a good and sweet guy who only wants the absolute best for the people he cares about. I loved the ending, it was really cute and touching and I'm very happy with where Mallory and Rider are in life.
CCraig More than 1 year ago
There is something about wounded heroes and heroines that yanks me into a book. And Armentrout grabbed me by the heart and had me caring for Mallory and Ryder from the very first page. My heart went out to both of these characters because of their childhood abuse and the scars they carried with them. A dark subject for certain, but the story also carried hope, forgiveness and love. You won’t be able to put this book down!
Lisa-LostInLiterature More than 1 year ago
I jointly reviewed this with my co-blogger, Becca! “Forever was something we all took for granted, but the problem with forever was that it really didn't exist.” THE STORY: Lisa : After suffering with a traumatic childhood, Mallory is now in the care of two trusted, supportive and loving parents. She's attempting her senior year in a public school after being home-schooled for many years, yet it's not the easy task since she's still struggling with the after-affects of the abuse. On the very first day, Mallory runs into Rider, the sole good memory she has of those horrible years in foster care hell. The connection with Rider is instant... as if they had never been apart. Rider is also struggling with issues from his past, and he's on a vicious spiral downward. Mallory's habit of staying mute is being tortured as she struggles with the decision to stay silent or speak out and try to save her friend, the only person who stuck by her during those bad years. As you can tell... lots of feels in this story. Two struggled teens who spent a horrible time together, now reunited, and both still dealing with overcoming the trauma they both suffered. Becca : I couldn't have said it better myself Lisa!! Both Mallory and Rider endured such a traumatic childhood. A decade of their childhood was spent being neglected and abused and the only thing they had to get through it was each other. Just the concept alone gave me all kinds of feels for these two characters. THE CHARACTERS: Becca : The Problem with Forever begins on Mallory's first day of high school and is told from her POV. Mallory can speak, but chooses to be mostly mute out of fear because of her childhood. It is not that she doesn't want to talk, it's that she freezes in fear and cannot force words out. My heart broke for Mallory, after years of abuse as a child she is adopted by a loving family and even after years of therapy is still trying to put the pieces together. When she sees Rider at her new school, it is both good because he was her lifeline as a child and bad because it brings back so many unwanted and repressed memories. Rider appears to have it all together, as if he has worked through every issue from his childhood. After a year in a group home, he was placed in a foster home where he gains two almost brother Hector and Jayden. It is not in the nice part of town and he is still labeled as "trouble" but he is safe a fed there. I loved the relationship between Rider and Mallory, it was so warm and comforting at first and then slowly turned to more. I really enjoyed the slow burn of the build up. Experiencing the stories of their childhood was so hard, after all they had went through I could fully understand their connection. I also fall big time for the "second chance romance" trope, it gets me every time! The secondary characters in this book were awesome too! Mallory's adoptive parents were so amazing and very important parts. I love a book where the parents are active in their child's life. Her best friend Ainsley was so fun and totally cool! Also Rider's BFF Hector was pretty awesome, and his little brother Jayden was so funny! Even Paige, Rider's ex was a good addition because I loved to hate her! Jennifer Armentrout did an amazing job of building these characters and helping them grow. There were times I was mad at Mallory for being so scared and afraid, but in the end it struck me as being all part of her journey. As for Rider, because of his
LovinLosLibros More than 1 year ago
My goodness y'all. Where do I even start with this book? I always love JLA's books, but this one holds a lot of emotional power, especially being an educator of teens. These kids have a lot of emotional issues to deal with and they do their best to push them aside and go to school and not let the world see just how difficult it is to actually do that. Mallory and Rider both carry emotional scars from their past and they are trying to get beyond that, but do so in different ways. Mallory has been adopted into a great family and has such a strong support system that has helped her get the counseling she needs. They are a bit overprotective, but they mean well. They want to see her flourish and they encourage her to tackle the things that scare her. Rider, on the other hand, acts as if he doesn't have a care in the world. He has accepted his status in life and doesn't put forth the effort to try and change people's perceptions of him. He has been beaten down by his past and doesn't have very strong aspirations for the future. Armentrout always manages to pull me in with her books and I never want them to end. I wanted to speed through this one because I was so impatient to find out what happened. I love being engaged like this, because I really do feel like I am right there with the characters and their emotions all transfer to me as the reader. Mallory and Rider together were really adorable. I loved them. There is so much uncertainty and shyness and it was just precious to see them try to discern between the scared kids they once were into the teens they are now. Mallory isn't a frightened, weak little girl anymore who needs protecting. I loved seeing her come into her own and ask for support instead of help. She believes in Rider and she wants him to see the kind, wonderful, self-sacrificing guy she does. He has talent and she doesn't want him to waste that. They really worked together and I loved it. I loved our secondary cast of characters and how much of a role they played also. I love that they weren't pushed aside and that they were integral to these characters' lives. Overall, I can't recommend this one enough. It's one that needs to be experienced and while I could go on and on, I think you're better off jumping in and letting Armentrout work her magic.
ReedsReadsReviews More than 1 year ago
I love Jennifer L. Armentrout. Love, love, love her writing. I have yet to find something of hers that I haven’t fallen head over heels in love with – and The Problem with Forever is no exception. Be it New Adult romance, Young Adult fantasy or contemporary, Jennifer L. Armentrout is a masterful manipulator of words and feelings. The Problem with Forever is a hard hitting contemporary read worth every penny. Mallory is a sweet heart, a soft spoken and gentle soul. Of course, she has her reasons. Mallory has a horrific past, filled with violence and terror – but there is a single bright spot in it, and his name was Rider Stark. Mallory was a wonderful heroine. Watching her grow, seeing her journey from “Mouse” to someone who wasn’t afraid to stand up for what she believed in, was amazing. I really felt for her, I felt her struggle and I felt her learning how to hope. Armentrout has always had this ability to make characters that feel so completely real, so, so real it is like they are standing there in front of you. Even if you don’t have any way to relate to their circumstances or their history, you become a part of the characters. You feel what they feel, fear what they fear, and love what they love. Mallory is no different. While I cannot personally relate to anything she went through, Mallory is now a part of me and it is a part I will never let go of. I whole heartedly embrace being a Mouse, though I might have claws. Then we have the second half of the equation, the super-swoonworthy Rider Stark. OHHHH MY GOODNESS. Rider is…. I can’t even find the words to describe him. That reunion scene, when he and Mallory first see each other? I had tears in my eyes. Rider is something special, and when you put him Mallory it becomes feels central. I ship them so hard, I swear it made my teeth ache. Rider on his own, though, is wonderful. Of course, he has is faults – as do we all. He isn’t perfect, but he is perfect for Mallory. He is kind, considerate, smart, everything. He protected Mallory when they were children and he continues to do so now, though we soon figure out nothing is as it really seems. Rider’s journey, paired with Mallory’s, makes for an incredible tale of self-discovery and healing. The Problem with Forever is fantastic. It is heartwarming, heartbreaking, and thought provoking. It will make you cry, characters will make you crack up and others will make you want to rip out your hair. Everything is perfection. The characters are real, the plot even more so. This is the type of book that will stay with you forever, it will remain in your thoughts long after you’ve finished reading. Perhaps that is the problem with forever, it never leaves you. But I have to say, if The Problem with Forever will be a part of me for all the years to come, I couldn’t pick a better book.
Book_Crazy02 More than 1 year ago
Jennifer L. Armentrout has never disappointed in terms of her novels and writing style. In every single one of her books she has created worlds, social structures, and complex characters that I fall in love with every single time! I never know what to expect yet I'm always pleasantly surprised by the storyline and all the different ways drama is created and then resolved again. This remains true in The Problem with Forever and the fact that the characters and the plot line brought around definitely stuck a chord and had me crying and laughing and just enjoying the entire reading experience. This book tells the story of a girl named Mallory and her transition and growth from a past which has taken her voice into a young women who can fight her own battles and express her opinions. Mallory personified strength yet she didn't know she possessed this strength and it almost hid from her within her memories and her "lost" voice. Nicknamed "Mouse" by her childhood protector, Mallory allows this nickname to become her life and does her best to subconsciously personify a mouse. There were so many emotions within this novel. I truly felt like I was invested in the novel and these characters because there was such a strong writing voice within Mallory and I could picture every detail of her life and the struggles she faced to overcome her past an make peace with her life experiences. There was so much heartbreak within this novel, literally at every turn, that I constantly was crying and getting caught up in the characters. The interesting part of this romance novel was the fact that there really was no "villain" except those in the past. Mallory definitely has the definition of a "tough childhood" and this childhood constantly interfered with her present life and it was those figures from her past which caused her constant fear and pain. Even the usual ex-girlfriend of the love interest (Rider) wasn't really a villain for even though she definitely causes some trouble for Mallory, she does it because she truly liked Rider and for me that was completely understandable and therefore redeemable. Mallory was a character who will grab onto your heart and not let go. Her struggles will become your struggles as her journey to find her voice and her courage. I loved her as a character because as a reader you see her strength slowly overcoming her fear and her shyness. She truly had a heart of gold and some of my favorite parts involved her and Rider figuring out their past and where that past fit into their future. Speaking of Rider... DANG! Now I can only imagine because this is a book, but boy does Armentrout make him sound so freakin' fine. I loved his character, even with all the drama he creates, and I loved his protective nature and his determination to always be what Mallory needs. Yah, Rider is definitely my current book bf because of his absolute devotion and kindness to Mallory and all of the other characters within this novel. Rider and Mallory's relationship was truly amazing to read about because even as it added a little spice to the novel, it remained innocent and perfect and completely appropriate for the characters being in high school and the genre of the novel. Overall, this novel was true perfection and I am so glad I was able to read and enjoy the characters and their relationship as they worked to overcome the nightmares of their pasts. The perfect way they survived their childhoods only to be reconnected again in
Book_Crazy02 More than 1 year ago
Jennifer L. Armentrout has never disappointed in terms of her novels and writing style. In every single one of her books she has created worlds, social structures, and complex characters that I fall in love with every single time! I never know what to expect yet I'm always pleasantly surprised by the storyline and all the different ways drama is created and then resolved again. This remains true in The Problem with Forever and the fact that the characters and the plot line brought around definitely stuck a chord and had me crying and laughing and just enjoying the entire reading experience. This book tells the story of a girl named Mallory and her transition and growth from a past which has taken her voice into a young women who can fight her own battles and express her opinions. Mallory personified strength yet she didn't know she possessed this strength and it almost hid from her within her memories and her "lost" voice. Nicknamed "Mouse" by her childhood protector, Mallory allows this nickname to become her life and does her best to subconsciously personify a mouse. There were so many emotions within this novel. I truly felt like I was invested in the novel and these characters because there was such a strong writing voice within Mallory and I could picture every detail of her life and the struggles she faced to overcome her past an make peace with her life experiences. There was so much heartbreak within this novel, literally at every turn, that I constantly was crying and getting caught up in the characters. The interesting part of this romance novel was the fact that there really was no "villain" except those in the past. Mallory definitely has the definition of a "tough childhood" and this childhood constantly interfered with her present life and it was those figures from her past which caused her constant fear and pain. Even the usual ex-girlfriend of the love interest (Rider) wasn't really a villain for even though she definitely causes some trouble for Mallory, she does it because she truly liked Rider and for me that was completely understandable and therefore redeemable. Mallory was a character who will grab onto your heart and not let go. Her struggles will become your struggles as her journey to find her voice and her courage. I loved her as a character because as a reader you see her strength slowly overcoming her fear and her shyness. She truly had a heart of gold and some of my favorite parts involved her and Rider figuring out their past and where that past fit into their future. Speaking of Rider... DANG! Now I can only imagine because this is a book, but boy does Armentrout make him sound so freakin' fine. I loved his character, even with all the drama he creates, and I loved his protective nature and his determination to always be what Mallory needs. Yah, Rider is definitely my current book bf because of his absolute devotion and kindness to Mallory and all of the other characters within this novel. Rider and Mallory's relationship was truly amazing to read about because even as it added a little spice to the novel, it remained innocent and perfect and completely appropriate for the characters being in high school and the genre of the novel. Overall, this novel was true perfection and I am so glad I was able to read and enjoy the characters and their relationship as they worked to overcome the nightmares of their pasts. The perfect way they survived their childhoods only to be reconnected again in
bouncyberthaCR More than 1 year ago
5 - "Use your words..." Stars! I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I personally find Jennifer Armentrout’s NA/YA works some of the best out there, she excels in this genre, whereas I find her adult offerings a little on the mediocre side, she always delivers, and with her own unique style when it comes to her younger characters. Mallory and Rider, are kids of the system, both had horrendous beginnings to their lives, yet after one horrifying night, one got lucky, the other got absorbed into a broken system. That said at the point we pick up their story again, four years on, both of them are making the best of the hand that life has dealt them. "Hoping never really got us anywhere did it." This is one of those books that pulls you in from its first paragraph, it also keeps you in its grip as you discover more about the Mallory and Rider from the past, versus the Mallory and Rider of the now. The direction their story took wasn’t a massive surprise, but I still could not put it down, its one you become emotionally invested in very quickly. "You’re not the same girl I knew four years ago." One the protector, and you can tell straight off who, but I liked that as the story took shape you could see the underlying strength pushing through from the other as well. Especially as events overtook them, and Rider’s perceived control of the situation he found himself in was completely blown away. Mallory steps up, but also as events unfold realizes that under the devil-may-care façade Rider puts across, is a guy dealing with more than a few feelings of insecurity himself. Parts of the book are understandably hard to read, but everything is so beautifully put forth that even the unhappy bits were worth reading, the author took two damaged souls, and rebuilt their connection until they were whole again. I like that Mallory’s issues weren’t rushed through to a perfect resolution, she is a work in progress, and you can see that progress as the story moves along. "We don't have the same lives anymore, do we?" Going back to school is a big thing for her, and the author imparted that, and the feelings and reactions towards those first few weeks really put you there with her. There is scope with this book in my opinion to be developed into a series, what with the events of this story having an irrevocable effect on some of the secondary characters, there are also a plethora of students at Lands High School that could potentially have their own issues that they are dealing with as well. Notably for me though are Ainsley and Hector, best friends of Mallory and Rider, in the latter stages of this book I found myself as interested in what was going on with them as I was with the main couple. In her eyes, he took up her entire world. This is just a beautifully written book, I cannot recommend it highly enough. ARC generously provided via Netgalley, and it was an absolute pleasure to provide the above honest review.
Kristas_Dust_Jacket More than 1 year ago
Never in the history of books has an author made a type of punctuation carry so much weight. In the case of Jennifer L. Armentrout's THE PROBLEM WITH FOREVER, it's the ellipse - those three little dots that indicate... a pause. Trust me when I say, it won't be just the punctuation in this book that will take your breath away. It'll be every single word in this tale about childhood abuse and neglect and the far reaching affects of it. The topic is handled with great sensitivity and respect. There are no easy fixes or gentle brush-offs. The Problem With Forever calls attention to the fact that, as children, we're taught the things that will carry us through into adulthood. Sometimes those lessons are good ones. Sometimes they're not. But, the adults and the people with power in our lives have a great responsibility, and when they shirk that, it takes a village to fix the damage that can occur. In The Problem With Forever, Mallory and Rider shared a foster home for ten years. Those ten years were horribly traumatic for both of them. Eventually they both made it out, but had to go separate ways, and for four more years, they had no contact. Now, Mallory is attempting to overcome the fears her past has instilled in her by spending her senior year of high school in public school. It's there that she runs into Rider once more and realizes that, while something may never change, other things could never have stayed the same. As a parent, The Problem With Forever brought to my own mind a sort of affirmation that the love and attention I bestow upon my kids will serve them well in life. It also reminded me that my own actions and words are being seen and heard, so I need to always be mindful of that. Mallory and Rider were shown that violence and harsh words were just how life was. They had to adapt in order to survive. Rider had to learn to take a beating in order to protect his friend. Mallory had to stay silent so as not to call attention to herself and incur her foster parents' wrath. Even years after being removed from that home and being brought up in homes filled with love didn't remove some of the conditioning they underwent. The Problem With Forever was an incredibly powerful and emotional book. I got to know Jennifer Armentrout's writing style by reading about characters filled with snark that made me laugh out loud sometimes. This may be one of the first books by her that I've read where that's almost non-existent. Not to say it's completely missing. Mallory might be an introvert, but her thoughts when she sees a hot guy are the same as any other 17-year-old girl's. But, as I mentioned before, there is an undercurrent of seriousness and brevity that is handled so expertly here. From the very beginning I was drawn in to Rider and Mallory's story. I was curious as to what Rider was keeping from Mallory. And I was cheering for Mallory to come out of her shell enough to stand up for herself to her adoptive parents, to Rider's ex, and even to Rider himself. There will be parts of this book that will make you cry. But, you will also cheer and laugh and rage. It's an amazing book that doesn't pull any punches. And, it will make you look at the world just a little differently.
SiobhanDavisAuthor More than 1 year ago
Amazingly perfect. I devour everything JLA writes the minute it's released. Well, The Problem with Forever elevates my admiration to a whole new level of awesomeness. I am completely blown away after reading this book. So much so that it's taken me a few days to gather my thoughts into some kind of logical order. Without a doubt, this is one of the best books Jennifer has written (and I don't admit that lightly.) One of the things I loved the most was the refreshingly different characters. Both Rider and Mallory were complex characters with plenty of strengths and weaknesses. Character development was steady and well balanced as we gradually got to peel back the layers to understand exactly what had happened to them in childhood and how that had shaped the people they were today. Mallory struggles to articulate herself because of her past. It is not shyness; it is a protective mechanism that has become a habit. She understands that she needs to stretch out of her comfort zone because she wants to have the type of future that once seemed impossible. What she didn't expect was to bump into Rider again after a four-year separation. The moment they rediscovered one another was electrifying. Honestly, I think my heart damn near stopped in my chest. I felt the raw emotion as if I was living the scene myself. And from the minute Rider came back into her life, he became her protector again, and I swooned along with Mouse. Oh, Rider! (I'll talk about him in a bit.) Mallory suffers intense anxiety as she attempts to overcome her fears and the obstacles holding her back. There were plenty of scenes where she couldn't speak and I felt her anguish, her self-loathing, her frustration. It was downright cringing at times, and if this was a movie I would have had my eyes squeezed shut and my head in my hands. I felt all the feels while reading this book and in my opinion Jennifer NAILED the emotional complexity perfectly. I've suffered panic attacks and anxiety in the past and the way it was described was exactly my experience of it. Seriously well done for that. Rider. Oh, Rider. How on earth am I going to find a place on my already-crowded book boyfriend list for you? I don't know how I'll manage it, but there is no way you are being left out. Rider is Mallory's perpetual savior and he resumes that role the minute they become reacquainted. I felt this gave him the sense of purpose he was lacking and it made him feel better about himself. Because on the inside he's destroyed; a total mess thanks to the horrific upbringing he endured. But he won't even admit that to himself, and my heart bled for him the entire way through this book. He put her needs before his own time and time again, and while she was capable of standing up for herself in the end-and she needed him to step away to let her do that-I couldn't fault his loyalty and commitment to her. It was so obvious he was completely in love with her before he ever admitted it. I loved how Mallory matured and progressed during this book, and how it was a realistic gradual progression. I especially loved how she took charge toward the end and forced Rider into confronting his demons. It showed strength, bravery and above all, love. The chemistry between our couple was scorching hot, though nothing much happened until the second half of the book. But I really felt the intensity of the attraction and the bond between them. A great read.