Release Launch/Blog Tour: Unrequited: Jen Frederick

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Unrequited (Woodlands #4)
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Winter Donovan loves two things: her sister and her sister's ex boyfriend. She's spent her whole life doing the right thing except that one time, that night when Finn O'Malley looked hollowed out by his father's death. Then she did something
very wrong that felt terribly right.

Finn can't stop thinking about Winter and the night and he'll do anything to make her a permanent part of his life, even if it means separating Winter from the only family she has. 

Their love was supposed to be unrequited but one grief stricken guy and one girl with too big of a heart results in disastrous consequences.
"Are you humming?" Bo asked.
I looked up from pulling on the dingiest carpet I'd seen in months. This house I'd picked up was vile, worse than usual. Bo had suggested it was a meth factory, given the needles, rotten egg smell, and burnt patches on the walls and flooring. It could have been, or it might just have been an ordinary addict's house, but there was shit everywhere.
If I was humming, I didn't realize it, but I was in a decent mood. I figured once I got Winter to just sit and talk with me, we’d work it out. That was something worth humming about.
I just shrugged and went back to work. "Just trying to block out the god-awful music you choose to play. You've been up north here for almost a year. Can't you play anything but country songs?”
"I could." Bo paused to toss a handful of staples in the trash. "But I know it annoys the hell out of you. And that makes the music sound that much sweeter."
"Too bad you don't know shit all about constructing a house and you still have to hang on my dick until you can get it right."
"Which is why I play music you hate. It fits our dysfunctional relationship."
"I thought you were going to therapy to fix your problems."
"If by ‘therapy’ you mean having a ton of awesome sex with my girlfriend, then yes, I'm in therapy all night and random times during the day." I snorted but wisely said nothing. "But speaking of therapy," Bo continued. My response was a loud groan that I hoped would be hint enough that I didn't want to talk about whatever it was that followed. Bo ignored me. "How's your mom?"
"Well, she texted that she got up and had coffee today, so I count that as a win." I reached down to tug harder on the carpet. Did they glue it down instead of just stapling the edges?
"Mal says 'Paradise lies under the feet of your mother.'"
That made me stop. I gaped at Bo. He threw up his hands, one still holding a crowbar he was using to pull up the tacking strips, the long thin lumber pieces that held the carpet on the edges of the room.
"What the hell does that mean?"
"Apparently it means if you don't make your momma happy, you ain't gonna be happy."
"If I knew what would make her happy, I'd do it," I replied.
"I suck at this comforting thing." He pulled off his hat and scratched his head. "But maybe you outta talk to someone else?"
"Like Lana?" I grunted. "No thanks. Between her and Mal, it sounds like I should be taking my mother on a date."

Winter Donovan always had a crush on her sister's now ex-boyfriend, Finn O'Malley. Her sister put him through hell years ago. Finn is struggling in the present. And  one chance meeting, one grief stricken man, and an unrequited crush leads to one amazing night together. Winter figures she might as well take her one chance of being with him and expects that to be all he wants. But their night is more than either expected.

"I want to lose myself in you, Winter."

He'd marked me as permanently as any tattoo.

But instead of Finn being the one to take off, Winter pulls the runner. Finn has never really had to seek out a relationship. And when he decides he might actually want more, he has a fight on his hands. No matter what Winter feels, her fears and insecurities and his past make her wary.

"Because you make me happy, and I think, if you gave me a chance, I could make you happy too. Both of us need that. I think we need each other."

Finn's persistance pays off and for awhile it seems like everything might just be perfect for them. But they soon are reminded that nothing is ever perfect in the lives. There are people and situations pushing them apart. And Winter's own issues don't help.

Love isn't easy. Love takes work. Do they care enough to fight for it or is it easier to just let it go?

I totally adored Finn. She he has some issues and things he was dealing with. But he was getting past it. He was sweet, caring, devoted, and determined. When he chose a path, he stuck to it. I liked that this was not the typical "tame the manwhore" story. Finn already had respect for women and preferred monogamy even though he never was fully in love before.

Winter sometimes got on my nerves due to her fears. She didn't want to be second best, but at the same time did not always put her own needs first. She often bowed down to her sister's needs. But she was smart, loyal, and had a good heart.

They were so good together. They had a fun rapport, could understand each other, and had good chemistry. But his past with her sister, Ivy, always hung over their heads. He was also holding onto a secret that could really cause more problems. And Winter had doubts and insecurities and hated to be vulnerable.

It was easy to love Finn when he was unavailable. So much harder when he returned that love. Having unrequited feelings are safe. It's when you share them that s*** gets real. 

Her sister, Ivy made me want to throw my kindle. She was quite the stirrer of drama and was quite needy.

I loved getting more with the characters from the other books: Noah and Grace, Bo and AnnMarie, Adam, Mal, Lana, and Tucker. The camaradie and sense of family is part of what I like abut this series. And we met some new interesting people in Tucker's tattoo shop Atra: Rachel, Omar, and Gig. I am still looking forward to Adam and Mal's books and maybe more with Tucker and the tattoo shop.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Winter Donovan had a crush on her sister’s high school boyfriend. Finn O’Malley hasn’t dated Ivy Donovan in years, but the history is still there and Winter fights her attraction by avoiding Finn. It’s not difficult to avoid him though, she has to work multiple jobs to keep the tiny apartment she shares with Ivy while she tries to get back on her feet.

Finn is drowning in grief and pain surrounding the death of his father. He finds it easier to slip into a bottle at night and work during the day than to face the conflicting emotions he feels towards his father. His roommates have tried to pull him up, but he doesn’t want the help.

Until the night they both stopped fighting and gave in to each other. But what Winter thought would be one night, Finn decided he needed always.

These two had a lot of history between them, even before they took a chance on a relationship. Ivy has several issues to deal with, and afraid she’ll turn back to the bottle or drugs, Winter is very sensitive to her needs and goes running anytime she calls. Winter’s big heart is part of what drew Finn to her in the first place, but it also drives a wedge between the couple as she continually runs back to Ivy.

Finn has long been a favorite of the Woodlands men for me and I couldn’t wait for him to get his own book. But the things that happened in the meantime tore me up right alongside him, so I loved the way he began to piece himself back together when the chance to have Winter came around. He went to a lot of effort, against the advice of friends who knew the history, to make it easier to Winter to spend time with him, and to help Ivy so Winter wouldn’t have to work so hard to do so.

There was a significant part of the book where I really didn’t like Ivy. She is manipulative and demands that Winter cater to her needs rather than build her own inner strength to face her problems. But every book needs a conflict, and Ivy certainly made a good challenge for Finn and Winter.

There were a few bits and pieces from the other Woodlands couples, but the major focus remained on Finn and Winter’s relationship and challenges (and Ivy). I love the way these roommates (and their girlfriends) feel like family and care for each other like brothers and sisters. As usual, I can’t wait for the next installment, whether it is Mal or Adam.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Unrequited is  Book #4 in the Woodland series.
Each book is a standalone and can be read separately.

#1 - Undeclared (Noah and Grace)
#1.5 - Undressed (Noah and Grace)
#2 - Unspoken (Bo and AnnMarie)
#3 - Unraveled (Gray and Samantha)
#4 - Unrequited (Finn and Winter)

Undeclared (Book 1)
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For four years, Grace Sullivan wrote to a Marine she never met, and fell in love. But when his deployment ended, so did the letters. Ever since that day, Grace has been coasting, academically and emotionally. The one thing she’s decided? No way is Noah Jackson — or any man — ever going to break her heart again.

Noah has always known exactly what he wants out of life. Success. Stability. Control. That’s why he joined the Marines and that’s why he’s fighting his way — literally — through college. Now that he’s got the rest of his life on track, he has one last conquest: Grace Sullivan. But since he was the one who stopped writing, he knows that winning her back will be his biggest battle yet.

Undressed (novella 1.5)
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Noah and Grace's happy ever after hits a stumbling block in the form of one shady professor threatening Noah's scholarship eligibility. Noah is given the choice of throwing his New Year's MMA fight for a big payoff or accepting that the true meaning of love isn't measured by the thickness of his wallet but the depth of Grace's big heart.

Grace and Noah's story begged for a peak inside their Happy Ever After. Originally published in the anthology Snow Kissed, this holiday novella speaks to the great gifts one person can give to another -- unconditional love.

Unspoken (Book 2)
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Whore. Slut. Typhoid Mary.
I've been called all these at Central College. One drunken night, one act of irresponsible behavior, and my reputation was ruined. Guys labeled me as easy and girls shied away. To cope, I stayed away from Central social life and away from Central men, so why is it that my new biology lab partner is so irresistible to me?

He's everything I shouldn't want. A former Marine involved in illegal fighting with a quick trigger temper and an easy smile for all the women. His fists aren't the danger to me, though, it's his charm. He's sliding his way into my heart and I'm afraid that he's going to be the one to break me.

Impulsive. Unthinking. Hot tempered.
I allow instinct to rule my behavior. If it feels good, do it, has been my motto because if I spend too much time thinking, I'll begin to remember exactly where I came from. At Central College, I've got fighting and I've got women and I thought I was satisfied until I met her.

She's everything I didn't realize I wanted and the more time I spend with her, the more I want her. But she's been hurt too much in the past and I don't want to be the one to break her. I know I should walk away, but I just can't.

Bonus Content: Upon reaching the USA Today Bestselling milestone, I wrote a 10,000 word epilogue as a thank you to the readers who loved and supported Unspoken.  I posted it for free on my blog but at the urging of readers, I have added it to the original version. 

Unraveled (Book 3)
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Kim and Rachel's 4 star reviews

Twenty-five-year-old Sgt. Gray Phillips is at a crossroads in his life: stay in the Marine Corps or get out and learn to be a civilian? He’s got forty-five days of leave to make up his mind but the people in his life aren’t making the decision any easier. His dad wants him to get out; his grandfather wants him to stay in. And his growing feelings for Sam Anderson are wreaking havoc with his heart…and his mind. He believes relationships get ruined when a Marine goes on deployment. So now he’s got an even harder decision to make: take a chance on Sam or leave love behind and give his all to the Marines.

Twenty-two year old Samantha Anderson lost her husband to an IED in Afghanistan just two months after their vows. Two years later, Sam is full of regrets—that she didn't move with her husband to Alaska; that she allowed her friends to drift away; that she hasn't taken many chances in life. Now, she's met Gray and taking a risk on this Marine could be her one opportunity to feel alive and in love again. But how can she risk her heart on another military man who could share the same tragic fate as her husband?

Jen Frederick 

Jen Frederick lives with her husband, child, and one rambunctious dog.  She's been reading stories all her life but never imagined writing one of her own. Jen loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at jen@jenfrederick.com.

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