It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to say in this review. Just FYI, I read Free Me, the first part to this series, and gave it 5 stars. They were 5 well deserved stars at that. I like Find Me but I didn't love it and there is one reason for that: Gwen and JC are very different in this book than they were in Book 1. So if you really love the character depiction in Book 1, there are some things in this book that can be difficult to...appreciate.
In Book 1, JC is painted as a very alpha male with a strong personality and an aversion to commitment (for good reasons which are explained). Gwen comes across as being emotionally stunted but on a journey to find herself and open up and let light and love in, or whatever. In Book 2, however, JC is much...softer. I'm not suggesting that as a criticism, it's just a fact. JC has discovered that he is in love with Gwen so the tension created by his resistance to a relationship evaporates from the story. Gwen is...I'm not really sure what Gwen was in this book. She says that she is trying to remain open and not go into the emotional shell she lived in before JC. Her method of staying "open" is capable of leaving you with a very bad taste in your mouth and a lot of confusion.
In Book 1 Gwen seems so solid but in Book 2, not so much. She makes a decision that is really questionable and follows it up by questioning if she should continue down the same questionable path while we are at home screaming at our Kindles and pulling our hair. The other thing that might surprise you about Gwen in this book is that she just seems much more erratic. To be honest, Gwen felt more like Alayna in this book (who I love for different reasons) than she felt like the Gwen we knew. The problem with the change in JC, I now realize, is that the tension created by his resistance to the idea of a relationship with Gwen evaporates from the story in Book 2. And the tension was really really good so if you are comparing the two books you can feel like there is something missing.
I don't want to spoil anything about this book but the main conflict in the book was really unexpected. I had no idea I was going to be reading about that kind of conflict when I picked up the book. And ok, a very slight spoiler...it involved a love triangle. I just didn't see that coming. I don't love triangles but Paige is so good with words, I didn't have too much trouble with it. I just didn't see it coming.
What I still loved about this book was the writing and the language use. I loved the supporting cast of characters. For those of you who miss Hudson and Alayna, you get to see them in this book and Ben and Norma show up too.
Ok I'm rambling let me sum it up: This is a decent follow up to Book 1 but if you really love the way the characters come across in Book 1, this book might lose some fizzle in your eyes. The thing I walked away thinking is that I'm excited to read the next book about Chandler and glad Gwen and JC got their HEA.
**ARC provided by TRSoR Promotions**