JUST ONE YEAR by Penelope Ward
Model: Chase Mattson ♦ Photographer: Derick Smith ♦ Cover designer: Letitia Hasser, RBA Designs
3.5 slow burn CROWNS
I have to say, I’m a little conflicted about this book, and therefore how to review it. I think the reason for this simply comes down to personal preference. Overall I did enjoy Caleb and Teagan’s story but as a very slow burn friends to lovers romance, it really was a little too slow for me. The friends aspect of their relationship lasted for the majority of the book and there was a lot of dialogue between this couple. Although I’m not a fan of drama for drama’s sake, I would’ve preferred a little more action and conflict to drive the plot forward. However, the simple, straightforward writing style suited the story and YA feel to the book, which for the most part was a very cute and rather sweet, heartwarming love story.
I really liked the first part of the book, which, except for one heart-rending revelation, was fun and funny. Sadly though, for me, I did feel the middle fell a little flat. In contrast, the last third of the book gave me more of the surprises and that action I was looking for and actually was very touching and poignant in parts. So much so in fact, that it brought tears to my eyes. Thanks to a few home truths from Caleb, Teagan does a lot of growing up over the course of the book, stops hiding herself away and begins to shine. Their backgrounds may be different but they have more in common when it comes to feeling worthy than they might have thought.
On balance, I think with Just One Year it’s a case of me not you. Although this one didn’t quite hit the mark for me, I’m sure many readers will thoroughly enjoy this quick, easy, low angst read.
4 Fated CROWNS
This wasn’t really what I was expecting from this one. It was sweet and romantic with moments of HOT steam in between.
I really enjoyed the couple, but unlike the typical romantic couple, these young characters were really mature in their thinking and their actions. They considered the future, the feelings, and the actual realities of their situation. Because of that, the story really is a slow burn as they figure out the logistics of how to make this all work.
I did ultimately enjoy watching them move from strangers to friends to lovers. We got to see them develop a real bond, and even though they make big decisions for and with each other, again, they seemed mature and rational in their choices.
The one aspect that really sold me on this book was the importance of family and forgiveness. It emphasized that it isn’t too late to make amends, family is more than blood, and familial ties can last across distances. It was really a heartwarming and unexpected attribute of the story.
Just One Year was a pleasant surprise. It is definitely a slow burn, the characters are young and need some guidance, but there are many swoonworthy romantic aspects to the story.
***I did also listen to the audibook, and I think the narrators really brought a little something extra to the story.
The beginning of my sophomore year in college was off to a rough start.
On the first day of orientation, I had an altercation with an infuriating British dude.
(In the men’s room. Don’t ask.)
I got home later that night and realized that the foreign student we were expecting
to rent a room in my parents’ house was allergic to our cat.
So, the spare room went to someone else: Caleb—the British guy from the men’s
And so it began…my love-hate story with Caleb Yates. Or was it hate-love in that
The guy knew how to push every one of my buttons.
Sometimes I’d email him to express my aggravation and disdain.
He’d actually rewrite my own words and send them back to me.
That was the type of infuriating person Caleb was.
Sometimes incredibly funny and endearingly sweet.
He eventually grew on me, and Caleb soon became one of my best friends that year.
Too bad he was headed back to England soon, so nothing could happen between us—for so many reasons.
I definitely couldn’t fall in love with him, especially since all we had was just one year.
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About the Author:
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author of contemporary romance.
She grew up in Boston with five older brothers and spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor. Penelope resides in Rhode Island with her husband, son, and beautiful daughter with autism.
With over two million books sold, she is a 21-time New York Times bestseller and the author of over twenty novels. Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and can be found in bookstores around the world.
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