by Jenika Snow
Series: Ash Brothers #2
Also in this series: Hard Wood, Touch Wood
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: April 1, 2018
I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
A new virgin-hero novella from USA TODAY bestselling author Jenika Snow
The Ash Brothers—they know how to handle their wood
They call me Big Johnny, and they’re not wrong. I’m big all over, and burly, too. But when it comes to her, I’m a freaking pussycat.
There’s never been a time when she wasn’t on my mind, not even when she left Rockbridge for college. Those four years were the hardest of my life. Literally.
Saving myself for her has never been the problem. It’s telling her how I feel.
She’s back now and it’s painfully obvious to even a lumberjack like me: Flora’s not a teenager anymore. She’s a woman who knows what she wants.
That’s me…and the wood I’m packing.
I liked the previous novella in the Ash Brothers series, Hard Wood, so I was looking forward to reading the next story featuring Johnny and Flora, who were both introduced in that book. Unfortunately, this one didn’t work as well for me.
Johnny is the second Ash brother, and he’s the definition of the strong silent type. Flora, who’s seven years younger, also grew up in the small mountain town of Rockbridge, but left to go to college. She’s been in love with Johnny for as long as she can remember, and Johnny’s been in love with her since her eighteenth birthday. They’ve been back in the same town for almost a year, but neither has been able to confess their feelings for each other.
It’s a undeniably sweet story, but I felt like too much time was spent on each character moping and yearning for the other, and not as much on the two actually communicating. For such a short story, a lot of the internal monologue felt much too repetitive – each character is too old/young for the other, or too pretty or too whatever. Once they actually start communicating – by a blurted out “I love you,” which was absolutely adorable – they move quickly to having rampant bunny sex, which, given that they were both virgins, seemed a bit varied to me.
Overall, while this one missed the mark for me, I’ll be picking up the third one for sure!