Title: Winter Hopes (Seasons of Love #2)
Author: Jennifer Gracen
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Source: Booktrope Publishing
Summary: Author Jennifer Gracen reunites sexy, sophisticated Sam and sweet but wounded Lydia in Book Two of the Seasons of Love series, ”Winter Hopes.” Newly divorced mom Lydia is just getting back on her feet, and still reeling from her intense encounter with Sam at a friend’s destination wedding. As they tentatively explore the demands and rewards of long-distance dating, their instant connection evolves against the vibrant backdrop of New York City. Each begins to trust again – opening up is difficult, even painful, but the joy and hope they feel in each other’s arms demands they lay their hearts on the line. Can their love survive the miles that separate them, and the complexities of nurturing a relationship via email, text and phone? And when Sam finally meets Lydia’s family, will old resentments and unspoken biases bring them closer together or drive them apart?
Full of the passion and tension any newly-joined couple experiences, this steamy yet hopeful book lays the foundation for Lydia’s budding relationship with Sam, and offers hope for second chances and a deep appreciation for the value of loyal friends
Okay, this will contain a spoiler or two, so proceed with caution, you’ve been warned.
I was very excited to get an ARC of Winter Hopes after reading Autumn Getaway. I wanted to know how the story played out for Lydia and Sam.
While the first book in the series focused on them meeting, this one brought us into their budding relationship a little more. Lydia is still cautious, and rightly so, but by the end of the book we see her opening up more, trusting Sam more and letting him into parts of her life that are extremely important for a single mother.
I once again loved the relationship between Lydia and her son. The bond they share brought me to tears during some parts. Andy is such a sweet little boy and, having dealt with speech problems in my family as well, my heart goes out to this character. I want to wrap him in my arms and give him a big hug.
Now, here’s where you might want to skip if you don't want to get a spoiler in rant form.
I didn’t get into too much Sam detail with the first review, but oh, am I going to get into it now.
Sam seemed like a decent guy; honest, trustworthy…which is why I had such a hard time with him and Hailey. I mean, yeah, okay, Lydia and he had just met, there were no commitments yet, they were still getting to know each other, but… he was desperately trying to pursue her. He wanted to date long distance, he wanted Lydia to give them a chance, it was his idea to see where things went between them once he was back in Chicago and she was in New York. And then the first chance he gets he meets up with his fuck buddy?
I felt sick reading that scene. Seriously, punched in the gut, wanting to throw up sick. Here’s Lydia back in NY, thinking she’s got this good thing starting with such an amazing guy, gushing about him to her friends and family and he’s banging his friend with benefits. Why? Because he had built up sexual frustration from not fucking Lydia? Asshat.
And then when Sam is questioned by his friends, and asked if him and Lydia were turning into a thing he said yes! Yes! He was just screwing someone else but it’s turning into a thing? What the fuck man? Yes, I know she wasn’t his girlfriend yet. Yes, I know they weren’t technically dating and still in the getting to know each other stage. And yes, I know this is typical behaviour of men…Okay, alright and of women too, but it still made me sick.
And to top it off, he’d be pissed off if he found she had been screwing around with someone else the entire time they’d been talking. Hypocritical much, buddy?
*deep breath* Okay, rant over.
Sam did redeem himself though, and turned back into that decent guy once more. And I have to say this: Even though I hated what he did with Hailey, I like that the author made him do it. It was real. And, I may sound like a hater, but it was definitely something a man would do. And the fact that Gracen got that kind of reaction from me just proves what a great writer she is.
Winter Hopes was another great read. I’m looking forward to what the rest of the series has in store.
About the Author
Jennifer Gracen hails from Long Island, New York, where she lives with her two sons. After spending her youth writing in private and singing in public, she now only sings in her car and is immersed in her passion for writing. She loves to write contemporary romance for readers who look for authentic characters and satisfying endings. When she isn’t with her kids, doing freelance copy editing, or chatting on Twitter and Facebook, Jennifer writes. Jennifer is the author of Autumn Getaway and Winter Hopes, already published by Booktrope Editions. Spring Shadows, Book 3 of the Seasons of Love Series, will be published Fall 2014. Jennifer is a member of the Romance Writers of America and is active in the Long Island Romance Writers. Please visit her at: http://www.jennifergracen.com