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3.8 out of 5
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  • A beautiful book, both inside and out!

    I pride myself on not judging books by their covers, and yes I know being prideful is a sin, but this cover is one of the most beautiful ones I've ever seen. It's easy to look at it and see how appealing it is, but I was only fully able to appreciate it after I finished reading the book. I will say this, it's almost like it was stolen from the pages of the story. And what a story. Gemma and Josh's initial meeting was hot and filled with potential and I hated seeing them part. That positive vibe quickly shifted when Josh showed up in New Zealand. I did think he was slightly crazy for chasing a one night stand, but as it turned out doing so was the best thing he could've possibly done. I liked Josh. He may have seemed lost in Vancouver, with a job he didn't like, a mother he loved but didn't like, but he wasn't without virtue; he was kind, patient, understanding, and kept trying to get Gemma to open up to him. Gemma was wonderful too, even though I thought she made some bad choices, I could understand and relate to the fears that led her to making them. I loved how strong Gemma was, not only physically, but mentally. The chemistry the two of them had me turning pages quickly and mentally yelling at them, "Get it together!" Besides the gorgeous cover, I loved the setting of this story. In fact, I can say it's probably the third most important character in this book after Gemma and Josh. I've always pictured New Zealand as being wondrous and an adventure, but I had no idea how breath taking it could by just reading about it. Karina Halle uses such evocative descriptions it was very easy to see the beaches and glow worms in the caverns. I've always had New Zealand on my list of countries to visit, but this book makes me want to get up and go right now! I really wasn't paying much attention to the page count as I read, but it was all about the journey Josh, Gemma, and their other fellow trekkers were on. I absolutely adore how Karina didn't use the usual template some romance authors use. The template I'm referring to is intercourse at around the half point of the book. The story might start with a one night stand, but everything after that was an almost torturous slow burn, and I loved it! I honestly feel like every book I read by Karina Halle is better and different than her last. Whether she's writing a darker style book, or something contemporary and lighter, she manages to infuse this gravitas that resonates with me and I think with readers everywhere. I can't wait to see how she surprises me with her next book.

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