Overall Grade: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Tropes: second chance romance; forced proximity; Vegas wedding; small town romance; found family
A Forest Between Us is the third book I’ve read by author Allie Winters. Winters has an easy way of storytelling, and she engages her reader quickly in her stories. Her newest story follows Harper and Owen, a couple who spend a night together in Vegas and marry each other. The story begins 5 years later when Harper realizes that the marriages in Vegas are actually real. She finds Owen and travels to ask him for an annulment. Due to many incidents, she spends several days with him…in his home…by themselves. What happens…well, what happens in Oregon stays in Oregon.
Let me start with the aspects of A Forest Between Us that I struggled with:
- I’m not a fan of insta-love. It moves too fast for this reader. I would have liked for the beginning of this story to spend more time developing their backstory, but eventually, Winters finds the groove for this couple. In the middle to the latter part of the book, I was invested in Harper and Owen.
- Harper is intelligent. Really, she is. However, the believability of her thinking Vegas weddings don’t count was low. Maybe it’s because I live in California, a state that borders Vegas. I’m not sure, but I had a hard time believing that Harper would have that understanding.
Now, as to what I loved about this story:
- Other than Owen’s insta-love, he is the pinnacle of this story, the reason you should read it. Honestly, he’s a little beta here. When he and Harper finally hit the bedroom, he likes himself a bossy woman. But it’s the way he adores and cherishes her that makes him a swoony romantic hero. His ability to ford streams, carry the woman through the forest, cut wood, and sundry other physical tasks also make him every romance reader’s dream.
- The world that Allie Winters is building here is an interesting one. I’m invested in the other characters of the story, namely Owen’s siblings. I want to read more from Winters in this world because there is something idyllic here, but there are real-life problems. The world of A Forest Between Us is one I want to spend more time in.
- The found family trope is probably one of my favorite tropes as it reminds us that we are not alone. If we have horrible blood relations, we can construct a family of friends who meet our emotional needs. Winters shows us the power of this through Harper’s friendships with her best friends and with her inclusion into Owen’s family. In both groups, Harper receives the love she didn’t feel growing up, and it’s a promise to us all that we can find people to love us.
Allie Winters’s A Forest Between Us was a cute read at a time when I needed something a little sweet, a little spicy, and a little small-town. Don’t miss this one. I think you’ll find yourself smiling wide for Harper and Owen’s journey.
In love and romance,