Author: Karen Ann Hopkins (Twitter)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publish Date: January 28, 2014
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
All I want is my happily-ever-after. That's all I've wanted since meeting Noah Miller.From the day we met, the world has tried to keep Noah and me from being together, but now that I'm carrying his child, no one will be able to tear us apart. Or so I hope. But Noah and I have made some mistakes along the way, and the consequences are impacting the people we love. Worse, there's a storm on the horizon, and it's sure to cause serious devastation.If we can get through this, we'll finally be Rose and Noah; a family, forever. But first we have to survive the road ahead. And happily-ever-after is a long way off.
This is the third novel in Karen Ann Hopkin's Temptation series, and I must admit that from the start, this has been a guilty-pleasure series for me. I'm generally the type of reader that wants rough, tough and gruff contemporary fiction, and I have a penchant for quickly discarding what might otherwise be considered sappy romance. However, Forever earned a spot on my review pile, simply because there is something inherently alluring about a forbidden romance - especially one that crosses cultures and beliefs. Forever, once again, brings us back to Meadow View with Rose and Noah as they attempt to navigate new obstacles blocking their paths to happiness, yet again.
For those of you unfamiliar with the series, Forever and its predecessors are the tales of an Amish boy, Noah, who falls in love with an English (non-Amish) girl, Rose. While much of the setup for the previous novels felt a bit trite and cliche, this third and final installment in the series offered a surprising amount of new depth to a pretty dramatic tale. Noah and Rose were rather reckless with their love for one another in the previous novels and, while they knew that their love would have consequences, they gave it little to no thought at all before. This time, however, we see Noah step up and mature, which I found really helpful for a series such as this. It would have been so easy for the author to simply settle for the drama of an unplanned pregnancy, but we actually get to see Noah take ownership of his actions and their subsequent repercussions. I was, however, still frustrated with Rose. There are serious strings attached to their relationship at this point, yet she still felt the need to hide it from her disapproving father. Colour me mad, but I would have loved to see the same level of maturity and growth from her as I did from Noah.
In terms of writing, Ms. Hopkins doesn't disappoint. Her prose is simple but sweet, and it has a delicate nature that doesn't feel overtly flowery or pretentious, but it weighs lightly on our hearts while it pulls us into this web of a story. Like I said before, this is not the type of series that I'd normally love, but it's engaging, and you can't help but root for two such characters. The ending was a bit neater than I might have liked. I like a bit of an open end, if only to keep me thinking about the story long after I close the book on the final page, but Forever gives readers what it's promises from the start - a happily ever after. I do wish we could see Rose and Noah grow a bit more together as friends, rather than just lovers, but I suppose that's asking a bit much of such a series.
Overall though, Forever is a fitting conclusion to a romantic forbidden love story. It was an interesting take on cross-culture relationships and, while often a bit cheesy, it was sweet, and it's a fast-paced read you can easily finish in a night. I give it a high 3.5 out of 5, and I recommend it to all fans of YA and contemporary romance novels.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.