Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Synopsis for The Charlotte Chronicles (from Goodreads):
Charlotte Randolph was only fifteen when she fell in love with her best friend’s gorgeous older brother—but she wasn’t foolish enough to hope he could ever love her back. Nate Jackson always viewed her as a pesky kid…until the day she got sick. The one bright spot during her illness? He realized she was all grown up. But just when she allows herself to believe that dreams can come true, Nate disappears from her life, taking her heart with him.
Nate knows he lost more than his best friend when he deserted Charlotte to enlist in the Navy. He thought he was doing the right thing, sparing the girl he loves from the shame and humiliation of his actions. Nine years later, it’s time to right his wrongs. He returns home determined to win back his first love…only to find that Charlotte’s moved on without him.
But if there’s one thing that being a Navy SEAL has taught Nate? Never give up, even when all hope seems lost. And Nate’s never going to give up on Charlotte. Ever.
Series: The Jackson Boys
A Spin-off of the Woodlands Series
Author: Jen Frederick
# of Books: 2 (Full Series Reading Order)
Book Order: Companion
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Heat Rating: Hot
Point of View: First Person, Alternating
Publication Dates: December 2014 – October 2018
Source & Format: Kindle Unlimited–eBook
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I have a few Jen Frederick books on my TBR and on my eReaders thanks to freebies and great deals, but The Charlotte Chronicles was the novel I really wanted to read. So when I saw I could read it as a part of Kindle Unlimited, I jumped at the chance.
It sounded like a super cute story and I was really intrigued by premise. Character illness isn’t something I come across too often but I have really enjoyed them when I do find them.
Each novel actually started as a “weekly episode” type of story where Frederick would post an episode one week at a time on her website/newsletter. She then compiled it into one full novel.
At times, I think it shows that this series was written as one little bit at a time. The pacing was a little weird for me: it focused longer on some things and shorter on others.
For example, in The Charlotte Chronicles (#1), I didn’t expect to get so much of their past. I thought this would be more of a second chance novel were we would learn about their past through memories or just have a chapter or two at the start. Instead, we get solid percentage of the book dedicated to seeing these two in the early days of their relationship. Which is great because you really fall in love with these two and it brings major heartbreak when you know they break up sometime in the near future.
The first book made me super excited for Be Mine because of all the inklings we get along the way. This book was a solid 4/5 (I was flying through it!) but I didn’t particularly like how the drama came to the forefront near the end.
I really liked all our leads and the cast of characters we meet in these two stories. I love the power of friendship that gets exhibited in all of them. Yes, each story focuses on the romance but the friendships are equally as important.
In The Charlotte Chronicles, the thing that irked me the most was that I didn’t understand why they were separated for as long as they did. Like, I understood the foundation for the separation but it seemed like everything was blown out of proportions–especially when you see how they were as kids.
As for Be Mine, I liked the slow burn of their relationship and the tension it brought to the story. I’ll be honest and say that I wanted a little more substance to their romance. It seemed like some innate connection that wasn’t overly elaborated on. Like the two of them spend a lot of time together and I think a lot of their bonding happens side stage to the rest of the story.
Series Rating: 3/5
The Charlotte Chronicles 3/5 | Be Mine 3/5
There’s a lot to like about these novels and the writing is addictive. But the pacing is slightly off and I wasn’t a fan of how some of the drama unfolded.
Read if You Like: contemporary reads, second chance romances
Avoid if You: dislike drama
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