*I received a free copy of Unforgettable You from MIRA via Author. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Series: Silver Springs #5
Published by MIRA on February 26, 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Jada Brooks couldn't have known how her life would change when she fell for bad boy Maddox Richardson back in high school. She couldn't have known his troubled brother would leave hers forever crippled. Or that she'd be forced to shun Maddox completely--only to discover she was carrying his child.
Although Maddox was devastated by the events that transpired that fateful night, losing Jada was the worst of it. He's back in Silver Springs, ready to make amends and provide the kind of youth outreach that once saved him. If he'd known Jada was in town, too, he would never have come.
Jada has returned to Silver Springs to be with family after her father's death. But when she sees Maddox, every tough decision she's made concerning their now twelve-year-old daughter begins to haunt her. Falling for him again is so tempting, but not only does she stand to alienate her family--if he finds out about Maya, she could lose what matters most.
It’s been awhile since I visited Silver Springs so I was excited for Unforgettable You. Novak has built a cast I truly enjoy. Although I didn’t get to spend as much time with characters I already knew, I was glad to meet Jada and Maddox.
Yeah, the other characters we knew and loved in Silver Springs didn’t make that many appearances. And while I, too, enjoyed meeting Jada and Maddox, I think I would have liked it even more if we had more appearances by former main characters.
Jada was a character I was immediately drawn to. I know she was in a position to move home but I admired her for doing so. It said a lot about her that she was willing to help her mom and brother despite how awful her mother had been to her. How did you feel about Jada initially?
I agree, Jada and her patience drew me to her as well. Her mother, especially, made me foam at the mouth with anger at times. I don’t understand holding on to resentment for all that time. It has to be exhausting! Jada had been through a lot, but she was able to set aside her anger and sadness to do what was right.
Maddox – Wow! He was a New Horizons success story even though he didn’t attend the school for long. I respected him for making something of himself despite his family “issues” and even more so for his desire to give back to the place – and mentor – who’d given him so much. What did you think of him?
Definitely a New Horizons success story! I loved Maddox from the beginning. He really thought of how his presence might impact other people, and was even ready to say no to a job that was important to him. He was a truly stand up guy, in every way.
There were reasons for Jada and Maddox’s leaving Silver Springs and those circumstances were unfortunate for all they cost them. I understood how they each felt about seeing one another again. They both had different ideas about what the other thought of them. But it was clear there was something still there between them. And I admit I was a bit frustrated that Jada continued to toe the line concerning her mother’s mandates regarding Maddox. I know she wanted to support her mom – and keep down wanted her mom’s approval. But I felt the point at which she should consider what was best for her and her daughter should have come sooner. How did you feel?
In a way, I understood why Jada continued to toe the line concerning her mother. I mean – she was dependent on her for a place to live with her daughter. However, the price she had already paid, and continued to pay was so steep! And yeah, the chemistry between Maddox and Jada was still there. The way they couldn’t stop thinking about each other made my heart so happy!
Jada and Maddox’s brothers were inexorably linked by the events of a night 13 years prior. I felt for Tobias, Maddox’s brother, for all he’d endured and lost. He had a long road ahead of him to get to a life he could be proud of. Atticus, Jada’s brother, also lost a lot. However, he seemed to continue to wallow in resentment, anger, and self-pity. And I felt his mom was largely the reason for that. I admired Tobias for making inroads with Atticus toward healing and moving on. And I was so happy with where they both were in the end. How did you feel about how these two dealt with the fate they were handed?
I agree, the mom wanted Atticus to be dependent on her. To stay home. To be there when she got home from work. And help her wallow in the own resentment about everything in her life that wasn’t the way she wanted it to be. It’s been a long time since I’ve read about a character as bitter as the mom. It was like she didn’t know who she could be if she didn’t hold on to the blame and bitterness, you know? Atticus really needed Jada to tell him to kick himself in the butt – and he felt so much better once he started going out of the house more.
Aiyana – the founder of New Horizons and mentor/boss to Maddox – is a character I adore. She’s an all-around good person, offering advice, help, or whatever is needed of her. So I was happy she had a role in Unforgettable You. But I also really liked the addition of Uriah Lamb, Maddox’s landlord. He filled a paternal role for both Maddox and Tobias – something they both needed and Uriah himself needed as well. What are your thoughts on Uriah’s role in the Richardson brothers’ lives?
Aiyana is my favorite character of the whole Silver Springs series – and I think she played an important role in Unforgettable You, too. She is just an all around good person. I loved Uriah, too. He was wise, calm, and didn’t judge people without knowing them. We need more people like him in the real world, too. I think he was very important to Tobias and Maddox’ return to Silver Springs. And I think that him being so open minded and fair helped both of them more than anything else could.
Jada’s mom really lost it in the end. What do you think it takes for a person to become that bitter and resentful? She was hard for me to understand. She had some hard knocks, sure, but her life was pretty good. And yet she lived to be miserable and make Jada miserable too.
I just don’t know, wifey. I don’t get it at all, either. It seems to be exhausting to be so resentful and angry all the time. And she didn’t really have the energy for anything but her shop and her children already. Plus, with her lupus, I’m sure she was feeling worse because of all the turmoil she brought with her everywhere she went. I’m kind of glad she wasn’t a part of the end of the book – she didn’t deserve partake in all that positive energy (and that sounds petty of me, I know!) Hopefully, in the future, she will be able to put her anger aside and see how many blessings she still has.
I enjoyed Jada’s daughter, Maya. She seemed very wise for a 12 year old though. I appreciated the portion of the epilogue from her POV and it made me wish Novak had fleshed her out a bit more. What did you think of Maya?
She was definitely a very mature and wise 12-year-old. Almost a little too much, plus she was very observant of other people’s emotions all the time. I mean, some kids are like that, but not constantly, yeah? I wished Maya would have been more than a kind of prop, too. Apart from making certain some things happened, she didn’t really appear to be fully a part of the story.
What about Tiffany? I liked her and the support she offered Jada and Maya. But there were times when her advice was dubious. Your thoughts?
I actually loved Tiffany. She had been Jada’s friend from the beginning. Plus, she had been through some not so fun stuff herself. And while not all her advice was golden, it did come from a good place, and that’s really important.
The big reveal…I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. And it didn’t happen in a way I anticipated. I felt Maddox’s initial reaction to Jada’s secret was realistic. So I felt his quick change of heart – even if it made logical sense – was too quick. How did you feel? I guess it made me appreciate the epilogue that much more.
I was very disappointed in the shoe drop, to be honest. I didn’t believe the reaction of either character. It was way too easy, and made the rest of the story feel like it was striving for drama. The epilogue was nice and all, but in a way, it was too little too late.
In the end, I was mostly satisfied with Unforgettable You. I had some issues but I was happy with where Jada, Maddox, and Maya ended up. And I’m anxious for Tobias’ story. 🙂
I agree, I was mostly fine with the story, and I’m definitely looking forward to Tobias’ story. I have some theories I want to discuss with you privately 😉
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: