For Finlay by J. Nathan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Finlay Thatcher is a lost soul, guilt-ridden after the death of her twin brother. When Alabama's football coach gives her the opportunity to work for him, she knows it's her chance to move on, even if it means living her brother's dream.
Caden Brooks is Alabama's star quarterback. He's got it all. The attention of adoring fans. A girlfriend who'd do anything to hold on to him. And a future in the pros. He's getting along just fine until Finlay steps into his life, despising him at first sight and pushing his buttons like no other.
Unfortunately for Finlay, and her attempt to keep Caden at arm's length, there's nothing Caden loves more than a challenge. The problem with this challenge is she comes with a secret that has the power to destroy everything.
This is exactly the kind of book I like to sit down to on a weekend when I'm resting and read. I would put J. Nathan up there with Amy Harmon on my list of authors that I would want to be trapped on an island with to fight off zombies!! That is no lie y'all! They both know how to write heart-tugging, heartwarming romance that settles in your soul and doesn't let go. I will no more be forgetting For Finlay than I will be forgetting Making Faces for the some of the same reasons and some different..
You have a very strong heroine (Finlay) and a hero (Caden) who doesn't really see himself as a hero but sees himself like everyone else sees him...Quarterback that everyone wants to be. Winning all the games, making all the grades, dating the head of the sorority but he likes Finlay because she speaks to his soul in a way that no one else does. Finlay is the teams water girl and she's there to heal from what's happened in her past. She can't make the past go away and she can't make it better but maybe she can learn to live with the mistakes of yesterday. What she can't live with is that she hates the quarterback with a passion and that he's living a life he doesn't deserve, one her brother should have had if he had been alive. What she didn't count on is liking him when she thought she hated him.
This is a story of a young woman who's trying to come to terms with the fact that her mistakes can't be fixed, she can't say sorry to the one person that was a part of her and how is she supposed to move on when she doesn't really know who she is without him? Her brother was with her for her whole life and now he's not and dealing with that when you're a twin is even harder than Finlay thought. She's handling life but she isn't living it.
For me, this book had it all - sorrow, angst, love, romance, humor, and that one person that you can't stand no matter what you do. You'd rather stab her with a hot poker than read about her but you know the author threw the girlfriend in there just so you'd have someone to kick the cat over. I didn't really kick the cat because 1) I don't have a cat 2) That would be wrong 3) Cats should be swung gently LOL :)
Everyone that reads my reviews knows I hate misunderstandings and there's one in this but it works because it gives Caden that needed "Pow!" to get him to follow through on telling Finlay how he feels and also to move the story along. I found the writing to be superb, witty, the pacing was well-timed, sometimes the romance part was rushed and could have used a little bit of a slow build but it was sufficient. The language wasn't terrible or overrun with profanity. I would definitely buy this and let my mother read it and I probably will. I will probably keep this on my reread shelf when I want something that speaks to my heart, yet doesn't make me cry my face off all night long.
Well done J. Nathan! You did a splendid job with this book and I'm really looking forward to your book with Forester's story because I thought he was a stand up guy. I hope I get to read his story as an ARC because I'm chomping at the bit for more about the team, Sabrina, Finlay and Caden.
I was given a copy of this ARC from the publisher on Netgalley for a honest review. All of the above comments are my express opinions and no one else's.
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