ARC review: The Feeling of Forever by Jamie Howard

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Juliet St. Clair is one of Hollywood’s hottest actresses.  Felix Donovan is the drummer for one of the country’s most popular bands.  Neither of them is particularly thrilled to find they’ve been named the year’s Sexiest Woman and Sexiest Man, but according to their publicists, there’s not much of a choice in the matter.  They’re especially not thrilled to find that they’re required to do a photoshoot together.  Juliet, because she was really looking forward to some downtime after her insane schedule the last few months. And Felix, well, he isn’t too happy about it since he’s been hiding from the press after a recent accident left him paralyzed from the waist down.

While neither of them expects to get too much out of the shoot, what they find is that they’re perfectly suited to each other.  Felix is thrilled (although a little suspicious) when Juliet doesn’t even bat an eyelash at his present condition.  Juliet appreciates that Felix seems to see past her celebrity status and piles of money and actually like her as a person. It’s not long before they’re spending all their free time together, but can a relationship between an A-list actress and a reclusive drummer actually work?

Alright, I absolutely loved this book. Both Juliet and Felix felt real, and I never once doubted their connection.  Their relationship built naturally, and I loved that Felix’s paralysis was never brushed aside, but was also never used gratuitously to advance the plot.  I loved that Juliet saw Felix for who he really was, and not just as some tragic story in a wheelchair.  I loved that Felix cared so much for Juliet and tried so hard to protect her.

There is a side plot of a stalker from Juliet’s past who comes back to haunt her. Though this is usually the type of storyline to make me throw a book aside in disgust, I thought that Jamie Howard handled it really well.  This type of storyline is usually very over-the-top, with the stalker making bold, uncalculated moves to throw the victim into a frantic state of worry, and I wonder how exactly the culprit gets away with it, and how exactly the police can be dumb enough not to find them.  In this case, though, it’s more subtle.

Juliet gets an ominous note, often just a sentence or two, in an unmarked envelope.  She gets a photo in the mail of a moment she thought was private. There are big moves, too, things that it would seem weird for a random person to get away with, but somehow it makes sense.  Honestly, the only reason I took a star off of my rating is that I saw the identity of her stalker coming from a mile away.  I can’t fault the author, though, because it’s the only outcome that makes sense.

Everything about this book was great, from the pacing to the writing to the balance between romance and drama. Excuse me for a moment while I add Jamie Howard to my list of must-read authors.

Final rating: ★★★★☆

Thank you to Netgalley and Swerve for the ARC!

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