Read my reviews of the previous books in the Forever Love series:
This book gives the final son of the sprawling combined family that has threaded its way into every corner of Novak’s shared book universe his happily ever after. So far, Oscar’s travel-writer lifestyle (and London home base) means that he has been the most mysterious brother. But the obvious affection his family carries for him means that I knew I’d be more than happy to spend a few hundred pages with him. A misunderstanding puts Oscar on a crash course with Ilias in a fun story that crosses multiple continents and leans into the fake relationship and “only one bed” tropes, supported by the inherent conflict in a grumpy/sunshine match. Luckily, Oscar and Ilias are incredibly self-aware of the ridiculousness of their situation. The circumstances of their professions allow them to embrace the farce and make the best of it.
Their adventure in growing closer at a resort in Hawaii is only the story’s first half. No getting to the end of spending a week together and living happily ever for these two. Part of this is because Oscar and Ilias are both responsible adults with lives to consider. Part is because both carry a bit of baggage over past relationships (romantic and familial), and finally, a bit because Oscar is demisexual. However, plenty of travel adventures remain in store for these two in the remainder of the story, continuing the forced proximity theme that makes it at least a bit easier for the characters to find the chance to open up to each other.
This novel is not necessarily darker than the previous two installments of this trilogy, but it does dig into deeper emotions. The final conflict is a bit more stressful, but Novak balances it wonderfully with excellent (and relevant) appearances by side characters we’ve already grown to love and one of the hottest physical arcs I’ve read recently, especially for fans of the slow burn. Novak also touches on real-world issues that correspond with our heroes’ professions, such as the impact of tourism and sustainable travel. Oscar and Ilias are aware of their roles in this issue and share their thoughts in a manner that never feels preachy.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has already been following Novak’s adventures in this world. It’s probably not the best place to start, series-wise, but that’s okay; I also highly recommend pretty much anything written by this author. I look forward to joining her for further adventures (and I have the feeling this isn’t the last we’ve seen off the Baker-Moore clan).
Disclaimer: I received an electronic review copy of this novel from the author.