The Cabin (aka I insta-love you because you look like my dead ex-wife) | Book Review


By: Alice Ward

Standalone | 300 pages | pub. 2017

dd heading

The Cabin At a Glance

  • Overall Rating: 
  • Dude Ranking:  Is it stalking if you like it?
  • Steaminess Hot enough to melt all the snow in Montana
  • Read This When… You want to turn your brain off for a while

Pairs Well With

Montana Melt

  • Hot chocolate
  • Peppermint Schnapps

     Beware. Spoilers are coming… 

Teagan’s Reactions

I wanted to love this book because who doesn’t love a sexy lumberjack character and beautiful, isolated Montana? But honestly, this book kind of felt like I was reading straight porn. It was 90% sex and about 10% plot. And most of the “plot” was actually about their dark and twisty pasts so there was very little relationship building between the main characters outside of the bedroom.

And you can really only like this book if you can get past the fact that the male character (Gray) is a straight up stalker who watches the “goddess” (Zoe) next door through a security cam for months before he officially meets her. His excuse “squirrels knocked the camera out of alignment” sounds about as realistic as “my dog ate my homework.”  But if you, like Zoe, don’t really care about privacy then this book is for you.

Also how freaking romantic is it that Gray openly admits that he is only interested in Zoe at first because he looks like his dead ex wife?!? What a love story! “I insta-loved your mom because she looks like my dead ex-wife” is a great one to tell the kids (who they name after a tree?!). The only funny part of this book was the cat attacking the stalkers’ balls and they name him Gonads.

The other thing about this book that I was not here for was the slut-shaming. A lot of Zoe’s inner dialogue is about her fear of being a slut for liking sex because her mother was a porn star. Liking or having sex does not make you a slut, girl. She’s terrified of even talking to men because she doesn’t want to give them the wrong impression. It was like this girl learned sex ed from Mike Pence.

Jess’ Reactions

I always enjoy a good mindless romance. There are books that you read for the storyline and there are books you read just to get out of your head for a while. The Cabin definitely falls into the latter category. Yes, it was pretty stalkery, but I felt so bad for Gray, having lost his wife and child. He saves Zoe’s life and then takes care of her so I forgive him for the cameras. All of us would have gone a little insane if we lived in a cabin alone for so long.

The thing that actually bothered me is that Zoe didn’t check the weather before going to MONTANA. I know she needed a break and she deserved it, but did she not read anything about mountains or precipitation prior to taking a vacation? She borrowed the cabin so why didn’t she ask anything about that? When people who live there tell you not to go out, then don’t go out moron.

Have I said how tired of mommy issues I am? Zoe is ten kinds of crazy because her mom is a porn star. Wanting to do mommy/daughter porn definitely triggers my ick factor, but do we have to bash sex workers? She turned the love story into a psa for porn. I appreciate dropping knowledge about the safety and reality of the industry, but this is a white, middle class girl. Her mom wasn’t sex trafficked or coerced into that job. She was a willing participant, who clearly had some mental issues, but don’t compare someone who has depression to people being sold into slavery.

I was proud of Zoe at the end for growing a pair and standing up for herself. It was good to see after she bashed herself for most of the book. She was so afraid of being associated with her mom that she lived in fear constantly. Why didn’t she just change her name?  

The relationship between Zoe and Gray did not seemed forced and we got the right amount of angst vs. attraction. Ward’s books are a go-to for me when I need a quick read and a HEA, but she killed me with one of her lines this time. “Of all the mountains in all the countries, in all the planets, in all the universe, why did you show up on mine?” Casa Blanca much! Good movie, but if you are going to throw out a cheesy line, make it your own.

I was happy that Zoe took off when she saw the stalker pictures because that was pretty weird. Skinsuit weird. The fact that she didn’t run away when she saw the pictures of his dead wife that looked EXACTLY LIKE HER was disconcerting. All in all, most of the book was me waiting to see if she would get some respect for herself. Luckily, she did. #teamGray

Let us know what you thought of The Cabin in the comments! 

Drink Up - Teagan & Jess

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