The girl who’s had everyone meets the boy who has no one.
For Bella, the sweet-talking, free-loving, hip-checking student manager of the Harkness men’s hockey team, sex is a second language. She’s used to being fluent where others stutter, and the things people say behind her back don’t (often) bother her. So she can’t understand why her smoking hot downstairs neighbor has so much trouble staying friends after their spontaneous night together. She knows better than to worry about it, but there’s something in those espresso eyes that makes her second guess herself.
Rafe is appalled with himself for losing his virginity in a drunken hookup. His strict Catholic upbringing always emphasized loving thy neighbor—but not with a bottle of wine and a box of condoms. The result is an Ivy League bout of awkwardness. But when Bella is leveled by a little bad luck and a downright sinister fraternity stunt, it’s Rafe who is there to pick up the pieces.
Bella doesn’t want Rafe’s help, and she’s through with men. Too bad the undeniable spark that crackles between the two of them just can’t be extinguished.
3.5 stars — After reading The Understatement of the Year, I just HAD to read Bella’s story — it’s those damn teasers at the end of the book, it just ensures I’m immediately on board to start the next one. Luckily for me, I’d already bought this book when it was on sale, so it was already on my kindle ready to go!! And this book totally gave me what I was looking for….
I was wondering how I was going to like Bella in her book. I don’t have a lot in common with her, I was most definitely not a sexual adventurer in my youth. But Ms. Bowen knows how to make characters that you can somehow vibe with regardless of what you might be able to relate to in real life. She’s definitely a sassy, strong-willed, and very blunt character. She knows exactly what she wants and usually goes after it without worrying too much about other’s opinions of her. I did appreciate that she wasn’t completely invulnerable to others though…even before things go all wrong for her.
And wow, was I not expecting what happened with the frat…and what comes slightly before that for her. (partly that was because I hadn’t reread the synopsis for this book before starting it) So it caught me by surprise to put it mildly. I was torn on how it all was handled…I appreciated that that was a very realistic reaction (and probably very likely), but I just kept wanting them to get the authorities involved. So I guess it was an interesting look at what might really happen in situations like this, and how the motivation of fear can prevent us from doing the smart thing.
Rafe was all kinds of adorable. I sometimes found his inner thoughts to be a bit conflicting (about his virginity and why he felt the way he did). In the synopsis we’re led to believe it has to do with his Catholic upbringing, but it was really much more than that. Sometimes I wish that had been explored a bit more, how he just wasn’t a casual sex kind of guy…though another part of me right now is thinking “but it was explored”. So maybe I’m just a confused girl b/c I finished this on a plane last night and I’m losing all my thoughts about what I think. 😛 I guess I just appreciated meeting a guy who equated sex with love and commitment, and I wanted more depth there somehow. But I don’t know how.
OK, since I’m losing my train of thought, I’m going to try to wrap this up. So… Again, LOVED some of the secondary characters — Lianne was especially intriguing, b/c she goes from disgusted to friend…would have liked to know more about that, but maybe I’ll see some in her book (which is next)? I wish the hockey guys had had a chance to tell Bella they didn’t care…it was there, but it kind of wasn’t. They never said “hey, saw the picture, we don’t believe it, we’re behind you.” Or something. I mean, they sort of had the thing at the end, but it wasn’t spelled out for me. Which is probably more a me problem than a book problem. I was NOT impressed with the glossing over of asexual Alison, and almost making fun of her (“how could you not like sex?”)…but that’s probably a personal issue.
So, basically my thoughts were all over the place on this one. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the story and was sucked right in. Just had a few moments of wanting something more I guess.