He doesn’t love me.
Our relationship wasn’t supposed to have strings.
Now he’s almost all I think about.
He changed everything.
I’m not ready to tell him.
There’s a chance he’ll blame me when I do.
I don’t know if I can trust him but I’m afraid to face the future alone.
Will he ever love me, or will he always love me not?
3.5 stars — I received a free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.
Oh dear. This book did not have a good start for me. Not the prologue, that was cute. But chapter 1 dives right in to the steamy scenes, and it was just too abrupt for me. I felt like I was missing something, and since I haven’t yet read the previous two books in the series, I initially wondered if I should have read them first to get the full value. After finishing the book, I don’t think that’s the case, I think it just wasn’t a beginning that worked for me personally. Diving into sex so quickly, I had absolutely NO connection with the characters, and thus I personally did not feel any chemistry in that scene whatsoever. I guess I’m just the kind of girl who likes to see the MCs interact a bit, maybe talk a bit, before getting into things. *shrugs* I like hot sex, but when it happens before we’ve even seen them have much of a conversation, I just can’t get into it. It’s just sex then, nothing more, which is OK for eroticas, but not a romance. So yeah, it just did NOT work for me. I was seriously dismayed and it was hovering at a 2 star or less at this point.
But I kept reading, and it slowly got better. I think I see why Ms. Heywood went with a beginning like that. It was quite intentional that their relationship start as a hookup turned friends-with-benefits turned more kind of thing. In the end it was kind of an intriguing developing relationship to watch, it just might not be for *me*, you know? While I did start to feel their connection more and more as the book went on, there is still a part of me that felt like I wanted more of what drew them together. Because it was insta-lust, and so much of what had them together at the beginning was the amazing sex, I felt like I was later told about what they liked about each other more than seeing it. Part of that had to do with the skips in time. We’d be going along, seeing some development, and then bam it would be a few weeks or months later. This happened a few times, and I felt like we ended up losing out on seeing their relationship develop a bit.
So how did I get to a 3.5 star (rounded down) when it started off so badly for me? Well like I said, the book got better. I found that the bits we did get to see of Trip and Reilly together were quite cute, and I really loved the way Trip eventually was with Reilly. He became very swoonworthy as the book went on. And the secondary characters and the MCs relationship with those secondary characters were absolutely top notch. I’m actually very curious to catch up on the first 2 books now, b/c I loved seeing Jake and Kacey and Sydney and Heath together. And Gavin was just the most swoonworthy boy, his blushes have ruined me for life. And quite frankly I adored Trip’s Mom and Sadie and the whole compound they have.
And hoo boy did I cry in this one. I was not expecting the tragedy, and it seriously fucking killed me. I’m so glad no one came to the door while I was reading that part b/c I was exercising at the same time and I probably looked like a read-eyed, snot-nosed, messy haired freak. And I adored the aftermath of the tragedy, and Reilly’s healing. Seriously well done. AND DUDES! We got a fantastic huge long pre-epiloguetastic ending. I love seeing HEAs, so I really loved that we got all that.
So the second half of the book was basically 4 star goodness for me, with a couple of little quirks that make it want to dip down, and a few amazing bits that want to make it tip up. So I settled with 3.5 rounded down. This really seems to be a case of it’s me, so I can’t honestly say how everyone else will feel about it. All I can say is that if you’re struggling with the beginning, please do as I did and hold on. I definitely think it was worth it. ❤