The dreaded friend-zone...
The last place I ever want to be with college basketball God, Jake LaShae. I am losing my mind trying to figure out what this gorgeous and confident man wants from me. I need to break through his walls. What is it about me that makes him not go there? What am I lacking?
When a mind-blowing betrayal knocks the wind out of me, and I think I can't feel any lower...Brody stumbles into my path-barefoot no less, and sexy as hell. His direct and mouth-watering swagger is a breath of fresh air. The feelings this man gives me are like nothing I've ever experienced.
But Brody has a past. A past that makes it nearly impossible for him to trust me and let us become us in whatever capacity that may be. Just when Brody and I truly connect, just when I think that finding my soul-mate in college isn't a total joke, Jake comes back into my life...and messes things up...possibly for good.
Well, we start off with a self-absorbed main character. She is not a very good friend either, and generally talks with other characters only about her own problems. Really, Finley is not very likeable, but, honestly, I can usually get over that. I mean, I read all of Twilight. There are just a lot of other things I can't get over with this one.
Some parts are just kind of strange storytelling quirks. Some reviewers have mentioned the horse-switching that happens about 1/3 of the way through the book, and it is disorienting. One male character is set up as her love interest and then is quickly replaced by another (like, within a day). The blurb sets up this love triangle, but this isn't really a story about a love triangle--it is a story about a girl with two kind of blah options. You never have any idea who it is you're actually cheering for. (Well, I guess that's a lie. You would have an idea if you knew this book #1 is actually the prequel to another book that was published like a year before this one. I didn't know that, so I didn't know who to root for.)
Also, since I hated almost all the characters, I didn't know why I was supposed to care. Jake was wishy-washy and boring, Brody was so over-eager.
In fact, I think it's Brody that ruined it all for me. I could have gotten over some of those other issues and enjoyed this book for what it was if not for him. In the end, I don't know why I'm supposed to want her to end up with Brody because he is kind of awful. As bad as Jake is at the beginning, Brody turns me off so much that I'm like, "Well, I guess we're going to find out some good things about Jake soon." But then we never like Jake again and she just keeps staying with Brody, and I was so confused.
They have a few sweet scenes together early on, I guess, but he set off alarms from the beginning by talking about his trust issues and how awful every single girlfriend has ever been. I mean, he also basically admits to just creepily stalking her for over a year while he "sorted out some issues" (probably not the exact quote) from afar and waited for his chance to swoop in.
Also, how did he even know he actually liked her? Or that she would like him? The whole thing is so bizarre.
But here's the main issue, and I don't know why it's gotten glossed over so many times in other reviews. This relationship is unhealthy and kind of abusive. Sure, Brody's insecure. Most of us are about one thing or another. However, it's one thing to be insecure and working on your issues. It's another to be jealous, controlling, and kind of nuts. He gets twitchy about her clothes. He controls who she talks to. He tries to keep her from going out in public, and almost always humiliates her if they do go out together. He punishes her for things that are not her fault. That's never cute or sweet, and it should never be a woman's responsibility to "fix" a man's insecurity or trust issues.
I guess he "gets over it" by the end of the book, and apparently he's a fan favorite in books #2 and #3, but I was so incredibly turned off by this first one that I will not be trying out any others. But at least now I have a good explanation for that strange cliffhanger at the end.
Published by Stars Hollow Publishing on January 1, 2015
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