When NA started to get big in romance I was kind of blah about it. But lately, some of my favorite contemporary romance authors are jumping into the NA pool which means I’ve read quite a few in the genre over the last year or so. And to be honest, some of the best books I’ve read lately have been NA. When I saw this book up for review I really wanted it, because I’ve heard great things about this author. But I held off for a long while because the cover makes it seem like the set up is yet another love triangle. which I hate. Like really hate. It’s almost never done well, and usually, the guy I like ends up kicked to the curb while the one I don’t care for rides off into the sunset with the heroine. After reading several comments on GR saying that the cover was misleading, I ended up requesting for review and then pretty much read straight through.
When Nora Kincaid started her freshman year in college she decided she wanted to shed her good girl image and get people to notice her. Which pretty much led to too much partying and not enough studying. When she gets arrested for pulling a crazy stunt with her best friend she ends up almost losing her scholarship and having to do community service. So it’s time to put crazy Nora away and pull good girl Nora back out. No more drinking, no more one night stands and no more hanging out with her best friend. It’s all studying hard and working at the local coffee shop for her sophomore year. While looking for a roommate off campus, she unknowingly shows up at the door of one of her mistakes from last year, Kellan McVey. Expecting to be put on the spot, she’s kind of pissed at first when he doesn’t seem to remember their closet hook-up. But his faulty memory comes in handy when he offers free rent and a quiet place to live.
Crosbie Lucas is a well-known guy on campus. He and his best friend party hard and can get any girl they want. But when the quiet, nerdy Nora agrees to become his best friend’s roommate he is immediately smitten. So he quietly befriends her in the hopes that she’ll notice that there is much more to him that what his reputation leads her to believe.
I liked Nora. I connected to her almost immediately. She’s always been the girl in the background, the one who never gets noticed, the one who no one remembers. So being able to go to a new place with new people who have never met boring Nora, but might remember the exciting woman who isn’t afraid to dress provocatively and do crazy stunts made sense. Figuring out who you are, making mistakes and fixing what’s broken are what people do when they finally get out on their own. Nora is just trying to find her place and where she belongs. Is she the girl from last year who made mistakes, or the girl from this year who never has any fun because she’s afraid of messing up again? Is it possible for her to be someone in between?
And then there’s Crosby. Awww, Crosbie. Smart, funny, and not quite who you think he is when you first meet him. Yes, he’s a well-known partier around campus who is rumored to have had a list of conquests, but he’s really in the same boat as Nora. He’s the wingman to his best friend Kellan and not sure who wants him for him and not to be seen with the most popular guy at Burnham College. Crosbie isn’t controlling, he doesn’t morph into a stalker who gets possessive and jealous over every little thing, but instead becomes this quiet, funny, dependable guy who listens and tries to do what’s best for Nora. I really, really liked him.
What pretty much makes this book is the chemistry and relationship development between Crosbie and Nora. No jumping into the sack, or even insta-love for that matter, they take their time and get to know each other. Yes, there is a BIG THING that gets between them, and I’m not even going to hint at what that BIG THING might be because you really should read it for yourselves, but I will say that I was content with how it was resolved and how this couple found their way to happiness.
If I’m being picky, there was this one thing that bothered me, and that’s the “lists” written up on the walls in the bathroom with these guy’s conquests that are referenced to over and over. Is this a real thing? Maybe it’s on me since I’m older, but the thought of these lists just really made me cringe.
All in all, I’m glad I gave this book a chance. This is my first book by Julianna Keyes, but it won’t be the last. Final Grade= B-
We can scream and fight and cry and ignore, but really, it’s the things we do when we think nobody’s watching that reveal the most. Well, I’m done. No more messes, no more lies