Jessica Sweet thought going away to college would finally make her free of her parents’ constant judgments and insistence she play chastity club role model for their church events, but if anything, the freedom has made her realize she can’t go home and be a hypocrite anymore. Tired of dodging their questions, she stays at school over the summer and lands in an unexpected crash pad: Riley Mann’s house.
Sarcastic, cocky, and full of opinions, Riley is also sexy personified with tattoos and biceps earned from working as a roofer all day. Not the right guy for her even if Jessica was looking for a relationship, which she is definitely not. But Jessica knows that Riley hides the burden of having to raise his younger brothers behind that grin and as she helps him get his house in order for a custody hearing, they begin to fall hard for each other, and she is forced to question what she’s hiding herself.
Jessica has never had a problem getting naked with a guy, but when it comes to showing Riley how she truly feels inside, her fear of rejection may just ruin the best thing—the best guy—to ever happen to her…
Review: I’m not gonna lie, what attracted me to this book was the cover. I’d seen it multiple times on Goodreads and was finally like, “Okay, I need to read this book.” I grabbed the first one in the series, True, devoured it in a few hours, and then begged Romancing The Book for the ARC from NetGalley as soon as I saw it pop up on the New Releases.
Although, Erin McCarthy is a prolific writer, I’ve never read anything by her until now. I enjoy her humor as well as the inner dialogue she gives her characters. But what I really appreciate is the realness factor of the way she writes her male leads.
This book starts off with a heck of a lot of sexual tension. Both Riley and Jessica hate one another but Jessica needs a favor. The pastor’s kid needs a place to stay for one week before she’s able to move into her new apartment. While her parents assume she’s building homes for the poor, she’s actually shacking up with the one guy who actually doesn’t want to sleep with her, and that’s a big deal considering Jessica has basically made it her point in live to spit in the face of her upbringing and sleep with any hot guy within a fifty mile radius.
Riley doesn’t do relationships and he hates that he’s attracted to Jessica, especially considering he thinks she’s spoiled and doesn’t know how to do anything practical. He misunderstands her inability to take care of herself as being spoiled, when really it’s b/c her parents sheltered her most her life.
While Jessica doesn’t like Riley, she’s attracted to him but most of all she respects him. She decides she wants to help him out and starts grocery shopping, taking care of the house, and basically waiting with baited breath for him to come home at night. Their relationship is tumultuous but it’s realistic. They both have reasons for not wanting to jump into something serious but they soon realize that they rely on one another more than typical friends do. Jessica’s feelings are hurt when Riley decides not to take their physical relationship into her normal territory but I LOVED that about this story. It would be your typical NA book if the bad boy fell in love with the girl, they got together, had a weird disagreement, were separated, only to realize they can’t live without one another again. I loved that this story was different.
Riley’s reasons for not wanting to be with Jessica all spouted out of his insecurity of not being able to provide for her in a way he knew she deserved. Jessica loved Riley despite all his shortcomings, and he was the type of character that wasn’t used to people accepting him as he was.
I LOVED this story and I LOVED the message it sent. This was a book about real love–true love. I would read it again. 😉
Warning:There is some language and it does deal with some pretty serious issues as far as domestic violence and drugs.