Series: Crush #1
Published by Random House LLC Source: Netgalley
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romance, Second Chances
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Brinley Dawson doesn’t drink, she studies—and despite the accusations of her alcoholic mother, she’s still a virgin. But if Brinley’s life is so put together, why is she freaking out to be going to college with the gorgeous, green-eyed jerk she kissed on a stupid dare in high school? Ryder Briggs can have any girl he wants . . . and the rumors say that he does. So why, after publicly embarrassing Brinley four years ago, is he suddenly acting like he’s interested?
Ryder never forgot Brinley. In fact, those perfect seven minutes permanently raised the bar for what a kiss could be. The truth is, Ryder doesn’t dare get too close to anyone. He knows how that worked out for his parents. But when his roommate takes a shot at Brinley, Ryder can’t contain his jealousy. Now he must do the hardest thing he’s ever done: forget about sex and convince Brinley his feelings are real.
Brinley isn’t sure whether she believes Ryder, but for the first time, her body isn’t playing by the rules. Then she discovers that she’s an unwilling part of a cruel game, humiliating her all over again—and Ryder might be to blame. Has Brinley’s little crush turned into a huge mistake . . . or has she found the one guy worth trusting with her heart?
I’m not sure if I would call this a second chance romance, more like a two people who knew each other and well, did exactly get along, meeting later in life and seeing what happened. I have to say that its easy to relate to both Brinley and Ryder, I think everyone has some awkward middle/high school experiences to remember, Brinley and Ryder’s is definitely one I would call awkward. So Brinley is a little on the awkward side, or at least not one of the super popular kids, so when she is playing seven minutes in heaven and ends up in a bathroom with Ryder she is totally nervous. While they do end up making out, things quickly get out of control leaving Brinley with a seriously embarrassing memory to think about. Sure Ryder could have reacted better, but hey when you are young you do stupid things you wish you could take back.
Fast forward to college when Brinley is at a party with her best friend Mason and she sees Ryder, she doesn’t really interact with Ryder, but instead with another guy named Noah, although Ryder definitely makes an impression on her. Why I kind of loved about Brinley is that she is such an ordinary girl, she’s a sweet girl who is just trying to figure out her way through the college experience. I liked that she was smart, and that she is able to stand up for herself when she needs to. Yes there are some moments where she gets hurt, but in the end she is willing to go to bat for herself and has a great ability to roll with the punches.
Ryder is definitely an interesting character. He has the reputation of a player, and let’s face it, he used to be a bit of a player. He does have some serious family drama at play in this book, and it certainly makes things interesting to be sure, but it also have an effect on how he handles himself in his life. I did really enjoy the interactions with Brinley and Ryder, they have great chemistry together and they just really worked as a couple for me, I was definitely pulling for them to get their happily ever after.
I do have to mention that there are some secondary characters in this book that make a serious impression. Brinley’s roommate is a total character, but quite interesting. Mason I have some mixed feelings about, he make me angry in one instance and I liked him in the next. Noah, well there are a lot of words I could use to describe Noah, but I don’t want to ruin anything for you.
All in all I thought this was a really good read, and I totally enjoyed it. If you like new adult books then I think you should check out this first book in a new new adult series.