Genres: Alpha Guy, College, Contemporary Romance, Romance
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Nora Kincaid has one goal for her second year of college: be invisible. Last year’s all-party-no-study strategy resulted in three failed classes and two criminal charges, and if she messes up again she’ll lose her scholarship. But there’s one problem with her plan for invisibility, and his name is Crosbie Lucas: infamous party king, general hellraiser…and her new roommate’s best friend.
Crosbie’s reckless reputation and well-known sexcapades aren’t part of Nora’s studious new strategy, but as she’s quickly learning, her new plan is also really boring. When Crosbie’s unexpected gestures of friendship pull her head out of her books long enough to see past his cocky veneer, she’s surprised to find a flawed and funny guy beneath it all. The muscles don’t hurt, either.
But as Nora starts to fall for Crosbie, the weight of one of last year’s bad decisions grows even heavier. Because three failing grades and two misdemeanors are nothing compared to the one big secret she’s hiding…
I was actually pretty stoked about this book, because I really do enjoy romances that take place during college. Not only that though, Nora appealed to me because she made some prior mistakes while she was in college, and now she is trying to set her life straight and get to where she wants to be. Plus the blurb alluded to a secret, and I am a big fan of secrets.
So when the book starts you meet Nora, who is really a great character, I liked her a lot. She’s finishing up summer school and is looking for a new place to live, she needs to be on the straight and narrow this year, save money, get good grades and not lose her scholarship. Last year, she got into some legal trouble, drank too much, partied to hard, and played it a little fast and loose. This year is going to be different for her though. Of course that’s when she goes to meet her potential roommate, and he’s someone who is well, let’s just say she knows him rather intimately.
Crosbie is Nora’s new roommate’s best friend, and can I just say I really totally loved him. I am not one hundred percent sure about why I enjoyed him so much, I think it’s because he was a bit of contradiction, he has this reputation of being a ladies man, the guy who is with a different girl every night of the week. His reputation basically makes him out to be a skanky guy who is just a frat guy who parties and that’s about it. But by the time we meet him, he is so much more than that. He was actually an interesting guy, who was way more than his reputation.
But the best part of this book was without a doubt the way Nora and Crosbie interact with each other. They both have their own sets of baggage, but in the beginning they have this kind of almost antagonistic relationship with each other. Nora is so fighting having any feelings for this guy, this guy just spells out bad news for her. But even though Nora is fighting it with all she has, these two still manage to have some quiet moments together that shift the tenor of their relationship. And when they finally do come together, it makes it all the more worth it.
I really enjoyed this book, it was just what the doctor ordered for those of us who like college romances like I do. This was my first time reading Julianna Keyes, but after this book, I can honestly say it won’t be my last time reading one of her books.
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Kellan wanders away, leaving Crosbie and I next to the costume display. For a second we just stare at each other, Crosbie rubbing his newly injured shoulder, me trying to come up with something to say that doesn’t reveal just how much I noticed his absence these past few weeks. Or how hot he looks. His hair is damp, like he’d just taken a shower, and he’s wearing jeans and a puffy black jacket that makes his brown eyes look darker than usual as they take me in.
“What’s it going to be?” he finally asks.
“Your costume. What is it?” He nods at the options. “Witch? Scarecrow? Viking?”
“Thelma. From Thelma & Louise? Marcela’s going to be Louise.”
“Which one was Thelma, Geena Davis or Susan Sarandon?”
“Geena Davis. I came to look for some high-waisted jeans and sunglasses.”
He looks me over. “I can see it.”
“What about you? Shopping for a cape? Maybe some new tights?”
“I’ve already got my Superman costume at home. I sleep in it every night.”
“I don’t doubt it.” I make my way over to the women’s clothing and Crosbie comes with me, thumbing through the long rack of jeans for a suitably tight, acid-washed pair. After a minute I get warm and unzip my coat, realizing my mistake the second Crosbie’s eyes lock on my chest, then slide up to the prim Peter Pan collar of my dress.
His brows tug together and he gestures at me with one finger. “Let’s talk about this,” he says. “Did you have a big date today? Or perhaps a…very pleasant date?”
I smile thinly, remembering the afternoon’s unpleasantness. “I had a meeting with…someone.”
He leans in conspiratorially. “Was it a boy?”
I snort and push him away. “Why? Are you jealous?”
For a second he doesn’t react. Our eyes lock and my hand feels like it’s stuck to his chest, my fingertips digging into his pecs. And then he shakes his head and smirks and I take away my hand. “You see right through me, Nora.”