Kellan 2.0 is the star of this tale. In book one of the Burnham College series, he’s the super-popular and super-slutty housemate of Nora, and best friend to Crosbie, the hero and heroine of that tale (oh, how I love Crosbie). Kellan got gonorrhoea, and had to track down all his previous sexual partners to inform them and find the source. He’s not exactly the hottest proposition for a hero in his own right, but this funny and easygoing guy appealed to me then, and I was excited to read his story.
Kellan’s about to start his third year at Burnham college, and has returned home to small town Avilla for a few days at the end of the summer to see his family. There, he bumps into his childhood friend and enemy, Andi.
Andi (Andrea) hates Kellan. All her life she had a major crush on him, and before he left for college the first time (she couldn’t go as didn’t have a scholarship), they struck a deal to have a summer of love so he could lose his virginity. Practice, you see, for all the sexploits he was planning on having when he finally made it out of their small town. Well you can guess where that ended up going – it didn’t end well. Now, two years later and a huge amount of ‘practice’ under his dirty, dirty belt, Kellan is a changing man, hence the 2.0. Venereal disease does that to a fellow. His reputation as the big man on campus, of the player and the stud, start getting to him and seeing Andi again makes him want to be something different.
Then when she turns up on campus at the start of term, not telling him she’d enrolled, he’s offended and hurt when she says she doesn’t want people to know they used to be friends. Ooh, that must sting, and there’s no cream to help this time.
So the tale is frenemies to lovers, and childhood best buddies to something more, but it’s not straightforward realizing-there-was-always-something-there. Kellan is in need of some character building. He’s undeclared as to his major, drifting through school letting his Midas touch gift him a great life. He doesn’t realise how easy he’s got it, or how everyone bends over backwards to give him an easy ride (literally in some cases, I’d bet).
Andi is an great heroine. She’s a jock, not bothered by her appearance particularly. She doesn’t own lacy underwear or wear makeup, plus she’s no idea how to flirt so asks Kellan’s advice on how to pick up a guy. It makes him jealous, an emotion he’s never felt before. And the game is on.
I enjoyed this so much. The childish banter between them is almost like siblings, then in the slow change to building a relationship, they have no idea what to say to one another. It’s like they’re strangers but with a bone deep connection built over years of riding bikes together and skinning knees. It scares the heck out of Kellen, and Andi already waited a long time for him to finally see her properly.
“Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever really waited for her before. And I definitely never knew it was possible to look forward to seeing someone you’ve already seen a million times.”
Our H&H share a film class, and learning about analysing films helps Kellan 2.0 with his mental development. Also he watches Crosbie and Nora together and realises relationships aren’t the worst thing ever. Then he does this Really Dumb Thing which made me take to Twitter in horror, as I hid behind my cushion to read the scene.
Even after this, and after his whole slovenly approach to life and love, I like the guy. Kellan is sweet and definitely hot. Andi is tough and relatable. The college NA set are funny and their world is well described.
Overall another excellent offer from Keyes. The author asks at the end of the book what the readers’ views are on whether she continue this series. I was one of the ones petitioning for Kellan’s story, but I’m not sure there’s an obvious next contender for book three. What do you think?
*ARC provided for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Julianna Keyes
Release Date: February 27, 2017