Do you ever get the feeling you’ve read a book before? Maybe it’s because this sort of story is right up my alley, it was both familiar and reassuringly good. This is a new adult college romance, and our heroes are Olivia and Braxton. She’s a Texas ranch girl, he’s a bad boy from Boston, complete with tattoos, scars and a thick accent. Scahs. Ahhcent.
They meet on her first day at college when he bowls her over – literally – then unapologetically kisses her before helping her up. Swaggering Brax has quite the reputation, and Olivia is warned off him a number of times, but she can’t withstand his charm as he dogs her steps.
“What could a baseball playing, fraternity brother, tattooed Southie sophomore who got into frequent fights and could keep company with any number of gorgeous leggy college girls, want anything to do with me? A plain, no make-up wearing, star-searching scarred-up in more ways than one cowgirl Geek? Oh yeah. He thought I was a virgin. Guys were douchebags.”
Now, our girl has chosen a college far from home after a dreadful experience during the summer prior to her senior year. The prologue leads us to assume she’s been raped by her high school boyfriend, and as the tale goes on its clear the perpetrator was never punished by law. In fact he, Kelsy, turns up at the very same college, and, for god knows what reason, he’s angry at Olivia. He wants her to hear him out, but she’s scared stiff of him. Not just because of what he did, but also because he could ruin the anonymity she fought to gain in her new start.
Brax, who we hear from a few times though the story is majority Olivia’s, is a bruiser, and a star pitcher with a bowling speed of 101mph (!), and he’s hiding secrets too. It was no accident that he ran into Olivia (who he calls Gracie from her middle name of Grace). He’s meant to sleep with her as part of his fraternity’s hazing, but he falls for her as much as she does him.
Tragedy, I see you coming.
There was so much I liked in this tale. Olivia is into stargazing, I mean astronomy, and she gets to share this lovely hobby with Brax. He in turn takes her to try out batting, which she’s no slack at, and all the cuteness made me grin. The familiarity I felt lay in the standard college set and set up which I’ve read time and time again – the excitable roommate who does makeovers, the handsome TA who has a mature eye for our heroine, the jealous slutty girls who follow the hero around. But you know? I don’t care. I like the freshness and intensity of the romance. Brax is borderline crazy in some places – he’s a tough, scarred fella, and his background is so sad. He learned to thrive using his fists, and I wasn’t sure I liked his violence. Then again he never raised hand or voice to his beloved Gracie, and he defended her to the hilt. That appeals.
The story has a satisfying HEA, but I have to mark the book down for not resolving one plot point which bugged the H out of me. I like justice to be served, and it wasn’t in one specific case. Other than that this is a cute college read, and I’m going to jump onto the next in the series.
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Cindy Miles
Release Date: May 13, 2014