Review: Love Rewritten by J. Saman

Reviewed by Joanna

Here’s another college NA tale for your delectation, with the trope of brother’s best friend as our hostile hero. Do you like this kind of guy? I do, as long as there’s good reason for the grumps, and they make up for it with Big Love by the end of the book.

Abby lives at the edge of campus in a three bedroom apartment with Aubrey, her twin. She’s ‘edgy’ in that she wears punky clothes, dyes streaks in her hair and has tattoos, and she has no idea that Aubrey’s best friend, Xander, is totally into her.

Now Xander is of course lovely to look at, but he’s a miserable fellow and frequently mean to Abby. Abby has no idea why. She just knows it hurts and she thinks he hates her.

With his roommate moving, Xander suddenly needs new digs, and without asking his sister for permission, Aubrey gives his friend the spare room in the apartment. Well damn. If my (fictional, I have sisters) brother did that, there would be hell to pay. Unless it was for sexy story reasons, in which case thanks, bro.

Abby is routinely treated badly by Aubrey. He’s overprotective and hypocritical. When she starts seeing Brandon, a huge jock of a lacrosse player, Aubrey tells her there’s no way he’s genuinely into her, and that she looks like a whore when she wears a short dress for their date. As they are twins and she forgives him, I guess I have to forgive him too. But it’s not easy. The guy sleeps with a different girl every night. What difference does it make if his sister does too? Or just, like, wears clothes?

Anyhow, Xander also has issues with Abby dating Brandon, but for obviously different reasons. The telling of this tale is all from Abby’s point of view, so we see through her eyes the jealousy, evil eye and non-casual touches Xander gives which she misinterprets.

This I found a little frustrating. Xander starts trying to tell her how he feels a number of times, before giving it a ‘forget it’ and walking off. He even tells her ‘after what she did, he wouldn’t go there with her’. She has no clue what he’s talking about, but does she ask? Nope. She lets it go.

If I knew a little more about their background, these hints might not have frustrated me so much. But Saman gives little history to them until later in the book. I wish I knew a little more, a little earlier, particularly about Xander whose past sounded interesting but was tantalizingly skimmed over. I wondered if there was a book before this and I was midway through a series without realising. Another couple in the periphery seem to have got their HEA. I couldn’t find out with a quick online search.

Frustrations aside, it also becoming apparent that Abby had a Bad Event in her freshman year, right at the time she was flirting heavily with Xander, and supposedly meeting Brandon for the first time. When all was revealed, I felt bad for her but I was more glad that it all made sense in the end.

Overall it was a good tale with a lovely hero, and I’d read more by this author.

Rating: B-

*ARC provided for review

Click to purchase: Amazon

Love Rewritten
by J. Saman
Release Date: June 12, 2017

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