A guest review by Sirius
Summary: Delightful execution of “nerd/jock” romance with great characters to boot.
Music is the only form of communication Connor Owens controls. No matter how badly he wishes to fit in, friendly banter and casual conversations have never been his thing. College is yet another social universe he has no clue how to navigate—until he meets Jared, a football player with chestnut eyes and a cocky grin that holds the power to shatter his self-imposed prison.Jared’s attention opens Connor up to a new realm of emotional and physical intimacy. But as Connor’s self-confidence grows, so does his fear that everything will fall apart. Because in this socially stratified world, how long can a relationship between an introverted violinist and a closeted football player really last?
I almost did not buy this book because I have read so many variations on the “nerd/ jock” romance that I have grown a little tired of this trope, but the recommendations were great and price was great too, so I caved in.
I am certainly glad I did, because while I cannot say that this book covers any new ground (and how much new ground there is in romance anyway?) the writing and the amazing characters more than made up for it IMO.
I loved Connor and Jared. I was really happy to read about the painfully shy guy, who is just that – painfully shy. He does not have any past traumas, he does not suffer from any disorders, it is just hard for him to interact with new people. It could be hard enough, and as some readers I can at least somewhat relate to that.
I also thought Connor and Jared had a great chemistry and kudos for the awkward first sexual encounter. Usually I do not find 18 year old guy not having sex before to be a very believable characterization, but in Connor’s case it worked perfectly for me.
“He was pleased to find he wasn’t panicking to the point of a complete meltdown by this point, as he’d rather expected. Maybe he would have been if he’d been straight- if he’d been faced with some foreign piece of anatomy he could never truly understand. But Jared had a dick and so did he. And he could have laughed from the relief, because at the very least, he had some knowledge of what one did with a dick”
I also wanted to say bravo to the writer for creating great female supporting characters. Yes, Rebecca was awesome, but I was actually more impressed by Connor’s little sister Melissa; it takes a great writing skill to write a character who has such a small part and make her memorable. We actually get to see siblings bickering and Melissa being her bratty 13 year old once or twice, but when it matters I could also see that she really loved her brother.
I was more than impressed how much Connor grows and comes into his own during the course of the story. I liked Jared too and he matures throughout the novel as well. I did want to smack him silly a couple of times, but I cannot get really mad at an eighteen year old who can buckle under pressure especially if most of it was self inflicted anyway.
The ending of the storyline with Jasper’s girlfriend Veronica was weird. I mean it was believable, but it was weird in a sense that I felt like the author needed to have a female character who is annoying, but did not want to make he annoying and went with that solution. I guess on one hand I appreciate the solution, on the other hand it kind of felt artificial to me. I cannot really explain it.
But overall I thought that it was a really great, well written book. And no, I do not think that it was too angsty either – in my opinion at least the angst was nowhere near Amy Lane’s level in her high angst stories. And as far as I am concerned it is a good thing.