I loved this book! It was a really sweet story, one that I will most likely read again and again.
I've wanted to read this book ever since I finished TRUE, the first book in McCarthy's True Believers series. Sequels are rarely as good as the first book, but yet, this one I felt was even better. The character growth that Riley and Jessica weathered together was simply phenomenal. Their romance developed slowly, from adversaries to friends and inevitably a deeper relationship that was built on something real. Their love story evolved into something wonderful and I felt happy to be along for the ride.
As the book opened we saw the real Jessica for the first time. All her life she has tried and failed to be good enough for her family. Her father is a minister with certain expectations for his daughter. This explains a lot of Jessica's behavior in the first book. She disdains her parent's hypocritical ways, but holds to her own faith. She just wants to be free to live her own life, though she admits to herself that she will eventually have to pay the price of that independence. Instead of going back home for summer break, in true Jessica fashion, she lies to her parents so that she can stay in town. A problem with her plans has her crashing with Riley at his house. Riley and Jess do not get along at all. All along, while they've bantered and insulted each other, the attraction was simmering. Throw them together and the sparks flew like wildfire. They were so cute together, playing pranks on each other and you can see that they're starting to build a relationship already. But it was a slow building fire, and most of that was because Riley was such a gentleman. Where Jess would've rushed head long into the sex, it was Riley who held back because he wanted it to mean something.
I really liked watching as Jess started to grow into a mature adult. I liked how she finally realized that her actions had consequences. She was cute in her frustrations and didn't quite know what to do when she couldn't seduce Riley into giving in. She acted out a bit, but then she saw how much it hurt her relationship with Riley, so she decided to take it slow for once in her life. McCarthy used that to show her insecurities that had been there all along. The story was intense at times with Riley's struggle to keep his family together. I loved how Jess jumped in to help him with everything. Then after things hit the fan for Jess, Riley helps her find the courage to stand up to her family.
This was a very romantic story for this reader. I felt that Jessica and Riley were perfect together. I liked how Riley took me by surprise by not being the macho guy and instead being so sweet. I liked that Jess finally grew up and gave up her flighty ways. I absolutely loved watching as their relationship grew, though they had some ups and downs to get through. I enjoyed the way the story played out to the romantic ending.
I felt that the book told an amazing story. Even better than the first one for me. That says a lot, because I loved that one too. Now, after the tease that McCarthy so cleverly gave, I can't wait for Robin's book. Phoenix came out of nowhere, but I can tell that he and Robin have an awesome story just waiting for me.
I loved this book! It satisfied my romantic heart more than any book I've read in a while. It was fun to read and left me eager for the next book. I'm giving it one of my highest ratings and a must read recommendation.
A New Adult novel from Erin McCarthy, the USA Today bestselling author of True.
Jessica Sweet thought going away to college would finally make her free of her parents’ constant judgments and insistence she play chastity club role model for their church events, but if anything, the freedom has made her realize she can’t go home and be a hypocrite anymore. Tired of dodging their questions, she stays at school over the summer and lands in an unexpected crash pad: Riley Mann’s house.
Sarcastic, cocky, and full of opinions, Riley is also sexy personified with tattoos and biceps earned from working as a roofer all day. Not the right guy for her even if Jessica was looking for a relationship, which she is definitely not. But Jessica knows that Riley hides the burden of having to raise his younger brothers behind that grin and as she helps him get his house in order for a custody hearing, they begin to fall hard for each other, and she is forced to question what she’s hiding herself.
Jessica has never had a problem getting naked with a guy, but when it comes to showing Riley how she truly feels inside, her fear of rejection may just ruin the best thing—the best guy—to ever happen to her…