When Jade is given a scholarship to an elite private college in Connecticut, she sees it as a chance to finally escape her painful past and get a fresh start. She's determined to succeed and that means keeping her focus on school and not guys. But her plan falls apart her first day on campus when Garret, a rich prep school boy with swimmer abs and a perfect smile, offers to help her move in.
Jade tries to push him away, but she can't deny her attraction to him and Garret won't let her. Things quickly heat up between them, but then come to a sudden halt when reality hits and Jade realizes that a relationship with Garret may never be possible. He comes from a world of wealth where there are rules, including rules about who he can date. And not following those rules has consequences.
As the two of them try to overcome the obstacles working to keep them apart, Jade is confronted with another challenge. On her 19th birthday, she receives a letter that her now deceased mother wrote years ago. In it are revelations that explain her traumatic childhood but also make her question the past she's been running from.
"Over the years, I've learned that people really don't like the truth. The truth is ugly and painful. It's uncomfortable. It makes you question things. It creates uncertainty. People don't want that. They want to hear a version of the truth that meets the expectations they've already conjured up in their own head."
This is the first book I have read from Allie Everheart and I am glad to say that I was not disappointed. I ended up getting really into the book after a little while. The characters were interesting and the chemistry was evident, if not understated. This story has a somewhat new storyline. There is an immediate connection but there isn't immediate love. Actually by the end there really hasn't been any mention of love being in the picture.
Alright let's start with Jade. Jade is part of the reason that this book got a star less than five. She was definitely frustrating. She was mean, stubborn, and confusing. With that being said I understood her character. She went through things (even though a lot of books are like that) but some of the way she acts is understandable. She has a hard time trusting people. The part that frustrated me is that no matter what someone does they can't earn the trust. They have to jump through a lot of hoops. Garrett tried to do everything right to the best of his ability and he still wasn't trustworthy, in her eyes, by the end of the book. Granted he was almost there I think. Her character actually came off really mean. Not redeemable mean but actually mean. It took a lot for me to start to like her character. Eventually she turned some of my opinion around by the end. She starts to trust Garrett little by little and she has other qualities that I started to enjoy. She wasn't a push over. She was hilarious. She also didn't care what other people thought about her. I am still a little bit on the fence with her character so we will see.
"I like that I have no idea what you're gonna do after I do this."
Now for Garrett. I am on the fence about Jade but I effing love Garrett. His character kind of made the book for me. I loved that he pushed Jade as far as he could whenever he could. He wasn't afraid of her attitude. Garrett knew deep down that they had something and he was willing to wait for her to realize it too. He seemed to always be in touch with what she needed even more than she was. The more he learned about her the more he seemed to know what she needed deep down. Like those hugs.
Garrett was patient, sweet, caring, and romantic. He wasn't going to give Jade up without a fight. Even if who he was fighting was her dead mother…or Jade herself. Even though he was swoon-worthy I hated how much he seemed to care about his parents. He was all about saying he didn't like his dad but he went along with what he wanted most of the time, until he finally stood up to him.
"Jade, aside from you, everyone on the planet can see that I'm completely crazy about this girl from Iowa who runs constantly and is addicted to potato chips."
I am not going to lie, it took me a little bit to get into the story. I was really hung up on Jade's character and until I got past that I couldn't enjoy the book. I kinda ranted about Jade a lot but don't get me wrong I ended up really liking this book. It has a lot going for it. An original story. The writing flowed well. A swoon-worthy guy. A romance that grows and evolves. Characters that grow and learn. I can't wait to read the next book because this one did end up in a cliffhanger. I am ready to see Jade and Garrett as a real couple. I am done with this "dating" but labeling it as friends because Jade can't or won't handle a relationship.
"Just in case I haven't made myself clear, I like you. I like you a lot."
My smile grows, "I like you, too."
The next books in the series