Prude by Jordan S Gray

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Prude by Jordan S Gray

Rebecca Washington is a girl in control. Well, at least when it comes to acing her college classes. The rest of the time, she seems to be at the mercy of everyone else. Like when she’s dumped in front of her peers, hit on right afterwards by a jerk for some stupid bet, and then paired up with the same jerk for a lit project.

In order to maintain her perfect GPA, Rebecca will need to give a stellar presentation while ignoring the prodding eyes that will be staring at her. When her partner, Derek, starts to ease her fears of public speaking with his laid back attitude, she’s forced to confront her new feelings about him and his charming smile. Rebecca knows falling for a guy who teases her for being a prudish nerd can only end badly, but what if it’s just another thing out of her control?

So I am seriously loving this story. When the book begins, we meet Rebecca aka Becca being publicly dumped by her boyfriend of 6 months, Sean. Its sad to see Becca go through that but I thought it was a genius way to start the story. It really sets the tone for the rest of the book.

Becca is a very serious, somewhat quirky, 20 year old. She’s still a virgin and has never even had a true first date. Part of why her relationship with Sean fell apart is because she didn’t like Sean touching her, he had bad breath, etc. One thing I really liked about Becca’s character is that, as the story continues, she is figuring out what she likes. As a reader, I kept thinking it was a blessing that she and Sean broke up, but Becca was still sad. Even though many people tell her that Sean is a jerk, I don’t think she actually knew anything different. She seemed to somewhat allow the lines of friend and boyfriend blur a bit.

Becca and Derek meet after her breakup, when he’s basically bet that he can’t get her number. She thinks he’s a jerk (rightly so) and then ends up having to be his partner in a British Literature class.

I loved the dynamic between Becca and Derek. He teases her quite a bit, but I never really felt like he was mean to her. It was just good natured flirting, which Becca does not even remotely pick up on. Another aspect I really loved about Derek was that he was just natural. This book reminded me a lot of my own college days and his character is the quintessential college guy. Funny, boyishly charming, flirty, cute, endearing.

If you love New Adult books, you will love this book. In all honesty, I think the vast majority of readers would enjoy this book. It was written well and the characters are refreshing and fun.

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Lucas by Jay McLean

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Lucas by Jay McLean

In a sprint, every millisecond counts.
When you’re waiting for love, those milliseconds can feel like eons.

High school senior Lucas Preston has it all: star of the track team, a scholarship waiting for him, an apartment to himself and a revolving door of girlfriends. He also has an older sister, five younger brothers and a father who relies on him to make sure those brothers don’t kill each other.

His saving grace? Lois “Laney” Sanders, a girl he started to fall in like with when he was just eleven.
A girl who became his best friend, his confidant, his courage.

It took only sixteen clicks and eight seconds for Lucas to realize that his like for Laney had turned into love.
Eight life-changing seconds.
It’s also the exact length of time it took to lose her.

I’ve heard so many wonderful things about books by Jay McLean. I hear people rave about them and now I finally got to try one for myself. Based on what other readers have said, we do see Lucas in the “More Than” series, (his sister Lucy is in that series) and now Lucas is finally getting his own story.
Lucas meets Lois (who becomes Laney for Lois Lane) when he’s eleven years old. Laney and her dad have moved in nearby and her dad works for Lucas’ dad’s construction company. They immediately become close friends, but as the years tick by, things start to change.
Both Laney and Lucas are head over heels for each other, but neither one is sure their feelings are returned. So neither really says anything about it. They do delve into this murkiness on a few occasions but things always seem to fall apart.
One aspect of this book that I found myself marveling at over and over again was just how much this book came to life. The author made me feel like I was right there with Lucas and Laney, to the point that I was actually wanting to respond TO the characters. Even the descriptions of their surroundings and internal dialogue was incredibly descriptive and allowed me to immerse myself in the story.
The ending of this story is incredible. I did NOT see some of the twists coming, but they did make sense.
I would absolutely recommend this book. This story is extremely well-written and a fantastic tale of friends to lovers, sprinkled with memories and stories from the past. Our characters experience tragedy but they also experience true, all-consuming love.

Anti Stepbrother by Tijan

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Anti Stepbrother by Tijan

He told me to settle.
He asked what was wrong with me.
He called me an easy target.
That was within minutes when I first met Caden Banks.
I labeled him an *sshole, but he was more than that. Arrogant. Smug. Alpha.

He was also to-die-for gorgeous, and my stepbrother’s fraternity brother.

Okay, yes I was a little naive, a tad bit socially awkward, and the smallest amount of stalker-ish, but if Caden Banks thought he could tell me what to do, he had another thing coming.

I came to college with daydreams about being with my stepbrother, but what if I fell for the anti-stepbrother instead?

Okay, y’all…look at that cover. I do not know who the model is but to say I’ve been lusting over him for a few months would not be a lie. This cover caught my eye and I’ve been waiting for the book ever since.

We start by meeting Summer, who is starting college and it happens to be the same college that her stepbrother, Kevin, attends. Summer used to have feelings for Kevin, but that was before he betrayed her. Some wouldn’t call it betrayal, but I would because Kevin is just…I honestly don’t think every horrible word I can find describes Kevin. He’s just a manipulative user and just treats everyone like garbage. I mean, he truly does. Tijan did an amazing job making me hate Kevin. Like, just writing this post makes my blood boil again.

The initial scene is Summer covering for Kevin, but its before she really is aware of what’s happening and I don’t think she truly knows what Kevin does nor his reputation. But this is also when she meets Caden.

Sort of an injection here: I absolutely LOVED how Summer was portrayed. I appreciated how we, as readers, get to realize how attractive Summer is. She isn’t made into that character that is super hot but just doesn’t know it. And yes, Summer clearly is attractive but doesn’t know it. But that doesn’t mean she is wallowing in low self-esteem either, or total oblivion. Summer is sort of socially awkward and funny and just herself. I think if Tijan hadn’t made her character be that way,  I don’t honestly think it would have been believable to see Caden being interested in her.

I also adored Caden. Another side note: this is my first Tijan book. I know, I realize the error of my ways and please forgive me. She is freaking incredible. Getting back on topic (sorry, I stalled out from having a mini fangirl moment). Caden has the reputation of being broody, a fighter, sort of a man-whore. But I love how Caden calls it what it is. If he wants to get drunk and have sex, he does and will. He just owns it. And not in a cocky way. Its matter-of-fact and truthful.

As the story goes, we see different situations happen, but Summer and Caden never really confirm anything. Its obvious they are together, but Summer isn’t sure of the actual title and while she sort of wants to know, she also goes with it. I don’t think until a very pivotal scene later does she fully realize that Caden does truly have feelings for her.

I feel like I’m selling this review a little short but only in the face of saving spoilers. Because I don’t want to spoil the last 20% or so for you. Which, for the record, had me messaging Tijan at like, 1:30AM and telling her thanks for ALMOST killing me but that my soul is slowly being revived. I want you to experience that for yourself. I was caught off-guard and she kills the ending.

I just adored this book. Anti Stepbrother is so good, I would recommend this to everyone. Summer and Caden had one of the most realistic connections and relationships that I’ve read about lately. I mean, we always see the characters connect, but this was different. This was that connection that you want to have, but just can’t because we don’t always have it with everyone. So stop reading my blabbing about connections, go one-click!