Recommended by J.D.
Perhaps they’d always been aware of each other, but were both smart enough to know they made no sense as anything more than acquaintances in a small town.
A small town, a girl who's mother dies early in her life leaving only a masculine presence which combined with her deeply held faith has her being a 24yr old virgin, a boy who attracts women early gaining a reputation that has him being the go to for a good night, and an attraction that doesn't seem to make sense.
The whole trope of heroine being the shy girl who loves the hero from afar and the bad boy with hidden depth who never thought he was good enough for heroine, is one I can't help but enjoy and I greatly did for the first 20%.
After years of watching him, she’d seen hidden moments where his focus drifted and his smile faltered as if he was exhausted with putting on the charm. There was no denying Kelly was a funny and entertaining person to be around, but…so much of it was a performance.
The author did a great job of giving these two trope heavy characters and giving them depth. The heroine was considered a wallflower by everyone and socially acted like that but with the hero she showed her backbone and tilted his world on edge. The hero loved women and they loved him but he kind of always wondered about the heroine (we get a few flashbacks of him talking with her highschool), wanted something deeper, but never thought he was worth more because of his early formative years of having girls only want one thing from him.
These two were so adorable in the beginning and gave me all the ooey gooey feelings.
“Would you date a virgin?”
His lips buttoned up and he looked away. “Uh, I’m a little too…I got a sweet tooth.”
She frowned. “What?”
He blew out a breath. “I like sex, love. Lots of sex. Crazy, swinging from the chandeliers, make you scream, feel it days later sex.” He scratched his head and grimaced. “I’m really not that complicated. I basically only come with two settings, hungry and horny.” He laughed and gazed away, mumbling, “If you don’t see me with a hard on, make me food. Ah, but then I start thinking about cobbler and soft peaches and…” He cleared his throat and shifted.
She didn’t know where to look, but she couldn’t look at him. Her head turned with jagged increments as she focused her stare anywhere but at him.
He chuckled. “Sorry. Maybe that was a bit too graphic on my part.”
“Sometimes waiting means more than the act,”she offered lamely. Her decision really couldn’t compete with chandelier monkey screaming antics—not with Kelly. That was for sure. And was he actually talking about cobbler or was it a metaphor? Did he do stuff with food? Jeeze, she was ignorant, but now she was really curious.
Our wallflower didn't back down around him and I enjoyed her backbone and I felt for how the hero was so vulnerable. After the beginning first half though, the heroine's virginity started to become a huge focus, religious talk featured heavily, and there was the icky "not like those other slutty desperate girls" from the hero.
“Because I’m not like other girls,” she said frowning at her lap.
“Yeah, but not for the negative reasons you’re probably thinking. I know a lot of women. You’re different, interesting. You don’t cover yourself with fancy crap and pretend to be someone you’re not. You’re honest and unguarded.”
She snorted. “We’re all guarded.”
The hero was ugh with this thinking but delightfully, the heroine would come to the defense of the women, but I got tired of the "other women are so desperate when they only want sex from me". Now, I'm not religious so I have contradictory views with Christianity, so my personal enjoyment will vary if you're of a different school of thought. The heroine is a virgin because of her faith and how she's suppose to save her "innocence" for her husband. When she is trying to date, she ends up finding out that one of her dates is a virgin, also because of his faith. What does she think? She doesn't like it, she thinks about how the hero is better because of his experience. I'm all for personal decisions but this thinking of women must remain innocent because of God but men can sleep with anything is so barfy to me, I'm just not going to enjoy a story where the whole middle talks about this.
The second half I lost the beginning spark and building connection between the two because sex became the focus. I'm not lying when I say this book is largely about God and blowjobs. I don't know if there is a category or sub-genre labeled Christian erotica but this would fit squarely there. I honestly felt like their rushed marriage was so they could have sex, their emotional connection stops being built and felt after they are married. The ending was rushed with a bunch of little added dramas and angst.
The first 20% was very close to building up to a 5 stars but I'm not a Christian and their emotional building and bonding was replaced with endless faith talk and sexy times, making me not the target audience and not feeling their heat in the bedroom.