July 10, 2012
Author: Tammara Webber
Release Date: May 24, 2012
Genre: New Adult/YA (Mature)
Digital Price: $3.99
Print Price: $11.99
A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be broken, and loyalty is an illusion. A boy who believes truth is relative, lies can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal. Will what they find in each other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all?
When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she’s single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, stalked by her ex’s frat brother, and failing a class for the first time in her life.
Her econ professor gives her an email address for Landon, the class tutor, who shows her that she’s still the same intelligent girl she’s always been. As Jacqueline becomes interested in more from her tutor than a better grade, his teasing responses make the feeling seem mutual. There’s just one problem–their only interactions are through email.
Meanwhile, a guy in her econ class proves his worth the first night she meets him. Nothing like her popular ex or her brainy tutor, Lucas sits on the back row, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. At a downtown club, he disappears after several dances that leave her on fire. When he asks if he can sketch her, alone in her room, she agrees–hoping for more.
Then Jacqueline discovers a withheld connection between her supportive tutor and her seductive classmate, her ex comes back into the picture, and her stalker escalates his attention by spreading rumors that they’ve hooked up. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.
It doesn’t get better than EASY!
Although I was venturing out of my normal element–historicals and contemporaries–I was looking for an angsty teenage/early adult romance that was not written in first person but written in third person. Well, guess what? There aren’t any. That’s why I finally decided I would at least give Tammara’s first book, BETWEEN THE LINES a try. I ended up reading the entire series in two days flat. Thanks a lot, Tammara. Like I don’t have my own books to write.
I digress, let’s move on shall we? Okay, so I polished off the series like I’d never read a book in my life before. I especially loved WHERE YOU ARE (Book 2). Sigh! Graham is such a yummy hero. So once I finished the series I really eyed EASY up and down. I read the blurb. I have to say at this point, I’m very hesitant to read it. The blurb made it sound like she was juggling one too many men–maybe even two. And I wasn’t getting a firm grasp of the plot when I read it. BUT–and here’s the big but–I really did enjoy her other books. I mean she can write for sure. Now I’m thinking, this book has to at least be OKAY so I plunked down my hard earned $3.99 and bought it.
I started reading and immediately got this sinking feeling in my gut. Damn, she was going to get raped–and in the first scene of the book no less. Wonderful. Now I’m dreading it and so disappointed I could choke on something. I was so not up to reading about a girl recovering from some horrid rape. When I read fiction, it’s to escape, and that kind of story didn’t count as escapism to me. But, she hadn’t been raped yet–she was still fighting (and losing)–so I read on. I vowed the minute he raped her, I’d put the book down and call it a day.
Well thank God Almighty, the hero saves the day. No rape. I can read on. And thank God I did because this has to be one of the best books I’ve ever read and I’ve been reading for 30+ years, so I’ve read a ton of books in my lifetime. I mean, I think you’d have to be made out of ice not to absolutely fall in LOVE with Lucas. No, not even ice, I would say carved from granite. (Let’s put some of those metaphors to good use shall we?) Okay, so I’m a total sucker for the dark and brooding type. Well Lucas had me at, “You okay?” That was after he kicked the wanna-be-rapist’s ass.
And so the story begins. We discover that our heroine, Jacqueline, who no longer goes by Jackie–the nickname by which her ex-boyfriend christened her–follows her boyfriend to university only to be dumped by him in their sophomore year. So now she’s boyfriendless and almost friendless, save her take-no-prisoner’s roommate, Erin. Her ex is in a fraternity but Jacqueline is a GDI (God Damn Independent), so no sorority for her and no more automatic invite to fraternity gatherings. Yes, it’s a Greek tragedy.
After the breakup, she’s so torn up, she skips two weeks of her econ class, where she has a seat beside her ex. She just can’t bear to see him. Well she misses the midterm and will fail unless she can make up everything she missed. Her professor takes pity on her, suggests she seek out the assistance of the econ tutor, Landon Maxfield and allows her to make up the midterm test. But guess who she notices sitting in the back of her econ class? Yep, her rescuer, Lucas. And what does Lucas do in the back of the class, he sketches…and she’ll catch him watching her with the most gorgeous eyes ever. Dark hair and really light eyes is a killer of a combination. She’s not immune. Gosh, seriously, neither was I. Sigh. Lucas is right now topping my hero to die for list.
Then Erin, her roommate, convinces her to come out with her and go dancing. It’s time she got over her no-good ex and what better way to do it than rebound in a long-overdue Bad Boy Phase. Here’s one of my favourite excerpts from the book where Lucas has just asked her to dance and she accepts:
I’d barely let anyone else touch me at all tonight, adamantly refusing all slow dances. Dizzy from weak-but-plentiful margaritas, I closed my eyes and let him lead, telling myself that the difference was the alcohol in my blood, nothing more. A minute later, he released my fingers and spread his hands across my lower back, and my hands moved to his biceps. Solid, as I knew they would be. Tracking a path, my palms encountered equally hard shoulders. Finally, I hooked my fingers behind his neck and opened my eyes.
His gaze was penetrating, not wavering for a moment, and my pulse hammered under his silent scrutiny.
Finally, I stretched up toward his ear, and he leaned down to accommodate my question. “S-so, what’s your major?” I breathed.
From the corner of my eye, I watched his mouth twitch up on one side. “Do you really want to talk about that?” He maintained the closeness, our torsos pressed together chest to thigh, ostensibly waiting for my answer. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been so full of pure, unqualified desire.
I swallowed. “As opposed to talking about what?”
He chuckled, and I felt the vibrations of his chest against mine. “As opposed to not talking.” His hands at my waist gripped a little tighter, thumbs pressing into my ribcage, fingers still at my lower back.
I blinked, one moment not understanding what his words implied, and the next knowing unreservedly.
“I don’t know what you mean,” I lied.
He leaned closer still, his smooth cheek whispering against mine as he murmured, “Yes, you do.”
OMG, that scene is hotter than most love scenes. The scene is fraught with so much sexual tension, I think the 20-year-old me swooned in that very moment. Okay, the 29-yr-old me swooned a bit too but that’s all I’m willing to admit to.
Needless to say, Jacqueline and Lucas connect. But Lucas has secrets he’s hiding–some of them very painful–and there’s no smooth, easy road to their HEA. But what a journey. What an incredible, beautiful, wondrous journey.
I absolutely loved this book. The character development was spot on. Jacqueline is fantastic and you already know how I feel about Lucas. There is a subplot about Buck, the frat guy who tried to rape Jacqueline. It’s a necessary evil, but it doesn’t overwhelm the story. Ms. Webber keeps the focus of the book where it belongs, on the hero and heroine and their relationship.
I did get a little teary-eyed at the ending. Soooooo good. It’s the kind of story I didn’t want to end. I so would like to see Lucas and Jacqueline again. I’m hoping Ms. Webber will have them pop up somewhere, sometime, in one of her other books.
Needless to say, I cannot WAIT to see what’s next from the extremely talented Tammara Webber.
Rating: 5 (Keeper)!
Heat Level: 2 (Mild)
Reviewed by Beverley
And because I love to share my good fortune when I’m fortunate enough to stumble upon (okay, someone did recommend it to me) such a great book, one very lucky commenter will win their own digital copy. But seriously, if I were you, I wouldn’t even wait to see if you win, I’d purchase my own copy because this book is a steal at $3.99.