Genres: New Adult, Romance
Publication Date: February 1, 2018 by Self Published
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Beau Fortier starred in most of my cringe-worthy teenage fantasies.
I met him when I was a junior in high school, a time that revolved exclusively around bad hair, failed forays into flirting, and scientific inquiries into which brand of toilet paper worked best for stuffing bras.
That is, until Beau moved into the small guest house just beyond my bedroom window.
A 24-year-old law student at Tulane, Beau was as mysterious to me as second base (both in baseball and in the bedroom). He was older. Intimidating. Hot. Boys my age had chicken legs and chubby cheeks. Beau had calloused hands and a jaw cut from steel. Our interactions were scarce—mostly involving slight stalking on my end—and yet deep down, I desperately hoped he saw me as more of a potential lover than a lovesick loser.
Turns out, I was fooling myself. My fragile ego learned that lesson the hard way.
Now, ten years later, we’re both back in New Orleans, and guess who suddenly can’t take his eyes off little ol’ me.
My old friend, Mr. Fortier.
But things have changed. I’m older now—poised and confident. My ego wears a bulletproof vest. The butterflies that once filled my stomach have all perished.
When I was a teenager, Beau warned me to guard my heart.
Let’s hope he knows how to guard his.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I had a hard time with this book. Every time I started to enjoy the story, something negative would happen that made me enjoy it less. This happened many times throughout the book.
The story is told in two parts, when Lauren is in high school and Beau moves in to her family’s guest house, and then switches to ten years later when they meet again. During the first half I totally related to young Lauren, there were so many high school things that felt like such a big deal, but looking back weren’t important at all. I was surprised at how much of the book took place in the past, about 30% of the book was while Lauren was in high school. There was nothing wrong with this, I was just not expecting such a large chunk of book to be the past.
It was fun to read about Lauren trying to impress the hot older guy that lived in her guest house, but there was something that made me cringe and feel weird about the fact that Beau was attracted to her too. I understand that he is keeping his distance because of the age gap and Lauren still being underage and in high school, but it was still kind of ick to read about him being attracted to a high schooler.
The flashback of the past ends when Lauren, her family, and Beau evacuate New Orleans because of a hurricane and then go their separate ways afterwards. I totally understand the hurricane parts and thought they were well written and realistic (which makes sense since Grey is from Texas).
The second part of the book starts with Lauren moving back to town, and her family throwing an elaborate party in her honor and for Mardi Gras. During this part we learn about the past ten years of Lauren’s life and how accomplished she is, Beau also makes his appearance.
“My palms are sweating. My knees are weak. My arms are heavy. Eminem’s the only one who understands me right now.”
I really loved reading about New Orleans. The descriptions sound so fun, and the city sounds so nice. We learn that Lauren is back and working on opening her own gallery/coffee shop. The description of her new business sounds so cute and fun, and definitely somewhere I would want to go and hang out.
At the party in Lauren’s honor her and Beau reconnect. He wants them to start dating, but she’s still upset that he didn’t want to date her in high school. This part kind of confused me, they haven’t seen each other in ten years, but he wants to immediately date her? And she has no right to be mad because it makes complete sense why he didn’t want to date her when SHE WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL.
“And how many times have I told you to stay away from him? To cut him off? By my count, I started 10 years ago!”
I know Beau is supposed to be this “dominating man”, but I’ve recently learned that this trope is not for me. Mostly because the male love interests come off as controlling assholes instead of charming romantic leads. One example is when they go to a party together when he’s mad at her. While they’re at the event he ignores her the whole time, then makes her stand with him and his friends and tries to make her feel awkward and embarrassed by leaving her out of the conversation/not even looking at her. When that doesn’t work because of her great small talk skills, he gets upset and makes them walk away from the group.
I think parts of the book are funny, Lauren is a really funny and relatable character, and Grey really knows how to write great banter. But, unfortunately the humor doesn’t save the book for me. I think I’m done with R.S. Grey books. I enjoyed many of her older books, but her last two (this and The Fortunate Ones) have been some of my least favorite books because of the male leads.
Sidenote: This is a question for this book, and so many other romance novels. What’s with characters thinking embarrassing things and “accidentally saying them out loud? It happens all the time, but I never understood this because it doesn’t happen in real life??
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