Monday, September 15, 2014

I Don't Care Who You Are

"'Worth waiting for?'
'Always. As long as you love me...and I know you're coming back to me.'"
--Ann Aguirre, As Long As You Love Me


Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Pages: 352
Publication Date: September 30th, 2014
Source: eARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Previous Books in Series: I Want It That Way
Goodreads Description

Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But then there's the reason Lauren can't admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend's older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He's the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever—until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her.

Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.
The Story

Oh, my gosh you guys! I freakin' fell in love with this story! I loved I Want It That Way and to be honest, I didn't know if I would really get into Lauren's story because I wasn't too fond of her in IWITW but WHOA Ann Aguirre is brining the heat and the feels and everything in between. I completely and almost immediately fell in love with their budding romance. We get to see Lauren in a completely different light and I loved this. She is fresh from getting kicked out of college, partly by choice and partly by actual failure due to lack of caring, and she is changed. She is reenergized trying to figure out and go after what she does want in life. However, what hasn't changed is her crush on Rob, her best friend's older brother. Rob is working on remodeling his house while the construction season is on hiatus so they start hanging out. Lauren starts helping Rob with his house while his girlfriend, an awful (or is she?) girl Lauren went to high school with. Neither of them cross the line into romance but circumstances force Rob's relationship to end and before we know it we get all Rob and Lauren all the time.

Excuse the turbo version of that recap because a lot of stuff happens that leads up to that AND there's a ton of amazing inner thoughts from Lauren when she's trying not to ogle Rob. It's highly entertaining, which leads me to one of the many reasons I love this book. Lauren. Lauren is funny, sarcastic to a fault, smart, and kind. I love a character with a quick wit and she has it. I was laughing out loud with some of the stuff she said. Her interactions with Rob were just so heart-warming. She sees Rob for the type of person he is and never hesitates to tell him his worth. Rob...ROB. Oh, my freaking gosh SWOON. Rob has pretty much been put down his entire life by everyone around him including his family. He is not book smart and because of this, his family has always seen him as nothing but a pretty face. You guys, my heart actually broke her for him. I hated that just because he didn't excel in a classroom that he was deemed stupid. There are infinite forms of intelligence in the world and not all of us have the same ones. While I am quick with medical things and have a plethora of useless historical facts shoved into my brain, if you try to explain finance or architecture or construction to me, my eyes will glaze over. We are all different. We are all special and I loved more than words that Ann Aguirre highlighted this fact. Rob was so capable in what he loved and hearing him perk up when talking about his house was beautiful. We all have different gifts and I loved this aspect of the story.

Back to Lauren and Rob. Their romance was hot. And what I loved about this book was that the focus was so much on the relationship and building it and figuring out their quirks and errors in communication. Hell, I even loved their fights! Why? Because they were perfectly communicated. I cannot tell you enough what a breath of fresh air this was. Lauren did something that hurt Rob's feeing unintentionally, he got mad, explained his feelings, she explained her side back. Resolve. I love, love, loved this so hard! The open communication they had was what I believe a real relationship would have. No unnecessary drama here.

The Conflict

With that said, there obviously is one major source of conflict in the book and while it broke my heart to read, it felt completely right for the story. The emotions involved were so on point and beautiful that I ended up staying up until 11:30 pm when I had to get up at 5:30 am the next day and work three 12 hours shifts the next three days. Didn't even care. I HAD to know if Rob and Lauren were gonna be okay. I was that invested with this story. No joke. I was tears when it was happening but the selflessness that occurred as a result was just perfection. I loved this entire story. Love love love.

The Female Sexual Prowess

Now this might sound weird but I loved Aguirre's take on Lauren's sexuality. She wasn't timid, she knew what she wanted, she talked about masturbating. Yeah, ok, why do I like this? I know it sounds weird. But again, it was refreshing to read about a female who owned her sexuality and went after what she wanted in bed. Her interactions with Rob were so hot and it wasn't because he was a sexual beast, it was because she took charge. I feel like even now in 2014, women are still sexually oppressed in a lot of book. Not all. And don't get me wrong, I love me an alpha male who takes charge but I equally love a female who is not weak and knows what she wants.

The Secondary Characters

This wasn't just a story about a romance. This story was also about overcoming previous judgments about people as well as overcoming your own personal demons. Lauren strikes up a friendship with somebody she never thought she would ever get along with and this relationship brought so much to the book. The development of this was unexpected and so perfect for the story. The girls nights were so fun to read about but this part also wasn't all fun and games. Lauren suffers from anxiety while her friend suffers from something else entirely and they both work towards overcoming these obstacles. This aspect made the story even more grounded in real life because it wasn't all kisses and heated glances. I won't give too much away but I loved, again, seeing Lauren take charge and make decisions to change.


???

Really...there's nothing I didn't like about this book. The relationship felt real, the decisions organic with the character's we came to know. I loved it all. I'd love another whole book of Lauren and Rob if that's in the cards.

Backstage Pass
If you love a realistic yet swoony romance, strong female characters, stories with a lot of heart as well as real issues, and fans of New Adult will LOVE this book. I can't stop thinking about how much I loved this. 

1 comment:

  1. I know you already know this, but I downloaded this one the day that you told me I should read it + I Want It That Way. Definitely planning on getting to read them sooner rather than later, because they sound like just the kind of NA romances I enjoy!

    ReplyDelete

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