by Monica Murphy
Published by EM Publishing
Release Date: March 10, 2022
Format Read: ARC
Buy on Amazon
Wren Beaumont is many things.
At Lancaster Prep, the girls love her. They all want to be her friend. Only I see Wren for who she really is.
A repressed little virgin who keeps her feelings locked up so tight she’s probably close to bursting. She thinks she’s above us all.
I shouldn’t be drawn to her. She’s not my type.
Until we’re forced to work together in class and realize we might have more things in common than we originally thought. Soon enough I find myself completely obsessed. I will do anything for this girl to make her fall in love with me.
I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
First and foremost, I should inform the audience: THIS IS NOT YA. NOT YOUNG ADULT ON ANY LEVEL.
THIS IS 100% NEW ADULT. SEXUALLY EXPLICIT. I have zero idea why or how or who marketed or tagged this as young adult but I am 36 years old and have read hundreds of YA novels, as well as New Adult and obviously ADULT novels and this New Adult. Period. I’m not saying this in a degrading or demeaning way, I just want it to be very freaking clear, as I went into this thinking it was YA as that was how it was presented and marketed and…..
I literally don’t care about what level of explicitness this is, but I do feel like it’s marketed slightly wrong, especially via Goodreads. So that is just my warning. Also, check and suspend your disbelief now if you want to enjoy this book.
In regards to the story and plot in general…. it’s not great. The absolute weakest form of bully romance I have read, due to the “bullying” almost not existing. There was very much Jamie and Landon from A Walk to Remember and Sebastian and Annette from Cruel Intentions vibes in regards to the two MC’s. Like he (Crew, our MC guy) was supposed to be a bully but was very easily just in love and not a bully at all. And our girl (Wren, or Birdie, as he calls her) is very weak willed and gave up her beliefs SO EASILY bro.
Speaking of her beliefs….. yall the promises to her dad made me feel so gross. And maybe because the behaviors displayed by her father were representative of far worse red flags that I have experienced, but the “promising myself to my father” thing is absolutely disgusting. I can’t get past it. Maybe the wording made the whole thing worse, but it is absurd and just out right nasty (and I’m no prude). I wanted to vomit every time they referenced her being promised to her father and when her father was like, you promised yourself to me! NO. DISGUSTING.
Wrens level of virginal naivete makes her seem like a 12 year old and not a 18 year old, with how she cringes at curse words and sexual innuendos, then jumps to the extreme with self exploration. The two are so separate it feels almost perverted.
Additionally, the rich kid thing? So far fetched I could no longer suspend my disbelief. There is no believable world for me (even in fiction) where this guy is spending 1.2 million on a painting for a girl he has unofficially dated for 4 or less weeks. Nope. Can’t shut that disbelief down. And that is just one of the many extravagant expenses from the 18 year old to the 17 (yet turning 18) year old. There is so much more but that really takes the cake.
You might be asking, “Well, Portia, is there anything you did like about this book?” and the answer is yes. There is like 2 things.
I do appreciate that Wren did test out self exploration before becoming sexual. I feel like many young women don’t get to know their bodies prior to sex. I love that this was explored.
Also, I cannot deny how hot the intimate/sex scenes really were. Well written and burning off the page. I will never underestimate a lollipop ever again. I mean really….. I loved some of these scenes (even though they kinda stretched on longer than I needed, as did the whole book). But these things could have been worked into a better plot, without the rich kid nonsense, the bully romance that wasn’t, and the absurd virginal, uncomfortable promises to daddy thing.
Also did I mention the side plot that they made seem important about the teacher/student relationships that had no bearing on the main story and seem completely irrelevant but took precedence many times in the story somehow???? I still don’t know or see why this ultimately mattered.
Anyway, when all is said and done, I think I’m giving a 3 star. The writing is not terrible, the sex scenes were well done, as well as the props i will give to self exploration. But otherwise this book is lacking in strong plot and strong characterization and development. HOWEVER. I am more intrigued by the next book by this author, The Reluctant Bride, which follows Crews sister and her arranged marriage. I want to know SO MUCH MORE about that!!