Jessica Sweet thought going away to college would finally make her free of her parents’ constant judgments and insistence she play chastity club role model for their church events, but if anything, the freedom has made her realize she can’t go home and be a hypocrite anymore. Tired of dodging their questions, she stays at school over the summer and lands in an unexpected crash pad: Riley Mann’s house.
Sarcastic, cocky, and full of opinions, Riley is also sexy personified with tattoos and biceps earned from working as a roofer all day. Not the right guy for her even if Jessica was looking for a relationship, which she is definitely not. But Jessica knows that Riley hides the burden of having to raise his younger brothers behind that grin and as she helps him get his house in order for a custody hearing, they begin to fall hard for each other, and she is forced to question what she’s hiding herself.
Jessica has never had a problem getting naked with a guy, but when it comes to showing Riley how she truly feels inside, her fear of rejection may just ruin the best thing—the best guy—to ever happen to her…
My Thoughts:The True Believers series continues in this book with the unlikely pairing of Jessica and Riley. We got to see a sneak peek of them interacting in True. Riley is the oldest Mann brother. He works construction and works hard at taking care of his family. Now that their mother has passed away, he is working hard at gaining custody of his two younger brothers so he KNOWS he has met that goal he set for himself. However, he is not prepared to get the letter in the mail that summer day saying the home visit from the social work is a just a short time away. Enter Jessica.
Jessica is living a lie. She cannot go home, play the role that her parents have assigned her because it is NOT her. She tells her family she is going to be off building houses for the underprivileged but stays in her college town waiting tables instead. Her sublease is not ready yet though so she unexpectedly ends up staying at Riley’s house for the week. During that time, she helps Riley get his house ready for the social worker visit—turning it from a dump into a home.
The chemistry is undeniable between the two of them and when they do not end up in bed right away, she does not understand. With Riley being older, he has moved beyond the next quick romp in bed. He wants more than sex, which confuses Jessica. Their romance has its ups and downs though—as it should since neither of their lives is simple and without complications.
I am enjoying this new adult series by Erin McCarthy. I appreciate Jessica’s conflict of trying to stay true to what she wants as I feel that it is something that most new adults and teens struggle with at some point in their lives—I know I did. We get to find out more about the Mann family in this novel and seeing their strength of character despite everything they have gone through is pretty amazing. I like getting to know more about Jessica in this book, seeing behind the party facade she puts up in True. Next up in the series is Robin's story--Believe, and Ms. McCarthy has alluded that something has happened to change her outlook on life during Sweet.
Reader’s Advisory Notes:
- Genre: New Adult; Contemporary; Realistic
- Series: True Believers #2
- Themes: College; Poverty; Coming-of-Age; Social Issues; Drug Usage; Religious Beliefs
- Content Concerns: Sex; Drinking