By Erin McCarthy
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Reviewed from: My own purchased copy
When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.
Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…
Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…
My Thoughts:Rory has always done what her dad has asked—never stirred the pot; rocked the boat; caused a moment of panic or whatever other euphemism you want to reference. While her life has not been perfect—she lost her mother at a young age to cancer, she still did great at school, had friends but never a boyfriend. When she fesses up one night after too much to drink to her college roommates that she has never had sex, they think they should relieve this problem for her by buying her a night with Tyler.
Tyler has had the opposite childhood of Rory. He is barely scraping through his EMT program. His mom is a drug addict and he has never met his father. His lives at home to make sure is younger brothers are protected all the while hoping he can keep it together to be able pull his family out of their hellish life. Rory intrigues him and bewitches him enough so that he feels draw to her.
The two start as acquaintances, transition to study partners, then to friends before progressing to a relationship. When they transition to being more than friends, the relationship builds gradually—they do not rush straight to the bedroom, which is surprising and refreshing. So many new adult books are based solely on the sexual relationships of the characters whereas I do feel Ms. McCarthy did spend time developing a well rounded relationship between Rory and Tyler.
When Tyler is accused of the unthinkable, it forces him and Rory apart in more ways than one. I appreciated that the road to the end was not all smooth sailing—I do not feel that that would have been authentic, especially given Tyler’s background. I feel horrible for what went down and I admire Rory for how she handled the situation. With this being the first book in a series, I will be interested in seeing how their relationship continues to progress.
Overall, I feel this is a great addition to the new adult contemporary realistic fiction genre. I like that it is not solely focused on the bedroom dynamics of the couple and it focuses on real life experiences and decisions college students’ face on a daily basis.
Reader’s Advisory Notes:
- Genre: New Adult; Contemporary; Realistic
- Series: True Believers #1
- Read-a-Likes: Losing It by Cora Carmak (loosely)
- Themes: College; Poverty; Coming-of-Age; Social Issues; Drug Usage
- Content Concerns: Partying; topic of sex is discussed though the actual sensual level would be on the lighter end of the spectrum
To Purchase the Book:
Final Thought:An intriguing start to a new series—I am looking forward to the next installment, Sweet!
I read this during January 2014.