Anna Jones just wants to finish college and figure out her life. Falling for star quarterback Drew Baylor is certainly not on her to do list. Confident and charming, he lives in the limelight and is way too gorgeous for his own good. If only she could ignore his heated stares and stop thinking about doing hot and dirty things with him. Easy right?
Too bad he’s committed to making her break every rule…
Football has been good to Drew. It’s given him recognition, two National Championships, and the Heisman. But what he really craves is sexy yet prickly Anna Jones. Her cutting humor and blatant disregard for his fame turns him on like nothing else. But there’s one problem: she's shut him down. Completely.
That is until a chance encounter leads to the hottest sex of their lives, along with the possibility of something great. Unfortunately, Anna wants it to remain a hook up. Now it’s up to Drew to tempt her with more: more sex, more satisfaction, more time with him. Until she’s truly hooked. It's a good thing Drew knows all about winning.
All’s fair in love and football…Game on.
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This is not a debut author, but she's new to me. Although she's written several books, they are in the historical/paranormal/steampunk genres and I don't dabble much in those. This is her first attempt at New Adult and I have to say, I was completely impressed with this book. The writing was fantastic. It was emotional, it was funny, it was gripping in a way that I was unable to set this bad boy down once I took a peek at it! You know exactly what I'm talking about, I know you do. Your curiosity is aroused so you turn to the first few pages to get a sample of the writing and before you know it, you're chapters in and promising yourself, "Just a few more pages." True story here. Looking at the cover, sorry but I wasn't too crazy about it. He looks goofy as hell! But please don't judge the book on that smarmy guy. I'm so glad I decided to try this one out.
This book has all the signs of a superior book:
#2...Freaking fire alarm steamy-don't read this in public H.O.T. (This is not your typical NA fare)
#3...An abundant amount of #2
#4...Made me laugh multiple times
#5…My highlighting finger got a really good workout.
#6…Supporting characters were just as well built that now I am auto-reading the next book
And the most important one, I just really, really liked this authors words.
On to the story....
A bad first impression, a heroine with a past that has shaped her to be prickly and sensitive, and a hero not used to getting immediate adoration because of his football stardom (not that he enjoys it, he's a pretty humble guy)...a very bad combination. At first sight, Drew is thunderstruck and speechless over Anna. It's not insta-love. In his own words:
I'm not going to say it was love at first sight. No, it was more like oh, hell-yes-please, I'll have that. With a helping of right-the-fuck-now on the side.
Anna is not impressed by his adulation. In fact, it has the opposite effect. She’s an introverted type of person and he’s so popular, he’s followed on Twitter and Instagram. They take football seriously down south, and his talent has them clambering for a piece of him.
Anna is a complicated girl. She throws off a tough girl vibe that screams strength, but inside, because of bullying in high school, has body and confidence issues. Her body has changed since then, but her mind hasn't. Though she had her insecurities, I still liked her. She was funny, independent, intelligent, and loyal. She was the complete package, but doesn't do serious relationships. So when she has a similar reaction to Drew upon meeting him, she puts up a fortress around herself that's she's determined to keep up around him.
But eventually, one night at a party, it happens.
The Hook Up.
It was the single, most electrifying, life changing experience for both of them. And Ho-lee Hell. Two words. They're hooked. The problem is, she doesn't want to be.
Tonight was obviously an ill-advised hook up for her. And I'm so screwed up because it was the best thing that has ever happened to me.
After realizing she can't stay away from him, she erects "The Rules" to keep them from getting too close. No kissing, no staying the night, no telling anyone, and no falling in love. Drew's willing to gamble that he can make her break all those rules. Game on. They really had some combustible chemistry. And the fact that they couldn't kiss added so much sexual tension to the mix. When they finally do break that rule, it was AMAZING. Never before has so much importance and heat been put into a single first kiss. It's significance is unspoken but plain as day. They give each other untold pleasure but both secretly yearn to explore the intimacy and everything that giving that piece of themselves symbolizes. Best first kiss ever.
And Drew? Perfection. He had a tragic past, but he doesn't obsess over that, he's hot yet sweet, and he's not a manwhore. Yet he was still strong and determined when it came to what he wanted. And that would be Anna. Her complete surrender.
Before you know it, not only their sexual connection is drawing her in, but she's found a best friend in him. They talk long into the night, they debate with each other, their sense of humor is the same, and she finds herself not just wanting him but needing him. Just as he needs her.
His entire body seems to light up. Like he's plugged in to me. And that energy bounces back over me, lifting the little hairs along my skin, tripping up the steady beat of my heart. Lost. I know that now. I've lost myself to him.
Drew presses my hand against his sweaty chest where his heart still beats a fierce rhythm. His voice is whisper-quiet but crystal clear. "My world lives in your palm, Anna."
This book was a lot more than I was planning on. Of course, I had hoped it would be good, but it exceeded my expectations in many ways. More emotion, more steam, more humor, it was simply more. I must mention however, I did have one pet peeve in this book and that was the hero blushing. FYI, that's not hot-he's not a bride or a virginal heroine. But other than that, I couldn't think of a thing to complain about. The characters weren't perfect, but showed real human emotions and even when I wanted to break out something really hard and smack Anna upside her stubborn little head, I was rooting for them all way. I loved how this couple grew together and learned a lot about themselves and what they were capable of. They gave each other strength and I loved spending time with them!! I'm really excited for the next book in the series with Drew's best friend.
Life, she insisted, is how you live it and who you live it with, not what you do to make a living. Given that she told me this when I was sixteen, I basically rolled my eyes and worked on practicing my pass fakes.
But my mother was insistent.
“You’ll see, Drew. One day, love will creep up and smack you upside the head. Then you’ll understand.”
My mom, it turns out, was wrong in one regard. Love, when it came for me, did not creep. No, it walked up to me, bold as you please, you know, just in case I wasn’t paying attention. It did, however, slap me upside my head.
And while I’d be happy to tell my mom that she was right about that, she’s dead. A fact that hurts even more now that I’ve been struck down. More like shot down. Cut off at the knees. Totally fucked. Whatever you want to call this disaster. Because the object of my affection hates me.
I am man enough to acknowledge that the cluster fuck that is my current love life is entirely my fault. I wasn’t prepared for Anna Jones.
I still cringe at the memory of when I first laid eyes on her at the beginning of the semester. Being late for class, I’d rushed to a seat in the back row, and was trying to remain unnoticed. I can’t go anywhere on campus without getting attention. And though it sounds like an awesome thing, it gets tiring.
When the roll call reached the back row, a soft voice, rich and thick as maple syrup, slid over me.
Just her name. That was all she’d said. It was like a hot finger stroking down my spine. My head snapped up. And there she was, so fucking pretty that I couldn’t think straight. I might as well have been sacked.
Breathless, my head ringing, I could only gape. I’m not going to say it was love at first sight. No, it was more like oh, hell-yes-please, I’ll have that. With a helping of right-the-fuck-now on the side.
Thinking maybe I was overtired and simply overreacting to something that wasn’t really there, I stared at Anna Jones and tried to make sense of my extreme reaction.
As if feeling my gaze, she’d turned, and fucking hell… Her eyes were wide, almost cat-like, with the corners tilting up just a bit. At first, those eyes appeared brown, but they were really bottle green. And so clear. And annoyed. She glared at me. I didn’t care. One word was playing a loop in my head: mine.
I don’t remember the rest of the class. I watched Anna Jones like a condemned man getting his last view of the setting sun. While she tried to ignore me. Admirably.
The second class ended I shot up, and so did she. We nearly collided in the middle of the aisle. And then it all fell to shit.
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