I hated to see this book end! I really enjoyed it. I have read a lot of books in this genre, but there was something different and intriguing about the story. It was a love story between the two main characters, but it also dealt with some issues that are current in the world today. I thought that the characters were great and I really enjoyed the dynamic between them.
Hadley Arrington is a senior at Northwestern University. She is a serious student and Editor-in-Chief of the school newspaper. Her dream job is to work for the New York Times as a combat journalist. She is an over-achiever extraordinaire. She has never had a lot of time for socializing or dating….she does not want a relationship at all.
Jack Diamond is also a senior in university, but he is the complete opposite to Hadley. He is a self-proclaimed lazy man! He has no idea what he wants to do with his life and he isn’t even sure that he wants to work. His life seems to be in limbo and he seems perfectly content with “figuring things out”. Jack does enjoy socializing and he is a popular member of his fraternity.
Hadley and Jack meet one night at a tailgate party that her roommate (David) convinced her to go to. David wanted Hadley to let loose and have some fun. He thought that she should find a stranger and just make out with him! They had a little too much to drink and lo and behold she found a stranger that she found attractive…and she kissed him! They didn’t even find out each other’s names.
Hadley ends up coming face to face with Jack at his fraternity house when trying to deal with an incident that occurred with one of her journalists at the paper. Needless to say, they are both shocked to see each other after their steamy kiss in the rain.
Jack is very flirtatious and makes it known that he would like to take Hadley out on a date. Hadley finds Jack very attractive and she is drawn to him more than she cares to admit to herself, or to him. They end up having a friendship, but with benefits. Hadley makes up a lot of rules that they need to follow in order for this “friendship” to work out - no dinner, no pet-names, no sleepovers, and no falling in love! Jack seems to want to break these rules. They end up having a relationship that seems to work for them, but both of them develop serious feelings for the other. Hadley will never admit to Jack or herself that she might actually be falling in love with him.
I love Jack and Hadley together, I loved their banter! They really care about each other and despite their definition of the relationship…they are essentially a couple. He wants to make her his girlfriend in the true sense of the word, but she has such a jaded opinion of love that she doesn’t want to put herself in that situation. Her mother’s six marriages and dependency on men has given her a bleak outlook on love in general.
I don’t want to give too much of the story away. I will just say that their pasts play a large part in the people that they are today. This book did have a little bit of everything that I look for in this genre. It had angst, humour, romance, and sexual chemistry. It also dealt with serious issues, such as homophobia and war. Jack and Hadley’s “romance” isn’t an easy one, but I was rooting for them from the beginning.
This was a fabulous book! I was completely drawn into it from the start. I will definitely look for more books by Audrey Bell.