What do you do when the town golden boy, who never noticed you in high school, decides to make a play for your heart?
For Minka Braxton, high school has been anything but easy. After a humiliating scandal sophomore year, she’s avoided the social scene and anything having to do with boys, especially of the popular variety. But with senior year approaching, Minka decides it’s time to take life back into her own hands. That is, until Owen Axel, the type of guy she’s always avoided, decides he wants her in his hands.
Owen Axel is the definition of popular. Good looks, all-star worthy pitching arm and a former pro-athlete father make him Mitchum’s town God. Returning from college for the summer, his plan is simple. Beach, booz, and beautiful girls. But one look at Minka Braxton and he knows what he wants. He just doesn’t count on her not wanting him.
As the summer unfolds, both must decide how much to reveal, how deep they should fall, and what might happen if they strike out.
This is a cute new adult story about high school love, rampant insecurities and sweet redemption. Minka is an upcoming senior in high school but she’s been majorly burned by her peers and those scars still ache. When Owen, king of the popular crowd, comes home from college and approaches her at a high school party Minka is extremely wary of his intentions.
Owen isn’t to be dissuaded – there’s something about Minka that he realizes is different and he wants to know more. AND THEN the push-pull-cat-mouse-relationship-back-and-forth begins. This book is adorable and sweet and very typical new adulty. Which is absolutely okay and enjoyable, but I found myself rolling my eyes at times.
While it was slightly melodramatic for my taste there were other moments that had me giggling like a schoolgirl. Owen is over the top sweet, and of course – over the top hot. There was plenty of steam to leave you overheated and more than enough romance to satisfy your desire to swoon. Aaron’s debut didn’t hit it out of the park for me, but it definitely rounded third. I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next! 3.5 stars!
[I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review]
“You…you want to go skinny dipping?” He nearly chokes.
He clasps my hand in his large one and leads me to the outside stairs that connect the decks above and below us. When we come to the first floor, he pulls me across the wood expanse and down onto the grass. Of course Owen’s house has a beautiful pool when the beach was just steps away.
By now the sun had fully gone down, the only light guiding us was the half-moon hanging low in the sky. At the edge of the pool, Owen drops my hand.
I was unsure of what move to make next. My brain had only gone so far as to think through the initial ask.
“So first, you have to take off your clothes.” Owen stares at me greedily, but warmth sparks in his eyes. I know he must have a lot of pent-up lust in there. We’d barely done more than cuddle and make out for two weeks.
I hold his eye contact while I ease one strap of my periwinkle tank top down. I watch him track the course of the skinny strap down my arm and it gives me a buzz of power knowing how much I affect him. I slip the other strap down and then move to the tiny silver buttons that run all the way down the front of my shirt. My fingers tingle as I slip each button out of its loophole, with each one falling open, more of my skin is hit with the cool night air.
Owen’s eyes have gone black by the time I shrug the top off of my body, leaving me in my white strapless bra and white jean shorts. Wordlessly, he pulls his navy blue t-shirt over his head, tossing it to the side. The moonlight bounces off the grooves of his muscles, highlighting just how amazing his body is.
He stands, waiting for me to make my next move. So that’s how we were going to play. I throw him a small, flirty smile as I flick the button on my shorts. I hear his intake of breath at the tiny movement. I push the course material down my legs and stand up straight, a little more self-conscience than before in just my white bra and bikini-style underwear.
Owen pushes his khaki shorts down roughly and frantically. I hold in my laugh at his haste. Someone’s in a hurry.
As soon as he stands up, he takes one look at me, and before I can reach back slowly and unhook my bra, he whips his boxers off. I freeze. He was…he was just so beautiful. And I know that was a weird word to use in reference to a guy, but he just was. He looked like a sculpture, his muscles mimicking carved stone. And down below…wow. He stood stiff as a board, he was so turned on it looked painful.
“Fuck this slow shit.” One second he stood in front of me, the next I am in his arms, being pulled off the ground. A split second later we hit the cool surface of the water, breaking through and sinking under.
The shock of being thrown, or carried, in hits me, and I begin to struggle from Owen’s arms, which we are wrapped around my half naked body at the bottom of the deep end. Kicking off, I swim up and break the surface, sputtering.
Owen comes up while I’m coughing the water out of my lungs. “Thank god.” I choke.
“What?” Rivulets of water drip off his wavy strands and his chiseled arm comes up to slick them back out of his face. My core aches in awareness. Tingles snaked down my spine as I remember just how completely naked he is under the water.
“I thought you were never going to touch me. I’m not a china doll, Owen. I said don’t hurt me. That didn’t mean you can’t play with me.”
They say those who can’t do, teach. Well, Carrie has no hand-eye coordination, and her idea of romance is a Netflix marathon complete with Thai food. So, she writes sports romance novels instead.
Beginning her writing career as a journalist, Carrie wrote about real-life crime and scandal before turning to the fantasy world of fiction. She lives with her soon-to-be husband in an apartment they are constantly outgrowing.
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