When Cassie’s boyfriend dumps her for another girl, she’s devastated. It doesn’t help that she’s the recipient of everyone’s pity either. Or that she’ll never have sex again. Okay, maybe not never, but since she’s not a one-night-stand kind of girl, and she’s nowhere near ready to risk her heart in another relationship. So when her friend Liz suggests she enlist their hot neighbor Tyler into a benefits only, no strings kind of agreement — and once she gets over her shock — it seems like the only reasonable option.
Judging Covers: While the cover is certainly pretty, it actually almost kept me away from the book because it looked to me like it was going to be sci-fi or fantasy with all that crazy star action going on. In fact, if it weren’t for the contemporary filter on the site where I was trolling for new reads, I would never have given it a second glance. Once it showed up in my search, I noticed the title and checked the synopsis, still half convinced that it was going to mention an alien. But no, it’s just a contemporary new-adult romance, pretty much exactly what I was looking for. I wonder if it’s just me, or if other potential readers have drawn the same wrong conclusion.
The Verdict: I am sooooo pissed off right now. I think I just read THE perfect new adult, college romance novel, and the sequel isn’t coming out until fall of 2015. It didn’t end on a cliffhanger, but now that I know there’s more… 2015?!? That’s like over a hundred years from now. Um…I can’t math. How am I supposed to wait that long? What if humankind is struck by a plague that zaps all creativity and literacy? What if I get hit in the head by a meteor next week? What if North Korea nukes us between now and then, and I never get to find out what happens next? This is so beyond unfair. But I should probably put my freak-out on hold and tell you about the book, huh?
Reeling from the abrupt and painful end to her long-term relationship with Wyatt, Cassie has realized that her sex life is doomed. She can’t do a one-night-stand every time the need gets to be too much, and she can’t even contemplate another relationship when she’s heartbroken over her last one. Her battery operated bunny isn’t really doing the trick, so when her roommate suggests finding a “hug buddy” — yeah, that’s what they’re calling it — she gives it some serious thought, even though she’s a little mortified. But perhaps Tyler, the slice of hotness next door, could be the answer. Women practically line up for him, so he’s obviously good at what he’s doing, and anyone with a pulse can see that he’s looking for fun, not love. So Cassie swallows her pride, gives herself a battery of pep talks, and asks him to help her out. And so begins what I’m sure will long be one of my favorite books.
The basic story line has been done a million times, I’m sure, but this one is delectably different. Whereas most authors would have the characters trying to mask quickly developing, real feelings, this little arrangement goes (almost) exactly the way Cassie and Tyler have planned. Their friends in the know keep their mouths shut. Their oblivious friends remain none the wiser.
There’s no sleeping over, no romantic overtures, no thinly veiled moments of jealousy. In fact, Tyler’s a bit of a douche at times, and Cassie’s heart stays locked up tight. That she’s so scare of putting herself out there actually makes the way the story plays out so much more interesting and keeps it away from the the cliches you would expect in a book like this.
I can’t really explain what makes the story so perfect without quoting half of it, and I doubt even that would do it justice. Suffice it to say, the writing is great, the characters are perfectly developed, and even the secondary characters and details are wonderful, lending just enough background noise to keep things interesting while Cassie and Tyler navigate the mess they’ve gotten their hearts into. There were little moments of sweet friendship, humiliating and confusing moments where I was cringing and probably blushing right alongside Cassie, and then moments where everything came together and I felt like I was living the story myself. There are books I like and books I love, and then there are the books I can’t stop gushing about. Summer’s Temptation would most definitely be the latter, and I’m all in for the rest of the series. Which I need right now. Immediately. Yep, I’m just gonna sit here, angrily waiting for the next book.