What happens when you create rules to keep others out?
One thing Emerson Moore has come to terms with is that she is the school slut. She knows her way around a frat house and how to get what she wants. She doesn’t make any excuses for her actions and she doesn’t pretend to be anything different. She is who she is and with that she knows how to have a good time. She’s made rules to keep relationships at bay and avoid the demons of her past.
When her best friend, Cole has his two friends from back home move in with him she begins to think she has met her match with Jaxon Riley. Jax is the perfect mixture of tattooed muscle and a sweet-talking mouth. With “hand” written notes, a voice that exudes sex and knowing just how to get under her skin, Jaxon learns how to break all the rules. But will he just end up breaking her heart anyway?
Overall Rating: 4/5 — One of those new adult indie gems that I absolutely adored!
“You’re my heart. You don’t walk away from your heart.”
I feel like the bad guy giving this book a 4-star rating only instead of a full 5 out of 5 like the rest of the reviews here on Goodreads. So let me try and justify my rating. First and foremost, I just want to say that I do love this story so much. When I give 4 stars to certain books, it means that I still devoured them and love it so much but something or things were just amiss that it didn’t seat so well with me to give it a full 5/5 rating.
Now onto the story. This is pretty much your typical new adult novel but with one major twist: we’re seeing things from the perspective of the well known “bad girl” and not your typically innocent, wide-eyed, do-gooder heroine. The first line of this story got me instantly hooked because I felt that things were going to be so much more interesting because I’m not gonna deal with a naive girl this time around. And Emerson/Em is surely not your virginal and innocent girl-next-door. She’s snarky, direct, and knows what she wants and gets it. Of course, she has these rules that make her not get too attached to guys because of some unresolved issues with her tragic past—but we’ll get to that later. Then she meets Jaxon Riley, who is THE guy who was bound to make her go against every single rule she’s built to protect herself from investing emotionally to a guy. As expected, they both pretty much have skeletons inside their closets that they’re steadfast in not revealing to each other and that’s where the main problems arise from.
Start of rant. So what do these seemingly strong personalities do when all things crash down in their relationship? They do NOT talk. And I guess that was my main gripe with this story because some of the things were quite contradicting. For example, Emerson was supposed to be the ballsy, strong, and in-control kind of chick but then, she’s also the kind to take the easy way out as well. I don’t get how she can take all the jibes about how she’s considered the slut of the school and yet she can’t deal talking or opening up a bit about her rather tragic past. And that tragic past? Well, it wasn’t even what she assumed it to be at all and I kinda wanted to shake her for that a bit. Just because her divorced parents were together during the car crash, she already assumed they were having an affair (which was also a rather disrespectful judgment against her parents), THEREFORE, her reluctance to be in a relationship because of the fear of being cheated on? Why didn’t she try to verify it or even think of another reason why they were together at that time? Okay so Emerson’s not the only person to blame because there was also a time when I wanted to kick Jaxon’s ass as well. I understood his reasoning but I didn’t get why he just gave up and pushed her away in a very harsh and humiliating way. These are pretty much my main reasons for deducting that 1 star from the rating. I hope you understand because it’s not like I don’t get the angst but I guess these stuff just didn’t make sense to me and felt a bit forced and not that fitting. Okay end of rant.
Now back to what’s good in this story. Aside from those imperfections and the clear lack of communication between Jaxon and Emerson, I still loved their relationship! I actually liked how it progressed and when they finally acted on their attraction, fireworks just exploded and you can instantly feel how right they are for each other. In addition, I also admired Emerson because she did manage to recognize the need to destroy her rules in order to be really happy with Jaxon. And yep, you guessed it right: Jaxon Riley is one helluva swoonworthy guy. He was sweet, protective, and basically the perfect fit for Emerson, especially for the fact that he doesn’t give a shit about her reputation and past. Oh not to mention that he calls her “Beautiful”–now where can I find someone like him?
Another great thing about this story: the supporting characters mainly Cole, Quinn, and Jace (who I really hope would get his own book, pretty please?). I swear, I could just give them all a hug for helping Emerson and Jaxon find their way to each other and helping them sort and fix their shit out. They were really the best life support for the both of them. And that sweet epilogue—I just loved it to bits and pieces! Really hoping that there’s a sequel and maybe focus on Jace this time around 🙂