Barbie and the bad boy make for an unexpected but excellent pairing in this New Adult romance. Anyone who read the first book in this series (absolutely not required reading but it was FANTASTIC, so I suggest that you do so) will remember both Jessie and Devin. If not for one chance encounter, they likely would never have connected, but that first meeting made quite the impression. This one’s a slow burn romance that stays light but has an underlying depth that will sneak up on you. It’s fast-paced and playful, easy to devour in one sitting, and will leave you wanting more.
The story follows Jessie, a sorority girl in her final year of college. She’s blonde and beautiful so she’s never had to work to get a guy – nor has she really wanted to. That all changes when she meets Devin, a growly, grump of a guy. A mechanic who has been burned by one too many college girls looking to rebel with the bad boy only to leave him behind, Devin resists Jessie’s attempts to flirt. That just makes her want him more, and what starts as a challenge soon becomes something much deeper.
I was introduced to Kingston’s writing with So, That Got Weird, and it was such a memorable, moving read (with a whole lot of steam), that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this one. It didn’t disappoint, with a romance that feels playful but has so many great tender moments. Devin may be an intimidating guy, but he’s hiding a definite marshmallow heart inside, and I loved seeing his vulnerability. Kingston again does an outstanding job showcasing a growth in intimacy, and though I think this could’ve benefited from a slightly longer length, it has the same great emotional build as her last book. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what this author writes next, because she’s got a real talent for making familiar tropes feel rich and multifaceted. I was lucky enough to receive an ARC and am voluntarily leaving a review of this slow burn romance.
A torturously tempting love story.
Jessica ‘Jessie’ Allen is sugary sweet and perpetually perky. Running on an endless supply of enthusiasm, she’s in constant motion. The people pleaser is running herself ragged to make other people happy—anything to avoid having to figure out what would make her happy.
Devin Bennett is her complete opposite, the immovable object to Jessie’s unstoppable force. The tall, tattooed and brooding mechanic hates change and the perky blonde co-ed shoving it down his throat. Jessie is drawn to him like a valley girl to an outlet mall, but Devin dodges her advances better than a UFC fighter. The longer she’s around, the harder it is to keep his hands off her perfect body and his lips away from her sassy mouth.
For the first time in her life, Jessie knows what she wants. Devin Bennett. And she’s not above torturing him with temptation to make it happen.