Maybe I’m getting too old for teenage drama, or maybe the bully to instalove transition gave me whiplash, but this just didn’t do anything for me. It’s the first time I’ve disliked a book by Nathan – the other five I’ve read from her have been great. We’ll call this one a fluke! Our introduction to Seren is less than appealing, and then he continues to be an unappealing (anti)hero throughout, even after he starts to get a little sweeter. I’ve read plenty of bully romances in the past, and the best ones always have the kind of tension that grips you – keeps your eyes glued to the page even when you hate what’s happening. I just thought Seren was a pushy, obnoxious jerk who happened to have a hot body… and it kinda felt like Grace thought that too.
The story follows Grace, an almost-18-year-old whose father just passed away. She’s trying to finish up her last few months of high school, but in order to stay in the district, she’s forced to move in with the wealthy family her mother works for. Grace has already been warned about the three brothers who live there – they lost their father too, and they’ve been acting out ever since. So when Grace runs into Seren, it’s dislike at first sight. He may be hot, but that’s where the attraction ends. As Grace’s life continues to fall apart around her, there’s only one guy to blame: Seren. He’s been warning her away since the moment they met, but it’s possible there’s more than meets the eye.
My favorite part of Nathan’s books is their bingeable quality; I don’t think I’ve ever read one in more than one sitting. And this does have the same kind of appeal – it reads quickly, doesn’t have a dull moment, and even brings a bit of suspense. I liked a few of the twists and turns, I just wish I liked Seren better. He’s mean to Grace right away, then expects her to be along for the ride the moment he changes course. He felt SUPER pushy – he’s the driving force behind every turn in their relationship, and sometimes it felt like Grace was pressured into agreeing (to a date, to sex, to love). Given the fact that she just lost her father and she’s reeling from all of the changes in her life… that didn’t sit well with me. I loved that she stood up for herself through much of the book, so it was surprising that she let him pressure her like that. So, while I find Nathan’s writing style to be easy to devour, I couldn’t get behind the romance. This definitely feels like a series starter, and future books with Seren’s brothers could be interesting. If you like a bully romance that doesn’t get too dark, then this might be up your alley, but it definitely wasn’t a total win. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this new adult romance.
Seren Grayson is a tempest. Heartless and destructive to anyone who crosses his path. But because of his good looks and talent on the football field, the students at Windham Prep adore him. They respect his boldness. They fear his wrath. And, they believe they know the real Seren.
But they don’t.
When I’m forced to move into Seren’s home, I unexpectedly unleash his wrath and become his latest target. He may think I’m easy prey because I’m the housekeeper’s daughter, but he’s wrong. I’m not someone who will cower or back down when I’m pushed.
I’ll push back. Harder.
The longer I spend in Windham, the more I unravel the mysteries of Seren and Grayson Manor. Who knew it would take an outsider to soften his tough exterior and discover the truth behind the lies.
About the Author:
J. Nathan is the author of new adult, sports, and rock star romances with cocky heroes and sassy heroines. When she’s not writing, she’s a crazy soccer and baseball mom as well as a total romance junkie! She loves watermelon margaritas, guys in backward hats, country music, and the summertime.
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