It’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed a college romance this much, but Marie did such a great job of making these characters relatable… even if the storyline is a little unusual! I’ve been loving Marie’s lighthearted romances recently, so I decided to check out the one that always puzzled me: IOU. Yeah, the storyline is kinda weird. I don’t think it’ll really make sense until you dig in, but that was all part of the fun. It felt fresh and different, with an easygoing, playful vibe. Once things get going (it takes WAY too long for our couple to officially meet), I had no trouble bingeing this. The characters were both likable, their chemistry was apparant, and the forced proximity/roommates storyline was a major win. I also wanted to see what secrets this unusual hero was keeping, and that made the story all the more devourable. It’s not the BEST book that I’ve read from Marie, but I had a whole lot of fun checking it out.
The story follows Ainsley, a college student who needs a place to stay. After discovering that her boyfriend was cheating with her roommate, Ainsley is desperate for a new place… but the fire she started during the breakup means that no one will give her a room. Out of options, Ainsley enlists the help of the mysterious, intimidating guy on campus who is known for dealing in favors. Ainsley really isn’t sure what Maverick does exactly, but she does know that she can make a request and he’ll honor it in exchange for an unspecified favor down the road. The only problem? Since no one will take Ainsley, Maverick is stuck giving her a room himself – and that is definitely an issue. Not only is Mav attracted to the hot mess of a girl, but letting her get close could cause the house of cards he’s built to come crashing down.
College romances haven’t been resonating with me recently, but this was so unusual that it worked from the start. There’s not a ton of drama, and the light, sexy vibe made it easy to binge. I do wish that Mav and Ainsley had met sooner, but once the initial setup was done, this read a lot better. I’ve definitely never read a book with a plot even close to this one, which is always a bonus. And I love a good roommates romance, especially if it’s against their will, lol. There was just enough friction to keep things interesting, and I was genuinely curious about what was going on with Mav. I liked it a whole lot, other than a couple of minor issues (and someone probably should’ve told Marie ahead of time that “spirit animal” is not an acceptable term to use). This also acts as a series starter to three loosely-connected books. I’ve read (and loved) The Closer, and had no problem enjoying it out of order. Overall, it’s a fun and sexy college romance with an intriguing twist.
The audio was good! It’s dual narration, with Jacob Morgan – who is always great to listen to. The story lends itself perfectly to the format, and the runtime (just over 8 hours), is ideal for bingeing in one day. It’s light and low angst with a little bit of heat, so this makes a solid workday listen for the most part. The slow burn romance worked well in audio, and the narration upped the playfulness. I’ve got no complaints about the audio.
IOU is also included in the 21 Rumors complete collection, which includes 3 books for one audio credit: https://amzn.to/3OPN8JS
“You will never mention me or my favors, nor will you disclose what favors we trade. I am a ghost to you.”
Or a genie. I think a genie is way less scary, don’t you?
I, Ainsley James, am crazy.
Desperate and crazy.
It’s the only explanation as to why I’m nauseous, standing outside Maverick Lexington’s door.
I mean, it’s possible the stories about his deck of playing cards—with the words IOU scrawled across the back—are just rumors of the ruthless quid pro quo deals he barters.
But the flutters in my stomach know better.
Maverick is as cold as they come.
But, I need one of those cards.
I NEED to owe Maverick Lexington a favor…
About the Author:
Kristy Marie is an international bestselling author who loves writing witty heroines and temperamental heroes. She is also a six-pack of abs biggest fan. When Kristy isn’t writing, she’s being a total dude and screaming at the TV while watching baseball. Go Braves!
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