Sometimes I buy a book because I love the author. Sometimes I buy a book because I love the cover. Sometimes I buy a book because it’s free. Sometimes it’s a bipolar impulse and I just can’t help myself. And sometimes it’s the title and I think it’s sounds GOOOOOOD and I just gotta have it. This was a few of the above.
Shayna Gillian is one hot mess. She is in the midst of a young life crisis and she doesn’t know who she is, what she wants or how to go about becoming her own person. All she is sure of is that she doesn’t want to be what her parents are trying to mold her into. How she is going about resisting that has been making both her and her family look like fools. The night she meets Carter MacPherson, her best friends brother, and hits on him only to have him shut her down has her creating a scene so humiliating to her folks that her dad is forced to give her a real no-crapper conversation. Shayna spends the next few months trying to be that child her parents need; if not for herself then for them. They deserve it. Only to realize one night that she can’t be that girl.
It might just be Carter’s biggest regret: leaving Shayna that night and not kissing her, not having her. The texts and phone calls they have shared since he returned to California carry him through his days. He’s torn because where he is in his life, he can’t actually have Shayna but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want her with everything he is. When she shows up on his doorstep he wants to keep her near but it’s too much of a temptation to have her so close. His feelings for her are so strong that he can’t risk losing her by telling her the truth about what is happening with him and have her walk away from him. He can’t lose her and he can’t have her.
I think Carter was probably my Book Boyfriend in this novel around the time he was asking Shayna if she wanted to do something else after dropping off Quinn at Ben’s. So… that was about five pages in. He was very easy to fall for. Carter is incredibly sexy because he is a combination of charm, vulnerability and humor. It’s nice to not have that overconfident and smooth hero who says all the cocky things that sweep the girl off her feet and make him larger than life. Carter’s entire draw is the fact that he is humble and he has to live within strict limits to take care of himself and protect Shayna.
As to what is going on in his manbrain that is sort of a lot of teeter tottering between his hopes, dreams and desires and his constant awareness of his emotional boundaries. Carter is a man who is aware that he has a weakness and that weakness can harm others. He knows that he must manage it and while he is managing it he must also learn self-control over those hopes, dreams and desires in order to one day achieve them. He’s trying to forego instant gratification so he can have a long term reward. It’s not a selfish game of hot and cold that he is playing with Shayna; sometimes his desire wins and he slips. He’s always trying to do the right thing for her though so that he doesn’t hurt her. He wants forever with her. He’s willing to put now on hold if it means that he can have that forever.
As far as what sort of Book Boyfriend Carter MacPherson is? This guy is a Does It All Right, Boy Next Door, All In, Enigma, Pure Sin and Reluctant and Insecure. I recommend that if he is the kind of Book Boyfriend you are interested in getting that you try the layaway plan. He needs the extra time in the oven, he’s not quite cooked yet.
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