Series: Briarcrest Academy #1
on September 11th, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Born into a life of privilege and secrets, Nora Blakely has everything any nineteen-year-old girl could desire. SheÔÇÖs an accomplished pianist, a Texas beauty queen, and on her way to Princeton after high school. SheÔÇÖs perfectÔÇª
Leaving behind her million-dollar mansion and Jimmy Choos, she becomes a girl hell-bent on pushing the limits with alcohol, drugs, and
Then she meets her soulmate. But he doesnÔÇÖt want her.
When it comes to girls, twenty-five-year-old Leo Tate has one rule: never fall in love. His gym and his brother are all he cares about...until he meets Nora. He resists the pull of their attraction, hung up on their six year age difference.
As they struggle to stay away from each other, secrets will be revealed, tempers will flare, and hearts will be broken.
Welcome to Briarcrest AcademyÔÇªwhere sometimes, the best things in life are Very Bad Things.
~Review by Anja
Reading the teasers well before the book was published, I knew I was going like it. But I way more than liked it! I freaking loved it!
I also liked the style of writing of this book; it was very fluent and easy to follow with very, very few spelling errors. What I loved, as an English major, was her focus on words throughout the book and how Nora used it to calm herself. Especially the first couple of sentences had me grinning. I still have to think about her going on about the word weissnichtwo. Considering my native language is German, (well technically Swiss-German but who’s being finical here) picture me confused reading a German word in an English book that didn’t at first seem to make any sense within the story. However, the way the author described it had me laughing out loud. Is it weird that this is one of the things that stands out most to me? Probably, but this shows that this book is full of little details that will stay with you for a long time after you finish reading it. It will make you smile and laugh and sad even after days and I’m sure weeks, this book is that good!
Now the characters. I loved them both, flawed as they were. Nora, well, I truly understood were Nora was coming from and the reasoning behind her actions. And I was impressed, with all she has been through, that she still fought so openly and bold for Leo.
And, I shouldn’t have assumed you wanted me back. No one does. So yeah, maybe I am a mess, but I do know one thing for certain. I want more little happy moments. I’m greedy for them. I want them over and overÔÇªandÔÇªI’m not going to get them from you am I?” He paled, giving me his answer. He was my Prince Charming, but I wasn’t his Cinderella. ~Nora
This just about broke my heart. I would have loved to bitch-slap Leo into next week, he pissed me off that bad with his pig-headedness. Yet, I also understood where he was coming from, where his issues lie, and why he acted the way he did. However, that did not change the fact that he pissed me off on a regular basis.
Nora’s like that storm. It’s like she came out of nowhere and knocked me off course. She makes me wild, like I can’t control myself. She’s this beautiful chaos, and I do want her, but you know I don’t like commitments. I can’t love someone and then lose them. ~Leo
I really loved this book and the message it tried to convey. Happiness is a choice and not something you wait around for. It’s one of the best books I have read this year.
We all have a choice in life, to either quit or try again, and you can be sure I was going to try, try, try. Even though I was far from being what I wanted to be, my path would lead to happiness. Yes, life would suck and be scary sometimes, but I would keep going and searching for those happy moments, because in that direction lies grace and love. I didn’t want to do bad things; I wanted to be true to myself. No, I was just a simple, young girl whose love for a boy would last until the end of time. ~Nora
~Review by Loredana
Nora Blakely may seem like a princess who has it all, but deep down, her life has not been easy or fun.┬á Her mother expects unrealistic perfection and doesnÔÇÖt seem to know her at all.┬á No one really did.┬á All they saw was the perfect girl.┬á Reaching her limit, Nora takes her happiness into her own hands and leaves her unhappy life behind.
ÔÇ£Because I had no happy momentsÔÇØ
Nora creates her list of ÔÇ£Bad ThingsÔÇØ.┬á She makes plans to graduate early.┬á Drink too much.┬á Get a tattoo.┬á Cause some trouble.┬á Not be perfect.┬á In her quest, she finds trouble and Leo Tate.┬á And, she wants both.
ÔÇ£LeoÔÇÖs a great name.┬á Guess you know it means lionÔÇªIt also means bold one.┬á Are you bold, Leo?ÔÇØ
Leo knows heÔÇÖs found trouble.┬á He remembers her from and her loneliness.┬á SheÔÇÖs a pretty kind of trouble, and very young at that.┬á Plus, thereÔÇÖs that ÔÇ£no love and no expectationsÔÇØ rule.┬á ItÔÇÖs easier to keep her at armÔÇÖs length, but he doesnÔÇÖt want her anywhere near his brother, either.┬á SheÔÇÖs a handful, but Leo is determined to stay away.
ÔÇ£YouÔÇÖre playing with fire.┬á You think you want this?┬á Buttercup, you canÔÇÖt handle me.ÔÇØ
For the trouble she has caused, Nora has committed to serving out the term of LeoÔÇÖs justice.┬á As much as Leo wants to admit, it becomes harder and harder to resist her.┬á But, he canÔÇÖt give her what she wants.┬á More happy moments.
ÔÇ£He was my Prince Charming, but I wasnÔÇÖt his Cinderella.ÔÇØ
The awful part about denial?┬á It doesnÔÇÖt work.┬á Just ask Leo.
Madden is a magical writer.┬á She weaves such a powerful and witty dialogue that you forget youÔÇÖre not in the same room as the characters.┬á You feel their angst, sorrow, and struggle.┬á The characters have such depth that you can see the wheels turn as they process thoughts and emotions.┬á You laugh and you cry with them.┬á Whatever youÔÇÖre reading right nowÔÇªstop and read this book instead.┬á You wonÔÇÖt regret it.