One class assignment. One second chance at love. The school player is all in. Now he needs to win back the sweet commitment girl who’s forever owned his heart.
Justin Carter has a secret. He’s not the total player Fairfield Academy believes him to be. Not really. In fact, he used to be a one-woman guy…and his feelings for her never went away. Too bad he broke her heart three years ago and made sure to ruin any chance she’d ever forgive him.
Peyton Williams is a liar. She pretends to be whole, counting down the days until graduation and helping her parents at the family ranch. But the truth is, she’s done everything she can to get over Justin, and salvation is just around the corner. With graduation one short month away, she’ll soon break free from the painful memories and start her life fresh. Of course, she has to get through working with him on one last assignment first.
For Justin, nothing ever felt as right as being with Peyton, and now that fate’s given him a shot at redemption, he’s determined to make the most of it. And for Peyton…well, Justin Carter has always been her kryptonite.
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange of a review. No compensation in any form was received for the review of this book.
I don’t know if I have already established it but Rachel Harris is one of my favorite authors so it’s not a secret that I was really excited to read this book. The Fine Art of Pretending was one of my favorite reads last year so I was looking forward to reading about Justin Carter. If I remember correctly, I did say that there’s more to him than he leads us on and this book just proved me right.
Basically the story’s about Justin and Peyton, how they met, fell in love, broke up, and got back together. While I did enjoy reading this, I had a bit of an issue with it.
Let’s first run through the things that I love about this book. First, I really love the aspect of friendship in the book. I love that the book didn’t overlook it as opposed to just focusing on the romance and drama between the main characters. Faith and Cade were actually pretty interesting. It was also cool to see the familiar characters like Drew, Carlos and of course Aly and Brandon.
I also loved the writing style. It was told in a dual POV in two timelines, the characters’ freshman and senior year so it was like knowing their past as their present unfolded.
However, I think that some things in the plot fell flat for me. Like I kept on putting the book down. I guess the story didn’t grab me as much as the first book did. Also, while I did enjoy the POVs, , it was also very challenging to read since I had to keep track of a lot of things. The characters’ chemistry were okay but the ultimate fluff I was waiting for barely made it.
Overall, it was still an enjoyable and sweet read!
Check out this excerpt if you want more!
“Hold out your hand.” At the expression on his face, I rolled my eyes. “Just do it.” Cautiously, as if I was going to put out a cobra or something, he uncurled his fingers and lifted his palm. I dropped a small silver coin in the center. “For luck.”
Wonder warred with confusion in his gorgeous brown eyes and my heart melted.
“On this side there’s a horseshoe,” I said, my cheeks warming with a blush. “You know, the universal symbol for luck… and a small reminder of me.”
I bit my lip, hoping he didn’t think that was too corny—or that it revealed too much.
I flipped the coin over, exposing the other side, and my fingers slid across his rough skin. My breath caught. When I lifted my eyes, I found him watching me with so much intensity, so much heat, that an actual shiver rolled through me. Just like in my favorite books.
Huh. So that was what smoldering looked like. Good to know.
I swallowed hard and noticed him do the same, and nothing could hold back my smile. Justin glanced down and laughed. “Kick some ass!” he read, skimming his fingernail over my initials.
“I figured…” I cleared my throat. “I thought you could hide it in your sock or something,” I said, unable to tell if he liked the gift or not. He just kept staring at it. “If it’s dumb, you don’t have to—”
He’d said it so quietly I almost wasn’t sure he’d spoken at all. But then he closed his hand around the coin and raised his head. Time ceased to exist as Justin’s eyes trailed across my face. I held my breath waiting and a sweet smile crossed his face.
“Damn.” He shook his head softly. “You’ve done it now.”
“What?” I asked, hoping whatever it was that it was a good thing. “What did I do?”
Justin merely shook his head again and smiled. “Wait for me after the game.” Shifting his gaze to the old concession stand, he took a step back and said, “Over there, okay?”
When I nodded, excitement lodging in my throat, making it impossible to speak, he winked and then took off to join his teammates. As I watched his cute butt in those uniform pants run across the field, a giddy grin found my lips.
ABOUT RACHEL HARRIS
New York Times bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Vibrant settings, witty banter, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books…and kissing. Lots of kissing.
An admitted Diet Mountain Dew addict and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!