Friday, October 3, 2014

Damaged Characters and a Beautiful Love Story: As Long As You Love Me by Ann Aguirre

Title: As Long As You Love Me
Series: 2B Trilogy #2
ARC: 352 pages
Published by Harlequin HQN
Release Date: September 30th 2014

Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. There are the justifications she gives to everyone else—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. And then there's the reason Lauren can't admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend's older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He can't pinpoint exactly what's missing until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her. But he's the guy who women love and leave—not the one who makes them think of forever.

Though she's terrified of opening up, Lauren's ready to take that chance. Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.

Reese's Review:
I received an advanced readers copy of As Long As You Love Me for an honest review.

I was a little skeptical about starting As Long As You Love me considering I was a little disappointed with its predecessor I Want It That Way. I didn’t love Lauren in the first installment of the series but I knew I needed to find out what happened next. I am so happy I did because I loved As Long As You Love Me.

Lauren has moved home after dropping out of college before the end of her senior year. No more parties, no more sharing an apartment with her best friend, and no more faking it. Lauren has been faking who she is since high school and after a major incident that got her friend hurt she realizes she needs to get out of school and go home. While Lauren’s home she realizes the crush she’s had on her best friend Nadia’s older brother hasn’t gone away. The more time they spend together the more she realizes how truly in love she is with him and he’s wanted her for a long time too. Sharing a bond beyond anything they could have imagined they hold each other together and build each other up. Too bad nothing is every that easy and it will take some time for them to find each other again.

What was lacking for me in I Want It That Way was exactly what I got in As Long As You Love Me and that’s character growth. Lauren has issues with social anxiety where she can’t stand to go into social settings for too long, unless she’s drunk. Instead Lauren tries to find ways to become better at managing her problems and she sets major goals for herself so she can become a better Lauren. Her life isn’t without challenges but I enjoyed how much she changed and grew over the course of the book. Character development is definitely something I love almost above all else in books.

Rob has issues as well but let me just say something before I get into all of that. Rob is the perfect guy ever. He’s not too crude, always polite and he’s very careful with how he treats people. He’s just an all -around great guy. Anyway, Rob has always been treated by his family like the big dumb jock who will never amount to anything. His grandmother even said “poor Rob too smart to know he’s stupid,” which is freaking terrible. The last chapter of the book goes over some of his learning problems but honestly it’s no big deal. He can figure things out by himself and he knows how to build things which is more than I can say about myself. He deals a lot with low self-esteem since all anyone has wanted from him is arm candy. It’s terrible and it made me want to hug him. There is no doubt in my mind people won’t fall in love with Rob right away.

Damaged characters and a beautiful love story is what Ann Aguirre has crafted for us in As Long As You Love Me. It’s tragic and heart wrenching and I felt for the characters every step of the way. Ann Aguirre portrays realistic relationships with real problems and a loveable cast of characters in every page.

My overall message is that if you’ve read the first book and didn’t love it you will love As Long As You Love Me. I could hardly put this story down although homework did call a couple times. I couldn’t have found a better New Adult book and I will definitely be re-reading this book a thousand times,

A huge thank you to Harlequin HQN and Netgalley for the copy.

"Rob pulled into the parking lot. Unquestionably, I was biased, but he looked even better than usual in a red plaid shirt and an expensive-looking leather jacket lined with sheepskin."

"Hot and rough, sparks of sweetness interspersed with nips of teeth, and the thrust of his tongue. Breaking contact with a gasp, Rob fell back on my bed, intentionally, I thought, and when I followed, he rolled me beneath him."

Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes books, emo music, and action movies. She writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults.

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