**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD**
When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two weeks into Sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.
Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night--but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.
When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.
Ok so I'm a little excited about this book. It was SO good! I loved every last messed up second. The writing was awesome, I fell in love with Lucas and Jacqueline from the first chapter. This book isn't necessarily about a love story. I mean it is but it's also about personal growth and the heroine gains it in spades. She's a scared girl pretty much on her on in the beginning and morphs into a strong independent woman with friends and an incredible guy at the end. I found this book by searching what to read after Beautiful Disaster. I was expecting something along those lines but this book isn't like that. Lucas has his demons but he isn't violent and other than it being a college setting there aren't a lot of similarities in my opinion. This book deals with a pretty sensitive issue and how a lot of people deal with it. I was angry at times and I wanted to cry at times. Society has a long way to go when it comes to rape...a long long way to go.
Lucas is your typical bad boy. He's got messy dark hair and blue-gray eyes. He's lean and cut. He drives a Harley and he has tattoos everywhere. Did I mention the lip piercing? Yeah he's got that too. He's a good guy and he's been through a horrific past that has left him guilt ridden and scarred.
Jacqueline (not Jackie) plays the upright bass. She's a bit sarcastic. We don't get a really clear picture of what she looks like but I see her being small with brown hair and green eyes. She's fragile after her incident but she becomes a force to be reckoned with in the end. I loved her...very strong heroine.
We meet Jacqueline at a frat party as she's leaving. She is attacked from behind by a frat brother of her ex's. His name is Buck and her ex's name is Kennedy. The guy holds her down in the truck and Lucas comes from out of nowhere and pulls him off her and then beats him badly. Lucas then takes her home when she refuses to call the police.
She and Kennedy were high school sweethearts and after 3 years of dating he breaks up with her. He wants to sow his wild oats...yeah he's a douchebag. In the process of the break up she looses all her friends aside from her roommate (who I love by the way) and she's failing her econ class because they took it together. When she finally returns to class she's stunned to learn that Lucas is in the class but she's never noticed him before. From then on he's everywhere. He works at the coffee shop, she runs into him a lot.
While being intrigued she also begins talking to a guy online who is her econ tutor. The conversations are flirty but fimiliar. Just for the record I saw where this was headed and wasn't even a little surprised. She never meets the guy for tutoring because of schedule conflicts and only converses with him online.
Enter operation "Long Overdue Bad Boy Phase" in which her best friends decide is exactly what she needs after her breakup. After a lot of steamy dancing with Lucas at a club they decide he is the perfect candidate. The problem is once they begin to get to know each other she really begins to like him. He's an artist and when he wants to sketch her in her dorm things go a little steamy ending in a lot of hot kissing action on her bed. He's still standoffish and she's still thinking about the ex and her email buddy.
The would be rapist Buck goes from this to stalker. He's out for revenge and he corners her in a dark hallway and starts nasty rumors. Once she tells her best friend what actually happened that night, she signs them up for self defense classes. Surprise surprise...guess who one of the instructors is? Lucas.
That isn't all she finds out. Thanks to a buddy in her econ class she also learns that Lucas is her econ tutor. Those emails told the truth long before it came out. Too many similarities in their lives. She doesn't call him on it which I didn't really understand but he explains it later on. They begin to "date" and then her ex Kennedy enter the picture again. He's made a mistake, wants to be with her blah, blah. He's consistent, I'll give him that but that's all he's getting. When the truth finally comes out about the econ tutor thing they stop seeing each other but since they can't keep their hands off each other it doesn't last long.
Another girl is raped by Buck and she has to call Lucas to figure out what to do. You see amazing growth here when she finally begins to step forward and refuses to back down when she's mocked, made to look like a liar, and Buck's threats and dirty looks begin to intensify.
We learn about Lucas when she snoops into his past without telling him. His mother was raped and murdered while he was restrained in his room. He tore his arms up pretty good trying to get to her and he's riddled with guilt. It explains why he's so into making sure women can protect themselves.
They finally sleep together and then are pretty much inseparable until he finds out that she knows. He doesn't take it well and she leaves only to be shoved into her car by Buck with the intentions of finishing what he started. Only this time she fights back and gets away from him. When he grabs her and tackles her Lucas shows up. This is all happening in his front yard. He realized he had screwed up and was going after her when he sees the struggle. He almost kills the guy and his professor who lives next door has to pull him off of him. Once Buck is arrested Lucas takes her upstairs and takes care of her, apologizing profusely.
The epilogue is several months later at Lucas's graduation party. Buck is serving a 2 years sentence. She has applied and been accepted to a music school 1200 miles from Lucas and is dreading leaving him. He accepts a job that is about 30 minutes from her school and plans to move with her so they can be together. They never say I love you but you don't move 1200 miles away to be with each other without it so...
It was a great book. I really enjoyed it. I give it 5 Stars because it's worth it. It is officially one to add to my favorite bookshelf. I'm sure I'll read it again. Read this book, you won't regret it. I hate that I'm just now finding it!
My Lucas / Jacqueline
If someone had asked, How does this compare to kissing Kennedy? I would have answered, “Who?”
“Don’t y’all wear those padded Michelin-man suits?”
“Yes… but those pads don’t block all feeling.”
“Even broken clocks are right twice a day.”