** 4 out of 5 Stars **
**WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD**
She's a student. He's the teacher. And their worlds are about to collide...
In her second term of college Alex Reed has one thing on her mind: passing Calculus. So when her professor introduces Ryan Matthews, the new TA, she writes him off in a second. Tall, hotter than hell--clearly a major ego case. Whatever. Guys like him don't notice girls like her. Besides, she's never even kissed a guy, so her sex-crazed roommate can have Mr. Hot.
Ryan Bennett left the family business and his pill-popping ex-fiancee to do something for himself. Then, only months before finishing his doctorate under an assumed name, he walks into his advisor's freshman Calculus class and sees her. Alex Reed. The last thing he needs. Young, inexperienced--and off limits. But when someone who shouldn't follows her across campus at night, he's forced to do something about it.
What happens next will change their lives forever.
This book got to me. I loved the reading style and I loved how it alternated from his to her POV every chapter. The characters were easy to fall for especially Ryan. You have a girl who feels like she doesn't belong anywhere and a guy who's trying to find his place in life doing their own thing when their lives collide. I love it when characters meet for the first time knowing they are staring at their future and not realizing it. I love books where they have an instant connection but try to fight it. You get that with this book. It has a lot of steamy scenes in it but it takes awhile for them to actually get to that point and even longer for them to actually go through with it. I felt things with this book. I was angry at time, frustrated, happy, excited, and anxious as well. I read it in one sitting so it's not that long but it's worth the time. It did drag in places but I didn't mind to much. I read a lot of reviews before reading this one. For the record, she does cry a lot but she's 18 and has serious issues. I couldn't really call her on that because I understood. They do go back and forth a lot but I didn't really mind that either until the end and by then it was getting on my nerves a bit but it didn't stop me from finishing. Over all it's a great book.
Alex is a pre-Med student doubling in English and French. She's an over achiever. She is 18 with green eyes and long reddish brown hair. She's 5'4 and petite. She has a mother who is more interested in her sister and a father who isn't around. She's bouncing from place to place without really belonging to anyone. She's sassy, sarcastic and has a mouth that will make a sailor blush.
Ryan is 28. He has broad shoulders, wavy blonde hair, blue eyes, he's 6'5 and beautiful. He's getting his doctorate in math...yuck. He drives a Ducati and is the heir to the family wine business. He left everything behind to do something for himself for once.
Alex is miserably failing Calculus and pretty much hating her life. In walks the new TA and she's instantly drawn to him but she pays the attraction no attention. She catches him staring at her during class but hands in her homework and heads to the library. She has a nasty roommate who sleeps with everything that walks, trashes their room, takes her stuff without asking, uses Alex's bed for her recreational activities and is vindictive as all get out. She avoids her room but is usually kicked out unless she makes it there before the roommate does. If there is a sock on the door she can't go in which has landed her on the couch in the common room many nights.
Once at the library, a creepy guy comes in and grabs her arm as she's trying to sneak away from him. He's about to drag her off and do who knows what to her when Ryan comes running behind them and kisses her posing as the boyfriend to get the guy to leave. She's stunned but so is he. Ryan saw her creepy stalker follow her into the library so he followed him. Ryan takes her to the police on campus and then back to the dorm where the sock is present so then to his apartment. She finds out who he is and then later that night end up naked in her bed kissing. He puts the breaks on before it gets out of hand saying that he likes her and it would have ruined any chance they might have. From here we begin the tug of war between them. Do we or don't we, and we're together...we're not together.
During their back and forth relationship there are a few things that happen.
Ryan stalks and beats the crap out of the guy who grabbed her, lots of kissing and running from each other, his pill popping ex shows up and then Alex shows up at the house. The girl opens the door and Alex comes up behind her in a towel. Nothing happened because he can't stand the woman. Alex runs from the house but he chases her to a frat party where he saves her butt again after she throws her drink in some frat guys face. He makes the decision to stop fighting it but then she decides she can't do it anymore because she's falling in love with him. She's queen of avoidance after she tells him about her feelings. He has her dropped from the Calculus class and pays her next terms tuition then lets her go but can't get her out of his head.
We meet Ryan's skeezy friend James who makes a pass at her simply because he a douchebag and a horrible friend. In a messed up way it brings them back together but she runs again pretty fast. He leaves a note telling her he doesn't want to loose her. Later that night he stalks her only to catch her stalking him. It's always back and forth with these two. They want to be together but they don't. I found myself thinking enough already. She ends up staying at his place again and he takes her to his room when she tries to sleep in the guest room. Things happen and they are finally gonna try to be together.
Her mom shows up in the process for a visit and she doesn't want her mom to know about him because of the 10 year age difference. She's hit by a car and ends up in the hospital and her mom finds out anyway because Ryan goes to the hospital. After seeing her and after she tells him she loves him he runs. He just takes off and leaves her in the hospital.
She leaves the hospital and then goes to her mom's for spring break. She's attacked by the neighbors addict son and she does what she always does...calls Ryan. This was hilarious! He tells her he's coming to her and packs his bags including the ski mask and the baseball bat. He's about to mess somebody up. After he gets there and checks on her he proceeds to buy a few more things: duct tape, vinyl gloves, scissors, WD-40 and alcohol. I kept thinking, "he's gonna kill the guy." He catches the guy trying to sneak in her window and ties him up, drives him to an abandon parking lot, takes his clothes off, pours alcohol all over him, knocks him cold, then removes the duct tape. He drives the guys car back and busts the windshield. They leave a few hours later and spend the next few days in a hotel on the coast.
They finally sleep together and he tells her he loves her, that he's in love with her. They spend the entire couple of days indoors in the bedroom. The plan is to go back to school and be together but it doesn't happen that way. She wakes up alone with all of his things gone and his douchebag buddy beating on the door. His father is ill and he had to go to the hospital and James is there to take her back to school. He's a real jerk, telling her that she's a rebound and that Ryan doesn't care about her. James kisses her and she bites him.
"The next time you touch me, you'll need stitches," I said quietly. "How's that for f***ing vanilla?"
Once back at school, he finally calls her and hears James in the background. His dad has stage 4 lung cancer. He drives back to the school because he needs to be with her. When he gets to the school he stays in her room wrapped up in each other's arms. He knows it's the last time and he knows he's not coming back but he can't tell her that. He leaves her a note, takes one last look, and walks away before she wakes up.
Don't wait for me.
Live your life. Please.
I love you.
She knows it's over but she's handling it well considering. She can't really be mad at him because he has a great reason for leaving but she's hurting. She's contemplating going on a date with another guy within hours of being left. I thought this was a little cruel considering why he left. I mean if he hadn't had his dad's illness to worry about he'd be right there with her. She agrees to the date and goes out with the guy. In the mean time, Ryan's douchebag friend sends him a picture of her on her date. This poor guy is miserable and wants nothing more than to be with Alex. He left because he thought it was for the best, he didn't want her wrapped up in his family issues. He's angry that he had to give her up. He's had to stop himself from calling her. He's even been designing engagement rings and then calling and canceling the order. The picture destroys him and pushes him over the edge. He drives back to school to get his girl.
When he shows up at her door she breaks down and asks him to leave. Because of her stupid roommate that isn't possible so he tells her to pack her bags for the weekend and he takes her to San Francisco. He apologizes and tells her he isn't running this time but what happens after their weekend is up to her. They make up and then spend the rest of the night in bed with him worshiping her.
I wanted her to remember this night for the rest of her life.
I wanted her to remember it as the night before I asked her to be my wife.
The next morning he asks her to marry him and she agrees to in 5 years with them living together at first.
I am giving this book 4 stars. The book ends abruptly. There is no epilogue and I felt like it was gonna be good from that point. I was disappointed because I wanted to see if they made it to the wedding. I wanted to know what would happen once he went back home. Instead I got a book that just...stopped. Other than that the back and forth got on my nerves a bit too. I hope there will be a second book about them. If you're looking for a good college romance with curves and bumps in the road then read this book!
My Ryan / Alex
"Alex, I'm going to be your first."
"I'm not your TA. Right or wrong, I'm the man who is deeply in love with you."