Author: Julie Particka
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ New Adult
Blurb: In the game of love…
Dumped by her college boyfriend for her best friend, the last thing Jenna Brandt needs to deal with is working beside her backstabbing-BFF’s hotter-than-hot brother. But when he offers her a chance to get some revenge on her ex, she can hardly say no–even if spending more time with Sutton puts her heart in jeopardy all over again.
Someone’s going to get hurt…
Sutton Bell has had a thing for Jenna since they were in high school, but after one screwed-up night, she didn’t want anything to do with him. Now, with just the summer before he leaves to begin his new career, Sutton’s determined to convince Jenna he’s not the player he used to be. But saving his sister from making an awful mistake may mean losing Jenna for good.
Thoughts: After dating for 3 years, Adam asks Jenna to marry him and she accepts even with no ring and a plan to keep the engagement a secret. Shortly after, Adam breaks up with Jenna for her best friend, Lacey. Now a college graduate with her future plans down the drain, she heads home to work with her dad’s construction company until she finds a job. What she doesn’t expect is that Lacey’s brother, Sutton, is also back in town and working for her father. Jenna had a crush on Sutton when she was in high school, but he rejected her when he didn’t reject anybody else and it became clear that he didn’t feel the same. Now that she has found out how big of a backstabber Lacey is, she is done with that whole family. Sutton has a plan, though, and needs Jenna’s help. Sutton knows that Adam is not the guy for Lacey. He’s figured out how possessive and secretive the guy is and he can tell that Lacey doesn’t really love him. If he can convince Jenna to pretend they are in a relationship, he knows Adam will lose it. Men like Adam don’t let other people play with their toys and he definitely looks at both of these girls as his. He just wants to catch Adam in the act and convince his sister to leave him. He’s also hoping that while they are pretending to be a couple, he can convince Jenna that they should be a real couple. He’s had a thing for her since they were younger and it was very hard for him to push her away when came on to him when she was a teenager, but she was drunk and underage. Sutton hasn’t been a saint since then. While living in Chicago after graduation, he used sex as a coping mechanism….and he needed to cope a lot. Will he be able to convince Jenna to get revenge on her ex? Will he be able to convince her to make their pretend relationship a real relationship? Will his past catch up with him?
The surprise for me with this story was Jenna. This horrible situation happened to her, but she didn’t let it define her. She could have been one of those weak, sad, vulnerable heroines, but she was stronger than that. She just wanted to get over the situation with Adam and be happy. She realizes how wrong things were with Adam, but it stings that she was a fool. Sutton was adorable and sweet. He is just one of those guys that is loyal to those he loves. He wants to be with Jenna, but he also wants to make sure his sister doesn’t make a huge mistake. When you add in that Sutton and Jenna are coming together after having feelings for each other in high school, you just want to let out a satisfied sigh. The tough part for me was watching Sutton’s loyalties divide and seeing how he responded. I have no idea how he made the leap from being the cake-rescuing guy to the same guy he was in Chicago. This part felt like the author was just trying to add another element to pull the couple apart. Lacey’s story was interesting. At the beginning, you peg her to be a man-stealing slut. As the story progresses, you can tell there is more to this story than appears. It will be interesting if a follow-up ended up written with her story.