Author: Tammara Webber
Author's Blog: http://tammarawebber.blogspot.com/
Publisher: Penguin (though I bought the self-pubbed version)
Released: October 9, 2012
Genre: New Adult Romance/Women's Fiction
Jacqueline is still trying to get over the shock of being dumped by her boyfriend of three years, the boyfriend she followed to college. And then she's assaulted by a guy she thought was a friend - and saved by a mysterious stranger who knows her name and insists on taking her back to her dorm and making sure she's okay. She just wants to forget about the incident, but that doesn't seem possible, especially when the stranger - Lucas - keeps popping up everywhere she goes. Her friends convince her to use him to get over her ex, but their relationship turns into so much more, as Jacqueline learns to stand up for herself and prevent her attacker from harming anyone else.My thoughts on this book: Oh. My. God.
Okay, aside from that, a more logical assessment. Tammara Webber certainly knows how to write - she hits just the right note in every scene, with every emotion. EASY deals with rape and assault, and there's the painful, serious quality to those parts of the book, but it's also a romance, and boy, are those parts romantic!
I love how Lucas is a real person. I felt like I really got to know him, like I would know what to say to him in conversation if I met him. That's something that's always really important to me in a romance, that the love interest not just be a handsome lover but have personality and depth as well. And Lucas really does. Not just from his many jobs, from Starbucks server to maintenance man, but I got to see his humor, his intelligence, his moodiness, his loyalty, his chivalry (not overdone), his sensitivity... A fully-rounded character.
At the same time, Jacqueline is also a great character. She starts out unsure of herself, but she's never wimpy, and she gains strength as the book progresses. Yes, there is the more obvious aspect of her learning to cope with the effects from her attack, but there's also the subtle changes she undergoes via her relationship with Lucas - and Landon, the tutor, too. Tammara shows Jacqueline's transformation in her correspondence - emails, texts, and conversations - as she breaks free of her ex Kennedy's influence and begins to take more control of her own life.
The subtle changes are what drive the plot, and I love the way everything flows and fits together so well. I have to say I guessed the twist way before the big reveal, but it only made it more fun to watch Jacqueline so unaware and to wonder with each scene if this is the one where she'd find out! But every event follows smoothly from one to the next, and nothing ever seems forced - especially the romantic scenes. They always make sense, and they always match exactly what's going on in Jacqueline and Lucas' relationship.
And those scenes - hot! Like sizzling hot.
As if that's not enough, there's more: the whole story is really supported by the secondary characters, especially Erin, Jacqueline's roommate. She's so different than Jacqueline, and it's really important to the story. The other characters who play more minor roles are just as real and believable - and let me just say I almost cheered out loud when I-won't-say-who shocked everyone at the meeting towards the end of the book! Way to empower women!
Which is what this book ultimately does, by the way. It's definitely a romance - see the hot comment above - but it's also a women's power novel. And it's pretty amazing that Tammara manages to do both believably and really really well.