For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?
Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.
OPINION: 4 STARS
The Short Version:
Comical and sexy, Love Story is intriguing and will most definitely live up to expectations for a lusty read. With two central characters who hold a thick tension between them, and a well developed supporting cast, this one easily sees sparks fly in more ways than one. Though abrupt in the end, this one is strongly written and well scripted, making Love Story a fun and engaging tale.
The Extended Version:
Erin has a fierce determination in her, the kind that often pushes into stubborn and frustrating territory. Despite this, she is an easy character to appreciate and understand, and her resolve to figure things out and manage on her own, no longer receiving any support from her wealthy grandmother, drives much of her characterization. Though clearly still holding plenty of “rich girl” qualities to her, the changes she goes through as the story progresses are endearing and well developed.
Hunter is cocky and self-assured in a classical kind of way, the type of love interest who is hiding plenty of deeper, more emotional layers with a rough exterior to mask it. Holding plenty of his own secrets, and leaving readers questioning much of about him, Hunter is a mystery to figure out. The times where he eases up and softens, though, will have readers melting, and the challenge of breaking him is an alluring one.
Notable about this book is how smoothly Echols weaves the stories Hunter and Erin write for their class into the story, reflecting it back against the overall plot. From the character’s reactions to the stories to the way each one progresses the plot in its own way, the stories add a unique and very well done element.
While admittedly some parts of this book lagged in pacing, and the stubbornness between Erin and Hunter sometimes pushed into frustrating and hard to rally behind, this book is still intriguing and addicting. The overall air is both comical and lustful, giving readers the fix they look for in Echols’ books. With some unexpected twists, and fantastically timed reveals, there is plenty to keep readers wanting to turn the pages while still giving plenty of time for the tension and lust to build almost to an exploding point. Though the ending felt too rushed for the road that led the characters there, Echols still delivers a great story.
The writing is filled with voice and easy to fall into, giving even more life to Erin’s character while also managing to get much of Hunter into it as well. There is an obvious shift in tone when both Erin and Hunter's written pieces are put in, giving an even better look into each. With just the right amount of steam and tension added in, and an undercurrent of sorrow despite humor overall, this one has the perfect blend of emotions.
Fun overall, lusty and challenging, Love Story is easy to fall into and addicting to finish. Despite the feeling of an abrupt ending, and a few pacing lags, the questions about characters that come up and the twists that Echols throws in keep things interesting and engaging.
Source: ARC received from author in exchange for an honest review
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 256 pages
Publication Date: July 19, 2011
Publication Date: July 19, 2011