She’s hiding something big. He’s hiding someone small.

Scarlet Crowley’s life was torn apart the day father was arrested for unspeakable crimes. Now the shock has worn off, but not the horror. 

It’s a safe bet that Scarlet is the only first year at Harkness College who had to sneak past TV news trucks parked on her front lawn just to leave town. But college will be Scarlet’s fresh start. Clutching a shiny new student ID — with a newly minted name on it — she leaves it all behind. Even if it means lying to the boy she’s falling for.

Bridger McCaulley is a varsity hockey star known for being a player both on and off the ice. But a sobering family crisis takes that all away. Protecting his sister means a precarious living arrangement and constant deception. The only bright spot in his week is the few stolen hours he spends with Scarlet.

The two form a tentative relationship based on the understanding that some things must always be held back. But when grim developments threaten them both, going it alone just won’t work anymore. And if they can’t learn to trust one another now, the families who let them down will take everything they’ve struggled to keep.

I feel like it's been a while since I've read a New Adult book. I entered the dark, gloomy pits of 'The Slump' yet again, and I had to find a way to escape. That place just won't let me go!
For me, the rope that pulls me out of that hole is always New Adult. It's so easy to read, and it always helps me get back into reading, so that's what I did. I had two ebooks lined up, one I found online and one recommended by my co-blogger, and I'm getting back into it. 
It worked. 
I was just lucky this time that I picked up something that wasn't too full of tropes, because this book had some things that aren't usually in a NA.

For example, there was drama, but it wasn't the same crap you always get. This one was a little more....disturbing, I want to say. Well, one side of it was. Obviously both of our protags were messed up in some way, but I don't want to say too much in case it ruins it for you. The stories revolving around our main characters weren't bad at all, I enjoyed them and they were constantly interesting throughout, giving us what we need but not droning on and on. The stories leveled out perfectly, as well as the romance.

Yes, the typical 'playboy guy meets virgin girl' is in play, but it's not really the main plot. Like, there's a few mentions of him being an ex-player before things happened in his life, but as the story goes on, it's more about the two of them helping each other - plus it's not as romance-heavy as I thought it would be! You know what NA is like...

Meeting  - tension - sex - sex - drama - sex - fight - make-up sex - drama - end

This wasn't the formula at all. 

Note: this is one of the things I hate about NA books. 

There was enough romance to keep it sweet, and to show a realistic view of their growing relationship, but it wasn't in your face. That's what NA should be about, as a lot of them tend to just be so into the tension, the sex, and parties. If I wanted to read about sex, I'd read erotica. 
It's not a long drawn-out 'player must get the good girl because OH I WANT THE PURE GIRL' nope. How they get together was pretty fast and it's quite cute. And once they're together, they really help each other (and not by having sex all the time but actually being productive)

The main protagonist, Scarlet, changes her name for protection of herself in many ways than one. As it's a main plot point, I won't go into it too much because of spoilers. She really did develop well as a character, I admire her strength although at times she did seem to lack confidence and what she was really fighting against. She was quite weak mid-way into the book and she often seemed to be one of those people who were constantly trying to please everyone else but herself. One thing though - she didn't keep herself happy. Living your life for everyone else isn't how to live (I've told myself and many people this, because its true). I'm very pleased she did what she had to do, because it needed to be done. Confidence radiated from her at the end, and I was proud.

Bridger is our lead male, and I loved him instantly. He was a charming, kind and smart guy who actually was intentionally wanting to help tutor Scarlet in exchange for her tutoring him. I know I'm not a fan of instalove, and it wasn't, but they did get together quicky. Sometimes that's good in these kind of books, there's always so much 'do they like me? Shall I make a move? Oh, no i'm not good enough, I'm so average', and it's so annoying but in this one, that was all missed out, it was straight to it and the REAL story started. Perfect. Bridgers story was really interesting, I admire his love for his sister and his determination to make things comfortable for everyone he loves. He has a big heart, and his story was a great read.

Lucy is adorkable. I absolutely loved her! She's Bridger's little sister who is a large part of the book, and she really brightened up the story (Side note: Bridger is reading Harry Potter to her. I CAN'T EVEN. So many Harry Potter references in this book!).
She's kind, hilarious and such a lovely child, and I love her close-knit relationship with her brother, it's very touching. They have each other and that's important. He'll look after her.

Another thing which is very random but just a tiny detail - I like that two people actually had the same name. Her roommates were both called Katie. I mean, that never happens in books but it does in real life. Instead of all these different, exotic made-up names, they have common, normal names like Katie but...more than one. That's nice. I can't go anywhere without someone having the same name as me. 

It was a wonderful story about family, courage and doing what is right. Being yourself, and moving on, looking forward to the future and doing what's best for everyone you love as well as yourself. Although I did enjoy it, it's not a book I'd re-read. I have to absolutely love a book for me to re-read it. Unless it's Harry Potter or a few series I've come to love over the last few years, I'm not a big re-reader. 
I do recommend this book if you're in a reading slump, or even if you're looking for a new book to read, something interesting and to keep you going between books.

Lovely book!

Are you a fan of New Adult books? I'd consider this one if you are. Let us know what kind of books you're a fan of, or if you're considering this one. Either leave a comment below or find us at any of the following social outlets