18yo heroine ends up with 18yo hot-shot athlete Hero on her prom night after she catches her boyfriend & best friend in the act.
Hero & his friends take her into their group to help her have a good time despite what happened. But her romance crisis is nothing like the trauma she experienced the end of that long night when she comes home & her whole family has been murdered by a burglar. Hero & his family take her in as she deals with her losses & her uncertain future. She & Hero spend inordinate amount of time together & their attachment to each other deepens. Yet they don’t make any official commitments to each other & are careful about their physical intimacy. She’s trying to figure out her new life & he gives her the space she needs. As college looms ahead, does it push them to finally make a commitment? Or will it give them more reason to put their relationship on hold?
The romance in this book is different. It's sensitively balanced with heroine's dealing with the major losses in her life. I liked how MacLean handled heroine’s multiple losses. We see her go through different ways of dealing with them. It wasn’t rushed & her romance with was Hero wasn’t portrayed as the cure. Hero was clearly her rock through all her adjustments. Sure, he blew up at times but he apologized & the rest of the time it was all about heroine & making sure she was feeling supported & cared for by him. He made me sigh a few times. He was the perfect boyfriend who wasn’t her official boyfriend. Hero did a lot of showing of his love for her than telling.**
The sex scenes were not explicit. There were more descriptions of their foreplay than the consummation. I wasn’t disappointed since, at that point in the book, the highlight was on their emotional & verbal commitment to each other.
*ARC courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.
**A more detailed review is on my blog. Click here