(2B Trilogy #1)
Release: August 26, 2014
Reviewer: Rose Red
Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she's determined to make them come true—for her parents' sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B….Review by Rose Red:
Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can't risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, a social life is out of the question. The last thing he wants is for four noisy students to move into the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia's and Ty's paths cross, and soon they can't stay away from each other.
The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can't know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.
I’m always a bit hesitant starting a new adult book because I’ve been burned by so many of them. Granted, I do have several that I love! Hello, J. Lynn’s Wait For You series! But a lot of the new adult I’ve read all revolved around the innocent college age girl falling in love with the bad boy. I’m sick of that trope which is why I gravitate to the new adult with love interests that don’t fall into that category.
It’s not a secret that I’ve been a fan of Ann Aguirre since I first read Grimspace back in 2008. I’ve read everything she’s published since. I squealed when I found out her new series was going to be new adult! And the romantic interest was going to be a single dad? Heck yes! Sign me up for that book! So when I saw I Want It That Way pop up on Netgalley, I requested it so fast that my poor mouse probably got whiplash.
The verdict? I enjoyed it so much! In fact, I loved it. I didn’t want it to be over so I reread it immediately after finishing it. I haven’t done that with a book in almost a year. If that wasn't a sign I loved it; I haven’t been able to quit rereading my favorite parts even after reading it twice. It’s just so good guys! Also, there's a playlist to go along with the book and it's amazing! How had I never heard The National before?
Nadia and her friends Max, Lauren, and Angus are juniors in college who have just moved into a new apartment to escape the on-campus dorms. Nadia isn't expecting to be attracted to her new neighbor in the apartment below hers. Ty is three years older and very good-looking. He works during the day and takes night classes. Oh, and he has a four-year-old son. Ty doesn't want a serious relationship with anyone, not after what happened with his ex-girlfriend and not with Sam being so young. But he and Nadia can't seem to stay away from each other.
I didn't think that this book was cliché at all. I’ve only read one new adult novel before this one that involved the male protagonist having a son, but it wasn’t as integral to the plot line as it was in this book. I love that we get to see so much of Sam through out the book especially with him being enrolled at the same daycare that Nadia works at. You can't not help but fall in love with him. He’s just so adorable!
Ann Aguirre surprised me with nice, strong storyline that I wasn’t able to put down until I finished it. I fell in love with the characters. True story, I wanted to be Nadia’s best friend by page three. I found myself relating to her on a personal level. We all remember what it’s like being in college and trying to stay sane between work and school. I love that Nadia was very likeable, driven, and warm. I liked reading about her and her struggles. But what I liked the most is that she is normal. She doesn’t have any skeletons in her closet waiting to come out or any extreme emotional baggage to deal with. It was so refreshing to read about a heroine who is just a normal, intelligent college girl!
While Nadia is normal, everyone else in this story seems to have emotional baggage. But none of them have as much as Ty, the romantic interest. Well, the others didn’t wear it so prominently on their sleeve as he does. His demons, in my opinion, were so real and are so common in our day and age. Ty is a single parent and that fact was as much heartwarming as it was heartbreaking. I started liking him instantly even though he comes off as more of a grumpy old man instead of man in his mid-twenties. He’s just dealing with single parenthood the best he can. Although, he does act like a jerk in a couple scenes and there were times that I just wanted to shake him because I was getting angry with him.
That being said, I really liked the romance. Ty and Nadia don't have the normal cookie-cutter fall-in-love story. They don't meet, flirt, hook up, fall in love, break up, fall in love and end up together. No, their journey is much more complicated than that, especially with Sam in the picture. Aguirre leaves no stone unturned in exploring their relationship and its struggles and I found it a delight to read. The relationship between Nadia and Ty is honest. They both have heavy loads at the moment and aren't afraid to admit it. Yet they can't ignore the easy dialogue they share and the meaningful conversations they’ve had. They actually talk about things! They might not fully admit their feelings because they're afraid to get hurt or the situation seems too difficult, but ultimately they still reach out and open up. There is a lot of chemistry between them, and I’m not talking just about the physical side of things. Although, I didn't particularly like the friends-with-benefits arrangement they decided on.
I love that while the romance is a big part of the story, there are several other relationships and events in the story that are just as important. Nadia has a lot to deal with, with classes and work and her best friend's school crisis and her roommates and Ty. Her experiences as a college student are not the focus of this novel but their presence enhanced the tale and brought her decisions into perspective. At one point, it feels like life hits Nadia with everything all at once. But it feels natural and let’s be honest, that’s how life is most days. There are several little clues that hint at some of the reveals, but some of them are so subtle that I didn’t catch them until I was reading it the second time through.
This book was sweet, romantic and touching. It had just a bit of angst, lots of great sexual tension and nice, likeable characters. It was quite charming all around. I liked that Ty and Nadia aren't constantly banging each other or flirting or doing that dance around each other. Ty lives the life of an individual and it’s not easy for him to let Nadia into it. Similarly, it isn't easy for Nadia to choose to be with Ty. Their relationship is meaningful from the start. It's not based on oh-my-gosh-I-want-to-be-in-his/her-pants-ASAP feelings. I mean, they both think that, but they start actually interacting on a deep level first, physical second.
You know how most new adult novels end perfectly? Like, boy and girl FINALLY get together as a real couple, girl faces her demons, boy faces his, boy saves girl from getting raped or beat up or whatever, and everyone sails off into the sunset. Well, in this book, the ending isn't what you would expect. Not everyone ends up perfectly happy, but I won’t say anything besides the fact that I liked. I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book! And not just because it's an Ann Aguirre book but because it was a genuinely good book. Although, the fact that Ann wrote it totally helped me make the decision to pick it up. It’s quick, entertaining, and satisfying. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book! I’d highly recommend picking up I Want it That Way for a read that is perfect for back-to-school.
Recommended for fans of:
Wait For You by J. Lynn
Easy by Tammara Webber
Be With Me by J. Lynn
ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.