Tuesday, 25 June 2013

#CBR5 Book 64. "True" by Erin McCarthy

Page count: 222 pages
Rating: 2.5 stars

Rory Macintosh is a shy med student, who shares a dorm room with two ditzy party girls. When they discover that Rory is still a virgin, they seem to think this is such a burden for her that they misguidedly go behind her back and pay someone to help her lose it. Said guy is Tyler Mann, a tattooed, struggling bad boy in the EMT program, who just wants to get a job as quickly as possible, so he can save his younger brothers from their drug addict mother. He's under no illusions that he's good enough for Rory, but he agrees to her roommates' dumb plan (never intending to take their money), so he can get closer to her, and get to know her better.

Rory is worried about spending time with Tyler at first, as her roommate Jessica used to hook up with him. When she overhears her roommates talking about their "brilliant scheme", she's upset, but also puzzled, as while she's been spending quite a bit of time with Tyler, he's not really been obviously trying to get her into bed. Tyler keeps warning her away from him, especially after she finds out about his super dysfunctional home life. Rory's dad is none too happy about her dating what he sees as a clear delinquent. Then Tyler's mother does something that can destroy all Tyler's chances of a decent future, and Rory has to decide what she really wants.

New adult is a newly emerging genre label, and from the books I've read classified thus so far, it means you write a contemporary romance where you take a college age good girl, and set her up with a wounded college age bad boy. Everything suggests that they shouldn't be together, but somehow they make it work anyway. Unlike in YA, there is usually a sex scene or two, but it's nothing particularly raunchy - this is NEW adult, after all, not actual adult. This is one of the duller examples of the genre, and if I hadn't been stuck in the woods with the kids I teach during a sleepover, needing something to read while I stayed awake at night, I'm not entirely sure I'd have bothered with it. The initial plot contrivance to get the characters together just seemed very forced, and the author so went out of her way to throw obstacles in the couple's path, that I'm honestly not sure they can have a realistic long term HEA. This is, however, the first book in a series, so I'm assuming Rory and Tyler will show up as secondary characters in later books, and the readers (if they can be bothered to continue with the series) will see if they actually make it in the end.

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