Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons; missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.
Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He’s the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever; until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her.
Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.
Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. She likes all kinds of books, emo music, action movies and Doctor Who. She writes all kind of fiction in multiple genres, both YA and for adults.
As Long As You Love Me by Ann Aguirre
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
As Long As You Love me is book 2 in Ann Aguirre’s foray into the New Adult genre, and once again, I liked but didn’t love this installment.
We met our main characters briefly in book 1. Lauren has just moved back to Sharon, Nebraska. You might remember her as Nadia’s roommate in I Want It That Way, and I knew when we met her that her story would include Rob, Nadia’s brother.
College just wasn’t working for Lauren. She knows what she wants and she’s determined to get it, but she can do it from home… and by home she means Sharon, the small town she grew up in.
For ages she’s had a crush on her best friend, Nadia’s brother, and even though he’s got a girlfriend she’s not willing to pass on the opportunity to get to know him better and work on a possible friendship with him.
Rob’s kind of been written off as unintelligent by those around him, so he’s never really expected much of himself. He never pursued college because what good would it do when he’d just end back up in Sharon working construction. The one thing he’s doing for himself though is flipping a house.
Lauren jumps at the opportunity to help Rob in anyway that she can, whether it’s sanding or painting she’s up for the chance to get to know him better. When she sees what he can do, she decides to help Rob in the one way she can… by building him a website and posting ‘how to’ videos. She’s positive with his good looks plenty of people will watch, and once they watch, they’ll see how amazing he actually is!
When Rob and his girlfriend break up though, it doesn’t take long for their friendship to escalate into something more, and Robs videos are garnering the attention of people they never expected.
So here’s the thing. I actually really like the stories that we’re getting in this series… I really do. I think I’m struggling more with the connections among the characters. I’m just not feeling that zap when they’re together. You know, the one that makes me cheer for them, and fall for them. I like them well enough, I just don’t love them.
I do have to say I really loved Rob as a character – he’s different than your typical hero for sure, and I liked that aspect of him. And I even liked Lauren. She’s smart, she’s decisive and I love when we get to meet intelligent female characters.
I do feel like the end of the book felt very rushed to me. I disliked (immensely) the drama that caused the separation of these two. I just felt like Rob fell for it a bit too easily, especially after the way their relationship progressed so wonderfully.
I did like the added side story of Lauren’s mom in this one, and I do have to say that I’m really looking forward to Max’s story next. I’m incredibly intrigued by him!
Overall, this series is a wonderful addition to the new adult genre – not as heavy as some of the books you’ll find in this genre, but I really like that we’re getting some that aren’t all angst, angst, angst. I wouldn’t put this among my all-time favorites, but I like them! I’ll definitely be waiting to hear all about Max in book 3!
Thanks to Harlequin and Netgalley for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest thoughts!