by Allie Everhart
Series: The Jade Series #1
Publication date: September 23rd 2013
Category: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Ebook provided by author
in exchange for an honest review
When Jade is given a scholarship to an elite private college in Connecticut, she sees it as a chance to finally escape her painful past and get a fresh start. She’s determined to succeed and that means keeping her focus on school and not guys. But her plan falls apart her first day on campus when Garret, a rich prep school boy with swimmer abs and a perfect smile, offers to help her move in.
Jade tries to push him away, but she can’t deny her attraction to him and Garret won’t let her. Things quickly heat up between them, but then come to a sudden halt when reality hits and Jade realizes that a relationship with Garret may never be possible. He comes from a world of wealth where there are rules, including rules about who he can date. And not following those rules has consequences.
As the two of them try to overcome the obstacles working to keep them apart, Jade is confronted with another challenge. On her 19th birthday, she receives a letter that her now deceased mother wrote years ago. In it are revelations that explain her traumatic childhood but also make her question the past she’s been running from.
Choosing You starts off with Jade going off to her first year of college. She’s had a rough life up until now. Her mother became an alcoholic and drug addict after she was born and Jade spent most of her life caring for her until she overdosed when Jade was 15. After that she moved in with her neighbors who had been there for her all along. Frank, her legal guardian, and Ryan, her “big brother” are the only two people in the world she loves and trusts. Ryan drives her from Iowa to Conneticut where Moorhurst, the college she received a full ride to, is located. It’s a rich, preppy school that she’s not thrilled about, especially with Frank back home dealing with his MS, but Ryan insists that her only job is to do well in school and to make friends. Jade has always kept people at arms length and has no desire to be friends with anyone at school, but upon her arrival she meets Garret, a very hot, very persistent fellow freshman. No matter how much Jade tries to push Garret away, or how often she flips out like Jerry Maguire, he just keeps coming back for more.
This is not an insta-love story, this is at real as it gets. The pacing couldn’t be any more perfect. When I began reading the first chapter I thought, “Hmmm, how are we here already?” but that’s not where the story actually starts. Chapter two brought me back to the beginning and I was hooked within moments. I stayed up well into the night reading the story of Jade and Garret and with the way it ended.. GAH! I was tempted to forget about any plans for the following day as well. How could you leave me hanging like that? When the very last word on the last page had been consumed, I immediately began calculating how many nights of sleep I could lose, and how many cups of coffee it would take to fit the rest of the series into the next couple of days.
I think what initially did it for me was how easy it was for me to relate to Jade. At a glance, I noticed a couple reviews where people said they didn’t like Jade because they felt she was bitchy, but I don’t agree. She’s sarcastic and… well… jaded. She’s had a completely messed up life that has forced her to hunker down behind the reinforced steel wall she built up around her, and I’m not sure if it’s to keep people at a distance or her dead moms voice out of her head. Perhaps both. Her reaction is justified. People really do these things and behave this way. I do the same thing now and then. It’s easier to be filled with sarcasm, as it leaves very little room for rejection to make its way in. I don’t think Jade is bitchy at all. I think she’s pretty freaking awesome.
Garret is an easy guy to fall for; easy on the eyes, a real charmer and a true sweetheart. I fell hard for him, even with that glimpse of things going awry in the first chapter. I blocked it out until about thirty percent of the way through the book and then a realization hit me like a ton of bricks and I got really emotional. Tears began to well up before there was any concrete evidence that I needed to be upset. All I could think was, Damn you, Jade, for putting yourself in that position… and for taking me along with you.
I think I’m infatuated with Everhart’s writing style. She made me giggle like a school girl, but she also reached into my soul and pulled out the ugly, frightened, uncertain bits that reflect aspects of the human condition. Things that remind you of the broken pieces of yourself that you sweep into the darkest corners inside, furthest from your heart. And then her words bring a ray of hope that there is at least one person on your side that finds perfection in your flaws. Oh, but then she shakes everything up, turns it inside out, and leaves you with your mouth agape and longing for more. There’s a lot of feels in this first book, so be prepared. And trust me when I say.. you don’t have the story figured out. There’s so much more depth to this than college romance. But hey, this is a spoiler-free zone. 😉
I have to point out that it wasn’t perfect, but nothing ever is, right? I found myself rolling my eyes in the beginning because it seemed that every person Jade met had a golden brown tan. I don’t understand the relevance. Perhaps it was a way to show that these were all wealthy brats that went somewhere really nice (like Cabo) over the summer? I don’t know. The reason I’m pointing it out is because I don’t want readers to give up too soon. I know a lot of people that toss books to the side because of repetition. I’m guilty of doing it, too. But do not fret, my friends, for it don’t last long, and it’s trivial compared to how fabulous the story is.
Overall Choosing You is an incredible start to a contemporary romance series (with a tasty nugget of mystery) that I am desperate to continue reading. I’ve already recommended it to several of my friends. I’ve selected an excerpt from the book to share below. I hope you enjoy it.. and then run out to get your copy so we can talk about it. I really need someone to talk to about this book! Well done, Ms. Everhart.
“Let’s watch this one.” I hold up a cartoon, trying to keep a straight face. “It says it’s about some dogs that solve crimes.”
“How did that get in there? That’s my little sister’s movie.”
“It’s okay, Garret. I don’t care if you like cartoons.”
“That is not my movie. She must’ve stuck it in the box when I wasn’t looking.”
I laugh. “Yeah, sure she did.”
“Give it here.” He reaches for it, but I won’t let him have it. I quickly stand up, holding it behind my back with one hand while putting my other hand out in front of me trying to keep him away. He quickly backs me up against the wall, forcing my outstretched hand against his hard chest. I lower it to my side as he leans his hand on the wall near my head. Then he slowly reaches behind me with his other hand to get the movie. Our bodies are now touching and our faces are just inches apart. My heart is beating erratically and I struggle to keep my breathing steady as I feel his body against mine.
“Jade.” He gazes down at me with this incredibly sexy smile. “Give me the movie, please.” I try not to stare at his lips but they’re so close and so inviting.
The movie is still in my hand wedged between my lower back and the wall. I push my hips forward slightly to release it, which positions me even closer to him. As he goes to take the movie, I accidentally drop it and he catches it, right behind my butt. I feel his hand there and I freeze as my face heats up. He slowly takes his hand out from behind me and rests it on the wall by my head. I realize I’ve been holding my breath and I force myself to breathe again. I look up and our eyes meet. “For the last time, the movie is my sister’s. But if you really want to watch the crime-fighting dog cartoon, we’ll watch it. Or,” he pauses and that sexy smile reappears, “if you want to do something else, we’ll do something else.” I know from his tone what ‘something else’ is and I really, really want to do ‘something else’ but I promised myself I wouldn’t get involved with a guy at college. Unfortunately I’ve never been very good with promises.
~The Jade Series~
The Jade Series is a New Adult Romance that follows the relationship of Jade and Garret in their first year of college. In Choosing You, (book 1), Jade and Garret meet on Jade’s first night at Moorhurst College and despite their strong attraction to each other, they’re not allowed to date because of the strict rules that control Garret’s life. In Knowing You, (book 2), Garret breaks the family rules and begins dating Jade. Their relationship grows deeper but issues from Jade’s past complicate matters. Loving You (book 3) shows Jade and Garret growing closer as a couple but also hints at the trouble that lies ahead in Promising You (book 4), in which a new challenge emerges for Garret that could interfere with the future he wants with Jade. Originally, book 4 was the end of the series, but fans wanted to read more about Jade and Garret, so Allie is now in the process of writing Forever You, an all-new, full-length follow-up book to The Jade Series releasing later this spring!
~About the Author~
Allie Everhart writes about dating, love, and romance. She’s also a freelance writer for magazines and websites. Before freelancing, she was a book editor for a publishing company where she worked on several NYT bestselling nonfiction books. She loves to read as much as she loves to write. And when she’s not reading or writing, she’s outside running, which is when she gets her best book ideas.
Allie’s Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
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