"I want to be your knight in shining armor. To take away the pain. I've never felt like this before and whatever we have, I don't want to lose it" - John BoyI received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
After reading The Only Exception
, I was more than excited when Magan Vernon announced that a sequel was in the works. Then I heard John Boy was the main character...and I had a head scratch moment. Trey's frat boy brother? I mean come on...a guy named John Boy?
Yup, I've learned my lesson. Number one: Never judge a person by their outward appearance. Number two: Never, ever, ever, judge a fictional character by their outward appearance...because trust me, John Boy Walden made me smile, laugh and swoon!
So basically, the gist of the story is that Melanie, Monica's best friend attends a Halloween Party with Monica and Trey at the Alpha Mu house. Not even a minute into the book, Melanie crashes into John Boy, wearing a loincloth...and nothing else. As you can imagine, sparks (and a little bit of lust) fly, and though Monica warns Melanie off, she and John can't resist one another. Just as things heat up, Melanie receives news that has the potential to throw a permanent wrench in the burgeoning relationship.
I like Magan Vernon as an author; her writing has a good flow and she really has a knack for creating characters that feel real; who go through both highs and lows. Her depiction of college life is really spot on, and that's coming from a college student herself. Still, as I mentioned, my favorite part of Magan's writing, is her characters.
My favorite character, by far in both The Only Exception and The Only One, was John Boy. Though I judged him harshly, John Boy won me over with his easy smiles and charm. Like me, John Boy knows other people judge him, but there's a lot more to the frat boy than he ever lets on. Except for Melanie. From the start, though neither of them knows how to define their relationship, it's clear that she's his exception. He wants to care for Melanie, but he also wants her too see beyond what everyone else does. It doesn't hurt that's he's also funny as hell!
The other main character in this was Melanie. We were first introduced to her in The Only Exception, as one of Monica's oldest friends. With this one, we get to see past the shy girl, to one who loves Harry Potter books and never has a clue how awesome she is [though John makes it his mission to constantly remind her :)] During the story she gets a bit of news that rocks her existence (though I wont spoil it for you) and make her unsure as to what's next. Through it all though, she has John's constant support. That, combined with her sister's, Valerie, attention really helped in pulling Melanie out from the dark place she found herself in. My only complaint, in regards to Melanie was that her pity party (Valerie's words, not mine) got more than a bit annoying after a while, making me wish Melanie would pull her head out of her butt sooner.
Still, I loved John and Melanie together. Like Trey and Monica, these two are very different people, who nonetheless feel a pull to one another. Rather than fall into an insta-love situation, there's a push and pull that forces these two to get to know one another, making it even sweeter when they really start to fall for each other. Everything from the cheesecake, to the makeout sessions on the couch, to the first date...John and Melanie were great together. And that epilogue...awesome! Trey and Monica also made more than a few appearances, and I was glad to see them so happy as a couple, even if they still liked their political debates ;)
Magan Vernon's story was sexy, fun, heavy at times, but incredibly light in others; making it for a great afternoon read. It was a very good follow up to the Only Exception and will have me wanting to read what this author puts out next. The only reason I gave it four stars instead of five is that I wish some of the feel from the first chapters had permeated more into the middle of the book, because that's when it got a bit frustrating. Still, it's a good book and I recommend both this and the one before it!
My John Boy:
My Melanie (I know she doesn't have freckles, but it's more of a gist):