Okay so this book was sort of a surprise for me.
I read this on a whim. Books that are somewhat over-hyped (like this one) make me weary just because those can go either way for me. Still, it kept popping up practically everywhere and when I saw it in a lot of people's yearly favorites I decided to give it a try. Being rather skeptical (especially after seeing some of the reviews) I decided to start and give myself until 10% before I gave up on it and moved on. To say that when I did stop (at around 25%) it was only to go to class, later head home, sit on my bed and devour this until the end, says a lot about how badly I misjudged this book.
I get the hype now! As a contemporary romance novel, this is really good. Granted, if you don't like romance novels (which I tend to gravitate towards) or the alpha males that may come with them (which I love) than this will not be at all your cup of tea; but it was definitely mine.
The book starts out rather fast, with a quick prologue that gives the reader a good understanding of why Jocelyn Butler has...well...let's just say the Berlin Wall has nothing on this one. After an incredibly tragic past, Jocelyn has locked down all emotion and pushed away any deeply personal relationships. Little does she know that on the day she moves into a flat on Dublin Street, she meets not one, but two people who will break down those walls and show Jocelyn how to trust and love again.
Braden and Ellie Carmichael are both such awesome characters, but Braden just takes the cake. He's intense, broody and super swoon-worthy. I love how he knows just what to say and how to perfectly deal with Jocelyn (and cut through some of her bullshit), proving that he's the right guy for her. The scene where they're in the kitchen, after Jocelyn breaks up with Braden and he admits he slept with someone else (though it's all a lie) just to get her some emotion out of her was not only hilarious but proved he knew her better than herself
I loved how Braden never gave up on Jocelyn even when she kept pushing him away and how he promised to just keep coming back.
Jocelyn really deserved a swift quick in the head more than a couple of times (which she did get from a few people, aka. her therapist). It was frustrating to see her victimize herself most times, but knowing what she'd been through, I don't know if I would have handled things any better. Her friendship with Ellie (her roommate) was so sweet and it proved that opposites do mesh and people can grow. Also, Ellie's burgeoning romance with Adam was a sweet touch and a nice off-set to Jocelyn and Braden's story.
All in all, the writing was superb!It was nice to see a love story where the couple grows into love rather than just let things become only an instant lust kind of thing. I loved that the story was so compelling that I couldn't bear to put this down. It wrung out laughter and tears from me (which makes it an instant winner in my book) but left me with an incredibly satisfied feeling at the end. To me, this is a definite must read :D