Thursday, September 18, 2014

NA Review: As Long as You Love Me, 2B Trilogy #2 by Ann Aguirre

Release Date: September 30, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin 
Source: Publisher via Netgalley 
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.
I liked the first book in this trilogy, I Want it That Way, but As Long as You Love Me was more of a rollercoaster ride for me and the end result was not pretty. I can’t quite pin what exactly about this relationship I didn’t like but something about Lauren and Rob bothered me. The writing wasn’t the most spectacular and the explicit sex scenes were once again present but something about their relationship bothered me the most.

I want to preface anything I say by pointing out that Lauren had feelings for Rob when she was a young girl and when she moves back home and sees him, the feelings are re-awakened. But Rob is dating a girl named Avery and therefore off limits to Lauren. The two begin getting close simply as friends but their physical attraction is still there. Lauren often wonders about Rob but keeps her hands off. I liked that they got to know who they were now as adults and I could see their relationship blossom. That is until I got to the point where Rob is single and they have sex for the first time. I came to this quote and I was instantly put off
“Before Rob, I’d used condoms, but I’d wanted him for so long that I hated the thought of stopping for latex.” (location 1907 of 3799, 50%)

Yes, Lauren is on the pill but it still irked me that they would take this chance. The pill does not always work. I know people (both married and not) who have had sex while on the pill and got pregnant. I get that Lauren’s in love with Rob and has waited a long time for him but using a condom seemed like a smart decision. This isn’t the biggest deal in the world but was the first thing I highlighted in this book.

Then we get to this gem:
“You don’t even have to touch me, baby. Before I broke up with Avery, you had me ready pretty much every single day.” (Location 1961 of 3799, 52%).
This made me so mad that I put the book (or my Kindle) down. I don’t condone cheating at all and this, regardless of what you might think, seemed like emotional cheating to me. Rob’s excuse for not breaking up with Avery at this point was that he didn’t want her to hear it over the phone but thinking about being with another woman over a course of about a week or two (can’t remember exactly) is a better idea. What?! And if that wasn’t enough, there was this interaction, during the same scene,
“‘So you were waiting for her to come home to do it in person?’ Rob nodded. ‘By then, I didn’t even care when she got back because all I could think about was seeing you again.’” (Location 1969 of 3799, 52%)
So not only did Rob think about another woman in a sexual way while he was still in a relationship, he didn’t even care about when his girlfriend came back…and I’m supposed to like this guy?

But I did. I did like Rob and after that moment, he got better. Or so I thought. Lauren did not have a car so she had been borrowing Rob’s for the good part of the begging of the novel. Later on, when she has saved up enough money to buy a car of her own, she does. She brings Rob’s truck back to him and shows his her new car. Rob loses it:
“I mean, you didn’t talk to me or ask me to inspect the car before you bought it. That’s the one thing I know about—fixing things. I can’t do a lot for you as a boyfriend, and it makes me feel like a worthless sack of shit when you cut me out” (Location 2274 of 3799, 60%).
This was frustrating to me on various levels: a) Lauren is an adult who can make adult decisions. She went with her mom and looked over other vehicles before choosing one, b) Why does Rob need to get upset over this? He is not her father and he doesn’t own her and c) Lauren’s supposed to show Rob all aspects of her life so he can feel validated? In my opinion, Lauren did nothing wrong to get this reaction out of him. This is simply a small portion of the big speech he gives her and I was instantly put off.

Besides the fact that I knew Rob and Lauren were going to break up and then make up, I wasn’t surprised when it happened. Rob, though, acted very much out of character but at this point in the book, I couldn’t have cared less. Overall, I wasn’t in love with this novel. While some aspects were great, the majority of it bothered me. Lauren was hands down the best part about this novel and Rob was the worst. I know a lot of other people loved these books but they weren’t for me.  
Cover Comments: 
Again, what a boring cover. I like the color scheme but really, it's like so many of the other new adult books out there.

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