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I Belong

Review: I Want It That Way by Ann Aguirre

I Want It That WayTitle: I Want It That Way

Author: Ann Aguirre

Genre: NA Contemporary Romance

Series: 2B Trilogy (Book #1)

Publication Date: August 26, 2014

Format: Paperback, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 0373779836 (Harlequin)

ISBN-13: 978-0373779833 (Harlequin)

Reviewed bySteph


Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she’s determined to make them come true—for her parents’ sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B….

Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can’t risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, a social life is out of the question. The last thing he wants is for four noisy students to move into the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia’s and Ty’s paths cross, and soon they can’t stay away from each other.

The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can’t know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.

Quick & Dirty: A college junior falls for a single dad who wants nothing more than a friends with benefits relationship in this book that falls short of what I’ve come to expect from Ann Aguirre.

Opening Sentence: The first time I saw Ty, I fell down the stairs and tore my pants.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Nadia is a junior in college, working hard towards her degree in special education. She and three of her friends have decided to live off campus in an apartment. On moving day, she meets Ty, a man she’s instantly attracted to but whose personality leaves a lot to be desired. One night on her balcony, she has a conversation with Ty, and she realizes there’s much more to him than meets the eye. He’s a single dad trying hard to make ends meet while going to night school, which doesn’t leave much time for a social life. As they begin to spend more and more time together, Nadia realizes she could easily fall for this man, but Ty is not interested in a serious relationship. Will Nadia be able to settle for being a friend with benefits, or will she be able to convince Ty just how special their relationship really is?

I have a confession to make: I’ve never read anything in the New Adult genre before. I’ve honestly been avoiding it because I didn’t think it would really be for me. And in all honesty, this book really didn’t make me feel any differently on that matter. All I kept thinking was how young everyone seemed, and it was hard for me to really root for a happily ever after for Nadia and Ty when all I kept thinking was “She’s only 21.” She’s a very mature 21, but still just 21. Maybe at 33, I’m just too far removed from the college experience to really enjoy reading about it.

What’s really frustrating is I typically love Ann Aguirre. Her Sirantha Jax series is one of my all-time favorite sci-fi series, and I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read of both the Dred Chronicles and Corinne Solomon series. This particular book just did nothing for me. I never warmed up to either of the main characters and could never figure out what they saw in each other. When they eventually reveal their deep feelings for each other, it just didn’t seem believable to me because there really wasn’t any depth to their relationship. It’s a friends with benefits situation, and there was never any evidence of it going deeper than that.

I was mostly disappointed in Ty’s character. When I read the description of the book, I figured I would love him because I’m a sucker for a single dad main character. Unfortunately, Ty just never seemed all that likeable to me. Even his scenes with his son didn’t warm me to him. Maybe it would have helped to have his point of view narrated. With the book being entirely in Nadia’s first person perspective though, that doesn’t happen, and he just always comes off fairly cold.

All in all, as much as I like Ann Aguirre’s other work, I just could not get into this book at all. Maybe fans of the New Adult genre will feel differently, but this just wasn’t the book for me.

Notable Scene:

“It’s a surprise. Now you should get going before Lauren comes down and catches us making out.”

“Would that be such a bad thing?” I asked, surprised. My impression was Sam couldn’t know about us, but I didn’t realize we were a dirty secret otherwise.

“Not for me. I didn’t know if you told her about…us.” His hesitation said he wasn’t sure how to categorize what we had, the whole FWB situation.

“Yeah. She calls you Hot Ginger, by the way. For the life of me, I cannot get her to use your name.”

A sexy, surprised smile curved his mouth, and I suppressed the urge to kiss him. “I can live with that. But since I don’t know her, it’s more respectful to refer to me as Mr. Hot Ginger.”

“Noted,” Lauren said, standing at the bottom of the stairs with my bag.

“Morning.” Ty seemed unfazed, but close-up, a hot flush raced across his cheekbones.

“You got my phone and my purse?” I asked.

“Yep, we’re ready to roll. I even brought your shoes.”

I grinned. “You know me so well, it’s scary.”

Quickly, I kissed Ty one last time and then jogged over to cram my boots on. I shrugged into the coat Lauren offered and wrapped up in a scarf while Ty watched. Since I expected him to retreat any minute, I was surprised when he watched us leave. We went out into the predawn gloom on a burst of frosty wind, and only as the door closed behind us did Ty vanish into his apartment. Lauren grabbed on to me, shaking my arm.

“Dear God. Why didn’t you tell me Mr. Hot Ginger looks like that with no shirt on? I feel like you’ve violated, like, ten articles of the girl code.”

“You’re insane,” I mumbled, opening the trunk so we could pack it.

“Don’t change the subject. He’s fucking gorgeous. Some guys look better with their clothes on, you know? And when you finally get them naked, you’re like, Oh, God, he’s a bear rug! And you’re pretty sure the night ends with you picking fur out of your teeth.”

Shuddering, I said, “I have no words. It’s too early for this.”

2B Trilogy:

1. I Want It That Way

2. As Long As You Love Me

3. The Shape of My Heart


FTC Advisory: Harlequin provided me with a copy of I Want It That Way. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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