I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.I Want It That Way Series: 2B Trilogy #1
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Source: the author
Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she’s determined to make them come true. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, dating’s the last thing on her mind. 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, the last thing he wants is noisy students living in 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.
"A tender, sweet, and sexy story about how life—and falling in love—can never be planned."
—Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wait for You
First off, I just need to get something off my chest. I LOOOOOOVE Ann Aguirre so hard! She has made the short list of authors whose books are an automatic purchase for me. Her Razorland series will forever stick with me. BUT… when I heard she was writing a contemp romance, I did a double take. I’m sure I even said HUH??? I even checked that there was not some OTHER Ann Aguirre. Sure enough, there she was, one of my favorite authors writing a completely new genre. This doesn’t happen every day! Authors usually find a niche and stick with it. And this isn’t a little step, either, like, sci-fi to fantasy. No, no. This is like leaping across the ocean from Canada to Japan. I admit, I headed into the book with a small iota of skepticism, but I had faith in Ann’s writing. I am pleased to report that she didn’t disappoint.
One major reason why authors may choose not to branch into separate genres is that they will have a completely different fan base. Sci-fi readers may not enjoy romance, and vice versa. In fact, the vast change may be a bit of a turn off for some readers. (Lucky for me I’m such an eclectic reader! 😉 ) Contemp romance fans need not be scared off by Ann’s sci-fi past. Ann had a story to tell, and she aced it! There’s sweet romance, smokin’ hot chemistry, believable characters… all coming together as a promising beginning to this new series.
I wasn’t a fan of the constant pop culture references, but the characters more than made up for it. Nadia is fairly standard, as far as protagonists go. She’s studying hard in college, working her job at a daycare. What makes her stand apart is how she interacts with her downstairs neighbor, Ty. He is NOT your typical contemp male. He’s a single father, completely devoted to his four-year-old son. Oh, that little boy melted my heart, and then way that Nadia interacts with him is what gave her character a boost in my eyes. Ty is dead set against dating of any kind, zero attachments. Honestly, I had a hard time buying into his viewpoint though, because my husband had a six-year-old when we started dating. It complicates things, but doesn’t make it impossible, and it’s certainly still worth the effort for the right person!
Now, there was a certain plot point that was dropped, and I kept waiting for it to get picked up again. When I reached the end of the story, and it still wasn’t resolved, I figured that it would be part of one of the sequels. Of course, now I NEED to read the other two books, because I can’t NOT know what happened! Ya know? The ending gave me a deep satisfaction, and I can’t wait to see where the secondary characters end up when facing a story all their own.
“Where are you from?”
Ah, an actual question. That means I can ask one back.
“Nebraska, toward the South Dakota and Wyoming side, if that helps.”
“I’ve never met anyone from there.”
Michigan was a long way from home. “I usually get ‘not in Nebraska anymore’ jokes, and then I have to decide if I’m going to remind them that’s Kansas or play along.”
“What do you usually do?”
“You don’t like conflict, huh?” He sounded normal tonight, as if talking to me wasn’t an unpleasant chore anymore.
That was a relief since I’d come to look forward to these moments with him so much. More, maybe, than I’d like to admit.Right. Friends. I distracted myself by considering his question. “Not if it can be avoided. I’m not what you’d call pugnacious, no. But I like to think I don’t back off important issues. What about you?”
“No.” His voice was bleak and quiet. “I don’t. Even when I should.”
Wow, that took a dark turn.
If I could’ve jumped onto his patio without breaking an ankle or waking Sam, I’d have been down there like a shot. The distance between us seemed intolerable, and from the knot in my throat, I didn’t see how I could live another second without touching him, finding out if his hair was as soft as it looked or what he smelled like. I wanted him in a way I never had before.
In high school, I had a boyfriend who played basketball, and we broke up when I left the state. It was a rational decision, and I didn’t miss him that much once I was gone. My freshman year, I went out with a lot of different guys, one date here, two dates there, but I never clicked with anyone enough to focus on them. Sometimes there were hookups with no strings, no expectations. Classes, friends and work seemed a lot more important. The intensity of this attraction was foreign and frightening, if exhilarating. I might already be backing off if I had the faintest sense that Ty was jerking me around on purpose.
Wish he didn’t make me feel this way. It’d be so much simpler if I could friend-zone him.
I realized I still hadn’t touched his verbal grenade. “We all have things we’d do differently in hindsight.”
“What is it about you?” he asked in a wondering tone.
“You make me…better. Calmer.”
“Like a sedative?” I snickered. It was the least sexy thing a guy had ever said to me, including a junior high squeeze who said my face wasn’t actually that bad.
He laughed, too, a sheepish sound. “I didn’t mean it like that. Just…I’m worried pretty much all the time that I’m dropping the ball somewhere, about to face-plant, but when I come out here and hear your voice, everything backs off like ten steps. I can breathe again.”
Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.