Series: 2B Trilogy #1
Published by Harlequin on 9/1/14
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
My content rating: 18+ (Explicit sex)
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.
I really loved I Want it That Way. This book just made me happy. I have to confess that I was playing a little bit of the comparison game when I read this one. I know it’s not good to compare books, but I read this shortly after I read Ugly Love (with just one day and one boon in between) and the themes are so similar – a couple that decides to have a no strings attached physical relationship because the guy isn’t able to commit. The thing was, I was SO disappointed with Ugly Love (I really wanted to love it!) that this book really felt AMAZING in comparison. I kept thinking, “Yes! This is how this type of book should be done!” I actually had to wait a little while before I wrote this review so that I could look at it a little more objectively. I’m going to try not to spend my entire review comparing these two books, but I can’t help doing it some – they are forever paired in my mind.
The synopsis does a good job of describing the book, so I’m going to go straight to my review.
What I LOVED:
- Ty and Nadia. The very beginnings of the attraction between Ty and Nadia did feel just a teensy bit insta-lovey, but I was able to forgive this because the relationship didn’t move too quickly past that initial stage. Aguirre really took the time to strengthen the bond between these two before the relationship went too far (and before they started feeling undying devotion toward each other). I really loved Ty and Nadia together. The chemistry between them was awesome, but what I loved even more was the emotional connection that they had. I felt them falling in love – I believed it (unlike that other book that I’m trying not to mention) – even though they agreed to a physical relationship, things were never just about sex with them, and they both knew it. Both of them wanted something more, but Ty just cuoldn’t do it. No matter how much he wanted it. Which brings me to my next point …
- Realistic barriers. I felt like Nadia and Ty had really solid reasons for feeling like they couldn’t be together, even though they obviously desperately wanted to be. Ty put his son first – absolutely – before everything else. Since Sammy had already been abandoned once (even if he couldn’t remember it), Ty didn’t want to insert someone into his life just to have her leave. I really admired and adored Ty for his attitude toward his son. And both Ty and Nadia realized that Nadia probably wasn’t ready to step into an insta-family for keeps – she was just too young and their relationship was too new. When things started to get too intense, I both loved and hated Ty for calling it all off (and so did Nadia!). But it felt real. It felt responsible, which was what Ty’s character was above all else when it came to his son. It also felt agonizing.
- Strong secondary characters. Not only were Nadia and Ty really well-developed, the secondary characters were equally so. The only character I wasn’t completely in love with was Nadia’s best friend, Lauren (her subplot wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as interesting as the main plot). Nadia’s other roommates were all great fun, though. And I loved Ty’s son!
- Slightly anticlimactic. The only reason that this book gets 4 stars instead of 4.5 or 5 is because I felt like the resolution to the conflict felt a little bit anticlimactic. Nothing big really happens to change Nadia and Ty’s situation – it’s more that Nadia comes to some realizations (there are some circumstances that bring that about, but they didn’t feel that huge and climactic). In general, the book felt a bit slower to me after Ty and Nadia split up. The very end was still completely satisfying, but I felt a slight lull before it got to that point.
- Social issue. There was one other issue that bugged me slightly, but I don’t want to get into it too much because I feel like it would spoil things. There’s something that Ty blames himself for (that involves a pretty big social issue), and I couldn’t help but feel like it wasn’t something he should feel real guilt over. I can’t really get into my feelings on the subject without giving anything away, but this was one small point that bugged me. (Have you read the book and want to discuss this with me? PM me via Goodreads or Twitter so we don’t spoil it for others!)
So, overall, I really loved this book. No it wasn’t flawless, but I would still really recommend it if you’re looking for a good New Adult read. Just be warned – you will have The Backstreet Boys running through your head constantly as you read it (and as you review it too). So I’ll leave you with a song – “I want it that way.” 4/5 Stars.
***Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
About the Author
Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author 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. She likes all kinds of books, emo music, action movies and Doctor Who. She writes all kind of fiction in multiple genres, both YA and for adults.