by Tessa Bailey
Series: The Academy
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Avon Romance
Publication Date: August 29, 2017
You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone…
Police academy cadet Charlie Burns can’t believe his luck when the gorgeous blonde he meets in a bar murmurs those magic words: “Nothing serious, ’kay?” Mind-blowing, no-strings sex with Ever Carmichael—it’s the holy grail of hookups for a guy who’s too busy following in his law enforcement family’s footsteps to think about getting serious. Charlie’s all about casual…that is, until Ever calls it quits and his world tilts on its axis.
Ever knows that when you control the relationship game, you can’t get played. But for the first time, she wants more than short-term satisfaction. Step one: end her fling with commitment-phobic Charlie. Step two: sacrifice herself to the ruthless NYC dating scene. Yet everywhere she turns, there’s Charlie, being his ridiculously charming self. No online match or blind date compares to the criminally hot cop-in-training, but they’re over. Aren’t they?
If love is a four-letter-word, why does the idea of Ever seeing someone else tie Charlie up in knots? Now he’s desperate to win her back…and a little date sabotage never hurt anyone, right?
I liked Charlie and Ever together–their chemistry is amazing–and really liked the secondary characters–Jack, Danika, Nina, and Greer–and am hoping that all of them will get HEAs in future books (Jack’s is next, and Danika/Greer are strongly hinted at; leaving Nina, who’s not at the Academy, the only real question mark. Fingers crossed!) The steamy scenes are, as is to be expected, steamy with a capital S here.
All good things.
I did have some issues with Charlie and Ever’s motivation here. Their reasons for not wanting relationships–stemming from family issues/histories were somewhat believable, but only to a point. Ever turned hers around pretty quick after a single visit with her mother (whom she calls “Mother”–this just felt weird without family pearls and fortunes and memberships in the DAR involved) and her new issue becomes I’m not worthy of a real relationship with Charlie instead (WTH?). Charlie’s comes from his childhood and his misperception of an event, and it too is resolved with a single incident. And don’t get me started on his sabotage of Ever’s attempted dates, which is so beyond not cool it’s not funny.
Fortunately, he does do a good grovel (though I do question the use of taxpayer-funded resources in his final effort, the one that came before was awesome) and they really are fantastic together, which helps to make up for the shortcomings here. Jack’s (and Danika/Greer’s and hopefully Nina’s) are still to come, and I have high hopes for them, so…
Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
About Tessa Bailey:
Tessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans, and laptop, and drove cross-country to New York City in under four days. Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend, and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention. She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband and daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.