Series: Milford College #1
Author: Noelle Adams
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 17, 2019
The last thing I want is to share a forty-five minute commute with the most obnoxious (and attractive) man I know. But I can’t afford a new transmission right now, so I’m stuck with Marcus for at least a month.
He promises to be good, but Marcus Greene is never good. And I’m not sure how long I can resist him.
Carpool is the first book in the Milford College series, novellas about the faculty and staff of a small liberal arts college.
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Oh my goodness, this was just adorable!
I loved Jennifer and Marcus’s story. Told in single POV, first person (Jennifer’s POV), it’s an enemies-to-lovers, slow burn, sweet and sexy, angsty but but not OTT about it, tale.
Jennifer’s known Marcus forever–and disapproved of him from the very first minute of their acquaintance. He’s the town bad boy to her (extremely) good girl. She’s never hidden how she’s felt about him–heck, no one in town has–and so when she needs to ask him if they can carpool (translate: she needs a ride to work for goodness knows how long while her transmission is rebuilt; it’s not carpooling in the strictest sense since she’s not really reciprocating beyond financially) it’s pretty much the last thing she wants to be doing. But they live in the same town and work at the same 45-minutes-away college, so it’s really the only solution that makes sense. She’s both relieved and apprehensive when he agrees to her request–she needs to get to work, of course; but almost two hours together in the car a day, five days a week for who knows how long? This could go very badly.
Or it could go very, very well. 😉
The more Jennifer gets to know Marcus, the more she finds herself liking him. Then she discovers (to her initial horror) that she might be more than liking him. We’re only getting her POV, though, and throughout Jennifer is often more than a little bit clueless about things, so although the reader (like Beck, Jennifer’s BFF) is pretty sure that Marcus likes her too, it takes a bit longer than one might expect for anything to start happening on that front. Once it does, though, buckle up–because they get hot and heavy pretty fast, and it’s delicious.
They are derailed more than once along the way, essentially by miscommunication–most more or less caused by one or both of them misinterpreting one (or more) of their earlier conversations. For the reader this is frustrating but not as annoying as miscommunications often are, because you can see why they went in the direction they do and they both stay in (beautifully flawed) character throughout. When they finally, finally get to their HEA, it is just lovely, and I put the book down with a happy sigh.
Beck looks to be the heroine of the next book in the series, and I am here for it! Please write fast, Ms. Adams 🙂
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
I nod and open the passenger door, reaching down to grab the strap of my purse.
I blink when he gets out too.
“What are you doing?” I ask, my voice sharp because I’m confused.
“I’m walking you to the door. Do you have a problem with that?”
I don’t have an answer to the question. And since he didn’t give me an answer, I feel like I don’t have to give one to him either.
But I’m shuddering with something like excitement as we reach the front stoop of my grandmother’s house. I stop and stare up at him.
He’s gazing down at me with that same deep, warm expression I saw in him earlier.
Right before he kissed me.
“Why are you doing this, Marcus?” My voice breaks slightly because I’m pulsing with everything I’m feeling.
“I’m just standing at your door.”
“You know what I’m talking about.”
He nods, his mouth relaxing slightly. “I’m doing it because I want to kiss you again, and I think you want that too.”
I lick my lips. He sees it. His expression heats up.
It thrills me so much I quickly get my tongue back into my mouth and swallow hard. “I don’t know, Marcus. I don’t usually do things… just for fun.”
“I know you don’t. But I keep telling you that you’re allowed. Kissing me would be fun for you. And for me. It doesn’t have to mean anything more. It doesn’t have to change anything important about your world. So why shouldn’t we do it again?”
“Because… because I think it would… If we do it again, we’re going to do more than kiss.”
He chuckles softly and reaches up to brush some hair back from my face. “Yes. We probably will.”
“And you think that can be just for fun? No… no… pressure or complications?” I can’t believe I’m even considering no-strings-attached sex, but that’s exactly what I’m doing.
That’s what Marcus is offering.
And I want it so much.
“Yes. I think so. If that’s what you want.”
“That’s all it could be between us. For obvious reasons.”
He gives a slight nod. “Yes.”
This confirms a tiny, lingering question I’d never even acknowledged. And it makes things so much safer.
Safe enough for me to let myself be tempted for real.
After all, sex with Marcus is going to be good. I know it for sure. And if I can enjoy it—have some fun—in a way that both of us agree will lead to nothing disruptive to my life, why the hell shouldn’t I?
Why can’t I be like everyone else and just let go now and then?
It doesn’t have to threaten the security of my world.
I really think I could let go with Marcus and still be safe.
He confirms this by saying in a more serious tone, “I’m here for anything you want, Jennifer. Anything. Just name it. But if it’s not what you want, all you have to do is tell me, and I’ll never make a move on you again.”
I gulp. “I… do want it.”
“Yeah?” He tilts his head down.
“So you want to try to have a little fun and see what happens?”
Somehow I’ve made up my mind. I’ve decided. Everything inside me wants to do this, so I’m going to do it after all. “Yeah. That’s what I want.”
His eyes smolder in a way that makes my heart clench.
And other parts of me clench as well.
“So I can kiss you again?”
I nod. “Please do.”
About the author:
Noelle handwrote her first romance novel in a spiral-bound notebook when she was twelve, and she hasn’t stopped writing since. She has lived in eight different states and currently resides in Virginia, where she reads any book she can get her hands on and offers tribute to a very spoiled cocker spaniel.
She loves travel, art, history, and ice cream. After spending far too many years of her life in graduate school, she has decided to reorient her priorities and focus on writing contemporary romances.