Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Lessons In Losing It (Study Abroad #4) by Jessica Peterson

* * * 1/2

I swore I'd keep things platonic with the studly soccer player I met in Madrid...until we ended up naked together on his living room floor #Screwed #PunIntended 

Just friends…

That’s all soccer star Fred Ohr wants to be with Rachel Collins, the American student he meets at party in his adopted hometown of Madrid. He’s looking for the real deal—someone who’ll stick around Spain for more than a semester—so he resolves to keep her at arm’s length. Even if she is sexy as hell. Smart. And as crazy about sports as he is.

But friends don’t kiss. They don’t do sleepovers. And they definitely don’t get rug burn from having the best sex ever on the living room carpet.

Fred and Rachel’s connection is instant. Intense. He loves to cook breakfast for her. She loves it when he cooks wearing nothing but his glasses.

Only Rachel’s got a dream internship waiting for her back in the states. And Fred is lining up a contract worth millions to stay in Madrid. They’re playing with fire to keep seeing each other like this. But how can they resist when the sex is so great—really, really freaking great—and the fun they have together is even better?

Source: advance e-galley provided in exchange for an honest review

I'm normally a stickler about reading books in order if they're part of a series but because the premise and the locale of Madrid were so tempting, I ignored that. Armed with my phone to look up the gorgeous and romantic backdrops I dove right in.

What hit me instantly is that Fred is unlike any athlete I've read. He's not about soaking up glory or adulation. Instead he'd prefer to find solace and joy in books. He just hasn't yet found the woman who rocks his world. Along comes Rachel whose semester in Spain is drawing to a close in three weeks. They hit it off superbly: their mutual love of all things Harry Potter and Quidditch makes him a goner for her. Add that to her smarts and humour and it's just bloody unfair that they'd meet now. Fred's always believed that when he falls in love it'll be long-term so he's adamant that it's complete folly to get involved when Rachel won't be around much longer. She sort of feels the same way though she wouldn't mind having a little fun before she leaves. Since this is happening at an inopportune time they agree on being friends, ruling out anything further any time their minds wander in any sexy direction. Unfortunately, they just click so well and there's that darn attraction thing messing things up, too. It's funny how in this Peterson has flipped their roles where he's the weary one not wanting to get his heart broken while Rachel's open to whatever. In fact, she is the one who does the persuing to an extent while still doing her best to respect his wishes.

While a good chunk of the time is spent mulling over the pros and cons of starting a relationship there are other considerations besides the time constraint adding to the complication. In Rachel's case, it's the inevitable clash with her mother over her career choice. She knows in her heart of hearts what she wants to do but can't bring herself to say it yet. That Fred is able to offer her some valuable insight thanks in part to his own similar experience with his family is what made me like them so much as a couple. Establishing that friendship first brings substance that only makes their chemistry stronger. Fred is the sweet, thoughtful guy but he is something else when things get going ...and so is Rachel!

Lessons In Losing It was the mental escape that I needed and it reminded me why of I like reading NA so much. At this stage in life, all the possibilities are exciting, scary and overwhelming. As an adult, I can look back and both relive some things and also see things with better perspective. As a reader, yeah I had my secret hopes for how I wanted things to pan out for them. I believe I got my HFN. Or maybe it's a HEA depending on the reader ;-) I'll definitely be going back to check out the rest of the books in the Study Abroad series!

~ Bel

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