Book Title: College Girl: A College Girl Romance
Indie Author: Sheila Grace (C.J. Valles)
Genre: New Adult/ Contemporary Romance/ Erotica (mature content)
Length: 100K + words
Alexis Reed, 18-year-old college freshman, is walking to the library one night after leaving her Calculus class when she’s nearly attacked by some creep she recognizes from her Creative Writing class. Luckily, the Teacher’s Assistant from Calculus, Ryan Matthews, had seen her being followed and steps in to intervene. This leads to a complicated love affair between young Alexis and the hot, older TA, whose name is actually Ryan Bennett, heir to the Bennett winery.
I read this entire book in less than two days. It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, needing to know what happened next. It was a lot like reading the 2nd book in the Twilight Series (New Moon)… you just KNOW it has to get better for this poor character at some point, and by golly, you just HAVE to keep reading until it does, or else you and her will be just miserable! Next thing you know, you’ve finished the whole giant thing in a matter of hours. This book evoked some pretty strong emotions from me (more about this later).
I really liked Ryan Bennett’s character. His character was pretty consistent throughout the book, as far as his personality. He was kind of amazing, actually, and might just be one of my new favorite male heart-throb characters of all time. I loved the way he was so protective of Alex and kicked ass for her on more than one occasion! (A few times, actually!) He was realistic, most of the time. In fact, both of the characters were pretty realistic. There were several times in the book when asking myself why Alex was acting so immaturely and naive, and then I was like, well… she is only 18. It makes sense. It also makes sense why she pushes people away, when we find out more about her background and history.
Then there was the slow build-up of the physical relationship between Alex and Ryan. The first night they meet, and we know she’s still a virgin at this point, and I’m thinking… seriously? She’s just going to jump into bed with him? This writer is writing herself into a corner here… but then it goes in a different direction and she just gets a little taste. Then later she gets a little more of a taste. Then later a little more. Very nice pacing in this aspect of the story.
What could use some work:
So here’s where it gets tricky. There are several things that I thought could use some work in this book, but just because there are more things on the negative list, I hope that doesn’t prevent anyone from reading it, because I really did like this book.
First of all, this book felt like it really dragged out in certain places. Namely, in the many times these two characters pushed each other away. I would have liked to see the pacing in those heartbreaking scenes move a little quicker, and likewise regarding pacing, I would have liked to see it slow down on the love scenes.
I felt like throughout the book, there could use some refining and fine-tuning. For example, there are numerous places throughout when words are used a little to repetitiously within the same sentence, paragraph, or consecutive paragraphs. Going through with an editor’s eye would be beneficial.
Then there’s the beginning of the book, when we are just being introduced to the characters. We have this naive, goody-two-shoes virgin, who throughout the book is described as being boring, having no life, and having really strict parents, having never really drank but maybe a sip or two before, and so forth. But she curses like a sailor. This doesn’t really fit her character, in my opinion. Also towards the beginning of the book, Alex really doesn’t seem all that affected (at all) by nearly being attacked by the creeper guy… and while I’m at it, that whole nearly attacked scene could have been written better to sound more ominous and dangerous than it does… but then she wakes up in the middle of the night that night freaking out about it and seeking comfort from a nightmare she had about it. This was a little too forced, and I would have liked to see that being set up a little better than it was.
Now, let me go back to where I mentioned previously about how this book evoked some pretty strong emotions from me. Truth be told, this book pissed me off. I wanted to slap some freaking sense into these characters for being so gosh-darned stupid, SO MANY TIMES!
Finally, there are still some questions I would have liked to see answered that weren’t by the end of this book, but I can’t really say those without having spoilers, so I’ll just leave it at that for now.
Overall, I recommend reading this book, with the caveat that it will not be for everybody. I notice there is a sequel revolving around one of the characters in this book that I really loved to hate. I’m still undecided yet on whether I want to read that one, just to see if it can change my mind about him or not, and maybe even tie up some of the loose ends from the previous book, though I’m not sure that would be possible if it revolves around different characters.