ARC REVIEW: Hard Crush by Mira Lyn Kelly

Rating 4 Stars

Hank Wagner and Abby Mitchel were the perfect high school couple, always together and deeply in love. But everything changed senior year when Hank got a full ride to MIT and Abby knew she’d be left behind while Hank went on to greater things. Now 10 years later Hank is back in town and he realizes the one thing missing from his life is Abby. But she wants nothing to do with him because she’ll just end up left behind and broken hearted again.

I really enjoyed Hard Crush and this will definitely not be the last Mira Lyn Kelly book I read. Told from alternating first person point of view I was unsure how things would go because it’s also written in the present tense and this can be hard to do. But once I got into the swing of things I barely even noticed it because Kelly does such a great job of keeping you in the moment and moving quickly through the story. At the core of this book it’s all about the romance and relationship between Hank and Abby. I really enjoyed watching them fall in love and find what they’ve been missing for the past 10 years. Though they had both moved on from their high school romance, once they were around each other again they realized they’ve never really found that ultimate happiness. But they’re not the same people they once were and this presents new challenges.

Hank was absolutely wonderful as a hero and I loved his super smart techie self. One of the small bits of characterization that I love in romance is characters that wear glasses; I’m surrounded by people with glasses, yet you hardly ever see it in romance novels. I was very happy that Hank wears glasses and I even loved the attention to detail in how many times Hank pushed them back up his nose. Other than his looks Hank was also charming, sweet, and just the right amount of cocky in his pursuit to win Abby back. I liked that he refused to give up on their second chance and with the exception of a few missteps, he seems to really understand what Abby was looking for.

I also enjoyed Abby and how fun and easygoing she was as a character I’m glad that even though she stayed behind when Hank left she didn’t spend 10 years pining for him and never living the life she wanted. Abby is clearly an emotionally strong woman who isn’t afraid to make hard decisions, accept them, and move on. There was only one thing that bothered me about Abby and it had to do with the way she viewed their relationship. Throughout the entire book Abby talks about how Hank is always leaving and she can’t stand waiting around for him. But to me it’s actually not that Hank is leaving but then Abby is the one always pushing him away. She’s the one that breaks up with him senior year, she insists he never contact her, she won’t go out on a date with him when he comes back, she won’t compromise, she’s the one keeping things casual when it’s clear to everyone Hank is trying to win her back for good, and she pushes him away again when his job will relocate him. There was a small acknowledgement of Abby’s mistakes right at the very end of the book but other than that all of the problems are (unfairly) placed on Hanks shoulders.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book provided by the author. All thoughts expressed in this review are my honest opinion.


••• Book Details •••

Back to You #1    Romance, Contemporary    February 27, 2018

A jaded billionaire.
The girl who got away.
A second chance has never been so sexy.

Technology has it out for me. And I’m not talking about my ever-ailing phone or the temperamental Smart Board in my classroom. I’m talking about the internationally hailed “Tech Genius” formerly known as the boy I used to love. 

It was bad enough seeing that cocky smile staring back at me from my newsfeeds, the gossip sites, and—fine—the scorchingly hot men’s fitness magazine I bought in a moment of weakness. But now he’s back home, teasing me with the memories I’ve tried to leave behind, crowding into my space and taunting me with the kiss I can’t resist. I know it’s only a matter of time before I lose him again. He’s already told me he isn’t staying, warned me he’s changed. I know better than to let him get too close, so why can’t I push him away?

They call me a visionary. An innovator. Hell, last week a headline touted me as the billion-dollar geek keeping Silicon Valley’s panties wet. Try living that down. Strip away the media BS, and I’m just a tech-minded guy with my eyes on the future and no time for a past I can’t change. So what am I doing following the sweet sound of its laugh back to the woman who passed on our chance at forever?

I tell myself all I want is to say hello. To see her smile. Just a few minutes to pretend we’re still the “us” I thought would never end. But once I’ve had a taste of the too tempting woman she’s become, a few minutes isn’t enough. 

The man I am today is used to getting what he wants, and I want her.
The problem? She wants the guy I used to be.

Ten years later, all that’s changed is… everything.

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