Published by Self-Published on 14th October 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Mature New Adult, Romance
Buy on Amazon US • Buy on Amazon UK
At age twenty, Molly Shakespeare knows a lot.
She knows Descartes and Kant.
She knows academia and Oxford.
She knows that the people who love you leave you.
She knows how to be alone.
But when Molly leaves England's grey skies behind to start a new life at the University of Alabama, she finds that she has a lot to learn — she didn't know a summer could be so hot, she didn't know students could be so intimidating, and she certainly didn't know just how much the folks of Alabama love their football.
When a chance encounter with notorious star quarterback, Romeo Prince, leaves her unable to think of anything but his chocolate-brown eyes, dirty-blond hair and perfect physique, Molly soon realises that her quiet, solitary life is about to dramatically change forever...
Mature New Adult novel — contains adult content, highly sexual situations and mature topics. Suited for ages 18 and up*
REVIEWED BY JOANNE
*I received an eARC from the author in exchange for an honest review*
This book had me from the very first words: “Easington, Durham, England…. because this is my little part of England. I was born in Easington, and I grew up less than 5 miles away. So yeah, Tillie Cole had my attention!
The story is actually set in Alabama, 14 years after the heart-breaking prologue. Little 6year old Molly has grown up, after graduating early from Oxford, she’s now a TA and studying at university there.
Molly is a loveable geek – she isn’t part of the in crowd, she doesn’t wear trendy clothes, but she isn’t bothered what people think of her and I loved her for that. Every time someone mentioned her cute English accent, I smiled to myself, and hoped that she still had her North-East twang. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where I could read the main characters words in my own accent!
On her way to class she runs into Rome, the star quarterback, and she likes what she sees! It seems the feeling is mutual, but Molly isn’t prepared to be another of his conquests. She doesn’t understand what he sees in her when he can have any girl he wants, but from their very first kiss they’re both smitten.
As the pair get to know each other, its obvious that they both have issues – Rome hasn’t had a particularly pleasant upbringing and is guarded with his feelings, and Molly has known nothing but loss and heartbreak in her young life. They quickly become very close, they both see something in the other that completes them, but they need to overcome a few obstacles to be able to stay together. One huge obstacle goes by the name of Shelly, who takes an instant dislike to Molly which only intensifies when she sees Rome’s interest in her as Shelly has decided Rome is hers. It seems there’s nothing she won’t do to get her hooks into him. Then there’s his parents, his father wants to control him and his mother is a real piece of work. Luckily for Molly, she does have a few people that she can rely on. There’s Cass and Lexi, her room mates and then there’s Ally, a sorority sister who is also Rome’s cousin. She also hates Shelly with a passion so she is a huge supporter of Molly!
I really felt for these two – Rome has never known happiness until he met Molly, and Molly finds it hard to get close to people. I loved seeing their relationship develop, Rome was pretty intense, particularly when they were getting it on! I loved Molly’s no nonsense attitude, and how she was fiercely protective of Rome. She saw past the façade of the confident all star football player, she saw what he hid beneath, what no one else had ever seen and she was there for him when he needed her most. Rome, in turn is very alpha male when it comes to Molly. Sick of seeing her the object of abuse because of how she looks and dresses, he is ready to knock anyone out who dare say anything in his presence.
I loved this story, like I said, it had me hooked from the beginning because of the location but even though the location soon changed, it still kept me glued to the pages and I read it in one day. Tillie Cole created a wonderful story with lovable characters, and I for one, would love to read more from them, not just the main characters, but the others in the group of friends too.
I grabbed the papers in my arms, shaking my head, and stood, my bloody glasses—in the process—falling clean off my face and clattering to the floor.
I sighed in defeat and decided that I really shouldn’t even have bothered getting out of bed this morning.
A short burst of laughter sounded behind me, making me jump, and a warm hand gripped my upper arm, twirling me around, slipping my glasses back onto my face.
I squinted repeatedly, and when my vision righted, I was met with a broad chest covered by a sleeveless dark-red T-shirt, the white writing reading, “Crimson Tide Football.”
“Can you see now?”
I followed the sound of the deep southern drawl, and before me was a sun-kissed true Bama boy—long, dirty-blond hair to his jaw line, eyes of a deep, dark brown framed by long inky lashes, and he towered over me, maybe six-foot-three to my five-foot-five height.
I couldn’t help but suck in a breath.
He was gorgeous.
Really bloody gorgeous.
I shook myself from my daze and snatched the papers from his hands, trying to shuffle around him, needing to get away and regain some semblance of composure, or maybe dignity, seeing as though I’d been pretty much stripped of it over the last couple of hours.
Grabbing my wrist as I passed, Mr. Crimson Tide Football asked, “Hey, y’okay?”
I tried to relax and not be rude—he’d helped me after all—but my nerves were shot, the touch of his rough calloused hand on my skin only making things worse.
I decided to chalk this unusual reaction up to dehydration, or an acute case of Toga-phobia.
Shoulders slumping, I replied, “I’m fine.”
I blew out a long breath, meeting his lovely chocolate eyes, catching the almost bluey-black flecks surrounding the iris. “You ever have one of those days when everything just turns into an absolute bloody nightmare?” I stressed the last three words slowly.
He expelled a loud huff and pulled an amused expression—his full lips pouting into a crooked smirk and his slightly off-centre nose scrunching with the movement. “Havin’ one myself, actually.”
“Then that makes two of us.” I couldn’t help but crack a reluctant grin in return. Tightening my hold on my stack of papers, I said, “Thank you for stopping to help me. It was very nice of you.”
Bronzed, bulky arms folded over his huge chest, and he was notably tickled at my nervousness. “Nice? Not normally what people say when they’re talkin’ ‘bout me.”
With that, he walked away, leaving me alone in the wide hallway.
I turned to head to class, and the gorgeous guy looked back at me over his shoulder, announcing roughly, “I’m Rome.”
“Molly,” I said quickly.
Rome’s teeth dragged over his bottom lip as he nodded slowly, regarding me from head to toe with an unusually deep intensity. Then without another word, he entered the philosophy classroom.
Panic set on his features. “Don’t. Don’t do that!” “Do what?” “Write us off. Don’t run away when it gets tough.” He gripped my chin. “You fight your past problems. I’ll learn to control my anger. We fight back against my family. We ignore all the others. We get through this! Don’t you dare quit on me now, Shakespeare. Don’t you fuckin’ dare!” “Rome—” Dark eyes searched mine. “No! I won’t let you go. I know I’m all kinds ‘a wrong for you, but you’ve changed me. You’ve fuckin’ changed me! Can’t you see that?! You’re gonna face this with me. Say it! Please, baby, say it to me!” – Kindle Locations 2343-2349
“Molly, a home is not a place. It’s not a country or a town or a building or possession. Home is with the other half of your soul, the person who shares in your grief and helps you carry the burden of loss. Home is with the person who throughout it all never gives up on you and brings you eternal happiness. That, Molly dear, is your home sweet home, and I think we both know that you found yourself a very handsome young man who might just be that person. Don’t let go of it, Molly, even when things are tough, just don’t let go.” – Kindle Locations 4062-4065
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