June 26 update:
OOF, harsh. I loved this one on reread (5), wasn't as impressed the first time (4). Rereading reminded me why. About 80% of this book is spent on talking about Dean's charmed life. It was frustrating to me as a plot point. As if having a supportive family and 'no trouble' in your past immediately indicates to your girlfriend's father that you can't be there when something gets hard.
EXFUCKINGCUSE ME. Reliable people come from all walks of life. Those that are self-made and had to be and basically had no one to count on, fed themselves and worked from the time they are young to do just that. And get this, never complained. And have empathy still. (HI DAD!) Those self-righteous who feel they've earned their place and that whatever comes to them they deserve or don't. Shades of many. Those who grew up in incredibly supportive and loving homes...so much so that they can spread that love and support to others, even if they can be clueless about what it means to not have a loving parent. I mean Dean and his awareness and his honesty could've
read like that. He's basically broken because of an experience in high school. But he also always shows up. Sure he doesn't do things he doesn't want, he's a hedonist. Word. Also seems to be a steady friend, coach, whatever. So his character kind of fell apart for me here. And the foreshadowing of it is all external. He thinks about his friends and often acts for them...So when the 'big event' happens and he goes on a three week bender? We all agree, not healthy. Unfortunately the way he hits bottom is so trite and the way he comes back is so immediate you can't count it as development. And this as the great sin-having three weeks where you handle things in a not super positive, moving-on manner? Please. I HATED THAT.
Which also brings me to the reason I feel like this binge is an interesting exercise. I'm looking forward to Tuck's book because the three heroes read so similarly (Garrett funniest, Logan charm-ingest, Dean horniest) They are all cocky, all have this self-assured sense of humor, all think they don't like the idea of girlfriends, and are all open and honest.
And the same happens with the heroines, only their interests veer in a different direction-all related to arts and media. And there's always another guy...it almost makes me look really forward to Tuck. Because he's already been cut from a different cloth. A steadier, calmer, quiet one.
Don't get me wrong. I like to love Elle Kennedy's Off-campus series. Just not as much as I used to. And that's ok. 3, just 3 stars.
Hollis has also accompanied me on this binge. Her review is here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2435838618?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1
Entering my old review because somehow my fussing made it get lost....
UpGRADE upon reread to 5:
What happened here? I have no idea why this was only rated a 4 from my initial reading (unless I lost a .5 from my import over to GR?)
I love a reformed playboy (hello, especially ones good at the seduction and worshipping). I love the exhibitionism. I love athletes (oh and he's great with kids? *Faints on couch*). I love this series. Tears burned my eyes around 85% with how familiar what Allie went through in that scene was and how she gave me all the feels. So what gives with the 4?
So many of the scenes from this book are memorable, I'm not sure what I was thinking before. I found no goatees, so it couldn't have been that.
Anyway, this is one of my favorite series, and I apologize for the weird review from my confusion based on my first rating of this book. Someone must have hit me upside the head.