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Rory was Ben’s oldest and best friend until senior year of high school, when they confessed they’d harbored feelings for each other all along. They enjoyed only a few months of happiness until Ben chose closeted popularity over true love… and he’s regretted it ever since.
Eight years later, Ben is out and proud and teaching art at the same high school he graduated from. When he learns the chemistry teacher is retiring, he’s excited to meet her replacement until he finds out the brand new teacher is none other than Rory Newton—the first love he’s never quite gotten over. Despite a painfully awkward start, it doesn’t take Ben long to realize he’ll do whatever it takes to win Rory back. But it’s starting to look like even his best might not be enough
I am absolutely, positively…uncertain about this one. At times I LOVED it, and then I wasn’t feeling the love, and then it was back. I hopped back and forth across the love/hate fence so many times, I lost count. Why so wishy-washy? Why hot and cold? It was full of misunderstandings and missed opportunities and I wanted to fix everything. I wanted to put the story on pause, drop a love note in the mail (one to each of them, signed by the other) and save them from unnecessary heartache. It was driving me crazy!
Best of friends, Rory and Ben are inseparable from an early age. High school brings many changes; acknowledging their feelings run deeper and then pressures of fitting in with the jocks and the ‘cool’ kids. Classic geek and jock romance blooms. The unbreakable friendship is broken, but we don’t know why.
Fast forward eight years and we have an unexpected reunion. Rory fills the open teaching position in their old high school where Ben teaches art. It takes a whole thirty seconds to realize the fire still burns bright, yet unfortunately it’s one-sided. Bitterness and anger overshadow any attraction Rory may still have. Their story unfolds and it’s ugly. I was SO upset with Ben. I wasn’t alone. Ben hates his teenage self’s decisions, he despises the pain he caused, and longs for a remedy for a broken heart. If he can’t reclaim his soul mate can he at least recover his long lost best friend? Does the power of forgiveness have an expiration date? When is it too late to say ‘I’m sorry’?
Despite my abundant frustrations with Ben, I enjoyed all of the characters. Strong charismatic cast with an engaging tale to tell. Solid writing with an equal balance of emotions tied their past to their future. I did have some niggles with some of the silly antics the teachers pulled, but the night of dancing was one of my favorite scenes.
If you fancy first love, second chances and friends-to-enemies then the magnetic lure of their story is bound to pull you in. School may be out for the summer, but I’m very much looking forward to what’s up next for the guys in their sequel. *fingers crossed* I have a feelin’ it’s going to be a steamy summer break.