For me, this story runs a little deeper than than your typical nerd meets jock story. There’s a sort of half sadistic, half sympathetic wince when, at around 35% of a 300-odd page book, you just know the MC is about to have his heart stomped on and broken into hundreds of little pieces. Most of this story is watching Connor pick himself up after that devastation. The romance almost takes second stage to the story of Connor’s growth. With the help of an eclectic group of friends he gradually comes to realise his self-worth, grows in confidence and finds the courage to deal with Jared (the heart-stomper) who has his own demons to face.
Although this is a HFN story (as all coming-of-age stories must be, surely) we see glimpses of the men Connor and Jared are becoming and know that they’ll be ok. Maybe even better than ok.
A lovely story, sensitively told. I’ll be looking out for more of Sara Alva’s books in the future.