Rowena’s review of When We Met Anthology by A.L. Jackson, Molly McAdams, Tiffany King and Christina Lee.
Today’s premiere New Adult authors combine their talents to tell four original stories from inside one house.
When four girls decide to live off campus together as juniors at a college in Michigan, they expect it to be their best year yet. Little do they know, it’s a year that will change the rest of their lives.
BEHIND HER EYES by A.L. Jackson
Unable to live down her ex-boyfriend’s deception, Misha is determined to avoid betrayal. When, the new guy next door, Darryn starts to get under her skin, her defenses start to crumble. But trusting Darryn seems impossible, especially if he’s not sure he can trust himself.
SAVING ME by Molly McAdams
On the outside, Indy is always ready for a party—but inside she’s breaking. Kier makes a weekly routine of saving the girl next door from herself on Saturday nights… but when will she be ready to remember him on Sunday morning?
FOULING OUT by Tiffany King
Working at a sports bar, Courtney has become a pro at sidestepping propositions from arrogant jocks—which makes her a more elusive catch for campus basketball star Dalton than he expected. But when he falls for the saucy waitress, Dalton will have to rethink his game plan to prove he’s not the jerk Courtney expects.
BENEATH YOUR LAYERS by Christina Lee
In order to ace her fashion internship, Chloe must team up with local college dropout and set builder, Blake—much to her chagrin. But after some “hands-on” experience, Chloe will have to ask herself if Blake factors into her carefully laid plans…
Behind Her Eyes by A.L. Jackson: I’d never heard of this author before starting this story but I was hopeful that I’d enjoy it. I thought it sounded like a cute NA story and while there were parts that I did like, for the most part, I just couldn’t get into the story. Misha was burned pretty bad by her last boyfriend (who was a complete dickhead) and so she’s sworn off boys and almost left college because of what the dickhead did to her. Her roommates and friends convince her to come back to school, so she does.
When she comes back, she runs into her new neighbor. The guy that took over her ex’s bedroom in the house next door. She doesn’t want to have anything to do with him but he’s super hot and he’s interested in her and he’s always around so it’s no wonder that they develop feelings.
I wanted to like this story but I wanted Misha to become stronger over the course of the story but I didn’t feel like that really happened. I wanted her to not need Darryn to fight her battles for her but he did and then there’s Darryn. I don’t know if I could ever forgive him for the secrets he kept from Misha. Not as quickly as she did, anyway. Maybe if this was a longer story but when I finished this one, I was left feeling disappointed and still highly annoyed with all characters.
I did like the roommates in Misha’s house. I was intrigued by all of them, really. Especially Indy.
Grade: 2 out of 5
Saving Me by Molly McAdams: Unlike the last story, I went into this story thinking that I wasn’t going to like it at all. I was burned by a McAdams story before and I haven’t been able to give her another go ever since. I was surprised with how easy it was to fall into this story. Both Indy and Kier were interesting characters and at first, I thought it was ridiculous that Indy really didn’t know who the hell Kier was and who the hell was taking care of her drunk ass every Saturday night.
But as we start to really get to know both Kier and Indy, I came to like the both of them. Indy, what a shitty life card she’d been handed. My heart went out to her more than once and then we’re hit with Kier’s story and holy batballs his story just about broke my heart all over. They were both dealing with shitty situations and I was glad that they found each other.
I may have been scared to try McAdams again before this story but I don’t think I am anymore.
Grade: 4 out of 5
Fouling Out by Tiffany King: Oh man, when I found out that the hero of this story was a basketball star, I was thrilled to dig into it. I am a basketball fanatic and I love, love, love my Lakers (even though they’re not the best right now) so I was pretty stoked to get to know Dalton.
I’ve only read one story by King and I wasn’t exactly wowed by it but there’s not much you can get wrong with a basketball hero for me so I went into this one with lots and lots of hope. I did enjoy the story. A lot more than I did the Jackson story but it wasn’t my favorite of the bunch. I thought Courtney was a bit of a snob in the beginning and even though she comes around and I understood why she was acting the way that she was toward him, it still got on my nerves.
Dalton was a great hero. I liked the way that he didn’t give up on Courtney. I loved that he was this super star guy and yet, he didn’t forget the little people. He didn’t forget Courtney and how much her friendship meant to him when they were kids. I was also glad to see him stand up to his Dad and that Courtney didn’t let herself jump to conclusions about Dalton’s disappearance. It showed that they came a long way in such a short amount of time and that made me happy.
Grade: 3.5 out of 5
Beneath Your Layers by Christina Lee: This was it. My favorite story of the bunch. In the other stories in this book, we didn’t see much of Chloe. She was around but not really around, if that makes any sense. Because of that, I didn’t know how I would come to care about her in this story and then I thought about smacking myself because this is a Christina Lee. Of course it’s going to be good.
And it was.
I really enjoyed getting to know Fashionista Chloe. I also really, really loved me some Blake. I loved seeing them go from not liking each other to flat out in love with each other. Seeing their interactions while they brought Chloe’s vision to life made for some great reading. I liked that Chloe came into her own in this book. That she finally stood up to her Mom and started living for herself. I loved the end when Blake models for Chloe and they come out as a couple. Oh man, the feels…I had all of them.
I also really loved that even though this story was so short, it didn’t feel like it was. I was so engrossed in the story that I read it in no time but I didn’t feel cheated. I thought Lee delivered a great story in such a short amount of space. Chloe and Blake were great characters and their romance as believable and adorable. I definitely recommend it.
Grade: 4.5 out of 5
This book is available from NAL Trade. You can purchase it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.