Love Story by Jennifer Echols

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City
college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work latenights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.

I read LOVE STORY as an eARC through Simon and Shuster's Galley Grab program.
It's publication date is July 19, 2011.

This was my first Jennifer Echols read. Forget You and Going Too Far are both on my to-read list and I've heard great things about them. So when I saw this as an eGalley, I downloaded it immediately, knowing that I had to read it. And this book left me conflicted. Because it was good. I thoroughly enjoyed it, reading it in less then a day. But then it seemed like parts were missing, and the story as a whole felt incomplete.

First off, I loved that Erin was a writer. The fact that she was also in college made for another refreshing twist. It's not often that I read a book where the MC is a writer, and in some ways that makes her relatable right off the bat. Better yet, we actually got to read some of Erin's stories. The book starts out with a sexy historical fiction piece about a rich girl who's in love with the stable boy at her grandmother's horse farm. It's not much later that we learn this story is based on truth when the stable boy walks into Erin's creative writing class. Hunter stole Erin's heart--and her inheritance.

I have conflicted feelings about Hunter. Like, I wanted to fall in love with him. So bad. But I could never really figure him out. He was so polite, and smart, and well let's be honest, hot. And I could tell as the book progressed that he really cared about Erin. But then he'd be all sneaky and lying again, and then I was back to not knowing how how I felt about him. Honestly, I was just as confused as Erin was.

Back to Erin. I loved her in the beginning... how she wanted to be independent in trying to establish her writing career. How she worked so hard to pay for her college after her grandmother cut her off. Back as the book went on, Erin began to annoy me. I didn't understand her thought process at some points. She'd jump back and forth about her feelings for Hunter so quickly that it was hard to keep up. The love/hate relationship kept throwing me off... I was expecting more of a classic love story out of this book.

What I did really enjoy was the backstory that was usually told through Erin's and Hunter's short stories. For a good half of the book, I was like "where the heck are Erin's parents?" and then the explanation came in a very creative way. I liked when Erin went back to Kentucky for a weekend and spent time with her horse... though I was expected more out of that weekend to be honest.

The writing itself was really good. It was honest and there were some great moments. The narration was never boring. Though I may have been annoyed as hell with Erin at points, something about the story just made me keep reading. There were quite a few LOL moments thrown in, which I loved. The writing itself has compelled me to read more of Echols work. I loved her style.

Reading back on what I've written so far, I feel like I'm making mostly negative comments. But I did like this book. It truly had some GREAT moments in it, and once I started reading, despite my issues with the main character, they were really fleshed out and real. I couldn't stop reading. I did feel like these characters were real people. Annoying people, but real all the same.

What's stopping me from giving this book a four star "great read" status is the ending. It was way too abrupt. I wanted more of resolution. Instead I got nothing. It was one big dot dot dot....

Overall, I liked Love Story and am glad I read it. I think I just expected more out of it... but it's worth giving it a shot.

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Anonymous said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it! It sounds really interesting, having a main character who writes. :) And I enjoy romance, so... ;)