My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads: The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University's Walking One-Night Stand.
Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.
My thoughts: As a mother, I do not approve of this book. It is laden with underage drinking, drug use, lots of sex and violence. It is the perfect example of an unhealthy relationship with codependency issues and lack of anger management.
Okay. I needed to get that off my chest.
As a woman reader, I found the story of Abby and Travis to be a bumpy romance. Travis has a rough personality with a rough past yet he is close to his brothers and father as an adult. As a kid, he took beatings regularly which prepped him for a kind of fight club where gambling is the name of the game. This is where Abby gets her first glimpse at Travis and is sprayed by blood from Travis' contender.
Abby's second encounter was Travis the Sex Appeal. Women on campus threw themselves at him. He is a well known player and womanizer. Without apology, he has sex with any beautiful woman on campus. There were some stomach turning moments with his sexual prowess, I must admit.
Aside from Travis' conquests and bloody fights, I enjoyed the developing friendship between the two. Abby and Travis are both haunted by their own ghosts yet somehow they heal each other or find comfort in the company of one another. It takes awhile to find out what Abby's past wounds are but she is clearly cognizant of what she is trying to avoid. For the damage she must have suffered, she's fairly functional in communication and friendships.
Naturally, there is sexual tension between Abby and Travis and some miscommunication. That said, it is not angsty. Travis and Abby play few games with one another but go through the relationship getting together, breaking up, getting together, opening wounds, breaking up, etc., etc. So help me, I liked it. I will not be giving it to my daughters to read but I liked it anyway.