Why can’t book boyfriends make mistakes like regular guys?
I went into this book with a few preconceived notions after reading some bad reviews and was actually quite pleasantly surprised that the bully in this one turned out to be such a great guy. I find it hard to believe that some reviewers have such a hard time attributing lifelike thoughts and actions to characters in books and always make things out to be social commentary on how men treat women.
So if a guy in a book is mistreating a woman or a girl in any way, it must be the author saying it is ok to do that, not the character, who is a teenage boy, actually making a mistake by being an idiot in front of his buddies or something like that. Also some reviewers see no redemption in the fact that the guy ultimately knows that he was wrong, feels awful about it and seeks to make up for it as well as learns from his mistakes (isn’t that actually like the definition of redemption?). That is one of the things that draws me to these bully and hate-to-love romance tropes the most.
Our bully in this case is Lucas Saint, the king of the school and the football field. The entire school adores him, but Lucas is bored and sick of wearing a mask in front of the entire world. He isn’t really the happy go lucky party hearty football god they all think. He is a guy that likes to spend time alone with his dog, an old pug named Lancelot, and he loves to sit on the deck and draw in his sketchbook. He wants to build up the courage to tell his parents that he doesn’t want a football scholarship but wants to go to school for architecture.
Gemma Turner is the new girl in school, she has a twin brother Alec who currently is hating on her for being the cause of them moving. It all started when something happened between her and his best friend. Alec didn’t believe her side of it and things haven’t been the same between them ever since. Gemma wants to stay under the radar at the new school but that is impossible after her Mom makes her pick up Alec at a party one night.
Lucas, while trying to get an old girlfriend from being a stage five clinger, sees Gemma from behind and thinks she is one of his “friends with benefits”, a girl named Heather. He walks right up to her, turns her around and starts kissing her like nobody’s business. While some reviewers call that assault (and technically maybe it is), he thought she was someone he knew, so really it’s just mistaken identity.
Granted Lucas is quite the tool after that when Gemma turns him down for more of the same. Lucas makes a bet with the guys as high school boys often do, and like the kind of boy that is used to getting any girl he goes after, he continues to go after her with a vengeance seemingly knowing she is drawn to him too. Though he never goes too far with her. When she says stop, he always stops.
Also I don’t want to give too much away, but I have seen a few reviews that talk about the scene after the Gemma loses her virginity to Lucas. How he is with a group and puts his arm around another girl and then in a text tells her that is just how he is and to deal with it. I think that was taken out of context a bit. Because there was talk of the fact that his mask was on and Gemma even knew that and he did say he was only with Gemma, like he was just flirting with the girl like he always has, because people expect that from him. Also Gemma didn’t know if he would acknowledge that she was his girlfriend in school because of his mask that he wore.
Prior to that, the book had described how he had been kissing her in school so often and having her sit on his lap at lunch all the time, so it seemed like he had been acting already like he was her boyfriend. However, if she was worried that he wouldn’t act like he was her boyfriend, then he must have always been flirting with other girls like that. I doubt it was anything new. Anyway, that is just how I took it. Either way, he still ended up feeling terrible about everything he did that hurt her. So I think he is totally redeemable and a very realistic character. I hope I didn’t give too much away, I am just trying to refute some of the poor reviews with my opinion. Because I liked the book quite a bit.
Actually this was less dark than many I have read and Lucas was a much nicer guy than I expected going in. I must say that guys treating girls bad is not something I condone at all and in any way. However, it happens in real life much more than we want or would like to think about. And I would rather read about people and situations that are lifelike that fake and politically correct versions of what people think should be out there for the public to read.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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