Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Title: The Backup Plan
Author: Jen McLaughlin
Publisher: Entangled Embrace, Entangled Publishing
Published: March 19th, 2018
This is a young adult second chance romance featuring main characters who have grown up in the same house – Chase as the son of the owner and Taylor as the daughter of the couple who are employed to run the house as chef and butler. Despite the disparity in their circumstances, they had been inseparable until they were in their mid-teens.
Tragedy occurred whilst he was at college, with his room mate and best friend dying in a car accident in which Chase was seriously injured, ruining his footballing dreams. If that wasn’t bad enough, his peers, former friends and team mates repeatedly accuse him of murdering his friend. Shunned, Chase has retreated into himself, keeping silent and not interacting with others. Taylor could never have attended such a prestigious college but Chase’s father has paid her fees and living expenses, in exchange for which he wants her to help Chase by tutoring him and encouraging him to socialise again…… A recipe for disaster or romance?
This is a moving story with well developed characters and just the right amount of angst and drama. There are plenty of twists to keep the reader engaged and the plot pace and flow kept me turning the pages to discover what happened next. The secret manipulations and threats from the past and present need to be revealed for the couple to really move on and I loved the final face-off with his father, showing just how well both main characters have matured, developed and grown in every way. I enjoyed escaping into this story and will look out for more by this author in future.
I requested and received a copy of this novel via NetGalley. This is my honest review after choosing to read it.
I’m beyond help…
I threw a football before I could walk. Everything in my life revolved around football–and I loved every second. I was a star. Until, suddenly…I wasn’t. Now everyone thinks I’m the monster who killed his best friend. I’m an outcast on campus, silent and alone. Then Taylor Selmer walks back into my life. When will she learn–I’m beyond saving.
I need to save him…
Chase and I used to be friends. But after the accident, nothing was the same. We used to have something special–until we didn’t. But he doesn’t smile anymore. Doesn’t talk. Doesn’t play. It hurts me to see him this way, and I will do everything I can to get him back in the game. Whether he likes it or not.
Purchase Link: https://entangledpublishing.com/the-backup-plan.html
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38492056-the-backup-plan
Excerpt from THE BACKUP PLAN:
The door opened…making me fall backward into Chase’s pitch-black room. When I landed against something hard and naked, arms closed around me without hesitation.
A palm brushed my right breast, sending a wave of awareness shooting through me. I tried not to think about that, though.
Guys were nothing but trouble.
I had bigger plans than falling for a smooth talker with bright eyes and a fake smile who would do nothing but distract me. Once I managed to regain my balance, I spun on my heel and looked at him.
The room behind him was dark, but the hallway illuminated his hotness. And once it did? I wished I hadn’t looked at all.
He stood in the doorway, looking completely unfazed by the fact that he’d basically just felt me up, and glowered at the guy in the hallway. He was shirtless, and wearing nothing but a pair of black sweats. His chest was hard and chiseled, and his abs…yeah. I wasn’t gonna touch upon those for the sake of my own sanity.
Waxing poetic over his abs wasn’t part of my job description.
“Uh, hey…” the guy in the hallway said, trailing off after a feeble attempt at pretending he hadn’t been talking crap about him moments before.
Chase’s green eyes met mine before focusing on the guy in the hall again. His sharp cheekbones were the same as I remembered, and so was his short brown hair. He used to have dimples in his cheeks when he smiled, which had softened the harsh lines of his face and given him a softer appeal, but I had no idea if they still existed since he hadn’t smiled at me yet. Or…at anyone all day. Had he forgotten how?
He said nothing. Just stared the other guy down.
Even I had to admit his stony silence was impressive.
Of course, he kind of reminded me of his dad right now, something he probably wouldn’t like. Or would he? I had no clue.
“I didn’t mean to…” The guy backed up, his face pale, and looked back at me. “She a friend of yours?”
Chase didn’t answer him. He just motioned me inside, his jaw ticking ever so slightly. When I didn’t move fast enough, he shot me a look with those gorgeous eyes of his, and I jumped slightly. “Um. Yes, I am.” I swallowed hard and inched past him, making sure I didn’t brush against his bare chest in the process.
Chase slammed the door behind me. I blinked across the inky blackness of the room, my heart hammering away in my ears. He’d been sitting here in the dark this early in the night? Had he been napping before hitting the books?
I’d learned college kids napped more than one year olds—and much more enthusiastically.
“Do you have something against lights?” I asked, forcing a little laugh at the end.
Dead silence met my joke. In all fairness, it was a pretty lame attempt. For a second I wondered if he was even in the room with me, but I heard him breathe. I turned my head, trying to figure out where he was. To my left, maybe.
“Okay. No lights, then. That’s fine. It’s cool. I’m not scared of the dark.” I paused. “Were you taking a power nap? I could use one. I got an hour of sleep last night.”
I sensed him there, right next to me. He wasn’t touching me, but I swore he was thinking about it or something.
That makes no sense, Taylor.
I shivered, anxious and excited, all at the same time. “I don’t know if you remember me, but I’m—”
Without warning, Chase moved close enough for me to feel his heat. I backed against the wall until I couldn’t back up anymore. It wasn’t that he scared me. He didn’t. I just…
I just backed up, okay?
“You’re Taylor Selmer. Of course, I remember you. Why are you in my room?”
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About Jen McLaughlin:
Jen McLaughlin is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of sexy books with Penguin Random House. Under her pen name, Diane Alberts, she is also a USA TODAY bestselling author of Contemporary Romance with Entangled Publishing. Her first release as Jen McLaughlin, Out of Line, hit the New York Times, USA TODAY and Wall Street Journal lists. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. She is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.
Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal-clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and three cats. Her goal is to write so many well-crafted romance books that even a non-romance reader will know her name.
Jen’s Media Links:
Author Website: www.dianealberts.com
Author Blog: www.dianealberts.com
Author Twitter: http://twitter.com/DianeAlberts
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DianeAlberts6/
Author Street Team/Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/501457736573962/
Author Instagram: @jenmclaughlin66
Many thanks to Entangled Publishing for gifting me a copy of this book without obligation, via NetGalley and for providing information and materials for this post. I chose to read the book and the review is my own, honest opinion after doing so.