Format: Uncorrected review ARC
Review by: Onnica
Plot: Taylor Beckett has done something monumentally stupid. Talented hacker that she is, she decided it would be fun to take an entrance exam to the prestigious Wilbrook Academy and alter her mediocre grade. It was easy. However, before she knows it, her ecstatic parents are sending her to the school, away from her friends and the life she knows – and it appears that the Principal wants her there not because of her scores, but for her hacking abilities. Taylor has two choices: go home in disgrace and face her parents, admitting to what she did, or stay at Wilbrook and assist McAllister the Principal, with his ‘special assignments.’ In way over her head, things are rendered even more complicated in the form of Colt Palmer – big man on campus and even bigger manwhore. Recovering from a broken heart, Taylor is determined not to become another notch in Colt’s already whittled-down bedpost. Her best intentions will have to wait however, as her first assignment requires her to team up with him. In such close proximity, Taylor begins to doubt her own resolve and as she sees a softer, gentler side to Colt she’s left wondering whether there could be more to their friendship than she could have ever hoped for…
Review: Maybe it’s the girl in me that always wanted to go to boarding school, but I’m loving YA fiction like this at the moment. I didn’t know what to expect when I was given this book but it was such a nice surprise. We have a plucky, sassy teenage heroine, nursing a broken heart but not wallowing in misery. Then we have the cocky-but-has-a-good-heart-really hero, who is smokin’ hot. I’m talking physically perfect in every way. Even his scars are sexy. The little world of Wilbrook sounds amazing – to keep fit the students indulge in Zumba and mixed martial arts. It soon becomes apparent that this particular school isn’t following the usual curriculum! There are some interesting minor characters whom unfortunately, we don’t get to spend a lot of time with – that was a shame, as I think it really would have broadened the story’s focus.
In the end I’m giving this: 8/10
Based on the following criteria:
How much did I like the heroine: 9 Taylor is smart, sexy in an understated and wholesome way and has a strong moral compass (despite being a hacker!). She is witty and doesn’t let
herself be intimidated by anyone. Her attraction to Colt was understandable, as were her misgivings about giving into temptation.
How much did I like the hero: 9 Colt is hot, hot, hot! Oh to have had his confidence at age 19! Seriously, he’s mature and advanced enough to teach the other students hand-to-hand combat. His one area of immaturity is the fact that he’s cut himself off from meaningful relationships with anyone. The reasons for his aloofness become apparent and so does his personality.
How believable is the plot: 7 Not hugely if I’m honest – it’s a bit sci-fi in terms of an academy for the gifted coming together to use their skills for what exactly? We don’t find out – are they there to fight the bad guys, or will they become the bad guys? The whole purpose of the school took a backseat to the storyline between Taylor and Colt, which in one breath I’m not complaining about, as their growing friendship was amusing, touching and frustrating all at once but never dull – but the school and the periphery characters weren’t fully developed in my opinion.
How much did I like the writing style/editing/etc.: 8 The action moved swiftly, there was some great lines in the book for Taylor and Colt and the story flowed at a steady pace. I was never bored and some scenes really stuck in my mind due to the vivid picture Eliza painted.
How much did I want to keep reading: 9 I devoured this book – despite the fact that I was reading a pdf on a Kindle (not something I would recommend – it’s painful) that didn’t stop me from turning the pages and wanting to get to the end of their story. Then I realised that book 2, Tempted is out in November. Well, I guess I can wait that long to re-visit characters that I really cared about and would love to spend more time with.
Final Score: 8/10 for an enjoyable and sexy read with truly likeable characters.