My rating: 4.5 our of 5 stars
Twenty-year-old Clementine Avery doesn't mind being called bitchy and closed off. It's safe, and after being burned by her high school sweetheart and stalked by a professor her freshman year of college, safe sounds pretty damn good.
Her number one rule for survival? No dating. That is until she accidentally signs up for a romance writing class and needs material for her latest assignment. Sexy RA Gavin Murphy is more than happy to play the part of book boyfriend to help Clem find some inspiration, even if that means making out...in the name of research, of course.
As Gavin and Clem grow closer, they get entangled in the mystery surrounding a missing Boston University student, and Clem unwittingly becomes a possible target. Gavin tries to show Clem she can handle falling in love again, but she knows she has to be careful because her heart’s at stake…and maybe even her life.
DEAREST CLEMENTINE is a stand-alone novel with two companion novels. This New Adult romance is recommended for readers 18+ due to mature content.
★★★★ 4 ½ Stars! ★★★★
I seriously enjoyed this book, which says a lot because I was a little hesitant to start it in the first place. Reading in the synopsis that the heroine has been called bitchy and closed off, scared the shit out of me. Those are definitely two traits that I tend to stay far far away from in my romance novels, but I decided to push those feelings aside and give this one a go anyhow since I had heard some good things about it.
So this is the story of a girl who has been through her fair share of trauma and heartache. Clementine had her heart broken in the past by her one and only boyfriend and had also been through some crazy stalker shit with her professor. To top it all off, her parents could care less about her or her brother which left enough damage on her life in itself. It was no wonder that she had a bitchy attitude and liked to keep people at arms length. ...And kudos to her heart being trampled on in the past, she stays as far away from relationships as possible. Having a few close friends who she can trust is enough for her, and she planned to keep things that way.
The thing I loved so much about our heroine Clementine, was the fact that she was so strong despite what life had thrown her way... She just didn't realize it. It was obvious that sarcasm was her favorite weapon to use, and the girl made bitchy look good. I never thought I'd say that since I tend to despise bitchy heroines, but knowing what all she went through in her past helped me to understand why she was the way she was. She had her reasoning for being closed off and I think anyone who had been through what she had went through would have been the same way.
Did I mention that she was also an extremely talented author? Her first book became a bestseller, and it all happened while she was in college... Pretty damn impressive, if I must say so myself. In order to help pay the bills and her college tuition however, she needed to try and write a second novel that would hopefully be just as big of a hit. Unfortunately, she has no idea what to write about and accidentally signing up for a romance writing class definitely isn't going to help matters since she had absolutely no good experience in that category... That is, until Gavin comes into the picture.
Talk about the perfect inspiration... Gavin was one hell of a hero. I absolutely adored everything about his character, and he was the perfect fit for Clementine. He was fun, flirty and dare I say protective.
"'If you ever touch her again, if you ever threaten her, I will fuck you up.'" -Gavin
Be still my heart. He had all the characteristics that make us all swoon like crazy, so needless to say when it came to him I was rooting for their relationship through every turn of the page. He gave her so much safety and support... Things that had never been given to her before. I think the thing I loved so much about this story, was the fact that even though Clementine had so many understandable insecurities... And even though she was terrified of falling for someone and giving them the power to hurt her again... She never let that get in the way of her relationship with Gavin. Time and time again, I read so many books where the heroine spends the majority of the novel trying to keep the hero at a distance due to one thing or another. Yet, that didn't happen in this story- Despite everything, she knew a good thing when she saw it and even though she was terrified of getting her heart broken she didn't let that stop her from trudging forward and taking a chance. The more you read, the more you were able to see that she wasn't some bitchy insecure idiot who didn't know a good thing if it slapped her in the face- There was so much more to her character and I truly grew to adore everything about her.
The relationship between Gavin and Clementine constantly kept a huge smile on my face while reading. Gavin was so patient with Clem; Not only did he understand what she was scared of, but he respected her and her need to take things slow in order to help her rebuild her trust and heal her broken heart. And there was no insta-love featured in this novel, thank fuck. There may have been an instant attraction, but the relationship between these two developed at the perfect pace.
Just a word of warning though: There isn't too much steam in this story. With that being said, there was still quite a few scenes that featured some hot action without actually hitting a home-run. There was one actual sex scene, so it's not like it was non-existent or anything. Personally sex isn't something that I think is necessary in my romance novels, but I know some people feel that it's a necessity and I do like to know what to expect in advance, so I just felt the need to mention it.
There was so much more to this story than romance though- It had humor, fun, drama and even some mystery. A lot was definitely going on in the plot but I never felt like it overshadowed the romance or became too much. Over-all, Dearest Clementine will keep you intrigued through every turn of the page, and will take you on a romantic journey full of laughs, sexy moments and some damn good writing.