I request an awful lot of NetGalley books that sound just terrific when I see them, and then they sit on my kindle unread. Part of the problem is that I can't quickly scan the book description from my Kindle and so I just overlook ones that the titles don't remind me. It seems I hate to read a book without having an idea of where it's going (sorry, Trish!) But after October's dismal showing of books read, I decided to just pick one and dive in. So here we are.
They're both learning from scratch
Molly Adamson has moved back to the place that made her happiest: Eagle Valley, Montana. Teaching college English classes is also a fresh start…even if he's one of her students. Finn Culver. Athlete, heartthrob, homecoming date. After that disastrous night all those years ago, Molly never wanted to see Finn, now a handsome military veteran, again. But as she gets to know him through his writing, helping him conquer an undiagnosed learning disability, Molly sees much more than the swaggering charmer. Both teacher and student will learn a lot about love, and each other, if they can let the past go…
So first off, the cover is really accurate! I love that. This is exactly how I pictured Molly. She's a reformed nerd who went off to college, met the wrong guy, built up her self-confidence ("this guy loves me??") and then suffered through a horrible crash and burn. She's back to her hometown now, and has somewhat rebuilt her confidence and is determined not to let it go again. She has a new job teaching at the community college, and now Finn is back in her life. She doesn't believe he could ever be right for her and is certain she'd rather have no relationship than one she can't trust.
Finn is much more likable than Molly, frankly. He's a war veteran who has come back home to his old job (at a feed store) and his old life, and finds that neither gives him satisfaction. He's developed a new plan to return to school and find a career he does love, and ends up in Molly's class. He's shocked to discover that English doesn't come easily to him-- he passed high school after all!- and since he has a disastrous past with Molly, tension is high. She informally diagnoses him with a learning disability and convinces him to stay in school.
Finn is one of the most interesting characters that I've read in a romance in a long time. He has a desire to move on and do more with his life, and is absolutely shocked to discover that college isn't easy. He sailed through high school with Cs without even trying! He's a military veteran, and it's not a major point (this is not a man in uniform romance) except to explain how he left his life and came back to discover he didn't enjoy it any longer. He finds himself falling for Molly and very gently pursues her. He's not an alpha take charge guy, which is not to say he can't lose his temper, but that he doesn't need to fix everything for everyone, and he has weaknesses and vulnerabilities. Plus, he finds a kitten in the rain! I loved him.
The romance is not easy. Molly fights and fights it. There wasn't enough of the falling in love for me, and way too many subplots with his grandfather and her sister, but it was a pretty good overall read. It tackles some issues that you rarely see in a romance (learning disabilities, high school football players, helicopter parents, education) and I thought those parts were well done. Molly is never going to be a favorite of mine, but she's easily balanced out by the rest. Overall, a solid book.
Molly's Mr. Wrong will be out on January 1st.