That Guy and That Girl
by Natalia Albrite
GENRE: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Olivia Meadows is excited to finish her senior year of college as a volleyball national champion beside her teammates and best friends. A complication arrives in the form of John Hunter, that guy, her brother’s best friend whom she has had a secret crush on since she was eleven years old. Effortlessly charming and handsome, with a body honed by years of playing football, John initiates his charm offensive and Olivia finds herself unable to resist him.
John Hunter is pumped to finish his senior year of college as a football national champion beside his teammate and best friend. The only thing missing is that girl, Olivia Meadows, his best friend’s little sister. He needed to sow some wild oats before settling down with Olivia but now he is ready for something serious with the girl he has always admired.
Be careful what you wish for. John and Olivia find themselves dealing with adult consequences very quickly and wondering if their young love can endure the pressures of adulthood. Will they find deeper love or implode from the pressures of their own making?
“Hey, I’ve missed you and I’m really glad to see you,” he says as he looks deep into my eyes. Simple words that say everything I want to hear right now. This is exactly what we need: to keep it simple and direct.
I want him to kiss me and I want him to do it now. I want to say ditto so we can get to the good stuff faster but just as quickly I decide to be as clear as he was, “I’ve missed you too and I’m so glad you’re here.”
We both stare at each other for a few seconds and then eventually smirk. He nods and says, “I’m gonna kiss the shit out of you now.”
I nod as he pulls me in closer. One arm moves to my lower back. I place my hands back on the pecs I want to appreciate more fully. He touches his lips to mine so gently. In some ways I want him to rush. I want him to deepen things quickly. But in more ways, I want him to take it slow and let this burn slow between us. It feels like forever since we have appreciated each other in this way.
He is clearly taking the slow route and eventually adds the slightest bit of tongue to his kisses. It’s subtle and I both love and hate the slowness in escalation. I involuntarily moan quietly. He knows how to build the tension. He pulls back and looks into my eyes again, “I love you.”
Yall this book. New Adult, debut author and she hits it out of the ballpark. I’m in awe of Ms. Albrite and her talent. Plus, the setting is in Texas, Austin to be specific to the places that the story takes place, I can relate to. And I just fell in love with John and Olivia. I won’t go into the set up of the book or the plot but I will, however, share my thoughts about specific things.
- Olivia – biracial and she reminds John of this fact. Ms. Albrite doesn’t skim over this but the topic is discussed between them due to John’s parents. Trust me, they are the typical country club type. Olivia is smart, funny and her own person. She has a tribe that she can count on and her relationship with her brother, Marcus is fantastic. Olivia is just your typical college senior trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life after she FINALLY picks out what her major is. Her conversations about the picking of her major are hilarious and spot on.
- John – is a delight. He has been biding his time with Olivia and his feelings for her. He’s not a player or douche either. Just an all-around guy that has had his eye on his best friend’s sister since high school. His conversation with Marcus is typical “bro” stuff yet, serious. Did I mention that he is white and from a country club family? Typical Dallas suburbs. Trust me, I grew up there. Ugh. I hate parents like that.
- This is a sweet romance for the most part. The beginning was a bit hot and heavy but nothing your grandmother couldn’t read. As the story unfolds, the bedroom stuff is completely unnecessary. This book is about the characters John and Olivia and how they deal with something very major that changes their lives and relationship forever. Not going to tell you what it is except that Ms. Albrite, again, tackles it head-on and lets her characters figure it out. I will tell you that Olivia near the end of the book deals with something that a lot of women go through and I applaud Ms. Albrite for broaching the subject matter and letting Olivia and John in their own ways deal with it. I had tears at one point.
- Austin, TX – I will admit that I CAN.NOT.STAND. the University of Texas. I’m from Oklahoma so there is that. I did, however, like how Ms. Albrite uses the setting of the campus and sports has the backdrop for their story. I could see The Drag, the stadium, and even where the house party is in my mind. Trust me, I’ve been all over that town. However, I would have liked to see the bats but that’s just me.
- The emotional tug of war in the book. One moment I was gasping, then getting misty-eyed and then laughing. My emotions were all over the place with this book and normally, I don’t get that emotional when I read a book. This one just grabbed from the beginning and never let me go. And yes, its NEW ADULT. Who knew, right?
The payoff from the beginning is beautiful. You will watch Olivia and John forge through the ups and downs, tears and triumphs on and off the playing field. You get the parental involvement that is not heavy-handed but just right for the guidance that these two need at times. You get Marcus and John’s relationship break down and then have to re-build it. You see a beautiful love story that began when they were kids and see it grow into adulthood.
Ms. Albrite has a fan for life with her rich storytelling, amazing characters and a realistic plot that made me miss Olivia and John when the story was over. I can’t wait for Marcus’ story later this year.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Natalia is a lifelong reader and lover of romance novels. Before finally tapping away at her keyboard to create her own stories, she tried all sorts of professions: elementary school teacher, barista, seller of make-up, baker, and the list goes on. When she isn’t pursuing the arts, she’s hanging out with her husband, two wacky children, and full-figured Corgi.
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:
Natalia Albrite will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.