By: Cait Marie
Original review on YA Books Central
Alternate title: A New Choice
When perfection becomes flawed…
Michaela Matthews—future wife of Connecticut’s most eligible bachelor—lives the perfect life.
An upcoming socialite, all she has to do is embrace the good fortune handed to her. But nothing is ever that simple.
When she envisions what that life will be like, she leaves it behind and flees to her brother’s apartment in the city. Straight into the arms of his best friend, Jason Marks.
Jason—a hardworking, bar owner–scraped together a life anyone would be proud of. Anyone, but Michaela’s family. Theirs is a match made in desperation. Kindling, just waiting to be set aflame. When the reality of their separate worlds nears, will it be enough to light the blaze?
It’s no secret that I adore Michelle’s books, so it was fun reading one of her earlier books.
When Michaela rejects her long-time boyfriend’s proposal, her entire life changes. She moves to New York City with her brother, drops out of law school, and begins finding her own way from the socialite life she’s always known. While starting fresh, she meets Jason, her brother’s best friend and a bar owner. Not exactly the type of man her parents want her with, but she can’t help but be drawn to him.
I absolutely loved Michaela and Jason’s relationship. From the beginning, even before he knew her, he was there for her, literally letting her cry on his shoulder over her drastic life change and breaking up with her boyfriend. I appreciated that they didn’t jump right into a romantic relationship, instead becoming really close friends.
I also really enjoyed seeing her and her brother supporting each other through everything. I’m a sucker for sibling bonding in books, and this was done very well.
The whole story felt very realistic. It wasn’t cookie-cutter perfect. The brother started drinking when their father essentially cut him out of his life, Jason didn’t immediately run after Michaela when she left him, the arguments and messy relationships, all of it felt more real than a lot of romance I’ve read.
I wish the ending had a little more. It felt kind of abrupt, though it was a good ending. I don’t feel like I got complete closure with Michaela’s family, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Not everything gets patched up perfectly when one gets their happily ever after moment; there are still parts of their life that are going to need worked at.
Overall, I loved the book and recommend it for those who enjoy clean romance. It was a fun, quick read, but it still had emotional parts. I will definitely be reading more of the series.