PJV Quickie: I love New Adult books, but My Sweetest Escape missed the mark for me: Jos and her sister were just too unlikable and the “terrible secret” was just kind of ‘meh’. What saved this from being a DNF for me was the hero, Dusty, and Jos’ BFF, Hannah.
Joscelyn “Jos” Archer was a straight-laced people-pleaser for most of her life until something changed and she suddenly went a little wild almost a year ago. As a result of poor grades, she’s being forced by her parents to switch colleges and live with her sister Renee. Renee and her boyfriend are one of three couples who own a house together off campus; they’ve set up a room for Jos in the basement. Feeling like a prisoner in her new situation, she meets Dusty, a friend of the housemates. Even though she pushes him away, he won’t stay away, and his sexy attitude is hammering at her defenses.
Dusty Sharp is a former bad boy, but he’s gotten his act together and has some good friends. Hanging around at his friend Hunter’s house (Hunter is the hero in book 1, My Favorite Mistake), he meets Jos and is surprised at how beautiful she is. He’s determined to get around her defenses and find the girl her sister remembers, what he doesn’t count on is falling for the girl she is today.
As I said in my PJV quickie, My Sweetest Escape didn’t really work for me. I didn’t like Jos at all – she was mean and surly and just generally contentious. I couldn’t figure out why Dusty would keep coming back (although we do find out why at about 2/3 of the way in). It felt like Jos almost gave poor Dusty whiplash with her quick-changing mood swings and to me her character didn’t grow at all over the course of the story. Jos’s sister Renee wasn’t any better – she was more like a prison guard than a sister. And while I understand she was tasked by their parents with keeping Jos out of trouble, some of her rules and reactions to Jos seemed to be overreaction. I didn’t really have any thoughts one way or the other about Renee in the first book but I did not like her in My Sweetest Escape.
As a hero, Dusty was a great character – he refused to be put off by Jos and was a loyal friend to the housemates; I did get tired of the many references to his baggy pants though. As a couple, Jos and Dusty had a slow moving relationship, which kind of dragged due to “Secrets”. It just kind of meandered until… BAM! secrets exposed and instant relationship. The “Secrets”, while sad, were a bit of a let-down and too coincidental for this reader to find satisfactory as a plot device.
One bright spot was Jos’ friend Hannah, who despite her tragic history had a pretty positive outlook on life and was not like a lot of BFFs I’ve read recently that are selfish and ditch the heroine at the first sign of trouble. Hannah was there for Jos and their relationship was a good one. I don’t think I’ll continue this series, although if Hannah is the heroine next I may reconsider.
As I’ve mentioned, this book really wan’t for me, but if you like New Adult books with an angsty and tortured heroine, this may be a good fit for you.
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