Friday, August 7, 2015

ARC REVIEW: Blackmail Boyfriend by Chris Cannon

Title: Blackmail Boyfriend
Author: Chris Cannon
Publisher: Entangled Crush
Published: August 11th 2015
Format: eARC | Pages: 214
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Publisher
★★★✩ (3.5/5) Stars!

Chris Cannon | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Sometimes, blackmail is the only weapon a girl has...

Haley Patterson has had a crush on golden boy Bryce Colton for ages. But when she hears a rumor that he hooked up with her she gives him a choice: be her boyfriend for a month to show other guys that she's dateable-despite her overprotective and very intimidating brothers-or deal with the angry, cage-fighting boyfriend of the girl he actually did hook up with.

Bryce didn't know the other Haley even had a boyfriend. He was just trying to get his ex off his back. And now, not only is he being blackmailed, he's being blackmailed by an honor student. His new "girlfriend" has two three-legged dogs, her father mows grass at the country club, and she's...well, difficult. And different.

Can something so fake turn into something real?

I received a copy of this book, from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. In no way did this sway either my review or my rating!

I was so happy to pick up this book because I've been in major need of a good Young Adult novel to break up all the Adult that I've flooded myself with lately. Blackmail Boyfriend was funny, adorably sweet and had just the right amount of angst and conflict. It was exactly what I needed.

This was the first book I've ever read by Chris Cannon and with Young Adult I tend to get a bit nervous before diving in. Not everyone can write the teenage voice and have it feel authentic and real. I feel like she did a pretty flawless job with it. It didn't take long before those nerves eased up and I fell in love with her quick whit and wonderful writing style. There's nothing that impresses me or pleases me more than to find someone who is truly brilliant with infusing humor into their writing and can come up with really good funny one liners.

While I was loving all of the humor the one thing I was having a more difficult time with was the two main characters. Separately Bryce and Haley were awesome people. While he was a bit of a snob, and I do want to stress bit, it wasn't overwhelming or obnoxious. He was also a very giving person who had a huge heart. With Haley I liked the fact that, while she wasn't hugely popular and an honors student, she wasn't stuck into the nerdy geek girl category that the good looking, popular rich boy falls for. Instead she's pretty adorable and even admits to herself she knows she's cute she's just not the type of girl that he usually gravitates towards with all the curves and huge chests that look like they just walked off a magazine cover.

No. These two were actually well adjusted teenagers.

Well, except when they were together.

Don't get me wrong, when things were good between Haley and Bryce I was loving them. They were beyond adorable and had my heart pitter-pattering to the rhythm of first love. But when things were bad they would feed each other's insecurities and it was sad to watch Haley go from loud and pretty confident to being filled with self-doubt and riddled with insecurities. Bryce on the other hand would shut down or wear his frustrations on his sleeve and have me seething with his actions or his thoughts. Luckily it wouldn't take long before I was grinning again momentarily forgetting all of that misery.

None of that was necessarily a bad thing though. These two characters truly do come from two totally different worlds. He's country clubs and gated communities with security guards and she's the landscaper's daughter who takes in hard luck stray animals. He's all about order and plans and has a father that's more pressure and toe the line and zero affection. She's fly by the seat of her pants and unpredictable and, though they're not perfect, comes from a very loving family. It would've felt less real if there weren't some sort of adjustment period into each other's lives.  I can't help it if it was frustrating at times!

Back to happier thoughts though, what I think I loved the most was the really solid cast of supporting characters. Like Haley's older twin brothers who were the muscle-bound jock type that spent most of the book praying for Bryce to mess up with Haley so they could hit him. I laughed so hard at those two. Or the best friends of the couple who were way more functional and together than their friends added a bit of comic relief as well.

All in all this was a really sweet and humor filled first love story. The writing was great and the characters were a whole lot of fun. As I neared the end I realized I wanted more and I didn't want to say goodbye to all these characters yet. I'm really glad that I picked this one up and I'm looking forward to reading more books by Chris Cannon in the future!

Thanks to Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book!

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