This book was pretty much exactly what I expected - a mash up of Beautiful Creatures and 50 Shades of Gray. I read it for my book that has 600 pages - it was actually only 593 but considering, I gave myself the extra 7 pages.
Now, let me be frank. I read the whole thing and part of me enjoyed it. It definitely makes you FEEL something. For me, it brought back the blush of first love with the first bad boy I ever met. The one that isn't really good for you and you know he isn't. Like Tessa, I believed that things would be different with us. In real life, that rarely works out.
Tessa is a young girl - 18 - off on her own for the first time in her life. She has lead a very controlled and structured life, with her mother choosing everything for her, including where she goes to college and her boyfriend. Imagine what happens when she is out on her own for the first time? Not surprising, things get a little out of control.
Enter the college bad boy who, by his own admission, has fucked just about every girl at college. There is friction between Hardin and good girl Tessa right from the start and lots of sexual tension. Let's face it, her cardigan wearing boyfriend of 2 years just isn't doing it for her - literally. Tessa is calm, focused and ambitious. Hardin is angry and damaged.
The author compares their love to Elizabeth and Darcy ( hated that book), Catherine and Heathcliff ( look how well that turned out) and Jane and Rochester (hardly). I love that at least she made her bad boy like books. (Oddly enough, mine did too.) What this story really boils down to though is a young girl who has gotten turned out for the first time. She is willing to do just about anything and give up just about anything for the way that she thinks only Hardin can make her feel. It's sad really. That isn't love, it's just sexual satisfaction.
What is it about some women that we want men who are rude assholes? When I was younger, if there was an unemployed asshole in a 50 mile radius, he somehow found me. Or I him. Hardin is rude, mean and sometimes dangerous. Other than being good looking and gifted in bed, I can't find the appeal.
The writing, while it does make you FEEL something, is parochial at best. I gave it 3 out of 3 stars. I may read the rest of the series - or at least the next book - because it is like watching a train wreck. Hard to look away. 3 out of 5 stars.