Claire by Abigail Strom Release Date: April 26, 2016 Publisher: Abigail Strom Book #2 in Hart University series Number of pages: 256 Kindle Edition Source: ARC from Net Galley Contemporary Romance/New Adult M/F Rating: R Read 12/12/17
About two years ago I received one of my very first ARCs from this author. I had already read her book Almost Like Love and couldn’t stop raving about it. The ARC I received was Rikki, book one in the Hart University series. It was a bit different from the first book I read by Abigail Strom. The writing was still stellar, but Rikki was what I would classify as more of a New Adult type of contemporary romance since it took place at a college. Somehow, although I love this author and have read many of her books, I lost sight of this series. I was overjoyed when it popped up over at Net Galley even though it had been published more than a year ago. I couldn’t wait to dive back into the world of Hart University.
Being as it’s been a couple of years since I read book one, I didn’t remember all of the details of this group of friends. Most of it came back to me and it was not detrimental to the story in any case. I was quickly immersed in keggers, college bands, and football players. I could not put this book down! I absolutely loved the parallel thoughts of Claire and Will, even when they didn’t realize how much they thought alike. And as with the first book, I love the acceptance in this story. Sure, Claire was unsure how she felt about falling for a football player because she had some preconceived notions. But she was already friends with Will from their other mutual friends so, although she was hesitant, she never let the fact that they came from two different backgrounds stop her from being great friends with him.
What I liked the most about this story was Claire and Tamsin declaring a semester for themselves. No romantic trappings for one whole semester…be it a date, hook-up, or a make out session. All were off-limits. The real reason being, once the smoke cleared from their hurt and anger over recent break-ups, to find themselves. To learn who they are solo. Even after Claire and Will admitted there were feelings between them, Claire felt she had to finish her journey of self-love. And to his credit, through it all, Will understood. If only all of us could be so mature!
Of course, there were bumps along the way of Will and Claire discovering if they were truly right for each other. They worked through their obstacles in such a warm and caring manner and became such good friends, it was beautiful to read. I’m so glad I already have the next book on my Kindle waiting for me.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of Net Galley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.**