Published August 26, 2014
Format: ARC, obtained from the publisher at BEA
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 STARS
(From Goodreads) Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she's determined to make them come true—for her parents' sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B….
Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can’t risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, the last thing he wants is noisy students living in the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia’s and Ty’s paths cross, and soon they can’t stay away from each other.
The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can’t know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.
This one book - I Want It That Way - is all it took to put the deliciously talented Ann Aguirre on my personal bookish map. Hell, I've named an entire country after her on said map. I've always known Ann as a YA horror author, and since horror is probably my least favorite genre, I've never picked up anything written by her before now. Forgive me, Ms. Aguirre, for pigeon-holeing you. It was completely unfair and totally misplaced. Because, peeps - this "YA horror author" absolutely rocked my world with this new adult contemporary romance named after a famous boy band song. Seriously - who'd have thunk?
Nadia and her four besties have just moved into off-campus apartment 2B. On day 1, she meets Ty, her moody neighbor in 1B. Soon, she realizes Ty doesn't live alone - he shares his home and his life with his adorable 4-year-old son Sam. Ty decided when Sam was born that he had no extra room in his life for love, so when Nadia and Ty start to have late night conversations on their outdoor patios, Ty makes it clear that friends is all they will ever be. Nadia, however, is already too into him to turn away, and she's willing to take him any way she can get him. As Ty and Nadia grow closer both literally and figuratively, Ty has to decide whether she is worth altering his plan and letting her into Sam's life on a more permanent basis. And, his ultimate decision has the power to destroy them both.
First, can I just tell you about the absolutely flawless writing? Ann Aguirre is a friggin' genius. I felt SO MUCH over the course of this roughly 350-page book. I laughed A LOT. I cried. I got pissed. I felt it all and I felt it strongly. Case in point - Nadia's thoughts when she realizes for the first time that she has fallen in love with Ty:
It wasn't rockets or fireworks or any of the Hollywood effects I'd been led to expect. Instead, it was crisp air lightly touched by the scent of burning wood, spiced with insatiable longing. A bonfire was burning nearby, and love was Ty's hand around mine, warm and fast, binding us together. Other people walked down the sidewalk, but they weren't a part of us. They had their own lives, heading to clubs whose music pounded out of open doorways. This was a perfect moment, one I'd remember forever.Nadia was an amazing character. She is attending school to be a special education teacher, and works part time at a daycare center. Despite her best efforts, she falls in love with Ty quickly and completely. She understands where he's coming from, though, regarding Sam, and why he thinks he can't have a relationship. So, she keeps her feelings to herself and just enjoys his presence as much as he will allow. She leans on her friends for support and they lean on her for the crap that happens in their own lives. Nadia is strong, compassionate, intelligent, and infinitely patient.
Although Ty has gone to extremes in regards to his outlook on love and relationships, he has good reason. He was burned terribly in his relationship with Sam's mom, and now he just wants to be a good father to a kid who has already had one woman in his life drop him like a hot potato. I HAD to admire that about Ty.
Ty's and Nadia's relationship was incredibly sweet. They started as friends, and then became something more. Despite Ty's inability to out their relationship to Sam or to make it more than what it was - one weekend a month and a few stolen moments in the daycare parking lot - the times they were together gave me a big case of the sighs. Ty was attentive and sweet and slightly awkward. Nadia was snarky and witty and dedicated to both Ty and Sam. And, when I reached that point that always is there - the part where things go to crap - my heart broke into a thousand pieces because they were PERFECT for each other.
Nadia's relationships with the secondary characters in the book kept me just as interested as her relationship with Ty. Her BFF Lauren and roomies Max and Angus were all very different people brought together by one commonality - they all cared deeply for one another. All four roommates go through some really tough times over the course of the book, and every time, the other three are there to lift the hurt one up and share a gallon of ice cream and carnage on the television. Friendships like this are what we all want to have in real life.
I Want It That Way is told entirely from Nadia's POV, but my ARC copy had a bonus chapter (one from earlier in the book) in the back from Ty's POV. The chemistry between Nadia and Ty was so delicious and hot, and when they finally did give in to their attraction, it was so satisfying (I may have read that part several times).
I am ridiculously excited to see what else is in store for the residents of apartment 2B.
About the Author
Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.
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