I am so in love with Ann Aguirre's 2B Trilogy! AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME is the second book in the series, and it follows Lauren and Rob, whom we met in book 1, I Want It That Way. Read on for my review, and don't forget to enter the awesome giveaway at the end!
Published September 30, 2014
Format: ARC, provided by NetGalley
Genre: new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon | B&N | BAM | IndieBoun
Rating: 4 STARS
(From Goodreads) Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. There are the justifications she gives to everyone else—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. And then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.
Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He can’t pinpoint exactly what’s missing until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her. But he’s the guy that women love and leave—not the one who makes them think of forever.
Though she’s terrified of opening up, Lauren’s ready to take that chance. Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.
As taken as I was with Ty in book #1, I was still insanely curious about Lauren. She seemed to be one way and act another, and I didn't know why. Truthfully, most of her friends seemed confounded as well. So, I was so glad that we didn't have to wait long for her story to come out.
Lauren has dropped out of school and returned home to live with her mom. Although she knows she's seen as a failure to most, she's finally free and happy for the first time in awhile, away from the pressure to perform at school. While at home, she reconnects with her BFF's older brother Rob, whom she has had a crush on for years. He too seems to be stuck in a rut doing what other people want him to do. Rob and Lauren lend each other some much needed support and confidence, but can they make it when one experiences success far beyond what either of them had dreamed?
We get to the bottom of Lauren's issues fairly quickly. Turns out, she is plagued with severe social anxiety, to the point where she gets panic attacks when faced with meeting new people or having to attend social functions. College, with all it's large classes and bustling cafeterias and forced social interaction was absolute torture for her. To deal with it all, Lauren drinks too much and spends too much time in the company of men she barely knows. Her friends all thought she was a party girl because she's beautiful and seemed to love parties. The truth was hard for her to hide.
She never questioned that I'd turned into a social butterfly when, in fact, I was just a caterpillar with a pretty parachute. But, ultimately, living a lie made me miserable.
Lauren was a completely different person when she was alone with her mother or with Rob. She was relaxed and witty. She was compassionate and sweet. With Rob, she was passionate and loving and concerned about what he thought of her. With strangers removed from the equation, Lauren became a different person, and I really liked her.
Rob - my goodness but I felt for him. He's lived in the shadow of his little sister forever. His family treats him like a dumb jock, as does his girlfriend. And, he believes them to be right. It was so sad and infuriating. Lauren draws him out while they work together on restoring his house. They share their hopes and dreams with one another and help each other try and achieve those dreams. Their romance was so awesome to see unfold. It was born of the very best things - mutual respect and admiration and friendship.
But, Lauren's head gets in the way, as it has most of her life. That nasty little devil sits on her shoulder and tells her things that aren't true. I guarantee, you will want to shake her. I know I did. It made things sad and depressing for awhile.
Events overlap a bit from the first book, so if you've read it, you'll recognize where you are in the story pretty quickly. We do see Nadia and Ty some in the second book, but we only hear from Max and Angus, Lauren's and Nadia's roommates from college, via e-mail and Skype. This story is pretty much soley Lauren's and Rob's. It's told entirely from Lauren's POV, and there are times when I really wished it was a dual POV, because I think getting inside Rob's head would've been awesome.
Thankfully, we have less than two months to wait until the final book in the 2B series comes out. I can't wait. Max has always seemed way more complicated than he lets on. His relationship with Lauren was proof of that. It's time to tell his story too.
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