Title: Right Where You Are
Series: Second Chances #1
Author: L.E. Bross
Release Date: November 16, 2015
A college senior takes Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats” a bit too literally in this smart, snappy new adult debut, the first in the Second Chances series, and finds herself sentenced to community service—where she meets a bad boy who might just be exactly what she needs.
Avery Melrose is used to having it all. So when her boyfriend cheats on her, she reacts like any spoiled rich girl—she freaks out and vandalizes his new truck, Carrie Underwood style. Now she’s stuck with 300 hours of community service to repent her sins, and dreading every minute.
Seth Hunter just got out of prison, and after a few hundred hours picking up litter on the side of the highway, he can finally put his mistakes behind him. If he can string together some kind of existence, maybe it’ll be enough to get his sister away from their stepfather, the man who sent Seth to prison in the first place.
A romance between these two is doomed from the start. Girls like Avery want castles and white horses, but Seth is no prince charming. He’s not even charming. He’s pissed off, and he’s got a chip on his shoulder big enough to sink the Titanic.
Spending time with Avery makes Seth think he could make something of himself, maybe even be good enough for a girl like her. But when broken promises threaten to tear them apart, will they lose their chance at happily ever after?
Avery Melrose and Seth Hunter could not be more different from each other. Despite the fact that they're both serving community service time for crimes they committed, they come from polar opposite sides of the tracks, and it shows. Seth is trying to overcome his trailer park past, save his sister from a life he can't stand her living, and figure out how to patch together the mess his life has become. Avery is every inch the spoiled princess, living the life her parents have picked out for her and not brave enough to stand up to them in order to live the life she actually wants. A romance between the two is surely doomed from the start, but tell that to their explosive chemistry and needy hearts.
What starts as an insane attraction towards each other blossoms into real feelings once these two take the time to get to know each other. It's not easy. Avery is damn near completely unlikeable at first—stuck up in the way of girls who have been spoiled their entire lives can be. The way that indicates she doesn't even know how insufferable she actually is. Seth, in response, puts up his walls and becomes a bit of an asshole. Only time spent together can get past these outer-shells and allow them to see the genuine people underneath.
I enjoyed this story a lot. I struggled with Avery's character sometimes, and really struggled with some of the decisions made as the book reached its boiling point. Seth can be a bit of a hothead and I just wanted to give him a good shake and set him back on track. The ending also felt a little abrupt to me—I'm not usually a stickler for an epilogue, but I would have really loved one as part of this book.
Those criticisms aside, there were things I really LOVED about this book. In particular, I loved how Avery grew over the course of the story. I loved the way her relationships evolved with her family and with her ex-boyfriend and, of course, with Seth. I love how, in the end, she was strong and brave and not overly dramatic. I almost went to complete extremes with Avery—borderline hate at the start, absolute love at the end.
For the most part, the heat between Avery and Seth was just right as well, and balanced nicely with the genuine friendship they built. They were sweet and tender with each other. Even though the odds were stacked against them, it was impossible not to root for them!
In all, I enjoyed this book. I wish there had been maybe a little more to it, especially in the end, but it's the first in a series, so I suspect maybe we'll get an update on Seth and Avery as the series moves forward. I look forward to it!
~ Review by Shelly
L. E. Bross is living her own happily-ever-after in Maine with her husband, two boys, and a houseful of four-legged fur babies. You can find her at LeeBross.com and on Twitter @Lee_Bross. Right Where You Are is the first new adult novel in her Second Chances series.