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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Review: Head Over Wheels by January Valentine

Format: Bound (provided by author)
Release Date: January 28, 2013

Turning 21 hasn't proven very fruitful for Jewelia Delarosa. Still, one lost boyfriend & two failed classes haven't gotten her down. She's got her sights set on a career with the NYPD, and is on course ... until she meets an irresistible and unpredictable Med Student who contradicts everything she thought she knew about Life, Love, Commitment ... and Sex.

Whether on the front seat of his Wrangler or his kitchen counter, her reserve is low, desire higher than the roof of the isolated A-frame in Maine where the two enjoy a weekend with friends, and take romance to the next level.

Who'll be there to catch her when she's falling Head Over Wheels?

Head Over Wheels is my first experience with the New Adult genre and it was definitely a pleasant one.

Told in first person, Head Over Wheels is the story of Jewel who has just turned 21, and has found out that life doesn't immediately become clear just because you come of "legal" age. She's a smart and funny (even if she doesn't know it) young woman with a bright future. A little man crazy at times, she seems to have that same bad luck that I did at 21. Tripping over something while trying to appear, um, sexy to the attractive man in the cafe, being tongue tied... Oh and having that dream where she's almost naked in a public place and making a fool out of herself in the process!

Enter James Ballou (aka "Jimmy" and "Indigo"). He's hot, he's intelligent, he's a doctor and he's got problems. He's a product of the hostile and heartbreaking environment he grew up in and he carries around the scars even as an adult. As attracted as he is to Jewel, he just can't quite take that final step with her into a fully committed and healthy relationship.
I was surprised at how steamy this book was! Jewel and Jimmy have amazing chemistry with each other, it's just that they're their own worst enemies. Both of them have baggage and at times it seems like Jimmy's is just too much for Jewel to handle. She has moments where she questions the wisdom of waiting for Jimmy to come to his senses and fight for her and for their relationship. All things that we struggle with at any age. When it's good it's great and when it's bad it's almost the end of them.

Not to be overlook is Jewel's merry band of friends. Each of them serves a purpose in Jewel's life, she has a mother figure in Pete and a therapist in Emma. They provide the laughs when things get too serious and give readers something else to focus on other than the on again, off again relationship between Jewel and Jimmy.

Author January Valentine's writing style is grown up, but not too grown up. She's found a perfect blend of youth and adulthood that bridges the gap between YA novels and Adult Romance. She doesn't dismiss the challenges people in their 20s face but she doesn't over dramatize them the way that teenagers have the tendency to. Head Over Wheels is great for readers who may have outgrown YA novels but are still not ready for full blown adult romance.

Fans of both YA and adult romance should give Head Over Wheels a try, there's more to it than meets the eye.


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