Prom Queen by Katee Robert
Book Three of the Bad Boy Homecoming series
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley
A high school reunion is about to get down and dirty and a whole lot more complicated in this new erotic romance from NYT Bestselling Author Katee Robert.
Jake Davis had it all in high school—a scholarship to his college of choice, a promising football career, and the gorgeous prom queen for a girlfriend. And then he lost it all when he was injured right after graduation. Ten years later, he’s mostly made his peace with that, and now runs a company that provides women with dates for special events. Imagine his surprise when he discovers that the ex who left him in the dust needs a fake boyfriend for their high school reunion…
Jessica Jackson used to be the mean girl to end all mean girls. But life didn’t turn out like she’d thought it would, and now she’s twenty-eight, single, and works as an insurance agent to A-listers instead of being the A-lister like she’d always dreamed. She can’t go back to her home town and admit just how thoroughly she’s failed, so she lets her friends set her up with a fake date for the reunion.
The second Jessica realizes that her fake date is Jake, she tries to call the whole thing off. The problem is the chemistry between them is even hotter now than it was when they were teenagers. Against her better judgment she lets herself get drawn into Jake’s arms again—and into his bed. But time doesn’t heal all wounds—sometimes, it actually makes them worse—and if Jessica and Jake can’t learn to forgive each other, their second chance might not last the weekend.
What I Liked:
At first glance, this doesn't look like a book for me. I typically don't read or like second-chance romances, though this year I have read more second-chance romance novels than I think I ever have, in my life. Second-chance romances are usually really angst-ridden and filled with hurt, so I like to avoid them. But I adore Katee Robert - she is one of my favorite adult romance authors - so I knew I would be reading this book, regardless of the romance trope. I ended up enjoying the book!
The story starts with Jessie's roommates talking her into going to her ten-year high school reunion. They know she doesn't want to go alone, due to how terrible of a person she was back in high school, so they "buy" her a date who will be by her side but won't be doing anything else. What Jessie doesn't know is that her ex-boyfriend, Jake Davis, is the creator and owner of that company. When Jake sees Jessie's application, he decides to be the one to be Jessie's date. She doesn't know he is the owner, and she is very surprised to see him waiting for her at the airport. With a day left before the reunion, the pair decides to go through with the arrangement, especially since Jessie will need all the help she can get at the reunion. But the chemistry between them hasn't diminished in the ten years they've been broken up, and they'll have to decide if this reunion weekend is enough.
I'll start with Jake because he is the best part of this book! He was a football star in high school, but a car crash left him injured in the shoulder and so he didn't get drafted or play ball in college. And Jessie dumped him right after his injury (because she was superficial and scared like that, back then). Jake is really sweet and understanding to Jessie, even though she really doesn't deserve it. Ten years is a long time to let things go and stomach the bitterness, and even though Jake is still angry and hurt over what happened, he forgave Jessie. Jake is a good guy, and a great human being. I would make sure never to have an ex like him, because he is worth keeping. A good guy, you know?
Jessie, on the other hand, was a terrible person in high school. She says she was worse than Regina George, and Regina was a horrible person. Usually I would hate heroines like Jessie, but it's clear that after ten years, Jessie isn't the same brat/b***h she was. I wanted to hate her, and I wanted to see her suffer more (especially after how she broke up with Jake when they were teens), but I also felt bad for her, and felt for her, in general. She has a Tragic Backstory, and it's no excuse for how she treated people, but I understood her, if nothing else. Also, I would have hated past Jessie, but I would get along with present Jessie.
The tension and chemistry in this book is seriously scorching! Jake and Jessie never lost their spark, even though ten years passed. This book is relatively short but there are several very hot and very well-written sexy times. I love how creative Robert is with these scenes - I feel like it'd be easy to fall into a repetitive pattern, when you write so many romance novels, but Robert never falls in this trap. And her books' sex scenes are always hot, and unique.
The whole high school reunion thing is a great backdrop for this book (and series)! And the fake date thing is one of my favorite tropes (fake date, fake boyfriend, fake fiancee, etc.). I loved how Jake and Jessie were forced together in multiple scenarios of the story, especially when Jake and Jessie had to stay in her old room in her parents' house, because she told her family she was bringing a date. You already know this arrangement led to some really steamy times!
Like I said about Jessie, I should have hated her, based on her high school past. But one of the things she wanted to accomplish, by coming to the reunion, was making amends. To Jake, but also to her former "friend" Leah Camacho (they weren't really friends, but then, Jessie never had real friends in high school, except Jake). The reunion, as expected, is a nightmare, and for several different reasons. But it was a very symbolic event, and I think Jessie got what she needed from it.
I liked this book and I could definitely see myself rereading it! I hope to have the chance to check out the other Bad Boy Homecoming books, especially since they are all linked. Maybe Drew's book, Trouble, since he is Jessie's brother!
What I Did Not Like:
This is going to sound terrible but I wanted Jessie to feel slightly more guilty about dumping Jake, especially since they had the fake date arrangement going on! The ending is a HEA and I liked how Jessie's mother gives Jessie a kick in the pants, but I sooooo wanted to see Jessie do some serious groveling. Oh well! They both did some apologizing, which was fine with me.
Would I Recommend It:
This book will not disappoint any Katee Robert fan. I feel like I am never disappointed by her. If you like hothothot contemporary romance, give any of her books a chance! This one included.
4 stars. This series is such a fun idea and I can't wait to check out the other books! Prom Queen did not disappoint and I'm sure the others won't either.
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