*I received a free copy of As Long as You Love Me from Harlequin HQN via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons; missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But 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's the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever; until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her.
Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with
Beautiful slow-moving romance, so enticing I was aching while reading about Rob and Lauren.
My As Long as You Love Me review:
As Long as You Love Me managed to snag my heartstring even quicker than I Want it That Way did. Maybe because I had already met Rob and Lauren, or maybe because their interactions were so achingly sweet and tender. The story also includes another trope I absolutely adore, and that is the friends-to-lovers trope. Rob had always seen Lauren as his little sister Nadia’s best friend, and Lauren had been in love with him since she was thirteen. Now that Lauren was finally back home in Sharon, Rob was dating another girl, and there was no way Lauren would even flirt with him for as long as that was the case. However, after they met by chance at the grocery store, Lauren showed some interest in his refurbishing his house, and ended up helping him with that while she was trying to find a job.
While Lauren and Rob got to know each other again, his girlfriend, Avery was away, and when one of her friends saw Rob teaching Lauren how to drive a stick-shift, things became complicated. Because of Avery’s reaction, Rob broke up with her, and promptly started wooing Lauren. Not that Lauren really needed all that much wooing, after being in love with him for so long, but it was very sweet how he wanted to take care of her. Both of them had a lot of insecurities to deal with, though, especially Rob who has heard all his life that he’s just smart enough to realize his dumb, and good thing he’s so good-looking. I hurt for him, I really did, because family shouldn’t treat each other so badly. Rob was always there for his parents and his sister, but they all treated him as if he would never amount to anything special at all. Lauren’s belief in him changed all that, though, and she helped him start a youtube channel to sell his hand-made furniture online.
Once Rob became extremely popular online, he got a call from a home-improvement TV show in Toronto, and that’s when all of Lauren’s problems came to the surface and she realized she had a lot to deal with before she could start a life with Rob for real. The complications, as well as the way Lauren reached out to Avery and became friends with her made me love As Long as You Love Me even more! Both the main characters and the side characters were so well fleshed out, and I was cheering for Lauren, Avery and Rob several times as they managed to surpass themselves and heal from the wounds the past had inflicted on them. It was also very refreshing to read another New Adult romance without too much drama, and with characters that weren’t completely broken.
Written in first person past tense, mostly from Lauren’s point of view, I felt like I really got to know both her and Rob very well. Both their interactions and the dialogs were well done, and I was almost dying with anticipation because of the slow-moving romance, and how Rob wanted to wait to make sure he and Lauren were both sure about what they wanted from their relationship, while at the same time respecting Avery and what they had had together.
If you are looking for a different contemporary romance, with a beautifully written romance, friendship, moving past the hurt, you should pick up As Long as You Love Me. I’m sure you won’t regret it!
Some of my favorite As Long as You Love Me quotes:
“Neither,” I said, stepping into sight. “Please? Have mercy, seriously.”
Rob glanced up in surprise. “Not good, huh?”
“Your sweat smells better, I promise.”
I’d rather watch llama gifs than go to a club. Ironic, since I’d learned all kinds of moves from music videos on the internet. Nadia thought I’d suddenly blossomed in tenth grade, but everything I knew about hair and makeup, I’d learned from YouTube tutorials. I could fake being a regular girl, but really, I was still besties with my laptop and PlayStation, which helped me perfect mad dance skills through gaming.
The trip lasted at least a thousand hours, thought the clock insisted it was more like fourteen minutes.