THERE ARE NO DOUCHEBAGS IN THIS STORY.
Well, there are, but they’re not who this story is about.
This story is about me—the coach’s daughter.
When I moved to Iowa to live with my dad, the university’s take-no-prisoners wrestling coach, I thought transferring would be easy as pie—living with my father would be temporary, and he’d make sure his douchebag wrestlers left me alone.
Wrong on both counts.
ASSHOLES ALWAYS COME OUT OF THE WOODWORK WHEN THE STAKES ARE HIGH.
A bet is placed, and I’m on the table. After one humiliating night and too much alcohol, I find the last nice guy on campus. And when he offers to rent me his spare bedroom, I go all in. It’s time for the nice guy to finish first.
Midnight chats and spilling my problems turn to lingering touches. Lingering touches turn to more.
And the ultimate good guy has the potential do more damage than any douchebags ever could.
This is a really sweet little read. A gorgeous friends-to-lovers story with all of the wit, humour and heartwarming feels that I have come to expect from this author and this series.
Anabelle is a junior in College, and is the daughter of wrestling super-Coach Donnelly. She’s newly moved to Iowa to be closer to her dad, and though he tells his boys that they are to keep their hands off his baby girl, she instantly becomes a target of douchebags looking to score.
When Anabelle learns that she is the at the centre of a cruel bet, humiliated and devastated, it’s nice guy Elliot that comes to her rescue on more than one occasion. And when Anabelle discovers that he has a spare room in his off-campus housing, she jumps at the chance to move out from her Dad’s smothering but well-intentioned love, and fully embrace the college life.
Nice guy, Elliot, will be known to fans of the series. As Oz and Zeke’s old roommate, he is the non-jock, non-douche of the series, and I loved getting to know the more serious, understated member of the crew. He’s an absolute sweetheart! Kind and caring, I loved watching him be there for Anabelle.
Elliot is big and sexy and strong and sweet.
As a male specimen, Elliot is highly underrated by the female population of Iowa, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
The friendship that develops between them is gorgeous. It’s easy and fun, and oh-so-natural, though with undertones of attraction it’s clear from the very beginning where it’s all going to go.
What if I walk in on her naked while she’s showering and she thinks I’m a pervert?
What if I accidentally leave the door open while I’m taking a piss and she sees my junk?
What if she decides to walk around the house with no pants on and I have to see her ass cheeks? What if I like it?
The chemistry between Anabelle and Elliot is fantastic. There is flirting and teasing, but it’s a bit of a slow burn as they figure it all out, and it was so much fun, with a sense of delicious anticipation, to watch things begin to change for them.
What was that look? Is she flirting? Just being nice?
Jesus, I can’t tell.
I need a fucking manual.
And when all of that pent-up sexual tension is released… holy hotness! It seems to be a match made in heaven! Except that real life has different plans for them. There are twists and turns, difficult choices, struggles and heartache and some surprising character development, and I loved how unexpected it all was. I thought it was really cleverly done, and I really liked the way it all played out.
While, for me, this book didn’t have the intensity of the previous relationships in the series, it was still a great read, and I was rooting for Anabelle and Elliot from the very beginning. There is a tie-in to the earlier books, with glimpses of Zeke and Rhett, and some oh-so-hilarious text messaging between Elliot and Oz, but this book can easily standalone. And as always, those chapter headings are a real treat!
I really enjoyed this one!
An Advanced Review Copy was generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
How to Date a Douchebag
She perks up. “Wait, you’ve never had a back massage?”
“Well, what the hell? How can I, in good conscience, lie here letting you rub my back when you’ve never had anyone rub yours?” She scoots over, pointing to the mattress. “Lie on your stomach, I’ll do you first.”
I wave my hands in front of me in protest. The last thing I need is her warm hands roaming my body. “No, no, you don’t have to. It’s not a big deal.”
“Are you crazy? Back massages are the best—like, better than an orgasm. You’re first, so lie down.”
“And you call me the bossy one?”
“Quit stalling and get on the bed.”
Obediently, I climb to the middle of my bed in nothing but a pair of gym shorts, legs hanging off the side. Next to me, the mattress dips, Anabelle on her knees, approaching my side.
A finger glides down my spine. “It will be easier for me to do this if I’m sitting on you. Hope that’s okay.”
“Is that the approved method?”
“No, but my arms will get tired if I have to lean over you the whole time.”
“Do whatever then, I don’t care.”
I stiffen when Anabelle swings one leg over my body, straddling my ass. Warm palms at my lower back.
“You’re so tense. Try to relax,” she coos, making it worse. “Tilt your head to the side, that’s it.”
I hear the lotion bottle snap open. Click closed. My roommate’s palms rubbing together, warming it up. “Sorry, I don’t have any actual massage oil. This will have to do.”
When her hands make contact with my back, I almost groan it feels so fucking good. Warm. Smooth. Pressure in all the right places, pushing gently into my muscles.
Slower still, caressing along my shoulders, thumbs and fingers working together to soothe the burning on my right side.
“Doesn’t this feel great?” Her soft voice cuts into the silence. “You’re loosening up. That’s good.”
I feel her leaning as her hands move up and down my spine until they stop, hovering at the base of my neck. Thumbs stroking the skin below my hairline, back and forth.
Her torso dips, hands maneuvering my arms, placing them at my sides. Palms slide up and down my biceps.
For several minutes, she rubs my arms and shoulders. Then she skims down my ribcage unhurriedly, in no rush, making little humming sounds inside her throat.
I know I’m not imagining the feather-light way her hands drift down my spine. I remain still, letting her touch me, basking in it.
Remain still when her lips kiss the tender spot of my shoulder where it meets my neck, nose nuzzling behind my ear, her breasts rubbing against my back and what the fuck was that all about? What does she think she’s doing, trying to drive me insane?
About the Author
Sara Ney is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the How to Date a Douchebag series, and is best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud New Adult romances. Among her favorite vices, she includes: iced lattes, historical architecture and well-placed sarcasm. She lives colorfully, collects vintage books, art, loves flea markets, and fancies herself British. She lives with her husband, children, and her ridiculously large dog.