Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she's determined to make them come true—for her parents' sake as well as her own. But between maintaining her college scholarship and working at the local day care to support herself, she barely has time to think, let alone date. Then she moves into a new apartment and meets the taciturn yet irresistible guy in 1B….
Daniel Tyler has grown up too fast. Becoming a single dad at twenty turned his life upside down—and brought him heartache he can't risk again. Now, as he raises his four-year-old son while balancing a full-time construction management job and night classes, a social life is out of the question. The last thing he wants is for four noisy students to move into the apartment upstairs. But one night, Nadia's and Ty's paths cross, and soon they can't stay away from each other.
The timing is all wrong—but love happens when it happens. And you can't know what you truly need until you stand to lose it.Paperback, 352 pagesPublished August 26th 2014 by Harlequin HQN
Three and a half stars: A good romance that fails to charter new territory in the NA genre.
The first time Nadia spots Ty, her downstairs neighbor, sparks fly. As Nadia settles into her new apartment, she begins enjoying sitting outside on her balcony and chatting with Ty below. Even though there is an attraction, Ty keeps pushing her away. Is it because of his four year old son, or is it something more? Can Nadia find love?
What I Liked:
- For those of you who are a little burned out on the heavy, dramatic NA reads, I Want It That Way is a bit on the lighter side. Yes, you have two twenty some year olds grappling as they find their footing in the adult world, and some baggage from the past, but nothing that is going to kick you in the gut and tear your heart out. So if you are looking for a NA a bit on the lighter side, this is a good bet.
- The romance is slow building and realistic. It starts with an immediate attraction, but it doesn't move too rapidly. It takes its time to build and then it explodes. However there are some big obstacles and a few stumbling blocks to overcome before it gets to a satisfying finale.
- Nadia is easy to identify with and likable. At twenty one, she is responsible and working hard to achieve her goals. She takes her job and her college education seriously, and she isn't out partying and drinking. Nadia has a hefty load and she handles it well. Even when there is a big wrench thrown in her path, she doesn't wield, she finds a way to make it work. I admired her work ethic and her determination, and I found it easy to cheer for her. I also appreciated that she wasn't carrying around loads of baggage. I especially liked the way she was willing to take on Ty's young son.
- I appreciated that the story took time to explore the college experience from someone who is responsible and dedicated.
- Even though I had some issues with Ty, I appreciated that he always had his son's best intentions at heart, and I loved the sacrifices he continued to make to ensure his son's every need was met. It was endearing and heart warming.
- I enjoyed the secondary cast of characters, mainly Nadia's roommates, Angus, Lauren and Max. I thought overall the characters were outstanding.
- After a bit of drama, I liked the way everything settled out and that things ended on a positive note. Even though this is the first in a series, this book can be read as a stand alone since each book in this series is a companion novel. No cliffhangers or nagging questions at the end of the this one, and it will leave you smiling.
And The Not So Much:
- I was hoping that this NA read would charter some new territory, but alas, it fell into the same well worn treads we have come to associate with this genre. While it was a bit less dramatic than many of the NA books out there, it still had a broken character who falls in love and mends their heart. I really was hoping that Aguirre would branch out, but unfortunately this story is nothing new.
- Speaking of the same old same old, this one also utilized the big dramatic scene just when things were on the up and up. I am not a fan of romances that throw in that a drastic upheaval right toward the end.
- There are plenty of explicit sex scenes in this one, which is again par for the course when it comes to NA. I didn't like that this strayed into the TMI area and that at times, it became more about lust instead of love. I also didn't like that Nadia decided to enter into a sexual relationship by going with the friends with benefits, no strings attached agenda. You know that heartache will ensue.
- I did't like that even though Nadia and Lauren are childhood best friends, once Nadia beings her relationship with Ty, she checks out of the friendship and doesn't take the time to uncover what is going on with Lauren. There was some obvious problems and I was expecting to learn more, but it was left dangling. The next book is Lauren's story so I am certain to get the answers then.
I Want It That Way was an entertaining and engaging story that hooked me with its great characters and solid story. However, I was disappointed that this one failed to take a new path and instead resorted to the typical NA story. Still it was a good book, and it didn't resort to angsty drama. If you are fan of the NA genre and you want something a bit on the little side, this is a good one to try.
"Life is messy and unpredictable; sometimes it's a punch in the gut, and sometimes it's so beautiful, it brings tears to my eyes."
"Life is fireflies in your palm, gleaming gold, and then setting them free. In the best moments, life is fireworks. Sometimes life is having the rug pulled out from under you and the one you love helping you up. But most of all, life is what happens when you open the door and let beauty in, even if it doesn't fit according to your plans.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.