**ARC provided by author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
This book was surprisingly good. I'm glad I picked it. I'm always in the mood for a slightly sappy romance, and this was perfect. I liked the happy ending as well (after reading nothing but series books it was nice to read a stand alone with a happy ending). The characters in the book were believable. They were in college, but weren't crazy college kids, nor were they dramatic and over the top. The plot was also easily believable, nothing ridiculous happened (and what did happen could happen anywhere).
I liked Brinley, she was a strong female lead. Independent and intelligent, but still admits when she needs help or needs a friend. I liked her friendship with Mason (maybe we'll get to know him better in a new book?), even if it was completely obvious that he was in love with her. I didn't really like how she was still getting over something that happened in high school, but I can understand it. Having to see Ryder every single day and be reminded of it would suck balls. So, no surprise, when she sees him at a party in college, she freaks the hell out. But, of course, they overcome what happened and start talking to each other.
So Ryder is this awesome, hot, sexy, tough guy. But what he did overrode that (for me at least). I know that he stopped and didn't continue on with the competition with Brinley, but the fact that he did go on the website and participate...are you KIDDING ME!? No, hell to the no. I like that he turns himself around, and protects Brinley, and the whole scene with her mom made me like him a bit more.
Overall, the book was good. It was predictable, but a nice book to read when cozied up with a cup of tea. The characters had problems with their family (who doesn't) but they don't let it affect them and turn them into horrible people. They grow from it and flourish. Also, I liked that the family drama was not forefront, and it didn't detract from the main story. Nor was it over-the-top stupid drama. It could happen in any family. Definite recommendation for those of you who like happy endings and romance.