Estelle: My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron

My Favorite Mistake by Chelsea CameronMy Favorite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Pages: 400
Target audience: New adult
Keywords: college, secrets, love/hate relationship
Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley (Thanks!)

Summary: Taylor’s sophomore year has a surprising beginning when she finds out housing has paired her with the tattooed Hunter. She immediately can’t stand him and the way he looks at her, and she’s not sure how she can get through the year with him living in her room. Still reeling from an event that happened during her childhood, she has put up a lot of walls but no matter where she seems to turn, Hunter is right behind her. Will she lose control and fall for him? Does he have some secrets of his own?

I haven’t had the best luck with “new adult” books. There are already so many books I love with college-aged characters without slapping a label on it. But that was before the cliche of new adult began. The bad boy, the smart girl, the sex, and more than likely, the secrets from their past.

I know My Favorite Mistake seems to check off all of those things one by one, but after a decent Publishers Weekly review, I decided to give it a whirl. I’m happy to say that Cameron certainly gave me the well-rounded characters I’ve been looking for in this genre. Taylor is a self-sufficient sophomore in college who loves to read (she works in the library) and is super close to her sister. While Hunter may be tattooed and hot (even Taylor comments how typical this is), he can cook up a storm, play Taylor Swift on his guitar, and is really good with kids.

When they get stuck in the same room together (though Hunter doesn’t see it this way), Taylor is beyond bothered and Hunter comes up with a simple solution: prove to me that you either love or hate me and I’ll move out for good.

I never did get this ultimatum. It was so open-ended, but oh well. It seems Taylor is sort of scratching her head over it too and the tension between the two, the sweltering chemistry, builds and builds and builds until I thought I was going to crack. Cameron definitely excels in the slow burn romance, lighting little fires here and there. All their friends know they are into each other but they resist for so long.

There is the bad stuff though. Hunter and Taylor bond over their pasts, even though they don’t know each other’s stories. When they realize they both have pretty bad nightmares, some of their baggage seems to give way and they start to form (gasp!) a friendship. (Not without that whole attraction thing though.)

Unfortunately, more than halfway of the book, a book that I was more than addicted to and couldn’t stop thinking about, My Favorite Mistake lost a little steam. Was the book too long? Probably. Why did Taylor and Hunter speed things up when they took so so long to get somewhere? I have no idea. The reveals of the secrets didn’t bother me as much as the sudden caricatures Taylor and Hunter became. I needed them to put on the brakes a bit.

As far as New Adult goes, I’m definitely going to keep up with Cameron and what she writes next. My Favorite Mistake really had a ton of promise and kept me preoccupied throughout a lot of travel time, and I’m hoping she takes the plunge in book 2.

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