I’ll Be Yours – Jenny B. Jones – Sweet Pea Productions – Published 22 March 2016
She’s the coach’s brilliant daughter, clueless about love. He’s the dethroned football star, ready to teach Romance 101. When dark secrets and sparks collide, there’s no playbook for what happens next.
The day Andrew Levin arrives at Washington High, Harper O’Malley knows he’ll make the perfect starter boyfriend. The school’s newest band geek is totally in Harper’s league, yet completely out of this late-bloomer’s reach. Between fitting in with a new family, scoring the first chair in band, and rescuing dogs for the local animal shelter, Harper’s never had the opportunity to hone her dating skills. But even though Harper’s love life is far from perfect, she’s got the perfect plan.
Harper knows she’s insane to agree to tutor Ridley Estes, a notorious heartbreaker and the star of her high school’s football team—but in exchange, he’s offered to school her in the game of love. Just when she sees promise with her crush, a football scandal rocks her family, her town, and Ridley’s entire future. Harper suddenly has everything to lose—her family, friends, and even her heart. When the dust of the scandal settles, nothing will be the same. Including the girl who asked the most popular jock to teach her about love.
I initially passed over this book as I had previously read a book by Jenny B Jones and not loved it. Big mistake. After seeing many positive reviews and reading the synopsis (which sounded awesome) I knew I had to give I’ll Be Yours a try. And I am so glad I did, because I’ll Be Yours was truly enjoyable, touching, funny and has totally changed my mind about this author. Thanks to a kind soul who lent me a copy.
Harper is an O’Malley. Has been ever since she came to live with them when she was nine. But sometimes it’s hard to feel like an O’Malley when you look nothing like the rest of your family, nightmares keep you awake every night and you have no idea how to have a normal conversation with a guy you’re crushing on. When Harper’s world implodes, she turns to a boy she would normally have nothing to do with, Ridley Estes. Their lives have both been impacted and they strike a deal – she helps him get back his dream of a football scholarship and he helps coach her in how to get the guy of her dreams.
Harper was the standout of this book. It is her story and she tells it so very well. Her mastery of sarcasm and dry wit should be an example to us all. I am seriously going to borrow some of her lines. I was laughing and cheering for her. And when I wasn’t doing that I was falling in love with Ridley Estes. Kind, funny, handsome, honourable, looks-after-his-baby-sisters amazing Ridley. Their romance was one of the most enjoyable love stories I have read for a while. But this is also a story about family, the mistakes people make and learning to forgive and cope with those mistakes. It had underpinnings of Harper’s quiet faith, football (and the charming football players that go with football), and lots of dogs – what more could you want?
Jenny B Jones expertly weaves romance, family drama and humour together in this story of overcoming an abusive home and learning to start again. The writing style was perfect, and it felt like sharing a good story with your best friend. I can’t wait to explore some of Jones’ other novels, and highly recommend I’ll Be Yours.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Themes: Family, foster care, romance, faith, fathers, adultery, animal shelters, dogs, football, abusive homes, dating and relationships.
Reading age guide: Ages 12 and up.
Advisory: References to drug and alcohol use and abuse, violence and animal cruelty.
Published: 22 March 2016 by Sweet Pea Productions.
Format: Paperback, ebook. 314 pages.