Thursday, March 12, 2020

Release Blitz & Review: Fool Me Twice - Carrie Aarons

Fool Me Twice
by Carrie Aarons
Published: March 12, 2020

When my best friend died of cancer just before her eighteenth birthday, she left her coveted bucket list to me.

The things she already crossed off? Skinny dipping, going to Paris, completing the local hot wing challenge, road tripping to the ocean, and sending out a message in a bottle.

So, it falls on me to finish it for her, to honor her memory. In the next year, it’s my mission to:

1. Dye my hair
2. Have sex
3. Camp out in a tent
4. Go bungee jumping
5. Get revenge on Lincoln Kolb

Most are doable, some terrify me, and then there is the last item on the list. When the raven-haired football god dumped my best friend during senior year of high school, she was devastated. The jerk with charm for days found out she was sick, and betrayed her in the worst way possible.

But he doesn’t know me, I went to school a town over. Now, to fulfill my promise, I’m the newest freshman on the campus where he is the big man. If there is one thing, aside from cheap beer, that a jock can’t pass up, it’s a shiny new girl.

So when I catch his eye, play hard to get, and then fall into his bed, I know my scheme is working to perfection. But what Lincoln can’t see coming is the beatdown I have planned for his ice-cold heart.

Unfortunately, what I never saw coming was the one he had planned for mine.

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5 Stars

Henley is doing it all for Catherine; the college, the bucket list, the boy, it's all for her, to finish what she couldn't when cancer took her away too soon. They seem like easy tasks, especially with her aching heart and her angry grief. The list, her memories of Catherine's hurt about being dumped by Lincoln though, they don't prepare her the enigma that is the future football star on campus. Their chemistry is instant, the banter and wit they share makes it seem possible, but when emotions get involved it gets harder for Henley to mark the final item on the list off. Lincoln can't take his eyes off the girl, no college party, no football game, no ball bunny compares to her, but he doesn't know that the guarded look in her eyes is meant to be his undoing. When the task is complete it will be the ultimate test of their hearts.

"Unfortunately for Lincoln Kolb, he has no idea the door her just openly invited me to walk through."

I knew within 10% that this book was different and it sure was; Fool Me Twice is Carrie Aarons' very best. A new adult standalone filled with heart, Fool Me Twice is the story of Henley and Lincoln and the relationship that wasn't so much up to fate as it was planned. Somehow Fool Me Twice is just the right combination of sweet romance, college hilarity, and heart-wrenching grief, it's pages of authentic college experience marked by the poignant loss of a best friend. Henley is so loyal to her friendship with Catherine, it's honest and real feeling, but it also means that she isn't loyal to her own heart. Henley's individual story, her perspective, is one of the best coming-of-age stories I've ever read and the romance with Lincoln, and his perspective of the whole thing, really brought it to life for me. 18 and losing a best friend, starting college, trying to follow a list that has stayed young while one has matured. It was just incredible, I felt like I was there, I fell for Lincoln and Henley just as they fell for one another, and I fell for this book.

"Because Henley Rowan is going to be a hard nut to crack ... though she was smooth as velvet in my bed."

Carrie Aarons captured that feeling of the college experience, of falling in love, of picking up yourself after hitting the ground so perfectly. There's no insta-love, no love-triangles, no classic over-the-top college scandal to rock the couple, just an honest love story that felt like it could happen in real life. I devoured this book in one sitting and I think you'll find you will too, it's just that good.

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