Blurb (from Goodreads):
When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado. Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford. She doesn’t talk much and is completely intimidated by Carlos’ wild ways. As they get to know one another, Carlos assumes Kiara thinks she’s too good for him, and refuses to admit that she might be getting to him. But he soon realizes that being himself is exactly what Kiara needs right now.
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
(Source: Purchased on kindle from Amazon.co.uk for £2.49)
Carlos is moving from Mexico to Colorado to live with his brother, and finish high school. He’s got no time for a girlfriend, or any sort of complication to his life, and getting arrested for drug dealing is the last thing he wanted.
Intent on not revealing the name of the kid who planted the drugs on him, Carlos ends up living with professor Westford and his family, whose daughter Kiara seems to be getting slowly under his skin.
Carlos isn’t boyfriend material though, he just wants a girl to screw around with, doesn’t he?
This is the second book in the ‘Chemistry’ series, but can be read as a stand-alone novel (I haven’t read the first one.)
I liked this story, but for me it took a long time for the romance to kick in.
Carlos is a pretty rough male lead, he’s obviously lived in some not-nice places, and although his mother has done her best, he’s not had the best of starts in life. He was pretty stubborn about not revealing the name of the drug dealer who set him up, even though he wasn’t actually anything to do with him, and this probably revealed quite a lot about the things he learned as a teen.
Underneath it all, quite a way underneath it all, Carlos was a good person, but in the beginning he was pretty rude to Kiara and her family, and probably didn’t deserve the chance they gave him.
For me the romance took a long while to build up in this book. At the beginning Carlos was not very nice to Kiara at all, I totally got why she wanted to play a practical joke on him to pay him back for some of his comments. That being said, as they slowly got to know each other a little better, Carlos wasn’t quite so mean, but I certainly didn’t see why Kiara was falling for him either.
Things didn’t really heat up between the pair until really late in the story; around the last10-15% of the book in fact, which was a little disappointing, but when they eventually got together things weren’t even smooth sailing then.
Kiara was an okay character, but while she seemed to have problems with stuttering during stressful moments, she didn’t seem to have the same problem when whispering dirty little teases in Carlos’ ear, which personally would have made me a little nervous!
The ending of the book concerned Carlos and the drug ring he had somehow gotten caught up in, and this was unfortunately the least interesting part of the story for me. I didn’t really appreciate the epilogue much either.
Overall; a YA contemporary romance, with quite a slow-to-love couple.
6.75 out of 10.