I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.As Long As You Love Me by Ann Aguirre
Also by this author: Enclave, Horde, Mortal Danger, I Want It That Way
Also in this series: I Want It That Way
Published by Harlequin on October 1st 2014
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Fiction, New Adult, Romance
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Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But then there's the reason Lauren can't admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend's older brother. Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He's the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever—until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her. Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.
One thing that I really love about the New Adult series that I am picking up is that each book in these series usually features a different main character, so you aren’t left on a cliffhanger when you finish the book and it isn’t all that necessary to read the books in order. As Long As You Love Me is the second book in Ann Aguirre’s 2B Trilogy. This story takes place in Nebraska after Lauren Barrett returns home, to stay, instead of living in 2B. There is no second book in a series slump here. As per usual, I thought Ann Aguirre knocked it out of the park.
Lauren Barrett comes home because of some issues she’s had at Nebraska, issues that she has not been able to talk to Nadia about. Returning to Sharon, Nebraska is not the tragedy people make it out to be. Rather, Lauren is thrilled to return home. Furthermore, she is back in the presence of Rob Conrad, Nadia’s brother, whom she has had a crush on for pretty much forever. Slowly, but surely, Lauren gets back on track with her life. She signs up for online classes. She finds a job. She helps Rob restore a house. She also reconnects with old friends. Meanwhile, she also finds her friendship with Rob growing into something more and the two tenuously start a relationship and give into their chemistry.
As Long As You Love Me has a relatable main character in Lauren. You see, her big issue when she is away in college is that she’s got anxiety. So, she drowns out her anxiety and introvert characteristics with alcohol. She finds herself overwhelmed by social situations and has to fake extroversion to handle those situations. Returning home helps Lauren to cope with her anxiety. I really liked that Aguirre chose to make this one of Lauren’s character traits. I liked that she really captures what having anxiety is like and how social situations can sometimes be paralyzing, and how sometimes alcohol can be a crutch. Lauren’s journey is interesting and like the previous book in the series, I Want It That Way, As Long As You Love Me is not overly dramatic or angsty.
Similar to the first book in the series, Aguirre’s second 2B book has some relatively steamy adult scenes. If you’re looking for a ‘clean’ read, this is not it. However, if you want something realistic definitely read this book. The way she writes it is not awkward or uncomfortable to read. In addition, I liked that for the most part the relationship between Lauren and Rob is one of mutual support and respect. Rob is a former football star who is not academically inclined. According to the jacket flap, he’s the kind of guy you date for fun before you find the one. Mr. Right Now, I guess. Lauren sees the potential within him though and loves him for who he is. She doesn’t always try to improve him, which is good. He accepts her as well. I guess what I really liked about this romance is that it’s about accepting someone for who they are and not changing them to fit one’s ideal.
Aside from the romance, As Long As You Love Me does a great job incorporating friendships and family. Lauren’s life does not revolve around Rob and this book shows that. It allows her to be a multifaceted character. There isn’t lip service paid to friendship, but actual legitimate time devoted to developing Lauren’s non-romantic relationships. If you’re looking for a female positive New Adult book and are sick of books where all of the females except for the main character are portrayed as harpys, pick this book up. It won’t disappoint.