Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother.
And that his best friend has a crush on me.
And that I just moved in with them.
Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates?
I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing?
He knows where to find me.
Elle Kennedy’s sports romances are some of my absolute favorites; she has the uncanny ability to bring together a hero and a heroine who, at face value, couldn’t be more different but somehow Kennedy makes their differences something that brings them together, even though, at first, it seems to drive them apart.
Readers who are familiar with Kennedy’s Off-Campus series have already been introduced to the hero and heroine of The Chase; Dean’s sorority girl younger sister, Summer, and his hockey player/gamer friend, Colin ‘Fitz’ Fitzgerald couldn’t be more opposite in the way they grew up to how they carry themselves as college students, and while it’s made glaringly obvious that Fitz takes issue with who Summer appears to be on the surface and the fact that the spotlight Summer seems to crave doesn’t mesh well with Fitz’s loner status and his desire to remain drama free in at least one area of his life.
The fact that Kennedy provides readers with both Summer and Fitz’s perspectives throughout the course of their story allows us to truly understand who they are beneath the facades they portray and the reasons behind the constant push and pull between them.
Summer Heyward-Di-Laurentis may seem like a drama queen who thrives on attention and who lacks a clear direction for her life, but that’s not the complete picture of who she truly is; because while Summer doesn’t mind the spotlight, enjoys a good party, and is used to the finer things in life, she’s also well spoken, driven, and extremely critical of herself, in ways that nobody would understand unless they took the time to truly know her. Needless to say, there’s a lot more to Summer than her beauty, her last name, and her flair for dramatics, and it’s the multifaceted nature of Summer’s character that made her extremely likable despite her ‘in your face’ demeanor and actions.
Ever since I met Fitz, I’ve had a crush on him; I’m all about nerd-jocks, being intelligent and an athlete is super sexy and when you add in his tattoos and his love for video games, Fitz is definitely someone I’d have a crush on, so while he’s not Summer’s usual type, the fact that she can’t stop thinking about him and wanting him makes total sense to me.
I do have to say that I was quite disheartened by Fitz’s comments about Summer, but in his defense, his reasons for playing off his attraction to her made sense for the low-key kind of guy Fitz is, and it also lays credence to why there was a lot to work through and get passed in order for Fitz and Summer to be able to stop fighting what’s been between them from the very start.
There’s an underlying theme that seems to drive Fitz and Summer’s story, and it has everything to do with accepting who you are and not caring about how others see you as long as you’re happy with how you see yourself, and for Fitz, that means no longer hiding in the shadows hoping to be invisible because in some ways, Fitz was meant to shine, and for Summer, that means quieting her inner critic and accepting her flaws and her struggles and not allowing them to dictate her life regardless of how others may react to them and her.
I love being back at Briar University, reconnecting with past couples and being introduced to new characters who demand their stories to be told, and I’m quite intrigued by Summer’s bff Breanna Jensen and what Elle Kennedy has in store for this smart mouthed hockey lover.
4.5 Poison Apples
“Dance with me?”
I want to say no.
But I also want to say yes.
I call this the Summer Dilemma—the frustrating, polar reactions this green-eyed, golden-haired goddess sparks in me.
Fuck yes and hell no.
Get naked with her. Run far, far away from her.
“Thanks, but I don’t like to dance.” I’m not lying. Dancing’s the worst.
Besides, when it comes to Summer Di Laurentis, my flight instinct always wins out.
“You’re no fun, Fitzy.” She makes a tsking noise, drawing my gaze to her lips. Full, pink, and glossy, with a tiny mole above the left side of her mouth.
It’s an extremely hot mouth.
Hell, everything about Summer is hot. She’s hands down the best-looking girl in the bar, and every dude in our vicinity is either staring enviously or glowering at me for being with her.
Not that I’m with her. We’re not together. I’m just standing next to her, with two feet of space between us. Which Summer keeps trying to bridge by leaning closer to me.
In her defense, she practically has to scream in my ear for me to hear her over the electronic dance music blasting through the room. I hate EDM, and I don’t like these kinds of bars, the ones with a dance floor and deafening music. Why the subterfuge? Just call your establishment a nightclub, if that’s what you want it to be. The owner of Gunner’s Pub should’ve called this place Gunner’s Club. Then I could’ve turned right around when I saw the sign and spared myself the shattered eardrums.
Not for the first time tonight, I curse my friends for dragging me to Brooklyn for New Year’s Eve. I’d way rather be at home, drinking a beer or two and watching the ball drop on TV. I’m low-key like that.
“You know, they warned me you were a curmudgeon, but I didn’t believe it until now.”
“Who’s they?” I ask suspiciously. “And hey, wait. I’m not a curmudgeon.”
“Hmmm, you’re right—the term is kind of dated. Let’s go with Groucho.”
“No-Fun Police? Is that better?” Her expression is pure innocence. “Seriously, Fitz, what do you have against fun?”
An unwitting smile breaks free. “Got nothing against fun.”
“All right. Then what do you have against me?” she challenges. “Because every time I try talking to you, you run away.”
My smile fades. I shouldn’t be surprised that she’s calling me out in public. We’ve had a whopping total of two encounters, but that’s plenty of time for me to know she’s the type who thrives on drama.
I hate drama.
“Got nothing against you, either.” With a shrug, I ease away from the bar, prepared to do what she’s just accused me of—run.
A frustrated gleam fills her eyes. They’re big and green, the same shade as her older brother Dean’s eyes. And Dean’s the reason I force myself to stay put. He’s a good friend of mine. I can’t be a jackass to his sister, both out of respect for him, and for fear of my well-being. I’ve been on the ice when Dean’s gloves come off. He’s got a mean right hook.
“I mean it,” I say roughly. “I have nothing against you. We’re cool.”
“What? I didn’t hear the last part,” she says over the music.
I dip my mouth toward her ear, and I’m surprised that I barely have to bend my neck. She’s taller than the average chick, five-nine or ten, and since I’m six-two and used to towering over women, I find this refreshing.
“I said we’re cool,” I repeat, but I misjudged the distance between my lips and Summer’s ear. The two collide, and I feel a shiver run up her frame.
I shiver too, because my mouth is way too close to hers. She smells like heaven, some fascinating combo of flowers and jasmine and vanilla and—sandalwood, maybe? A man could get high on that fragrance. And don’t get me started on her dress. White, strapless, short. So short it barely grazes her lower thighs.
God fucking help me.
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