Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Review: The Cad and the Co-Ed by LH Cosway & Penny Reid

The Cad and the Co-Ed 
by LH Cosway and Penny Reid
(Rugby #3)
February 14, 2017
Genre: Romantic Comedy 18+
Contains: language, explicit sex

Bryan Leech is a cad.
Or, he *was* a cad.
No one is quite certain.
Once the quintessential playboy, Bryan claims he’s done with wild parties and weekend benders. No more one night stands leading to mornings he can’t remember; no more binges and blackouts; no more exploits plastered all over the tabloids and rag sheets. According to Bryan, he’s cleaning up his act.
The only problem is, no one believes him.

Eilish Cassidy never thought she’d be a mother at nineteen or still in college at twenty-four. Cut off from every member of her family except her favorite cousin, she’s finally managed to put her life back together. Stronger and wiser, Eilish enters her last semester of university determined to stand on her own. Now she just needs to find an internship.
The only problem is, her best option—by far—places her directly in the path of her son’s father, and he doesn’t remember her at all.

Bryan is determined to prove he’s changed. Eager to settle down with the right woman, he’s got his sights set on the gorgeous redhead who seems terribly familiar.
Eilish is determined to hide her secret. She’ll do anything to keep her child safe, even if that means ignoring her own wishes and desires.
But what happens when Bryan starts to remember? And what will it take for Bryan to convince the girl he forgot that she’s unforgettable?

If I'm being forthcoming, the secret baby plot is likely my least favorite trope. If I didn't already love the work of both Reid and Cosway, I would have avoided this book altogether. But I figured if anyone could do this trope right, it would be them. And they handled it well. My secret baby questions were answered and handled gently and tastefully, with humor, vulnerablity, and sweetness. And I loved this sweet family unit.

What I liked:
*Bryan: I really and truly liked Bryan. Yeah, that first chapter was rough. But Bryan's turn-around was brilliant. A sober Bryan is a wonderful Bryan. He was able to hold onto his humor and kindness despite his past. He was forgiving in a situation where I genuinely hurt for his loss. And he was all kinds of sweet. Seeing him with his son was the frosting on the cake. If anything, I would have loved to see them together even more. Bryan as a changed man made this story for me.
*Attraction: I could feel Bryan and Eilish's attraction through the pages. I liked its steadfastness. I liked their chemistry. I also loved Bryan's self-control, allowing him to get to a place where he could pursue Eilish in good conscience. When the walls were down, they were sweet and sexy together. 
*Sean: I was so happy to see Sean's involvement in this story (his story was in the previous book). He added doses of humor and fun, especially with all the references to his suits and fashion. And his devotion to his cousin was touching. Seriously, Sean needs to be in every book.
*Patrick: Aww, what a cutie. Being a mom of three boys, I got a kick out of him. I love father/son bonding! Which also means I loved the family unit of Bryan, Eilish, and Patrick.
*William: Please let his book be next!

What I didn't love:
*Eilish: Don't get me wrong. I felt for this girl. In fact, after the first two chapters of the book, I had to set the story aside for a week before restarting it. I was hurting for her big time. But I'm also sensitive to parental choice, mothers and fathers. So when she was being so exceedingly stubborn in her treatment of Bryan, she was losing sympathy points from me. She would start to turn a corner, and then do something annoying, immature, even insensitive, and I found it frustrating. Her voice and reactions also felt younger that 24 - like she was still in her teens.
*Wonky bits: It felt like there were lots of things thrown in here throughout the book. Situations and actions that may have been trying to add humor or depth, but to me didn't always feel genuine. Like some stuff at the rugby office was just weird. And Josey and Sarah were also weird and their reactions seemed to be a stretch. 
*Fast ending after contrived drama: After so many weeks around each other, the drama that kept popping up had me shaking my head. I felt like, at that point, Eilish just needed to calm the heck down, and these two just needed to communicate already. Why so stubborn? Plus, I felt like there were unresolved things in the end. What seemed to be huge issues, suddenly disappeared.

Overall, I did enjoy the story. Once I got over my heartache from the first chapter, I got into the story. I fell in love with Bryan right along with Eilish. I even felt like the dreaded secret baby trope was handled well. So while I didn't love everything about the storyline and progress, I was still entertained and found a new rugby family to love.


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