Title: Deal Breakers
Author: Laura Lee
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
An excerpt from the novel:
The city view is lost on me because I’m not really paying attention to our surroundings. I can’t stop thinking about the keys in his pocket. The ones that lead to our hotel room. The room where we’re going to have sex. After we leave here. Oh God.
Riley is the stereotypical womanizing college guy who has no problem with meaningless hook-ups and sex with zero strings attached. Devyn, on the other hand, is an ambitious and independent go-getter who has her life planned out for herself despite her tragic past.
The moment he lays his eyes on her, Riley immediately knows that he has to have her. Unfortunately, right from the beginning, Devyn is quick to point out that she is only interested in being friends. The two of them have a plenty in common and quickly become the closest of friends. Despite this, Riley can’t ignore his desire for her. He is finally given the opportunity to quench his thirst for Devyn’s body when she asks him for a favor: take her virginity before they graduate from college.
Devyn has always been one to play it safe, especially given her background. She’s always wanted her first time to be with someone she truly loves; however, as she has no luck in that department and feels the need that losing her virginity is something she should do before moving forward in the career portion of her life, she decides to accomplish the task with someone she completely trusts. And who else would be a more worthy option than her own best friend, Riley?
Fast forward to five years in the future, it turns out that Devyn and Riley’s one-time hook-up with what was supposed to be meaningless sex led to unforeseen circumstances: a son. (Segue: I don’t think this counts as a spoiler because, you know, it was practically implied in the book’s blurb.)
I am not going to lie. I did not set high expectations for this book as its premise is, to put it frankly, a recurring cliché. Boy meets Girl. Boy and Girl become best friends. Boy and Girl hook up once. Awkwardness. Boy avoids Girl. Girl ends up pregnant. Boy does not know. And you know the rest of the drill.
This novel is told in two points of view – Devyn’s and Riley’s. Personally, I liked reading in Riley’s perspective a lot more. I think it would have been better if the book was told solely in his point of view because he was an interesting, refreshing character with a distinct voice. But more on that later.
Truthfully, I’m not a huge fan of the writing style used in this book. The narration has a very modern essence to it, which was really refreshing at first. However, as the story progressed, the style strongly reminded me of online fanfiction. Perhaps this is just a matter of personal preference but I would have liked more eloquence and less injected profanity. Especially during the characters’ adult years. It would have shown more development. Speaking of development, I wasn’t really able to see much of character development in this book. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I found the characters likable, to begin with. It’s just that once they were all adults, the maturity wasn’t entirely palpable. Sometimes, they didn’t really act their age. But whatever.
In a genre that is, sad to say, filled with weak women (but of course, there are plenty of exceptions), Devyn is definitely a refreshing female lead. Throughout the story, she’s proven herself to be self-reliant and sure of who she is and what she wants. She is not the kind of girl to fall for sleazy one-liners or to become putty in the hands of every attractive male within her vicinity. What I liked most about her was the way her innocence did not border on being stupidly oblivious. Her being a virgin meant being awkward with her sexuality rather than being completely clueless as to what sex is, which I think is a more realistic approach. If that makes any sense. The biggest problem I had with Devyn was the fact that, and it pains me to say this, she’s actually a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey. I know, I know. I’m pretty disappointed too.
I lift an eyebrow. “The book again?”
“Isn’t Fifty Shades that bondage book? You starting to change your mind about trying a little S&M?”
Devyn’s jaw drops. “No! And it is so much more than that! It’s a beautiful love story. She’s the healing balm for his shattered soul!”
I shake my head in disbelief. “Yeah, I’m sure the love story is why you enjoy it so much.”
Like I said earlier, I liked Riley and his perspective. I liked how despite being a total manwhore, he still had principles. I liked how he was quick to set his pride aside to admit that he was in the wrong. And mostly, I liked his determination once he was sure of what he wanted for his self. I think, his character showed the most growth, albeit remotely, in the story. The only thing I wasn’t particularly fond of was how often he thought with his other head. I mean, I get it; you’re a straight male with hormones circulating your body. But I’d appreciate keeping the number of times you mention your dick at a minimum, yes? Yes.
Before walking away, I lower my voice and say, “I’ll give you time to get your shit together, but don’t walk away from this, Devyn. Don’t walk away from us.”
The sexual tension between the love interests was well-executed, in my opinion. And I liked how familiar they are with each other, how easily they could reach each other’s thoughts through their facial reactions and body language. However, I really would have appreciated more depth, both in terms of characters and the plot itself. I feel like this could have been a whole lot better.
My favorite element of this book is the humor interlaced into the story. Definitely a good laugh. Overall, I’d consider this an enjoyable read. I think it’s perfect for people who just want to read something lighthearted and humorous with a giant spoonful of chick lit worthy romance. It’s a cliché delivered in a wonderfully familiar, almost comforting, manner. I’m giving this an additional half-star mostly because of the highly entertaining humor and one-liners
and partly because of their incredibly adorable son.