High school sweethearts. What a load of bull.
He might have been my first love, but it never meant I wanted to hear lyrics containing my name, love story, and *cringe* how I lost my virginity peddled out for the masses to digest.
Seven years later, and I’m still being haunted by his photo in every magazine, his music on every radio station. I thought breakups meant that you never had to see the person again. Especially when they ripped out your heart and made hamburger meat with it.
But when a chance encounter ends up going viral, I’m tied to him in a way I’ve always dreaded. And the last person on earth I’d want to spend an hour with, much less a lifetime, makes me an offer I can’t refuse. I might just be desperate enough to take it.
The girl in the song is real. And she’s made me a rich man.
I’ve been dedicating choruses to her for a decade, she’s the muse she never wanted to be. Off of our love, I’ve become famous … and a complete egomaniac.
When another one of my flings goes off the rails, and lands me in hot water with the media, my recording label is less than thrilled. And so comes the marching orders from my agent; devise a scheme to transform into a squeaky clean good guy.
Coming face to face with her is something I’ve only dreamed about. If not to win her back, then to at least apologize for the ways I’ve exploited her. Instead, I rope her into my madness, proposing a deal only a masochist would accept.
Holy crap, Carrie Aarons blew me away with her new book, As Long as You Hate Me. I literally read this book within 3 hours. Once I started, I was completely under Kara and Dean’s spell, wrapped up in their romance.
Dean and Kara were high school sweethearts with totally different backgrounds. Kara grew up in a loving home while Dean grew up in an abusive home. Kara became Dean’s life from the very moment he laid eyes on her. Dean was Kara’s world since she was 15-years-old. They experienced so many firsts together. Dean had dreams of becoming a famous musician, and Kara supported those dreams. But, she also had dreams of her own, becoming a doctor. When Dean left and was just becoming famous, their different lives tore them apart as well as a misunderstanding that Kara can’t forgive him for. Fast forward 7 years later, and the two meet at their friends’ wedding. It isn’t a happy reunion. Dean brings the paparazzi with him, and they snap pictures of Dean and Kara together. Kara’s private life is now public.
Little does Kara know that Dean has come back for her. I will be honest and tell you I wasn’t sure if his intentions were pure. He needs her to help his image and possibly save his life. He’s been accused of rape, and he needs Kara to pose as his fiancée. Kara needs the money to pay off her student loans, and she will gain experience in California for her residency that she would never get in New Jersey. What starts off as a fake engagement seems to becoming so much more. Kara lost her heart to Dean before, can she risk her heart again, or will he break her for good?
Oh my gosh, this book is just soooo good. I have to say that Dean’s true intentions become obvious rather quickly, and I also fell hard for Dean. I loved watching this couple get to know each other as adults. They were just kids when they fell in love, and they needed to find themselves as individuals before they were a couple. Both of them had animosity and resentment toward each other, and each had their hearts broken by the other. I loved watching their hate turn to liking one another and then falling in love with each other as mature adults.
Not only was this a romance, but it was also a look at the darker side of fame. Dean had become so jaded and had grown into a man he didn’t really like. He had to pretend to be a person he wasn’t, and Kara helped him discover who he was in his soul. He could be himself with her. It really made me question if anything or anyone is real in Hollywood. It’s ironic that this book was published at a time when society is grappling with sexual assault and sexual harassment. While there is an accusation in this book, Aarons deals with it in a sensitive manner and with class. She never takes anything away from women who are really are victims. Most importantly, it is a tale of self-discovery and being true to who you really are.
I have only recently discovered Carrie Aarons, and she just gets better with each book I read by her.
Carrie has wanted to be an author since the first time she opened a book, and can’t imagine a better or more maddening profession.
A lover of good manicures, Riesling and the beach, she enjoys chasing her puppy through the dog parks of New Jersey, or trying to make her husband binge watch the latest Netflix craze.