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First Crush, Last Love

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Back in high school, Lee Archer had the power to make Jessie Baxter’s cheeks flush and her heart race. But the popular athlete never wanted to be more than just friends. Ten years later, after a failed marriage and with her journalism career on shaky ground, Jessie’s come home for her high school reunion—and Lee still has the power to make her knees weak and her pulse poun ...more
ebook, 314 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Elizabeth McKenna
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Natalie ✩★ The Biblioholic ★✩
Remember your first crush? How your heart raced and your cheeks flushed whenever you saw him? Jessie Baxter does, and it’s happening again. Ten years ago, despite her best efforts, Lee Archer wanted to be just friends. Now, he wants more, but Jessie's still recovering from a psycho ex-husband. Can she learn to trust again and make her first crush into her last love?

I’ve had so many crushes over the years and I honestly can’t remember who my first one was. However, I do remember all of the feelin
My rating: 4.5 Stars!

That first time your heart says “this is forever,” is huge, especially when your teenage hormones are running wild and suddenly there is a noticeable difference between boys and girls. Lee was Jessie’s first crush, but they remained friends only, good friends, but still…sigh…

Years have passed, Jessie has grown up, found herself a husband who didn’t quite live up to her high school fantasy, but he was a good man…or was he? A freshly minted divorcee, Jessie has come home for
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who doesn't remember their first crush--that guy who never really gave you a glance-but you pined over him just the same. Jessie Baxter had a crush on Lee Archer. He considered her a friend----OUCH. Neither had the best home lives and Lee left their small town very quickly without even saying goodbye to anyone!!

Meanwhile Jessie ended up marrying a guy who-lets just say--should have been locked away somewhere--yeah he was that bad---Jessie finally gets up the nerve to divorce him--but he stalks h
Romi || Romi Reads
Judging on the cover and the title I was a bit sceptical of this novel: I thought it was going to be a super cheesy romance. And it was. But definitely in a good way!

The book is divided into three parts: the high school years, the years where Jessie and Lee have lost contact and the year of the 10-year high school reunion. Because of these three different time periods, you get to know the main characters really well!

Like the blurb says: “[this] novel will have you remembering the angst of high s
Sonya Neal
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is an amazing, wonderful story through the lives of Jessie and Lee. Jessie had a crush on Lee, and although the two were friends nothing became of it. Life moves on, and you follow their stories as they continue through their life.

At their 10 years reunion they meet up again, and their feelings are still strong. But can they get through their past to possibly have a future?

This story is in three parts, high school, after high school, and at the reunion. I absolutely adore following th
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love that this book is divided into three parts - high school, Lee & Jessie's separate lives after, and their 10-year reunion. The flow helps you feel as though you're growing and changing along with them. If you enjoy a nostalgic take on finding yourself, true love, and life, this is a heartwarming book that you need to add to your collection!

During their time in high school, I wanted to smack Lee upside the head several times. He knew that Jessie was a good thing; however, when I learned of
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The author infused lots of life into the characters, which in turn made the storyline come alive. This book is broken out into three sections...Senior Year, Marriage Interrupted, and 10-Year Reunion. Not a lot of time is spent in the first section. Yet, the story starts out fine. It was frustrating that Jessie was all about Lee and he did not reciprocate the feelings. Well maybe a little but he did not act on them.

The second half of the story was hard to read. This is
Haley Ryan
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a product of the 80's I grew up in the 90's just like Jessie, and this book brings back so many memories. At times it felt like I could have been reading passages from one of my old diaries, except this is written much better of course. This book is definitely one for those who enjoy a nostalgic trip down memory lane as you will do a lot of reminiscing about your high school crush, the friends that you had and of course, what high school experience wouldn't be complete without the bitchy one. ...more
Silvie Armas
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This contemporary romance was a nice change of pace from my usual reads. My usual reads consist of either hot and heavy romance or thriller/suspense genres. So I wasn't sure if I would like or enjoy this book. Truth is I really liked it, actually I related to the first part of the story quite a bit. This book included a few heavy topics, so it was nice that it included a note from the author that advised of trigger warnings. I really enjoyed this book, and think that unless you have underlying o ...more
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the most real romance I have read in a long time. I felt like I was able to relive so many parts of my past with this book. I loved that we were able to watch Jessie and Lee grow so much throughout this book. Most books only give you a tiny glimpse into the characters lives, you fall in love with them and it's over. Ms. McKenna was able to give us so much more of these characters lives, and that made me feel even more invested in them. It wasn't easy to watch Jessie and Lee struggle thro ...more
Hannah Symonds
Oct 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I have read of Elizabeth's and it certainly wont be the last. I really felt as though I wanted to reach out and help Jessie especially with what she has to go through with her psycho husband. The book is set out in three sections: when they are in high school, after college and the reunions. I did think Jessie and Lee were one of those couples that were destined to be together. A story that I really got involved in and couldn't put down.
R.K. Emery
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance
Elizabeth McKenna has great attention to detail and makes everything from the setting, to the characters feel very real. It makes for a wonderfully written and very authentic novel.

McKenna manages to take the reader through a barrage of other emotions besides the typical and they will find themselves submerged in the world and feeling every single things that happens toLee and Jessie. The characters were charismatic and drew the reader in.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

First Crush, Last Love is divided up into three sections: Part I, Senior Year (1983-1094), Part II, Marriage Interrupted (1998-1991), and Part III, 10-Year Reunion (October 1994). In each of these sections, the reader will find characters and/or their circumstances that are very relatable.

Section I: If you’ve attended high school, it’s inevitable you’ve seen or been a part of the drama accompanied with it. For most, there’s that o
Sharon Martin
Enjoy being taken back to the years of school and college, reminding you how things were back then, how you would second guess what people were thinking, the unknown of what to do and how to behave, did that look mean what I think it meant or was it my imagination? Then of course you have your first crush, your first boyfriend, those that thought they were better than you and those who suffered because they were different. This is where we first meet Jessie and her first crush Lee, even though c ...more
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Do you remember your first crush? The way you felt and how you blushed and stammered? The way you felt that this person was going to be your forever love and that you couldn't imagine your life without them. It truly is a magical and special feeling. Sometimes though that person can be your forever love and even when time separates you, when you meet them again - those feelings come rushing back.

This book touches on the crush and growing love that Jessie has for Lee. She loves and admires him bu
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First and foremost, there was a note from the author that advised of trigger warnings. The warning consisted of attempted suicide (minor character), drinking, homosexuality (minor character), AIDS (minor character), and abuse. The heat level is fairly low with only a few love scenes. There is also some swearing, including a few F bombs from one character.

Having lived through most of that myself, I felt that the trigger warning was a nice notice, but they weren’t severe in my opinion. So pending
Scarlett Ian
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was my first read from author Elizabeth McKenna but I was so excited about reading this book because it reminded me of mine & my husband’s story 🙂

This book follows Jessie and Lee, who have been good friends for years even though Jessie has always longed for more from their friendship. Every time either of them works up the courage something else interrupts. These two go through other relationships throughout the years but always feel like there is a piece missing. When they reconnect at th
Marilyn R.
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
First Crush, Last Love offer the classic romance storyline - lost opportunity and the journey back to see if it can ever be captured. Within that category this book falls under the list without sexual content warnings which is my preference. I like my romance book with just a hint of sexual tension rather that having it all laid out in great detail.

Here you have Jessie who is madly enamored of a high school male friend - Lee. While he seems to enjoy her company as a friend, his romantic endeavor
Do you remember being a teenager with a huge crush - the sweaty palms, the racing heart and the butterflies in the stomach sensation that left you feeling equal parts excited and nauseous - that’s how Jessie feels about Lee. Unfortunately for Jessie, Lee just wants to be friends.

First Crush Last Love follows the story of Jessie and Lee and is a perfect mix of romance and angst.
It’s a story about a second chance at love that is so beautifully written I couldn’t put it down. It is cheesy in parts
Amie's Book Reviews
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Have you ever been in an abusive relationship? If so, how horrible did you feel after the relationship finally ended? And, how did that relationship color your view of other possible mates?

Now go back further in time. Back to your very first crush. Do you remember how ot felt? Jessie Baxter does. Her first crush was Lee Archer and ten years earlier he told her that he just wanted to be friends.

Now, Lee wants Jessie's heart, but her psychotic ex-husband has really messed up her head. You will h
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book. Fate played the biggest role of this story. If a person is meant to be for you, whatever happened, your lives will rekindle again. This story is beautiful, emotional and some times I feel like I need to throw my Kindle to Jessie. She is beautiful but she is so weak especially fighting her husband Billy. He is such a jerk and hope that all men are not like him. He is such a manipulative and a piece of sh*t. I hate his character but I loved Jessie and Lee. The s ...more
If you are looking for a book that does not just delve into the characters romance, one that brings you background information on both characters and really sets the stage for the main event, then First Crush, Last Love is the book for you. Elizabeth McKenna writes a story of love, friendship, loss and second chances in a story that will make you laugh, smile and sadness.

I found myself really despising Lee's character at first - it felt like he was toying with Jessie's emotions. How did he not r
Crystal Addis
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jessie had a huge crush on Lee, the high school jock. Lee wasn't ready to commit or even wanted more than just friendship with Jessie. They go their separate ways and find themselves back in one another's life again at their high school reunion. Will this time be different? Is this finally their chance to find true love? Can a crush really turn into your forever love? Call me a hopeless romantic, but I LOVE to read stories like this! 

This was a great read by Elizabeth McKenna. Her writing was ca
Margaret Tidwell
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
FTC: I received a free copy of this book from iRead Book Tours in exchange for my honest review. I received no other compensation and the opinions expressed in this review are one hundred percent true and my own.

First Crush, Last Love by Elizabeth McKenna was a fantastic book. I loved that you meet the characters when they are in their senior year in high school, and you follow along as they grow up. I loved this because it felt like I was growing up with them and it also helped me understand th
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is told in three phases, and each has a different tone to the others.

In the first phase, High School, the author has done a good job of capturing the drama and angst inherent in teen life and does a good job of setting the scene for the balance of the book.

The second phase is more difficult to read, and rightly so, given the issues dealt with.  The author skillfully crafts a scenario which allows the reader to develop a deeper connection with Jessie and to want more for her.

And that "m
Debbie Hughes
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was just a wonderful read for me! I was in high school in the 80’s so I felt like I was reliving part of my youth. Just a great love story. This story is proof that no one should ever get married before they turn 25!

I would like to get Jessie to be a bit tougher but if we’re all a little honest with ourselves none of us were as strong in high school as we are now that we have life experiences. And that’s what happens to Jessie. It’s a nice story to take you away from real life and giv
Esther Haddie's Haven
Amazing, sweet and touching

This was a really great read. It was really touching and heart tugging. I've read many books, but I don't think any quite like this. Elizabeth McKenna has a way of making the characters so real. And the fact the story takes place before the 2000's is amazing. I love reading books that take place before my time, which was not that far from the 80's, but even so I love that time. (80's music is bomb!) So good and so worth the read, plus more.

*Originally, I received an A
C. Gonzales
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary, romance
I enjoyed the characters immensely. I felt like the Romance was well balanced because of their respective personalities.

I liked that Elizabeth McKenna does not shy away from real topics. She takes the issues head on and brings them to life for the reader.

This is an emotional novel. There are ups and downs for these characters individually and as a couple. You will find yourself right in the rollercoaster of emotions with them.
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick and easy read for me. It took me right back to high school and my first crush! I enjoyed the story, although sad in parts and a little heavy -- it is true to life for some. I loved the ending and the hope it gives -- timing truly is everything. This was my first read from McKenna and I would definitely read another, she writes very nice with interesting characters.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, reviewed, romance
Everyone remembers their first crush and the agony of loving someone who can't seem to love you back. But what happens when you don't get your happily ever after? Do you dare hope for a second chance? This is what Elizabeth McKenna explores in First Crush, Last Love.

Jessie and Lee are best friends in high school, tangled and thwarted in love. It's the early 80's and initially we're drawn deep into the nostalgia worthy and more tangible than a John Hughes film. Jessie and Lee are a product of mi
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Elizabeth McKenna's love of books reaches back to her childhood, where her tastes ranged from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys to Stephen King's horror stories. She had never read a romance novel until one Christmas when her sister gave her the latest bestseller by Nora Roberts. She was hooked from page one (actually, she admits it was the first love scene).

Her novels reflect her mercurial temperamen

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