Liv's Reviews > One Wrong Choice

One Wrong Choice by A.M. Hargrove
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really liked it
bookshelves: arc, contemporary, read-2017, romance, terri-e-laine

I absolutely loved Cruel & Beautiful and really enjoyed A Mess Of A Man. Naturally I had high expectations on this story too. Needless to say, this book was well written because I didn't expect anything less from these great authors.

We've met Jenna in both previous books as Cate's best friend and Ben's sister. We got a glimpse into her life and knew there was something going on regarding her love life in those books. Now we finally get her full story and I was really excited for this.

The Story:
Jenna has the perfect boyfriend. Tall, dark, handsome and most importantly – especially to her mother – he’s rich. The perfect husband material. Of course she says yes when he asks her to marry him. Who wouldn’t? Though her thoughts trouble Jenna because she can’t seem to forget a certain someone with strong arms, tattoos and gorgeous eyes.
'I rotate my body so I can actually look at the guy, and holy fucking fireballs. The dude is slap-your-momma-bad-to-the-bone-hot-as-sin. Dark, dangerous, and delicious. Black hair, lots and lots of ink on his muscular arms, which makes me assume the rest of him is, too, and eyes, oh so seductive. Yes, badass. And then he grins. Of course he does, because he knows I'm snared by his beauty. His smile is a record holder. Full lips, straight teeth that could sparkle, and ... what the hell is wrong with me?'

Brandon is everything that Jenna’s guy isn’t. He’s not rich, he doesn’t have the perfect family background and no high society status. So why can’t he get Jenna out of his head when he so obviously doesn’t fit into her life?
'Townie princess, an apt description of Jenna Rhoades. She said she had to get to work, but she looked very much like a girl who only worked voluntarily.'

Since the day he met her, he has troubles to let go of her even though she was never his to begin with and there hasn’t been anything more than friendship between them.
Jenna has to make up her mind soon because he can’t keep waiting around for her forever. He isn’t the guy to wait for anyone but Jenna seems to have him wrapped tight around her finger.

The question now is, what will Jenna do? Can she cut Brandon loose and be happy with Kenneth? Or will she give in to her desire towards Brandon? Can she overcome the pressure from her mother and finally do what she wants and what her heart tells her to?
'”He's good to me. He's sweet, kind. He checks off all the boxes, you know?”
“Actually, I didn't know there were boxes.”
“Well,” she holds up her hand and starts counting off with her fingers, “he comes from a good family, went to the right schools, has a bright future. You know, the boxes that would make him a good husband in the future.”'

Thoughts:
The beginning of the story felt a bit rushed because I couldn't warm up to the idea of her crying herself out on a stranger's shoulder.
Jenna felt lonely and since she always had to be the strong one, she suddenly broke apart at this stranger's import car repair shop. With her best friend far away dealing with the loss of her husband and Kenneth gone a lot because of his job, she obviously felt the urge to talk to someone about her feelings.
I mean, I couldn't imagine crying at a strangers shoulder, but anyway she became best friends with this stranger without any further ado.

Jenna was honest from the beginning that she had a boyfriend and Brandon didn't lie about wanting her. I just don't know why they stayed in contact when this friendship was doomed from the beginning. He couldn't have her but he still waited around for her.
There might have been some instant connection between Jenna and Brandon that they felt the need to keep spinning around each other despite everything but I just didn’t feel it.

Color me surprised when years passed and Brandon was still waiting around for Jenna! I mean there wasn’t even a chance at that point that they would eventually end up together. So, why wait?

Anyway, I get that Jenna liked Brandon a lot because she could be herself around him and he had no expectations she had to fulfill. He listened to her and since she felt lonely she obviously clinged to him as he was the only one around.
'Spending time with and getting to know Brandon is a breath of fresh air. He has no expectations, other than for me to be myself. Climbing the social ladder means nothing to him, nor does being present in the company of the movers and shakers in town. I love this because we can sit around my house and do nothing but watch TV. There is no worrying about pleasing his dad or trying to impress others. He simply doesn't care about that.'

I could've been wrong since it had been a while when I read C&B but I pegged Jenna for a strong and independent woman who doesn't let others dictate her life. Kind of. In this book though, we got to know her softer side. I just didn’t think that she would also be so indecisive and doesn't have the balls to stand up to certain people.

I wasn't really happy with the constant back and forth between Jenna and Brandon. The constant comparisons didn't help either because after a few times I just questioned why she still had no clue as to who she liked to be with. And what was so wrong with being seen in public with Brandon? I was really annoyed at Jenna because she didn't treat Brandon nicely.
'Walking out the door is the hardest thing I've ever had to do. However, it's time I'm the man someone needs and can't live without, not the man someone just wants'

Brandon was a good guy. He helped his mother finically and he did everything for his younger brother. Brandon cared a lot about Jenna and she always came first no matter if it hurt him because he was selfless enough to be there for her whenever she needed him.

To sum this long review up:
The writing was great, as always. The book was as emotional as we know their books to be from these authors. I enjoyed the second half of this book more than the first and I cried some happy and some sad tears during this read.

The story held some topics of society's standards and the pressure it pertains - the pressure and anticipation of our surroundings and the need to fit right in and impress others. It's about the lengths we would go for our loved ones to make them happy.

I was really happy to see my favorite characters of the previous books in this story again. It made me want to reread their stories.

I liked Brandon a lot and I loved the epilogue but he can't push Drew from his top spot on my book boyfriend list. =P

P.S.: I love Brutus!!! *haha*

-- I received an ARC of this book from Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review. --
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Reading Progress

February 6, 2017 – Shelved
February 6, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
February 20, 2017 – Started Reading
February 20, 2017 – Shelved as: arc
February 20, 2017 – Shelved as: contemporary
February 20, 2017 – Shelved as: read-2017
February 20, 2017 – Shelved as: romance
February 24, 2017 – Finished Reading
June 14, 2017 – Shelved as: terri-e-laine

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