Jacob Proffitt's Reviews > Blackmail Boyfriend

Blackmail Boyfriend by Chris  Cannon
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really liked it
bookshelves: chaste, romance, young-adult

This was a pretty good YA romance, though I don't quite buy Bryce as a romantic lead. Hayley is awesome. And Jane and Nathan were a hoot. Indeed, I'm really glad Cannon included Nathan as a contrast to Bryce because it evened out what could easily have been a classist mono-message.

I liked Hayley from the start. I liked her assertiveness and worried for the vulnerability she did a mostly good job covering. I liked that she didn't waffle or manipulate (well, okay, there's the blackmail, but that's more of an extortion and she's very up front about it). She isn't nearly as good at hiding her emotional state as she thinks she is and that ends up twisting Bryce into knots, but it isn't deliberate and it's more of an indication that he isn't a complete snotrag and can be touched by her emotional distress so that worked out.

Bryce, on the other hand, is emotionally stunted and Cannon does a pretty good job of showing why that is and how he tries to cope. So I found myself sympathizing with his dilemma. Sometimes. I have a harder time sympathizing with his difficulty following-through, though, and that dragged this story down. And it makes it hard for me to buy that their HEA can be of the lasting variety. Which, hey, High School and all, so that's generally okay, but I typically want resolution that feels more solid than this managed.

There was a lot of laugh-out-loud in the story and as I said, Jane and Nathan were a second-hand delight. And that offsets my difficulties with Bryce at least somewhat. So I'm going with 4½ stars, but I'm not going to round up on the justification that the final gesture felt off and I'm not sure if I buy the resolution.

A note about Chaste: Hayley hasn't had a boyfriend and her relationship with Bryce is mostly façade through much of the story so we only ever get some kissing. And only a handful of that. So this is pretty chaste though with talk of teen sex present enough it may be uncomfortable for stricter tastes.
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Reading Progress

February 8, 2019 – Shelved
February 8, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
February 27, 2019 – Started Reading
February 27, 2019 – Shelved as: chaste
February 27, 2019 – Shelved as: romance
February 27, 2019 – Shelved as: young-adult
February 27, 2019 – Finished Reading

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