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?
Elizabeth McKenna’s latest novel will have you remembering the angst of high school, the grief of a failed relationship, and the happiness of true love.
True to its title (that I wasn’t exactly a fan of the first time I saw it..), this is Jessie’s story of unrequited love slash high school crush which never blossomed into something deeper. Why? Well, because this is also the story of Lee’s unresolved insecurities stemming from his troubled family life. Cut to a decade later, when Lee finally is in a better place but Jessie, unfortunately, doesn’t have it in her to reciprocate the same trust to start a new relationship.
I am quite picky reader when it comes to romance, but I really liked a lot of aspects about the book. The high school phase is done quite well – especially Jessie mooning over Lee. Sure, I wondered why she was so hung up over someone who already has an on-and-off girlfriend, but hey.. she is a high-school teen.. and well.. this book doesn’t really “justify” that into something “epic” . Both Jessie and Lee have their independent stories, go on to have relationships with others over the brief years after high school. They have their heartbreaks, they grieve, and they grow.
My favorite “heartbreak” quote is actually from one of Jessie’s, though it has nothing specifically to do with her or Lee:
“It’s hard to grow a relationship to the point of love when you run into hatred everyday”
I liked how, despite the bleak nature of her marriage, Jessie still saw some good things that came out of it – like her decent in-laws. I also appreciated that the “violence” in their relationship was shown subtly, and something that, though currently simmering below the surface,, would eventually bubble out into something dangerous if Jessie doesn’t do anything about her situation. It was one of those classic cases of passive-abusive marriages with a spouse/partner not seeing the signs.
I guess what didn’t work for me much is the “Last Love” part of the book. Sure, it was sweet and predictable, but with the only “suspenseful” conflict being the “ex-husband” who doesn’t want to let go, you just kind of want to get done with it.
But , the book , in its entirety did work for me – It was sweet, with a pleasing conclusion.
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Meet the Author:
Elizabeth McKenna works as a full-time technical writer/editor for a large software company. Though her love of books reaches back to her childhood, she had never read romance novels 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).
She had always wanted to write fiction, so she combined her love of history, romance and a happy ending to write Cera’s Place and Venice in the Moonlight. Her short story, The Gypsy Casts a Spell, is available for free on her site http://elizabethmckenna.com/. She hopes you will enjoy her first contemporary romance novel, First Crush Last Love, as much as others have enjoyed her historical romances.
Elizabeth lives in Wisconsin with her understanding husband, two beautiful daughters, and a sassy Labrador. When she isn’t writing, working, or being a mom, she’s sleeping.
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