Nom de Plume Rating: ★★★★☆
Reading Time: 4 minutes
*FTC Disclaimer: I received a copy of First Crush, Last Love from Elizabeth McKenna in exchange for an honest review. I have in no way been influenced by the author and/or publisher’s generosity. You can’t fake these stars, baby!
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 pound.
Lee’s teenage years were filled with more trauma and drama than anyone guessed. Though his damaged past has helped make him a successful police detective, it’s hurt every relationship he’s tried. But seeing the grown-up, stunning Jessie might just change his commitment-phobic mind.
Jessie’s psycho ex-husband had her convinced no one would ever love her, but Lee is ready to step out of the friend zone and into her heart. Can she learn to trust again before she loses her chance to turn her first crush into her last love
Elizabeth McKenna’s novel will have you remembering the angst of high school, the grief of a failed relationship, and the joy of finding true love at last.
First Line: “‘Martin?’ Jessie Baxter dropped her overstuffed backpack at the front door.”
Do you all remember your first crush? I do. Part of me is still unconditionally in love with him. He was in a boy band. Swoon. Now, all he does is take naked pictures of his butt and posts them on Instagram. Like, gag! Aww hell…nah. Every now and then, I think of the young man he used to be. Today, he’s just another Category 2, i.e. a playa play.
We follow Jessie and Lee through different passages of their lives beginning with senior year and ending with a ten-year reunion. Ten years is not a lot of time and all those years in between is where this book gets difficult to read.
We begin our journey with Jessie, who is seemingly in love with Lee. Lee doesn’t reciprocate said feelings. Okay, already, this is heartbreaking.
After college, Jessie gets married (not to Lee) and this pig is abu-u-sive. The content is not graphic here, so don’t worry. But it’s still hard to read. Oh, my heart!
Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does. Not only does Jessie end up with someone abusive, but Lee does too! Why do bad things happen to good people? *throwing fists in air*
Lastly, we finish this sweet book with a rekindling of hearts. Le sigh! If only all ten-year reunions could end like this.
OMG! Side note! My ten-year high school reunion is this year! Yikes. Can’t wait to share that with you all…
Mayhaps I will find me a strappin’ young gent! #HubbaHubba
“Her heart switched to its usual staccato rhythm at his presence…his touch sent shivers to every corner of her body…her obsession with Lee took over…”
Gimme some of DAT JUJU! ❤
You know when you’ve been separated from a friend, yet it feels like no time has passed? This book feels like that. Jessie and Lee meander through life, trying to make the best decisions for themselves, only to learn that what they had pushed away (or in this case, ignored) was the right path all along.
I can’t say I particularly related to this book. There was no nostalgia for me while reading, although it was totally touching at the end. I’ve never had those true love sparks with anyone (other than my insta-love turned booty photographer mentioned above) so walking through the timeline of Jessie and Lee’s love wasn’t as heartwarming as I would have liked. The abuse overshadowed all the swoony feels here.