DETAILED REVIEW: More Than This by Jay MacLean

18yo hot-shot athlete Hero takes care of 18yo heroine on her prom night, after she caught her boyfriend & best friend in the act. He and his good friends help her enjoy the evening despite being betrayed.

Her romance crisis is nothing like the trauma she experienced the end of that long night when she comes home & her whole family has been murdered by a burglar. 

Hero & his family take her in as she deals with her losses & her uncertain future. She & Hero spend inordinate amount of time together & their attachment to each other deepens. Yet they don’t make any official commitments to each other & are careful about their physical intimacy. She’s trying to figure out her new life & he gives her the space she needs. As college looms ahead, does it push them to finally make a commitment? Or will it give them more reason to put their relationship on hold?

This book deals with young romance in the midst of great losses. I liked how it balanced the development of Hero & heroine's romance while heroine deals with the major changes in her life. It starts right away with lots of drama. And it's these losses and life changes that heroine deals with throughout the book. I liked how MacLean handled heroine’s multiple losses. We see her go through different ways of dealing with them. It wasn’t rushed & her romance was Hero wasn’t portrayed as the cure. Her relationship with Hero was connected to how she was handling her losses & her new life without her loved ones. Their romance was a gradual process as a result.  Hero was her rock through all of it. Sure, he blew up at times but he apologized & the rest of the time it was all about heroine & making sure she was feeling supported & cared for by him. He made me sigh a few times. He was the perfect boyfriend who wasn’t her official boyfriend. Hero did a lot of showing of his love for her than telling. 

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And he didn’t have to since they had no commitment of any kind, having just met the night her family was killed. He had his promising future as a college or pro baseball player right there for the taking. But even his valuable baseball career took second place to her. He didn’t have to wait for her sexually either since he had other willing female volunteers & even heroine tried to push their physical intimacies further. Yet he’d stop as much as it pained him. It was both due to his love for her & his character. He was over his man-ho days & he wanted just her. Forever. And he was patient enough to wait for her to grieve, find herself, & be willing to commit to him. 

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The sex scenes were not explicit. There were more descriptions of their foreplay than the consummation. By the time they got fully intimate, their emotional connection was firmly established so explicit sexual details weren't needed. 

I recommend this book.
4-star

*ARC courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.

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