BLOG REVIEW: Reckless Longing by Gina Robinson

19y.o. college transfer-student wants to celebrate her new life away from her competitive mom and cheating ex-boyfriend by getting her belly button pierced.
She's flattered by the attention and support of handsome college-senior Hero.
Biut doesn't take him seriously because why pick someone plain-looking like her when he has many more attractive female fans to choose from?
Plus she's there to focus on meeting her biological father who'll be her boss on her new job on campus. It was a big surprise to find that Hero also works there and is her father’s favorite tech employee. Although Hero is delighted to see her again and seems to want more from her, she's confused by his mixed signals and limits their relationship to just friendship.
But it's not so easy when their attraction is so fierce when they're together.
It couln't go anywhere though. They both have their own secrets to deal with. And she suspects his has something to do with her difficult chemistry professor, whose class she and her band of classmates are trying to outmaneuver. Is there too much between them to ever be together?

First of all, I didn’t know it was part of a series until the end. The book title & cover didn't reveal that it was. I wasn't pleased by the unfinished ending. Hero and heroine's romance were still at its beginning phase. Some secrets were revealed & resolved. Second, it was a fairly good book but the romance was slow to develop, which made sense after reading the ending. A good part of the book was dedicated to heroine and her classmates' creative and humorous strategies (i.e., baked-good bribes) to get a fair grade in their impossible chemistry class. Heroine had a variety of friends and it reflected on the different aspects of her character: the girly side and the geeky side. We know much more about heroine and her friends than Hero and his friends, especially since this book was written from heroine's point of view(POV). I hope we get Hero's POV in the future book(s) or, at least, know more about his personal life. 

For most of the book, Hero and heroine were not together. They resisted their mutual attraction and tried to only be friends.  Since it was hard to when the were together, they kept away from each other instead. They deliberately set limits on their relationship because of the secrets they were dealing with and understood enough not to discuss with each other. 

---------------SPOILERS: Don't read below if you don't want to know the book's details---------

Heroine wasn't sure if she was going to reveal her real identity to her bio dad.  Her finding out that he has a new family made it a harder choice. Her mom didn't know about her knowledge of her father's identity and she wanted to keep it that way. Her thrive-divorced mom has always competed with her and tended to make life hard on her. It was the last straw, when she caught her mom having sex with her then-boyfriend--another fact she was keeping a secret from others.

Hero's big secret was his being sexually assaulted last year by his former professor (heroine's current chem professor) when she drugged him with a date-rape drug she created and sold. She gave him a rare A-grade in her class, which helped him remain in college after his academic struggles due to depression after his baseball injury. She threatened to claim rape with proof of the naked pictures she took of both of them together if he reported her to the authorities. He asked his dad for help but his dad didn't believe him and chalked it up as Hero's stupidity for getting drunk & sleeping with his professor. So Hero kept the incident to himself and tried to stay away from her.  

The way his relationship with his dad was resolved at the end seemed too quick and pat to me. He'd struggle with pleasing his critical dad who favored his younger pro-baseball player brother since they were young.  Heroine confronted his dad over his mistreatment of Hero during their first meeting and regaled him of Hero's heroics. His dad immediately saw the light, accepted responsibility, asked forgiveness, hugged, and told Hero he loved him. Hero went through a lot of anguish over dealing with the trauma of his rape alone because his dad didn't believe him and blamed him for having sex with his professor. His dad's ready apology and Hero's ready acceptance was a bit too much to believe. It made me wonder how permanent those changes would be in the subsequent book(s). 

-----------------------------------------------END SPOILERS-------------------------------------------------

They had a good sexual chemistry yet limited themselves only to some kissing and touching. They were mostly sweet and emotional foreplay scenes, which highlighted their connection and angst of not being able to be together as they desired. I understood heroine's reasons but not Hero's. I didn't understand why he went out with other girls but not heroine whom he says is the one he wants to really be with. Why date other girls at all? Heroine was able to keep herself busy with school & dealing with her dad & other secrets. It particularly didn't make sense when Hero asked her to be his pretend girlfriend for his dad. She was the type of girl her dad would be pleased with. So, again, why not date her especially when she'd win over his hard-to-please dad?  I’m hoping to answers to these questions in the subsequent book. And hopefully see a change in Hero's faithfulness to heroine.

I partially recommend this book

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