Title: When We Met
Author: A.L. Jackson, Molly McAdams, Tiffany King, Christina Lee
Genre: New Adult
Rating: 3.5 stars
When four girls decide to live off campus together as juniors at a college in Michigan, they expect it to be their best year yet. Little do they know, it’s a year that will change the rest of their lives.
BEHIND HER EYES by A.L. Jackson
Unable to live down her ex-boyfriend’s deception, Misha is determined to avoid betrayal. When, the new guy next door, Darryn starts to get under her skin, her defenses start to crumble. But trusting Darryn seems impossible, especially if he’s not sure he can trust himself.
SAVING ME by Molly McAdams
On the outside, Indy is always ready for a party—but inside she’s breaking. Kier makes a weekly routine of saving the girl next door from herself on Saturday nights… but when will she be ready to remember him on Sunday morning?
FOULING OUT by Tiffany King
Working at a sports bar, Courtney has become a pro at sidestepping propositions from arrogant jocks—which makes her a more elusive catch for campus basketball star Dalton than he expected. But when he falls for the saucy waitress, Dalton will have to rethink his game plan to prove he’s not the jerk Courtney expects.
BENEATH YOUR LAYERS by Christina Lee
In order to ace her fashion internship, Chloe must team up with local college dropout and set builder, Blake—much to her chagrin. But after some “hands-on” experience, Chloe will have to ask herself if Blake factors into her carefully laid plans…
In the anthologies I’ve read previously, the stories don’t connect, other than maybe sharing similar subject matter. This one intrigued me because of how the stories related. Each story features one of four girls living in a house together at the University of Michigan, each written by a different author. With this approach, they truly give each female character their own voice. They each have their own personal problems, with very different ways to handle those problems. While each story has its own unique storyline, they all have the theme of when each girl meets their special someone, and how that shapes their lives.
What I liked was how the stories flowed from one to another chronologically. So with each story, you see the progression of the previous one. But I had two minor issues with the anthology – which might not bother you. First, although these four girls lived together, they barely seemed to interact. I get that two of the girls worked all of the time, but I didn’t really get the sense that they truly cared for each other. Particularly in books 1 and 2, the girls were very emotionally damaged. There was some minor support from a character or two, but it still seemed like each girl was living in her own world, and their only savior was the male hero. Which brings me to point two. I’m all for having a male hero, but again in books 1 and 2, it seems as though the girls wouldn’t have survived well without the interference of the hero. I’m personally just a little tired of the weak heroine, so while the first two stories are well written, I didn’t care for them as much as the latter two stories. Again, this is my personal opinion, you may love the male hero saving the day. I usually do as well, but I also like the female to have some more strength without their presence.
Rather than get into a full blown review for each story, which are short, I’ll just give you some quick thoughts on each.
If you are familiar with AL Jackson’s work, than you are familiar with the heavy dose of angst in her stories. Behind Her Eyes focuses on an already shy girl, Misha, getting over a very embarrassing and public video about her. While I liked Darryn overall, it bothered me a bit that his initial attraction to her was from the video itself. But he proves to be 100% better than Hunter and gave Misha the chance to build confidence in herself.
Like the previous story, I am not familiar with Tiffany King, but I really enjoyed Fouling Out. This is the lightest of the four stories, and also the most realistic, as former best friends, Courtney and Dalton, try to reconnect after his sports dream tore them apart years prior. I liked Dalton’s persistence, and also how Courtney didn’t forgive him easily. However, he earned back her trust and something more, in the sweetest of ways.
Of the four stories, I liked Beneath Your Layers by Christina Lee the most. I liked how Blake, a guy seemingly so different from Chloe, entered her world and drew out the best in her. It wasn’t about changing her, or healing her. Just about exposing those layers under her carefully controlled exterior, and getting to her true self.
Overall, I think this was a clever idea for an anthology and I enjoyed each story individually. Had there been more interaction among the four women in the stories, I think the stories could have been even better. But it was nice that the fourth story does bring them all together to celebrate. Each woman has their HEA and are significantly happier than the beginning of the book.
Christina Lee/When We Met Anthology
I motioned for the bar. “Want me to get you a soda or a water?”
Chloe stared at me for another long moment before she said, “No, thanks.”
We listened to the next song quietly standing beside each other, lost in our own thoughts. Until she turned to me and said, “Truth or dare?”
“Dare,” I said, almost breathless. Given her mood, maybe she’d give me something good this time.
“Your turn, Blake,” she said. “Do something spontaneous.”
My fingers trembled from wanting to touch her so badly and all I could think about was doing just that.
“You sure that’s what you want?” I said, turning and backing her against the wall.
“Yes,” she breathed out.
“Something spontaneous or something I’ve been thinking about doing for days?” I said, my lips coming closer to hers. “Maybe weeks?”
Her breath caught. “It . . . it’s your call.”
My head swung forward, our foreheads practically touching. Fluttery breaths were escaping her lips. I place my arms on either side of her head and she bit down on her lip.
My heart thrashed in my chest and all I could think about was how desperate I was to kiss her, but how nervous I was to blow this opportunity.
So I attempted to read her signals and they were definitely mixed. Her eyes flitted between panic and lust.
When I pinned my hip against hers, I could’ve sworn I heard a low moan in the back of her throat.
“Please,” she rasped out. “Please . . . don’t . . . Blake.”
My stomach was in my throat. Fuck, either I’d scared her or I’d been reading her wrong.
I leaned back to give her space, but her fingers suddenly skimmed across my waist, clenching my shirt and drawing me nearer.
“Don’t what?” I asked in confusion. She was so fucking messing with my head.
“Don’t . . .” She was panting now. “Don’t stop.”
A.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Come to Me Quietly, Come to Me Softly, Pulled, When We Collide, and If Forever Comes.She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student. She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.To stay up to date with important news on A.L. Jackson, including new releases, sales, and exclusive specials and excerpts, text “jackson” to 96000 to subscribe!
USA Today Bestselling author Tiffany King is a lifelong reading fanatic who is now living her dream as a writer, weaving Young Adult and New Adult romance tales for others to enjoy. She has a loving husband and two wonderful kids. (Five, if you count her three spoiled cats). Her addictions include: Her iPhone and iPad, chocolate, Diet Coke, chocolate, Harry Potter, chocolate, zombies and her favorite TV shows. Want to know what they are? Just ask.For information on any of Author Tiffany’s titles, visit her blog at
http://www.authortiffanyjking.blogspot.comWhere to connect with Author Tiffany
Pinterest- Tiffany King
Goodreads- Tiffany King
Molly grew up in California but now lives in the oh-so-amazing state of Texas with her husband and furry four-legged daughters. When she’s not diving into the world of her characters, some of her hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, traveling, and long walks on the beach … which roughly translates to being a homebody with her hubby and dishing out movie quotes. She has a weakness for crude-humored movies and fried pickles, and loves curling up in a fluffy comforter during a thunderstorm … or under one in a bathtub if there are tornados. That way she can pretend they aren’t really happening.
Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys.She’s addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. She believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.
Author of the Between Breaths series from Penguin. ALL OF YOU, BEFORE YOU BREAK and WHISPER TO ME available now, PROMISE ME THIS on October 7th, 2014.
Also Adult contemporary romance TWO OF HEARTS coming from Penguin/NAL on May 5th 2015.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Christina-Lee/e/B00D1W5RSE/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1414001350&sr=8-2-ent