I'm not that type of girl.
My name is Emerald Anderson and I'm not going to bullshit you: I flunked out of college after my sophomore year, I've been fired from every job I've ever taken, and I've never had a fully functioning relationship in my life.
I wish I could say that I had a cheerleader in my corner, someone who says, "No, Emerald--You're great and you are good at something!" but I don't. My grandparents are completely oblivious to my life, and my mother's dying words to me were "You're going to end up just like me one day. A beautiful nothing."
She was right.
As I decide to start my life over and take two jobs that will forever change me--one from the inside, and one from the outside, I keep my mother's words close to my heart so I can keep the sexy and mysterious Carter Black away.
He's the first man who's ever pursued me, the first man who seems bent on finding out why I am the way I am, but he's wasting his time.
I'm not broken. I don't need to be fixed. I'm perfectly fine being a beautiful failure…
You know those books that are all "Save The Stripper!!", this is NOT that type of book. This is a book about acceptance, growth, and coming to terms with the life you were handed. This is also a book about a girl, who from the outside just seems like a bitchy-bad-ass, and on the inside, is the same confused girl that she was when her mother died. Her name is Emerald, NOT Em, and she isn't looking for the typical things in life. Right now, she's just looking to get her ass out of trouble.
"Rule #1: ...If you ever feel sad or depressed, suck that shit up and add more mascara."
Emerald's life has taken turn after turn of issues that has brought her where she is now. A 21 year old college drop out, living with her grandparents, down in the bible-belt, unable to hold on to any job for more than a couple of weeks. So when she starts her next quick-find job, she doesn't expect to be there long. She also doesn't at all anticipate meeting not one, but two people, who are about to change her life completely. She finds a friend, and a guy who just won't give up. One will offer her a living, and one will offer her a life.
"Because you think I'm a lost soul.. [and that I] need a Prince Charming or a knight in shining armor to save me? If you do, you've got the wrong fucking girl."
But given Emerald's past, she won't let either of them in easily, and without a fight. It takes quite a while for her to open up, even the littlest bit. But when she does, all aspects of her life start to become a little bit clearer. Her whole past starts to open back up, and she starts to really re-evaluate her whole being.
" 'Not your Cinderella?' He reads what I saved my number under and rolls his eyes.He calls it and my phone rings inside my back. 'Feel free to save it under Not Your Prince Charming.' "
Carter Black. Oh. My.
He isn't your usual book-boyfriend. He doesn't want to "save" Emerald. He genuinely has an interest in who she is. Who she is NOW, not who she "can be once he fixes her". He doesn't want to fix her, he doesn't want to change her. He just.. wants her for who she is, whoever that is. He. is. amazing. When Carter and Emerald first meet, you will laugh, and you will continue to laugh at the banter between these two throughout the book. They're more alike that they realize in some aspects, and worlds away from each other in others. They are perfect for each other, whether Emerald realizes it or not.
I love this book. I really really love this book. And I have to say, that if I didn't know this was the FIRST book that Mariah Cole has ever written, I wouldn't believe it. The writing is phenomenal, the characters draw you in, the story is typical-of-life, and not typical-of-book, and it is absolutely fantastic. She nailed this book, and I can NOT wait for the second in this series.
I'll mention it now…. its a cliffhanger.
You all know how much I love a good cliffhanger. This cliffhanger? One of the BEST ones I've read yet. Did I freak out? Oh yes, yes I did. To the point where I finished the last line and went "OH. MY. GOD! nooooo shit!" and smacked my husband who was sitting next to me (sorry, Husbutt). But it was THAT good. I will happily wait until the next book is out, because this cliffhanger was NAILED so well. But can we try to make it not TOO long Miss Cole? because really, I'm still kinda freaking out inside.
"I've never just liked anyone before. I've always pretended that I did so I could use them for something or get something out of them down the line. I thought that was how it was supposed to be. But with you, I don't want anything but more of you…"