Title: The Boyfriend List
Series: Boyfriend #1
Author: Renee Novelle
Release Date: February 10, 2014
Genre: New Adult
SynopsisThe Boyfriend List follows twenty-year-old Reagan in her quest for the perfect relationship after a somewhat tragic spring break breakup leaves her disillusioned about love...again.
Reagan had always prided herself on making levelheaded, practical, analytical decisions about everything. Everything, that is, except where guys are concerned. Which was proven to her, once again, when her “boyfriend” opts to take another girl on their oh-so-romantic trip to his lake house. In order to prevent future heartbreak, she creates a checklist of all the qualities she wants in a man, and vows not to give her heart away again until she can determine if they fit every last criteria.
After scouring campus with her two best friends in her tricky journey, her detective work returns a pile of unworthy rejects, and it seems as though her choices are narrowed down to only two options: the hot stranger who’s inspired her new project, and her best guy friend Ian, who she’s always kept at bay due to his perceived playboy reputation.
Reagan gets more than she bargained for with her new set of rules, however, and is surprised to find that love, and the perfect boyfriend, may have been within reach the entire time. But will Ian’s reputation ruin his chances to prove his worth? And can Reagan let go of her insecurities long enough to even give him a chance?
The Boyfriend List is a light, New Adult romance about friendship, trust, and learning to let go in order to embrace what real love can offer.
ExcerptMaybe she needed to get some fresh air, she decided. Go for a walk, clear her head. Anything to distract her focus from her thoughts and reset her mind back on her paper.
Decision made. She shut down her computer, set aside her books and wrapped her long hair into a somewhat sloppy bun on the top of her head. Reagan had contemplated a light sweatshirt to ward off the last cold brisk of winter that clung to the night air in stubborn resignation, then decided against it. But before she’d even left her bedroom, she turned back and yanked it off her bed after all. Apparently she was having a hard time making up her mind about everything that night.
Zipping it halfway up her torso, just below her breasts, she crept quietly out the front door and turned to lock it behind her. A quick breeze whipped its way around the corner and down the corridor, and as a shiver worked its way up her spine, she was thankful she’d listened to her intuition. Maybe she should do that more often.
But just as Reagan turned to go down the stairs and head out on her walk, she was met – nearly head on – by an unexpected sight. Ian stood before her, mildly drunk but mostly sober, looking as surprised to see her as she was to see him. It was clear he’d been out for a night of fun, though she’d seen him far worse on more occasions than she could count on both hands. But it was also just as clear that, once again, he’d come home alone. She couldn’t help the little smirk of satisfaction that turned up at the corners of her mouth on that discovery, though internally she chastised herself at the thought.
“And just where do you think you’re going?” His voice danced over the words with dramatic flair, an indicative side effect of his inebriated condition.
It took her a minute to find her voice. “I need a break.” She finally explained, “This essay’s killing me and I want to clear my head.”
“Nice jacket.” He flicked the toggle of her zipper, and Reagan felt it flutter in her core. “Want some company?”
The flutter was moving faster at the suggestion. His eyes had grown dark, almost as dark as the night sky, and she thought she saw something in them that begged her to say yes. Suddenly, she wasn’t so sure she needed her sweatshirt any longer, since the temperature seemed to have risen up all around her, working a pink tint into her cheeks. She was glad it was so dark out, hopefully he couldn’t tell this time. “Aren’t you just getting in though? You’re probably tired...right?”
Please say yes, please say yes, please say yes... she chanted in her head. The truth was she very much would’ve loved his company, maybe a little too much, but she wasn’t certain she trusted herself around him yet...alone...in the middle of the night. There were too many possibilities, too many temptations that her imagination could come up with. If she acted on any one of them, and was wrong in her assumption, well the let down could be brutal at best.
“Tired? Me?” He shook his head and made a face at the suggestion. “The party was just getting boring. Too many of the same people, not worth the time.” Was he implying that she was worth his time then? Reagan certainly hoped so, considering how long they’d been friends. But she couldn’t help wondering if there was something more behind the words. “So what do you say? Can I walk with you?” And as he tilted his head in that subtle way that only Ian could, a dimple working it’s way into the corner of his cheek, she felt her breath rush out of her lungs.
He’d put the ball back in her court again. Damn him! There’d be no getting around it this time, she’d have to give him a definitive answer. And quickly.Reagan knew she should say no. There was something inside, warning her that it wasn’t a good idea. As though accepting his innocent invitation would somehow change things. Alter their relationship and shift their energies toward one another in a way that could never be put back again. But, when she really thought about it, hadn’t they kind of done that already?
And yet everything inside of her wanted to scream yes, and keep the momentum of what they’d started earlier in the day moving forward. It wanted to let him take her hand in his, entwine her fingers around his, as though it was the most natural thing in the world for them to be doing. All she could manage though was a simple nod, stiffened by the breath she held tightly in her chest. It was almost as though she was afraid to acknowledge what she wholeheartedly wanted, even to herself, because doing so would only leave her open and vulnerable to a future of regrets and failures.
About the Author
In 2013, Novelle returned to her first love – fiction. Writing under the names Renee Novelle and R.S. Novelle, she has a publication schedule that includes Psychological Thrillers, Suspense, Paranormal Fiction, Contemporary Women’s fiction, Chick Lit, and New Adult.
Though she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Communication, summa cum laude, she considers herself a constant student of the written word. She’s an avid reader, an enthusiastic quote poster, and rarely takes “no” as a final answer. She has an unhealthy obsession for theater, dance, music and art, and strongly believes that wine is simultaneously the beginning of, and resolution to, all of life’s problems. She believes in following dreams, and that in the end, you always end up where you’re meant to be.
The Boyfriend List is the perfect example of a sweet NA romance that doesn't need a bunch of sex scenes just to tell the story. Instead, you'll find an engaging set of characters, clean and well written scenes, and a friends-to-couple story that will have you rooting for Reagan and Ian from the start.
I found Reagan to be a bit timid and reluctant, and kept hoping that some of her friend Petra's personality would rub off on her. But Reagan's personality seemed to be like it was so she could protect her heart, so I can understand why she's like that. Ian on the other hand was outgoing, lovable and so sweet, and I was on his side from the very beginning hoping Reagan would come around to him quickly (if I was her, I sure would have!).
I would have liked to see more of Ian and Reagan together, especially toward the ending. Plus there is the question of Ian's background and how he can afford that apartment on his own and that credit card he pulls out at the boutique...so I'd love to see a follow up story :-)
4 stars from me for The Boyfriend List--and if you'd like to read a delightful, clean NA romance, you should definitely check this one out!
$10 Amazon Gift Card and a Signed Paperback of The Boyfriend List (US ONLY)