Thursday, August 12, 2021

Book Review: Then You Saw Me by Carrie Aarons

You know what’s guaranteed to send your heart into your throat? Opening the front door of your off-campus house to find the boy you had a crush on all through high school telling you he’s the new subletter.

Of course, he barely knew I existed back then, and still doesn’t even though we attend the same university. But in a house of six college kids, it should be easy to remain invisible while carrying a torch for him. After all, I’m skilled at being overlooked and playing second fiddle.

Except Austin Van Hewitt, my hometown’s golden boy, doesn’t get the memo. After we throw our first party of the year, I’m on his radar and somehow my lips miraculously end up on his. The budding romance is one I’ve always dreamt about. As he shows more and more interest, I push aside the plaguing insecurity of never being good enough.

But then a letter shows up in our mailbox. A time capsule I wrote to myself when I was fifteen. You know, the kind where a teacher sends it to you years later? Guess who opens it by mistake and reads all about how I plan on marrying him and having his babies one day? Did I mention I signed it using his last name?

Mortifying would be an understatement. After he starts pulling away, I’m once again the girl in the background hoping that someone will understand me enough to pay me all of their attention. 

The old me, the one conditioned to settle for what she’s given, would back down. This time, though, if I want everything I almost held in my hands, I’ll have to speak up. I’ll have to admit exactly how I feel, fight for the love that was blossoming. And I’m not sure what’s scarier; voicing my inner thoughts or facing his ultimate rejection.


We have all been there. Had that one crush in school, the one that seemed to last forever. The one who didn't even know you were alive.

So imagine this: a few years later you are in college and one of your roommates' leaves, and who shows up to sublet their room? Yep. The guy. The one you had crushed so hard on.

Carrie Aarons knows how to write romance. She keeps you engaged and turning pages. She gets you invested, not only in the story but the characters themselves. She makes them feel like they are your friends, and that you are right in the middle of the action. In fact, she is becoming one of my go-to authors on contemporary romance.

The main characters Taya and Austin are both complex characters. Austin's last name is synonymous with the town they grew up in. Well-known and well connected. He is the perfect son, the perfect student. He is the golden boy. Taya has spent her life playing second best to her little sister.

I enjoyed both characters. Surprisingly Carrie Aarons did not make Austin a character you dislike, the arrogant high school jock that so many seem to focus on. He is very likable and you instantly understand where he is coming from and his actions. And of course, you feel for Taya, she goes through this horrible humiliation that we would all want to avoid.

Both of them are human, they feel real to the reader. They are vulnerable, they are insecure, and like anyone from a dysfunctional family they struggle with things, but the thing that really drew me to these two was their ability to be fighters and the intense connection between them.

Are you a fan of close proximity roommate romances? Do you like stories that are full of angst and emotions?  If you answered yes to either of these, do yourself a favor and pick up Then You Saw Me By Carrie Aarons. You won't be sorry.

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