My Favorite Mistakeby Chelsea M. Cameron
Two secrets. One bet. Who will break first?
Taylor Caldwell can't decide if she wants to kiss her new college roommate or punch him.
On the one hand, Hunter Zaccadelli is a handsome blue-eyed bundle of charm. On the other, he's a tattooed, guitar-playing bad boy. Maybe that's why Taylor's afraid of falling in love with him, or anyone else. She doesn't want to
Two secrets. One bet. Who will break first?
Taylor Caldwell can't decide if she wants to kiss her new college roommate or punch him.
On the one hand, Hunter Zaccadelli is a handsome blue-eyed bundle of charm. On the other, he's a tattooed, guitar-playing bad boy. Maybe that's why Taylor's afraid of falling in love with him, or anyone else. She doesn't want to get burned, so she needs him gone before it's too late.
Hunter himself has been burned before, but Taylor's sexy laugh and refusal to let him get away with anything make her irresistible. Determined not to be kicked out of her life without a fight, Hunter proposes a bet: if she can convince him she either truly loves or hates him, he'll leave the apartmentand leave her alone.
But when the man behind Taylor's fear of giving up her heart resurfaces, she has to decide: trust Hunter with her greatest secret, or do everything in her power to win that bet and drive him away forever.
Jessica Sorenson, New York Times bestselling author of The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden
Taylor's new college roommate is an attractive, guitar-playing wild man, and she can't decide if she would rather kiss him or kick him. When he proposes a bet that would lead to his moving out and leaving her alone, Taylor is game.
Taylor and Hunter are inexplicably thrown together as roommates in a college dorm; drawn to each other despite--or perhaps because of--deep-seated wounds, they develop a close bond that leads to romance. On move-in day of her sophomore year, Taylor Caldwell discovers that she has been assigned a male roommate. And a dangerously sexy one at that. Taylor has generally avoided men since a traumatic childhood experience left her distrustful of them, so sharing a room with one of the most gorgeous males she's ever seen is disconcerting. The fact that he is also charming, talented and clearly attracted to her makes him terrifying. When it becomes apparent that he has his own traumas to overcome, the two forge an unexpected friendship that is complicated by blazing sexual tension. Taylor is convinced she'll never want a man, and she's determined to never need one. At first, Hunter views Taylor as a challenge, but he soon decides she's his once-in-a-lifetime mate, without even sleeping with her. The few sizzling kisses they share are evidence enough of a physical connection, and his emotions just keep getting more and more entwined with the prickly girl who refuses to get close to anyone. But Hunter is on a mission--he's known heartache and once believed all was lost, so he recognizes the symptoms in Taylor. He wants to remind her how to trust and love. And when a shadow from Taylor's past threatens to overwhelm her, he'll stand by her side, no matter what. New adult author Cameron is a smooth writer who has a great feel for story and character. She deftly moves the pace along through realistic dialogue and a well-balanced narrative. However, readers could find the premise of the story--that an unknown male would be assigned to a dorm room with a coed and she wouldn't deal with it immediately--far-fetched. Also, the buildup to Taylor's trauma is so tensely drawn that it ultimately proves anticlimactic when readers find out what it is. Overall, though, a fine effort. A sexy, generally affecting romance. This is the first entry in a two-book series. It was originally self-published in 2012.
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Read an Excerpt
The first time I met Hunter Zaccadelli, I punched him in the face. Granted, he completely and totally deserved it. He also asked for it, in so many ways.
When our fourth roommate bailed on us three days before school, Darah, Renee and I assumed housing would take care of it and shove some poor unfortunate in with us. Probably some poor girl who had decided to switch colleges at the last minute to follow a boyfriend, or someone who had their apartment plans fall through. We weren't sure what to expect, but come move-in day, I did not expect who was waiting outside when I opened the door. I knew the upper-class housing was coed, but never in my wildest and craziest dreams did I think it would actually happen to us.
Instead of a desperate and frazzled girl, he showed up with a footlocker, a backpack and a guitar. It was so beyond cliche that I didn't say anything for the full three seconds it took for me to assess him. Dark hair buzzed so short his head was almost shaved, purposeful five o'clock shadow, piercing blue eyes and at least a foot on my five feet. And a cocky smile to top it all off. He might as well have had Trouble tattooed on his forehead. Speaking of ink, I could just make out some on his arm, but I couldn't see what it said. His thin T-shirt hugged his chest in a way that didn't leave much to the imagination. Maybe he'd borrowed it from his little brother.
"Are you Darah, Renee or Taylor? You look like a Taylor to me," he said, looking me up and down.
I wasn't at my best, considering I was dressed for moving heavy objects in a blue UMaine T-shirt and black soccer shorts, and I had my light brown hair in a haphazard bun against the back of my neck. His eyes raked up and down twice, and for some reason the way he assessed me made me blush and want to kick him in the balls at the same time.
"There must be a mistake," I said.
He adjusted his bag on his shoulder. "That's a creative name. What do you shorten it to? Missy?"
"That's not what I meant."
His grin somehow got wider. Either his dad was a dentist, or he was really into flossing because those teeth were pretty perfect. I noticed things like that, having gone through my own dental saga between three years of braces and night headgear. I still had to wear a retainer every night.
"Is that her?" Darah called from her room, where she was arranging her photo frames so they were exactly level. She was neurotic like that.
"I'm Hunter, by the way. Hunter Zaccadelli."
Of course his name was Hunter. The only Hunter I'd ever known had been a complete douche. Looked like this guy was going to carry on the tradition.
He pointed to his footlocker. "So, should I bring my stuff in or ?
My brain wouldn't stop misfiring.
"Who's that?" Darah finally emerged. Our other roommate, Renee, was still unloading stuff from her car. "New roommate, hey," he said.
"You're the new roommate?" Her eyebrows migrated so they were nearly hidden under her dark bangs. She gave him the same up and down as I did, but he didn't do the same to her. He was still looking at me.
"Yeah, my housing plans fell through at the last minute. My cousin was going to let me live at his place, but that didn't work out, so here I am. Do you mind if I come in now?"
"You can't live here," I said, crossing my arms.
"Why? This is a coed living facility, last time I checked." He flashed his grin again and shouldered his way into the room, completely ignoring me as his chest brushed mine, and I got a whiff of cologne. It wasn't that cheap crap that punches you in the nose. It was spicier, almost like cinnamon. I stood my ground, but he had height and weight on me. But I had surprise on my side.
"Well, it's better than sleeping on my cousin's couch," he said, plunking his bag on the floor and surveying the room. The suites were small, with a kitchen and tiny nook for a dining table on one side and a tiny living room for an apartment-size couch and a recliner on the other. The bedrooms were the worst, with two lofted beds crammed perpendicular to each other along the wall, the desks crammed underneath, and room for only two small closets.
"Can I see some identification?" Darah said, propping her hands on her hips. "How do we know you're not some random creep?"
"Do I look like some random creep?" He spread his arms out, and I finally saw what the tattoo on his left biceps was.
A number seven in curling intricate script. My eyes moved up to his face.
"How are we supposed to know?" Darah moved closer to him, using her stature. They were almost the same height.
"Look, all I know is that I submitted an application and they sent me an email with a room number and your names. Here, I printed it out. Do you treat all your guests like criminals?" He drew out a many-times-folded sheet of paper and handed it to Darah. She glanced at it, sighed and handed it to me.
"Why wouldn't they have notified us?" I said once I'd read it. There it was in black-and-white.
"Who knows?" Darah said, still eyeing him warily.
"Oh my God, I swear I'm never moving again," Renee said from the top of the stairs, her arms full of boxes and two bags dangling from her arms. "Who left their crap in the hallway?" She stepped over the footlocker and guitar case, giving them a look of disgust. "Has our new roommate showed upoh, hello." Her voice changed from irritated and dry to sweet and sugary the second she saw Hunter. "I'm guessing that's your guitar in the hallway." She dropped her stuff and proceeded to pop her hip out and lean to one side. Oh, please.
"This," I said, pointing to Hunter, "is our new roommate, according to housing."
"No way." Renee's eyes got wide in her tiny face. Renee looked like a blond-haired, blue-eyed china doll you plucked off a shelf and put in a Victoria's Secret tank top. "Are you shitting me?"
"What a reception," Hunter said.
"Shut up," I said. He just smiled again. God, I wanted to smack that smile right off his face.
"I should probably get my junk out of the hall," he said, going and picking up the footlocker as if it weighed nothing more than a shoebox. Show-off.
Hunter had to navigate boxes and random pillows and crap that littered the rooms, which he did with grace. He found a spot and set the footlocker down, looking at us.
"So, who am I sleeping with?" he said, leaning against the door to my bedroom.
The agreement had been that since Darah and Renee had already been roommates last year, and I was joining their little group, that the new girl would live with me. But that was so not happening now that the new girl wasn't a girl.
"Did you seriously just say that?" I said.
At the same time Darah said, "The only free bed is in Taylor's room."
"There is no way he's staying with me," I snapped, readjusting my arms so they covered my boobs better. He'd been staring at my chest since he'd made the sleeping-with comment. Not that I had much of one to speak of, but that didn't stop his eyes from traveling there.
"No, we're calling housing right now and straightening this out," I said, pulling out my cell phone.
"Tay, they're not open on Monday," Renee said.
"I don't care. There must be someone there. It's move-in day."
I grabbed the campus phone book that had been on the doormat when we'd gotten there that morning and thumbed through it until I found the number for housing.
"Aw, c'mon, Missy, you don't want to live with me?" Who did this guy think he was? I'd known him all of ten minutes and he'd already given me a nickname and propositioned me.
"Call me that one more time " I didn't finish as I furiously typed in the number. Darah and Renee whispered to Hunter, but not quiet enough so I couldn't hear them.
"It's best to let her go when she gets like this," Renee hissed.
"I wouldn't mess with her," he said as I listened to another ring.
Finally, a message picked up, telling me what the hours were and giving me some extensions I could try. I punched in the first one. No answer, but a message machine picked up. I left a short message, explaining the situation in the most urgent of terms, and then called back the original number. I didn't stop until I'd left messages for all five of the contacts on the housing voice mail list. I slammed my phone down on the counter.
"Feel better?" Hunter said.
"No." I chucked the phone book on the couch. Darah and Renee were looking at me like they were worried I was going to explode. I was on the verge. "If you were a gentleman, you'd offer to sleep on the couch," I snapped.
"Well, Missy, you'll come to find out that I'm not a gentleman. I plan to take full advantage of this situation." My mouth dropped open in shock. No guy had ever talked to me that way.
"Is it hot in here? I think I'll open the window," Renee said, scurrying over to our one window, located at one end of the couch.
Darah looked at me and then Hunter and back. "Well, there's nothing we can do right now. Let's get his stuff in, and then maybe we can go down and see if anyone is at housing," she said. Darah was always the peacemaker.
"Sounds good to me," Hunter said, walking right into my bedroom as if he owned the place.
"I can't believe this is happening," I said, closing my eyes.
I heard "Back in Black" by AC/DC coming from my room. Hunter's ringtone.
"Hey, man. No, I just got here. Room 203. Yeah, that would be great " He nudged the door shut, and I glanced at Renee and Darah.
"I didn't think we were going to have to do this so early, but I think we need a roommate meeting," I said. We'd agreed that we would have weekly roommate meetings to air our grievances. I was all for getting that shit out in the open so we didn't end up hating each other. I'd had a horrible roommate last year, and I didn't want to deal with that again.
I listened, but it sounded like Hunter was still on the phone. I could hear him rummaging and prayed he wouldn't break anything. Then I would kill him.
"I don't see what the big deal is," Renee said. "I mean, it would be the same if one of us had a boyfriend staying over. Paul stayed over all the time when Darah and I lived here last year."
"But that was because you were sleeping with him," I said.
"Maybe I'll sleep with Hunter," she shot back. Renee had broken up with Paul extremely recently and was on the prowl for a rebound. We all knew she and Paul were meant to be and that they would eventually realize that, but Renee was still in the anger stage.
"Are you uncomfortable with staying with him, Taylor? It's okay if you are," Darah said.
"I can't imagine why I would be uncomfortable about sharing an extremely small room with a guy I've known all of a half hour who keeps making creepy comments. Can't imagine why I'd have a problem with that."
"If you want, Renee and I can switch. I'll stay with him, and Renee can stay with you," Darah said.
"Why can't he stay with me?" Renee whined. "Because you'll rape him in his sleep," I said. "You can't rape the willing, Tay," she said, winking. "You're disgusting."
"How about we draw straws?" Darah said.
"Do we even have straws?" Renee said. "How about we do numbers or something? Here," she said, grabbing a UMaine notepad that someone had left on the kitchen counter, along with a pen. "I'll write our names down and we'll put it in " She grabbed the baseball cap I'd discarded earlier. "And Hunter will pick. There you go. Problem solved."
My door opened and Hunter emerged, another grin on his face.
"You weren't talking about me, were you?"
Like he didn't know. I rolled my eyes as Renee wrote each of our names on little bits of paper and tossed them in my hat. She put her hand over the top and shook it up.
"Pick one," she said, shoving the hat in his face.
"Okay," he said, sticking his hand in and pulling out a folded slip of paper. Renee slowly unfolded it. We all waited as she paused dramatically.
"Taylor," she said, turning it around so we could all read my name in black-and-white.
"Shit," I said.
"What's with all the peacock stuff?"
It was an hour later, and I was just as stuck with Hunter as I was when he'd walked in the door. I'd even gone down to housing, which was right down the hill from our dorm, but no one was there. Too busy making sure the freshmen didn't collapse under the weight of their massive electronics when they carried them down the hall, no doubt.
I was doing my best to ignore Hunter, but he wouldn't shut up. Clearly, he was one of those guys who liked to chat.
"Don't you know peacock feathers are bad luck?" Out of the corner of my eye, his biceps with the seven tattoo flexed as he pulled a couple of shirts out of his footlocker.
Yes, I did know they were bad luck for most people. It was none of his business why I had them everywhere, including on my comforter, hung in frames on the wall and strung on a dream catcher my sister had given me. It was none of his goddamn business.
I wished Tawny was here. My sister would have known exactly what to say to Hunter to get him to leave. She couldn't get out of her work as a paralegal, and Mom couldn't get off work, either. I guess they figured since I was a sophomore, moving wasn't such a big deal. Still, I missed Tawny. "You pissed at me, Missy?"
The nickname was the last straw. I whirled around and glared at him. "Look, I don't know you. You don't know me. As soon as humanly possible, I'm getting you out of here, got it? I'm not your baby. I'm not one of those girls you can smile at and crawl into bed with. Got it? Stay the fuck away from me."
Those blue eyes seared into me. He was the kind of guy who could see things that other people couldn'tthings that I'd spent my entire life covering up and hiding from the masses. I'd only met a few people who could see past my carefully cultivated facade. I'd dropped most of them like a bad habit, with the exception of one. I'd have to squash this ASAP before he decided he might want to see what the world had done to piss me off so much.
"It's kinda hard to stay away from you when we're living in the same place," he said.
"I. Know. That," I said through gritted teeth.
He held up his hands. "Don't be mad at me. Fate picked your name."
"I don't believe in fate."
He laughed. "Me neither. I just believe in luck." He pointed to the seven on his arm. "Never can be too careful."
"I don't believe in luck, either."
Meet the Author
CHELSEA M. CAMERON is a contemporary romance/New Adult author from Maine. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono, that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is. For the latest updates and more about Chelsea, visit her website at www.chelseamcameron.com, find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @chel_c_cam.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Read the book on very rainy day. You just can't wait to keep reading to see how the characters are going to evolve and what each is hiding. I would recommend for those folks who loved "Beautiful Disaster" or "Slammed"
This book drew me in from the first punch, and never let me go. I freaking love Hunter and Taylor. I love that their story was so much more than the typical boy meets girl, they fall in love, they break up, and then they get back together. Their love story was real!
Awesome Weekend Read. Loved it from beginning to end
I read in about 10 hours! I really enjoyed all 600+ pages. Would like to read more from the author.
If your a fan of tammara weber, jamie mcguire, m. Leighton ect. you'll love this book.
I am not sure if I loved or hated this book. At times it was cute and funny, other times it was just down right annoying. If you can look past annoying banter that lasts literally throughout the entire thing, then it's a good read.
Immature. These are suppose to be college age people with tramatic family issues that should have made them more mature having endure their past conflicts, however, NOT! The dialogue was so painfully immature to read, the plot was transparent, and the female protagonist was just plain annoying. The depth of feelings I was suppose to experience for the main characters just wasn't there, the writer didn't convince me. Two stars, because, I love a man who's devoted, Hunter, the books only redeeming quality. S.A.K.
I really wanted to love this book. A lot of my friends read it and raved and raved about it. And I did like it, but it just didn't wow me. I also had a really tough time connecting with Taylor. I understood that she had something traumatic happen to her, but I felt like she was unnecessarily mean to Hunter. That really bothered me. My overall feelings about her never really changed throughout the book. The best part about the book for me was Hunter. He was funny, sexy, and insightful. He was so patient and supportive of Taylor. My heart hurt for him and the tragedy that he dealt with too. I would have liked to have seen more focus on his past. Overall, like I said, I liked it enough to read the whole book. The love story was sweet and it had some steamy parts, but just fell short for me. I've heard rumors that there will be another book and I am curious to see what Cameron would do with their story from here. Will I rush to read it? Probably not, but I'll definitely check it out.
Couldn't put this one down, very well written. Great character development......really enjoyed it so much that I have already told all my GFs about it. Must read.
Loved this book. Great read, over 600 pages, couldnt put it down.
Another example that love conquers all
Read this book in one day, wish it was longer.
Reminded me that beauty isn't always something you see with your eyes, nor is it in the package Hollywood portrays. Forced me to look beyond my own insecurities and realize we are all a little different and that is okay!
Couldn't put it down. You won't be disappointed.
Very sweet book. Loved both Hunter and Taylor and thought their pasts were original and different than the usual troubled pasts. Also, particularly loved their "rooming arrangement." It felt cozy to read about it. The whole apartment situation sounded like a big family. Also, I liked how he slowly got under her skin and everything went smoothly from there. The only flaw is that the ending was a tad anticlimatic because I would have liked better a showdown than all that legal stuff. Still, Hunter Zaccadelli stole my heart with his wit and sexyness. I especially loved how they got together, from hating each other, to bantering, to leaning on each other, to fighting again but never really giving up on each other. It was a really sweet read... ... and a definite re-read!
Taylor and Hunter met when he became their roommate in college. She was shocked that the school would not even give her notice about his arrival. They get along like oil and water as they try to survive living in the same room. As they get to know one another, and even have a class together, they discover they actually have things in common. And when he cooks.... well everyone is happy. Hunter is just as closed off as she is, as they both have pasts that were filled with pain and secrets. Hunter also has the hots for Taylor. She is attracted to him as well, just does not want him to know it. Everyone around them sees it though. This was such an amazing book about love, loss, pain, and even sacrifice. I started out hating Hunter right along with Taylor but soon fell under his spell also.
Some Good Components But Didn't Work For Me Everyone expects to experience new things in college, but most don’t think one of those things will be a dorm-assigned roommate of the opposite sex. Taylor understood she lived in a co-ed dorm. She did not think that meant she’d open the door to find Hunter on the other side. Tattooed, guitar-carrying Hunter walks in and Taylor is immediately up in arms. When housing isn’t willing to re-assign Hunter, Taylor and Hunter agree on an unusual bet to determine if Hunter has to move out. Taylor must prove she loves or hates Hunter, to his satisfaction, and he’ll find another place to live. Until then, Taylor is stuck with him and his flirtation. I am partial to new adult, contemporary romance stories with a little bit of darkness to them. But unfortunately, MY FAVORITE MISTAKE fell short. It had all the right ingredients, but it just didn’t work for me. For one, I found Taylor annoying. She punched Hunter within minutes of meeting him, and Hunter seemed to find that, as well as everything else, charming about her. Second, Taylor seemed to think the only way she could convince housing to remove Hunter from her room was to lie and say he’d sexually harassed her (which thankfully she wasn’t willing to do). However, she hints from the very beginning that she has experienced something dark of the sexual variety in her younger years and that information alone, if revealed to the head of housing, should have been clear grounds to find her another roommate. But it never seemed to occur to her to reveal this tidbit when she meets with the head of housing in a private meeting and is asked if this is a personality conflict or something more threatening. I understand completely that this was not something she was open to sharing, but I felt like between Taylor and her mother freaking out over the roommate, it would have at least been mentioned as an option. Not to mention both of her other two roommates offered to switch with her so that she wouldn’t have to be the one sharing a room with Hunter, but she never even entertained the idea. Taylor made broad statements about who Hunter was as a person and how he viewed other people before she’d spent any time alone with him or talked to him long enough to be able to make that observation. It seemed like an indirect way for Ms. Cameron to build up Hunter but it didn’t seem realistic since I’d seen no indication Taylor could have actually observed this for herself. Also, Hunter was unrealistically perfect from his cooking for the entire floor to his patience with Taylor and as a result he never felt believable. I did like the emotions shown once Taylor finally had her big reveal. The story felt like it added layers of depth once Taylor opened up and I appreciated that it felt true to Taylor’s story. I also liked that MY FAVORITE MISTAKE flowed well from start to finish. I had a lot of hope for MY FAVORITE MISTAKE and gave it 2.5 stars (rounded down to 2 for reviewing purposes). While I felt like it didn’t reach it’s full potential, some people will love the concept and may not have the same issues with Taylor that I did. **Complimentary copy provided by the author/publisher for an honest review.
I have read this book twice now it is amazing!!! :) I love this book!
It had a good story line. It'd been done before but it was really nice
Hunter almost reminded me of a young Kellan Kyle. I loved the character from the minute you meet him. He is the sexy smart ass wrapped up with that bad boy charm that most girls find irresistible, well except Taylor. Taylor drove me nuts. Sure she had some traumatic happen to her, but she took it to an extreme. It took her until about 70% in to the book to soften to this boy who was throwing himself at her (money,physically and emotionally...hell he plays guitar and dances) and for some reason everyone saw it, but her. I wanted to shake her for wasting so much time especially after hearing Hunters secret. His blew hers away. I could see why he had night terrors and I would gladly climb in his bed to comfort him. The secondary characters were also enjoyable, especially when showing the main character and his underlying sensitive heart despite his "asshat" exterior....I love you Hunter Zaccadelli, more than the stars!