Max knows about feeling losthe's been on his own since he was sixteen. Now it's time to find out if he can ever go home again, and Courtney's the only one he trusts to go with him. But the trip to Providence could change everything .
It started out so simple. One misfit helping another. Now Max will do anything to show Courtney that for every heart that's ever been broken, there's another that can make it complete.
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If my life were a romantic comedy, I wouldn't be the star.
I'd be the witty, wise-cracking friend, telling the Reese Witherspoon character to follow her heart, and I'd be played by America Ferrera, Hollywood's idea of an ugly duckling. But not conforming to societal beauty standards didn't cause me any angst; I wasn't harboring a secret desire to take off my glasses and flip my hair, so my secret love interest would realize I was beautiful all along. In my view, my looks supplied simplicity. Anyone who got with me wanted the real me, no question. Romance ranked dead last on my to-do list at the moment, however.
"You're too picky," Max said.
He was curled up on my bedroom floor, skimming emails on his tablet. With her boyfriend's help, our soon-to-be-ex-roommate, Nadia, was currently carting the last of her belongings downstairs, and the other half of my room was conspicuously empty. I scowled and threw a common cold plushie at his head. He batted it away with impressive reflexes, still scrolling. Since he'd posted flyers around campus, along with his email, Max was handling first contact on the apartment.
"Swap with me. You and Angus can share the master bedroom and then you can put whoever you want next door."
As expected, he passed with an as-if gesture. "We'll keep looking. How about this one? 'Hey, my name is Kara. I'm a physical education major, I work part-time at Kelvin's and I'm a sophomore. I saw your flyer, and I'd love to meet you guys. My apartment fell through when the landlord sold the place out from under us and now I'm scrambling.' She seems fine. All the words are even spelled correctly."
I pretended to mull it over. "Basic language skills are important to me. Put her on the call-back list."
"You make it sound like we're casting a movie."
"This is way more critical," I reminded him. "This person will be living in my room, potentially watching me sleep."
"I wish you'd let me help," Nadia said, coming in to grab the last of her boxes.
Ty, her tall ginger boyfriend, plucked a carton from her arms. His four-year-old son was running around the living room, bothering Angus, who didn't seem to mind. I waved at both of them but didn't get up. Truthfully, I was more than a little verklempt over her leaving, even if she was only going downstairs. In the six months since I'd moved in, we'd become good friends. When I moved in, I'd taken over Lauren's half of the room; she had been Nadia's best friend from high school, so it wouldn't have been surprising if Nadia had resented me. Instead she did her best to make me feel at home. And it wasn't like she hadn't given us notice that she'd be moving in with Ty. I just hadn't acted on it because I'd secretly hoped their cohabitation wouldn't pan out, like maybe she'd realize what a huge step it was to take on someone else's kid.
"It's fine," I said. "I'm the one who procrastinated."
Max nodded. "If I hadn't made flyers, Kaufman here would still be waiting for the perfect roommate to drop out of the sky."
"It could work. A skydiving roomie would be pretty sweet."
Ty grinned. "I'd be worried about the rent."
"The man makes a good point." Max waved as they left, taking the rest of Nadia's worldly belongings. "Here's another possible. 'Saw your ad. About me: Carmen, drama major, junior. I have no annoying habits and an aversion to being homeless. Email me back!'"
"How am I supposed to choose"
"She attached a picture." Max handed me the tablet. "I'm inclined to say yes."
When I saw it, I knew why. Carmen had long silky black hair, golden skin, big brown eyes and an amazing body. While I'd definitely bang her, I didn't want her living in my room. The possibility for problems boggled the mind.
Shaking my head, I passed the iPad back. "No way."
"Why not? She's perfect!"
"She sent a wet T-shirt contest photo, dude. To random strangers. Does that speak highly of her common sense?" He sighed. "Not really."
"I don't want to come home to someone shooting amateur porn in my room."
"Are you sure? I'm positive that would look great on a résumé."
"You're such a weirdo."
"Guilty." Max glanced toward the doorway, where Angus had propped himself like a fashion model.
In different ways, my two roommates were both hot as hell. Blond-haired, green-eyed Angus radiated the moneyed GQ vibe; he was always put together, clean-shaven, well-dressed and delicious-smelling. Max, on the other hand, was a dimpled and scruffy, tattooed, motorcycle-riding hooligan. Right then I had the bad boy and the dream boy in my bedroom, pretty much winning the whole hot-guy lottery, but neither was interested in me. Angus had a boyfriend, and Max always had women blowing up his cell phone. But it wasn't like I was pining; I hadn't been in a relationship since Amy, and I wasn't looking, either. Still, for pure eye candy, it didn't suck to be me.
"House meeting," Angus said, sauntering over to flop across the foot of my bed. "Any progress on the roommate issue?"
Hunching my shoulders, I wrapped my arms around another plushie microbe, an adorable ovum this time. "I'm working on it."
"It's true. She's rejected four possibles since I came in."
I cut Max a look. "You're not helping."
"But I've been reading emails to you for the past ten minutes."
Ignoring that, I nudged Angus's thigh with my foot. "Do you know anyone who's looking? Preferably not a random stranger."
"Actually, that's part of the reason why I'm in here."
When I bounced, his head jogged on my mattress. "Spill it."
"I've been in pre-med with Kia since freshman year. She mentioned she wants to break up with her boyfriend, but she's been putting it off because it'll mean moving out. I didn't say anything because I wanted to talk to you guys first. But"
"Is she nice?" I cut in at the same time Max asked, "Is she hot?"
Angus smirked. "Yes and yes. I think she'd make you both happy."
Then he got out his phone, flipping through the gallery until he found a selfie of him with a pretty African-American girl. She had a great smile, bright and friendly, dark skin and short, natural hair. Sometimes the faces people made in photos gave me a vibe about them, and she seemed like she'd be fun.
I took his cell, brought up her contact info and said, "Call her."
"You mean I made flyers for nothing?" Max grumbled, but I could tell he was glad to have it settled. Maybe.
He got off the floor and wormed his way between Angus and me. Three people on a twin, probably not what the manufacturer intended. "If you break my bed"
"Shh. It's ringing." Angus frowned at us like we were delinquent children. "Kia? It's me. Do you have a minute?" That sounded like code for Can you talk freely?
The volume was loud enough for me to hear her reply. "Yeah, I can email you the notes."
"I get it. Call me back when you can."
"Whoa," Max said. "Sounds like the boyfriend's a controlling asshole."
Angus nodded. "I've been telling her to get out for three months."
"Is he abusive?" The answer wouldn't change my mind about rooming with her, but we might need to amp up security around here.
"Depends on your definition. In my view, he's overly invested in where she goes and who she talks to. And he disapproves of me. A lot."
"Homophobe?" I asked.
"Young Republican, so probably? He wears a lot of sweater vests, comes from a conservative political family in the Bible Belt."
"Ah. He's lousy with privilege," Max guessed. Angus's phone buzzed then and he grabbed it on the first ring, putting it on speaker. "Kia?"
"Is Duncan giving you a hard time today?"
"Always." She sounded tired.
No wonder. Between the last year of pre-med and a demanding boyfriend, she must be sick of the drama. But we needed to speak up before she said something she'd hate revealing to strangers. "Hey, this is Courtney, one of An-gus's roommates."
"And I'm Max, the other one."
"Are we on a conference call?" She sounded amused more than annoyed, so that was a decent start.
"I talked to them and if you really want to dump the D-bag, you can move in here. Courtney would be sharing with you. Want to come over, see if it's a good fit?"
"Yes, please." Her response was heartfelt.
An hour later, Kia was on our couch, after a quick tour of the apartment and my half-empty room. She was taller than me, thinner, too, no surprise there, but nowhere near as imposing as Nadia. From listening to her conversation with Angus, I already knew I wanted this to happen. If it didn't work out and we had to call in Physical Education Kelly, I'd be bummed.
"I feel like I need to be up-front about this," I said.
Max elbowed me. He thought I was going to tell her that I was bi, but there was no reason to lead with that. Frowning at him, I went on, "I'm a touch OC and I might alphabetize your books and/or CDs if you decide to move in."
She laughed. "Girl, have at it. That's not my thing, I don't have time to obsess. But it won't bother me if you organize. Just don't move stuff so I can't find it."
"Don't worry, you won't come home to find all your makeup sorted by brand."
"Hey, I'd much rather be sharing with somebody who cleans. My boyfriend doesn't."
"You mean your ex?" Angus asked hopefully.
"Give me a few days. Is next weekend soon enough?" Kia pushed to her feet with an inquiring look.
"Yep, it's great." I fought the urge to hug her, mostly because it was settled.
"Let's swap numbers." Angus forwarded her info before she finished speaking and I sent a test text. Her phone pinged again, suggesting Max had done the same.
Kia grinned. "I guess I don't have to worry about being welcome. Wish me luck."
"Dump him." That was my best encouraging tone.
Max walked her to the door. "Agreed. Dump the crap out of him."
Once the door closed behind her, I grabbed Angus's hands and whirled him around in a circle. "She's perfect. Seriously, thank you. You don't know how relieved I am."
"Save the victory dance until she moves in. You never know, Duncan could talk her into giving him a second chance. She's been on the verge of leaving him for like a year."
I sighed as the satisfaction drained away. "Now you tell me."
"You worry too much. If need be, we'll split the rent three ways until we find the right person. I can manage a month of that, and I know Angus can." Max slung an arm over my shoulder and hauled me to the sofa. "Come on, let's shoot stuff."
Angus ruffled my hair and I pretended to swat him. "Hey. Hands off the purple."
"Can't help it, it's all adorable and spiky."
My mother called my current look a "punk" phase, and she expressed a devout wish for me to get over it every time I saw her. She hoped I'd trade Doc Martens and cargo pants for dresses that sparkled, grow my hair out and get a nose job. That would never, ever happen. Which bummed my mother out; she'd rather I marry a nice Jewish doctor than become one. Of course, that wasn't on the table, either. Since I didn't know exactly what I wanted to do, I was studying business, though friends who'd already graduated were telling me I needed to specialize or there was no way in hell I'd find a job.
But the idea of wiping my originality like a dryerase board for a corporate gig bummed me out. I liked my piercingsat last count I had eight: eyebrow, nose, three in my left ear, two in my right, plus the belly-button ring; I couldn't remember if my mother had ever seen the latter. Maybe I'd use the money my granddad left me to start my own company, though at this point, I had no idea what product or service I'd offer.
Max bumped me with his shoulder. "Are you playing or not?"
"I'm in." Picking up the controller, I joined him onscreen, though it pissed me off that in most of these shooters, I always had to play a dude.
"Have fun. I'm out with Del tonight." The brightness in Angus's voice told me things were going well, so I just waved as he left, focused on not shooting Max in the back.
We played for an hour before I got hungry. I pushed Pause on the controller and ambled to the kitchen. Max came up behind me, resting his head on my shoulder as I peered into the fridge. Max was exceptionally hands-on with his friends; maybe he didn't get hugged enough as a kid or something. When I'd first moved in, I thought he was hitting on me, but he thumped and patted Angus about as much, so I went with it.
"Cook something," he pleaded.
I jabbed him in the gut with my elbow. "Get off me and maybe I will. How do patty melts sound?"
"Like manna from heaven. I speak for all starving college students everywhere when I say, words cannot do justice to your munificence."
Snickering, I put the ground beef in the microwave. "Calm down, I already agreed to make the food. No need for sweet talk."
"But it's fun. Your nose wrinkles when you laugh at me."
I fought the urge to cover said nose. Some girls could do adorable bunny wriggles, but mine was too longbeakish, according to an ex who'd had enough of my shit. As personal problems went, however, it wasn't exactly original. There were tons of other Jewish girls in the same situation; I wasn't special. In fact, I probably wasn't even the only princess rebelling with piercings and alt-hair. So I made a face instead of revealing that he'd made me feel self-conscious for a few seconds. On two occasions, Max and I had made out. Both times, we were messed up emotionally and it was good that we'd confined the rebound sex to kissing. Otherwise it might be tough to fry meat while he talked about the work he was doing on his motorcycle.
"Wait, I thought you were done?"
He sighed at me. "The mechanical overhaul is done, but now I'm working on cosmetic restoration. I can't stop until it's finished."
"The fate of the world hangs in the balance?" I teased, shaping the thawed meat into patties. Next I sliced up some onions to caramelize.
"I promised somebody, that's all." His expression was strange and serious, unlike the guy I'd known for three years.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The depiction of these Millennials was spot on. As a baby boomer, I found the Millennials to be frustrating and unreliable but always passionate, single-minded and courageous. Great story!
The Shape of My Heart is Max and Courtney's story. I liked this book the lease out of the three books in this trilogy, and that's primarily because I wasn't sold on Courtney. I liked how she wasn't beautiful. She was different, and this made her feel insecure. I can relate to that. I just couldn't connect with her character very well. There were some more characters introduced in this book, and while I know this has been called a trilogy, I hope she decides to write more... maybe with some of those new characters. The ARC of The Shape of My Heart Love Me by Ann Aguirre was kindly provided to me by the publisher through Net Galley for review. The opinions are my own.
Was good, not great
4 fun, romantic, page-turning, friends-to-lovers stars! Reading the 2B Trilogy, by Ann Aguirre, as been a really fun reading journey! Beautiful book covers, fun book titles, enjoyable characters and well written stories that keep you turning the pages. Ann Aguirre saved the best for last! I have been cheering for Max since the very beginning and I could not wait to read his book! This book can be read as a standalone. I love stories about friends falling in love. Courtney and Max's story was fun, romantic and passionate. They complete each other perfectly! Both these characters have gone though a lot in their respective lives. When Max's goes back home for a funeral, he asks Courtney to go with him. She's not too sure what to think of that, but one thing she knows is that she won't let Max down. She's always there to listen to him and help him out. The more time they spend together on this trip, the more their feelings turn more than just friendship. I really loved how this story was written. These characters have been favourites of mine and I was happy with the development of their story. It was a slow building romance between Courtney and Max, but you could feel the intense chemistry that they had together. Max opened up about his past and what made him run. My heart broke for him. I'm so happy his trip back home turned out to bring him so much more than what he expected. Courtney was such a fun character to follow. She was easy to relate to. I connected with her more than I did with Nadia and Lauren in the previous books. I love her personality!! Her character grew a lot during this story and I was so proud of her! I was mad at her for keeping a secret from Max when in return he was an open book to her. But, it lasted like five minutes and I went back to cheering for her ... lol!! Max and Courtney had an amazing chemistry together and the tender, fun, passionate moments that they share made this friendship grow into a beautiful love story. I loved the addition of new characters in this book. Michael, which is Max's little brother especially stole my heart! He's such a sweetheart! I give, The Shape of My Heart, by Ann Aguirre 4 fun, romantic, page-turning, friends-to-lovers stars!
Received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Another win by Ann Aguirre! I haven't had a chance to read the 2nd book in the 2B series yet, but these books read quite well as stand alones. I loved getting to learn more about Max and Courtney. Their story was complex and quite emotional. I was surprised at how much more interested I was in Courtney's journey to adulthood/independence. The way these two character supported and shaped each other was lovely. Plus their chemistry was off the charts. The only criticism I had was that I didn't really buy the conflict. It felt a bit forced. I get the purpose of it, but I think it could have been fleshed out a bit more. The situation ended up making both of these kids look like total morons. But hey... who wasn't an idiot when they were 22? So I'll let it slide... ;) Overall a thoroughly enjoyable read. THE SHAPE OF MY HEART is the perfect ending to a sweet & steamy trilogy.
I have really loved this series (all of them can be read as standalones) and this book was a fantastic way to close it out. Courtney and Max are such great characters and I loved taking this journey with them. Courtney had me laughing from the first pages. She is pretty hysterical. Her sense of humor is dry at times, and just plain comical others. At the same, time, her humor is her way of deflecting awkward and/or hurtful situations. Her heart is huge and she has such caring for those around her that she just wants to make them laugh and smile instead of hurt. However, the humor is also a deflection from her own insecurities. I ached for her acceptance of herself, refusing to see that there is beauty in her looks as well as personality. It was so great to see Max bring out a sense of self-worth in her. But then, she did the same for him. Max is one of the sweetest heroes I’ve come across in a novel. That’s not to say that he isn’t masculine, and trust me, he’s got plenty of alpha sexiness going on. But, Courtney bring out the mushy side as well as the caveman. I just melted at all of the little things he would say to her and the way he looked at her like she was the sun. He had a really crappy home life as a child and had been on his own since he was 16. He was truly a testament to pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. It’s not a common tale for someone who has been dealt a situation like his to find a way to succeed and particularly to graduate from college. Underneath his strength and bravado though, is an insecurity that rivals, if not exceeds Courtney’s. He finds acceptance and love in Courtney and it gives him the contentment and peace of knowing that you are everything to someone else, just the way you are. This love story is sweet, but that doesn’t mean it won’t rip your heart out. So be prepared because this author knows how to bring on the angst. But, for every minute of heartache there are two minutes of warm fuzzy feelings. These two are a really fun couple and I enjoyed their story on every page. As the end of a series, I appreciated the little snippet at the end of everyone else’s lives. I’m sad to see this group go, but I am overjoyed to put the book away knowing that Max and Courtney have the best kind of happily ever after. 5 Stars for every moment! 5.5 Stars for every sweet thing that Max did or said… He’s just so dreamy…
The Shape of My Heart was a great conclusion to Ann Aguirre's 2B Trilogy. After taking the story on the road with Lauren in As Long As You Love Me, we're back in apartment 2B for Max's story. I've adored Max from the start and I was more than a little anxious to learn all I could about him. This book gets bonus points from me on two fronts: diversity and for the way the title is written into the story. The line when it all came together might have been during the latter part of the book, but I loved it all the same. Max wasn't a perfect guy, but I fell for him hard. As with the other men in this series, he's a little more sensitive than the typical new adult guy, which thrills me. I love my alpha males, but I adore the hell out of some beta boys as well. Max's past with his family is rather complicated and has definitely shaped how he sees the world now. It's impossible not to love this guy though. He's hardworking, sexy, sweet and supportive. It was a little tougher for me to connect with Courtney than Max. I liked her, but it really wasn't until a few chapters in that I felt like I "got her." She's carrying some major baggage after losing her high school boyfriend after a long illness. She still hears him in her mind and regularly has conversations with him. Throughout the book, the tone of those conversations change quite a bit. It begins to sound a lot more like letting go than holding on and some of the latter conversations gave me some major book feels. (And more than a few tears.) Courtney's sexual orientation shouldn't be a big deal in this book, but I'm giving Ann props for diversity. It was nice to see characters that break the norm in the genre. I loved the chemistry between Max and Courtney. What started off as flirty friends who kissed occasionally, turned into a lot more. They shared a great friendship and truly knew each other. Their connection was strong and real. Their playful banter had me chuckling and their sexy teasing was perfect. Two things I love in books are friends-first romances and road trips. When the two are combined? Perfect. As they traveled back to Max's hometown after his grandfather's passing, they have to face both their growing attraction and all the emotional baggage they bring with them. Add in the family expectations and conflicts and our main characters have all the drama they could handle and I had all the feels I could take. But, in a good way. As sad as I am to see Ann's 2B Trilogy come to an end, I enjoyed the way it was all wrapped up. There were some great scenes with earlier characters in the books and I couldn't help but have a huge, cheesy grin on my face (and a tear in my eye) when it was all said and done. I'll definitely miss these characters and look forward to more amazing contemporary books from Ann in the future. I'm a fan for life now. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
3.5/5 stars Like any final book in a series, its such a bittersweet feeling to let characters we've come to know and love go. I do think Aguirre has done a wonderful job of bringing fans of the series closure in this final book, especially with the epilogue at the end. I do wish she would write Max's brother's story, though. We get a tiny glimpse in the end of how he's doing years later, but his story is one I would love Aguirre to tell. I enjoyed reading Courtney and Max's story, as I really do love a good friends to lovers story. Being such close friends, Max and Courtney's back and forth banter is a lot of fun to witness and I really liked how well they played off of one another. Their snark helped keep the book light, as Max and Courtney have their own emotional baggage they are still carrying. We see Max's early on, as he must head back to his hometown upon his grandfather's passing. He has not spoken to his father, brother, or anyone in the family in years and he is apprehensive on how he will be received, especially with the way things were left so long ago. Max's father is a real piece of work and I felt for Max, as he is really vulnerable when it comes to his family. He feels the weight of blame that is placed on him by his father over his brother's accident and it just isn't right that he is made to feel that way. Thankfully, Courtney goes with him to face the demons of his past and she really serves as an anchor for Max. Courtney hides behind her snarky exterior, making jokes about herself instead of letting her own self-image eat away at her. I admire her for being able to let derogatory comments slide right off her, so when Max calls her beautiful and makes her feel so full of worth, it really made him even more endearing in my eyes. Having endured tragedy at a young age, she had spiraled downward, thus causing her parents to be overprotective of her. I wasn't a huge fan of her parents, as I found them to be judgmental and uppity. Just because they are loaded with money, doesn't give them the right to treat people like trash and have no regard for others' feelings. Max and Courtney's relationship starts changing as they road trip together back to Max's hometown. The book is narrated through Courtney's POV, so we don't get to see Max's inner thoughts, just hers. Watching her struggle with her feelings for him and how she shouldn't be feeling the way she does, really amped up the tension between them. He cares deeply for her though, and I'm really glad Aguirre didn't have the characters go overboard with their fear of ruining their friendship if they let themselves pursue a relationship. Overall, I enjoyed this one. I like Aguirre's writing style and I'm glad we got to see how Nadia and Ty were doing. Aguirre does a great job of capturing that bittersweet moment in life where friends are going in different directions and that they won't always be there together. I also like that I felt this was a realistic read. The characters acted their age, and made mistakes. Life isn't perfect, it's messy and everyone has different reactions depending on the situation on hand. What may seem to be small and not worth getting worked up to some, is a big deal to others and I feel Aguirre really showed that here with both Max and Courtney. I am holding out hope for Michael's book, as I really loved his character and would definitely like to see more of him!
3.5 Star Review This is the third book in the 2B Trilogy. The crazy thing is I read the first one, somehow missed the second but just now finished the third. I honestly don't think it affected my reading of this book. Max and Courtney hook up in this book. While I enjoyed Max in the previous book, he just seemed too good to be true in this book, well initially. Courtney is sarcastic and I was honestly surprised how she acted towards the end of the book. I would have thought she would have been more gutsy. Characters from the other books show up in this one so that is a plus. Beyond that I didn't find myself liking this one as much. For some reason I just couldn't get behind either of the characters. I liked Max initially but he just seemed to have too much of a character change and it was hard for me to believe how hard he fell for Courtney. And Courtney just was a little weird with her talking to her dead ex. As far as the big conflict in the story I found it to be totally disappointing. I can't believe Max reacted the way he did. Honestly I get him being upset but his reaction was over the top. And really, Courtney should have had more backbone in dealing with him afterwards. I really have an issue with it. And as far as the resolution, I was really disappointed. I was thinking Max and Courtney should have had the roles reversed and in my mind it would have given Max the kick in the butt he needed to get over everything. The saving grace was the Epilogue which provided more insight into all of the characters. Unfortunately it wasn't enough for me to bump to a four star rating. Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** The Shape of My Heart by Ann Aguirre Book Three of the 2B trilogy Publisher: Harlequin HQN Publication Date: November 25, 2014 Rating: 4 stars Source: eARC from NetGalley ***Warning: this book contains mature subject matter, and is for the eyes of mature readers*** Summary (from Goodreads): Some people wait decades to meet their soul mate. Courtney Kaufman suspects she met hers in high school only to lose him at seventeen. Since then, Courtney's social life has been a series of meaningless encounters, though she's made a few close friends along the way. Especially her roommate Max Cooper, who oozes damaged bad-boy vibes from every pore. Max knows about feeling lost and trying to move beyond the pain he's been on his own since he was sixteen. Now it's time to find out if he can ever go home again, and Courtney's the only one he trusts to go with him. But the trip to Providence could change everything because the more time he spends with Courtney, the harder it is to reconcile what he wants and what he thinks he deserves. It started out so simple. One misfit helping another. Now Max will do anything to show Courtney that for every heart that's ever been broken, there's another that can make it complete. What I Liked: If anything has been confirmed in this book, it is that I really, really like Max. I liked him in the other books, but I really liked him, the true him, the him that we don't get to see until this book. He is easily my favorite part of this book! Courtney has moved in as Lauren moved out. Now that Nadia is moving out, a new girl, Kia, is moving in with Courtney, to make the quad Angus, Max, Courtney, and Kia. Courtney and Max are close (as friends)... and they get even closer when Max asks Courtney to come home with him to his grandfather's funeral. Courtney doesn't quite realize how crazy and tragic Max's life and past were until she went to the funeral. Things change between them, for better or for worse, but it's not only Max that has a past that hurts... Like I said, Max is the best part of this book. It would have been so cool to have had Max's perspective, instead of Courtney's - or maybe both. I'm not always a fan of dual perspectives, but it would have worked in this series. Max seems like a player and a flirtatious, totally not serious guy, but he's really none of those things. Well, he is, but it's a front. His past is pretty rocky. I really felt for the guy. With all that happened between him and his father, I think it was brave to go back for his grandfather's funeral, even if it was his grandfather. Max is actually the sweetest guy. He bared it all for Courtney, left nothing up for interpretation, put it all on the line. It actually surprised me how honest and open and forthcoming he was - most guys that SEEM like him (the front, the surface) play the game and string the girl along, without telling her how he feels. But Max is very open and honest. I didn't like Courtney initially in the series - she was okay, but I didn't really connect with her. I still don't really connect with her, but I at least like her. She has an interesting past as well - with the dead ex-boyfriend who seemed to be her soul mate, and parents like hers... well, I won't ruin Courtney's past for anyone. Aguirre took her sweet time revealing Courtney's past/home life to readers, which was definitely the right instinct. In terms of the typical New Adult contemporary romance angst and cliches and tropes, there definitely were some in this book - Max's past was definitely trope-y and almost cliche, in terms of an NA novel, but not to the point where I was like, really?! And Courtney wasn't your typical female protagonist - she was a lot tougher and more adventurous than most. No blushing virgin or timid girl, paired with a sex god male protagonist. I like the progression of the character development in both Courtney and Max. Obviously it's more clear when it comes to Courtney's development, since this book is written in her first person perspective. She really changes, as she lets go of her dead boyfriend and opens up to Max. Max, on the other hand, finally lets himself be happy with a girl he cares about, finally makes peace with his brother. Both Max and Courtney overcome a lot in this book. The romance is really sweet. Well, sweet might not be the best way to describe the fiery chemistry between Courtney and Max, but the relationship itself and its progression is sweet. I loved seeing Max and Courtney go beyond friendship and make things work as a couple. They are the cutest! The story is pretty engrossing - I was never disinterested, and wanted to know what Courtney would do next. There were some plot points that I originally thought were random and just randomly thrown in there, but as I kept reading, I saw how they fit in the story. The climax revolved around the two protagonists and their relationship, but it worked, especially with how it related to Courtney and her home life. The ending is great! Aguirre includes an epilogue of six years later, which is both awesome and bittersweet, since this is the last novel in the series. Love! What I Did Not Like: I'm so meh about Courtney, honestly. I mean, I like her more than I did previously in the series, and I like her and Max together, but her character is so questionable sometimes. I can't go into detail because that would totally ruin things for people, but like, why would she stoop to such a level, with her parents? If she thinks she's so independent? Maybe it's so hard for me to see because I'm a lot like Max, in which I work for everything I have. Anyway. Something about Courtney just doesn't sit well with me. Would I Recommend It: If you've enjoyed the first two books, definitely give this one a shot! I really liked I Want It That Way, and I thought As Long As You Love Me was pretty great, so I'm certainly glad that I kept reading. This is a good New Adult contemporary romance series - as far as NA contemporary romance goes. Says the girl that generally hates New Adult contemporary romance! Rating: 4 stars. A series well-written, Aguirre! I can't say that I usually enjoy NA contemporary romance novels, but your series is definitely worth reading!
An okay New Adult romance, The Shape of My Heart was a good read. Not my favorite, but I did enjoy it. Courtney was a likable character. Strongly opinionated and very loyal to her loved ones, she was a good heroine. I thought she was great. Max was a total sweetie. He had a tough time in life and had to work hard for everything he had, but that made him humble rather than bitter. He had a reputation as a player, but he was really very sweet and caring. I absolutely adored him. The romance was good. It was both sweet and super spicy with a ton of chemistry between Courtney and Max. I thought they were a lovely couple. The plot was well paced and I was kept interested the entire way through. The problem, for me, was that, after reading the previous two books in the series, the plot started to feel rather formulaic. I thought the first book in the series was great, but the second was less so and, with the third, it just became very predictable. That brought down the book for me. I still enjoyed it, but it made it so I didn't like it as much as I could have. Overall, though, it was a nice read. The Shape of My Heart was a good New Adult romance. Though not my favorite book, I still thought it was an enjoyable read. Romance lovers, you might want to look this book up. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Read from November 20 to 21, 2014 Book Info Kindle Edition, 352 pages Expected publication: December 1st 2014 by Harlequin HQN (first published November 25th 2014) ASIN B00LE6J1AE edition language English series 2B Trilogy #3 other editions (1) Source:Netgalley EARC Book Buy Links Amazon B&N BOOK SYNOPSIS Some people wait decades to meet their soul mate. Courtney Kaufman suspects she met hers in high school only to lose him at seventeen. Since then, Courtney's social life has been a series of meaningless encounters, though she's made a few close friends along the way. Especially her roommate Max Cooper, who oozes damaged bad-boy vibes from every pore. Max knows about feeling lost and trying to move beyond the pain he's been on his own since he was sixteen. Now it's time to find out if he can ever go home again, and Courtney's the only one he trusts to go with him. But the trip to Providence could change everything because the more time he spends with Courtney, the harder it is to reconcile what he wants and what he thinks he deserves. It started out so simple. One misfit helping another. Now Max will do anything to show Courtney that for every heart that's ever been broken, there's another that can make it complete. My Thoughts Friends to lovers, wonderful in theory but sometimes not so fantastic when put into practice. Author Ann Aguirre is someone who knows how to take such characters and make their relationship issues both realistic as well as giving readers people that one cannot help but hope for things to work out! I found myself really enjoying the “conversations” Courtney had with her lost love Eli and even more enjoyed when she finally allowed herself to “let go” of the need to do so when she found closure with that part of her past. Max had always been such a good guy, even when he came across as something of a dip when it came to relating deep emotions to anyone. His slow unfurling of trust with Courtney was a wonderful act of healing that affected both of them so powerfully that when that trust was betrayed in his mind it nearly broke them both in two. I would hope for anyone who enjoys a good tear jerking romance story that they have the chance to read each book in this series, if not for sure that they read this third book as it was the best one yet. Tears your heart right out but this, this is what real life puts you through and this is what a real love story can be like. Not going to deny Max has always been one of my favorite characters, to have he and Courtney fall for each other slowly over time was awesome as was the ending epilogue 6 years later for everyone who mattered in the 2B trilogy. [EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]