If Only by A.J. Pine is a contemporary romance with a hint of a love triangle, though it never fully manifests itself.
Jordan Brooks is on her way to Aberdeen to spend a year studying literature. She hasn’t had a boyfriend in two years, which also means that she hasn’t seen any action in these two years. A compulsive planner, Jordan does not do spontaneous, but now might be the perfect time to begin. An exotic year abroad is the perfect time to start looking for Mr. Right Now rather than Mr. Right.
Griffin Reeds is a sweet and gorgeous guy, quite possibly a man-whore who likes to live in the now than in the indeterminate future. When Jordan meets him on the train, she is ready to judge him for his player-ways, but soon realizes that he is a great guy and just what she might need.
Noah Keating is your sexy literature geek with an unconditional love for Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and movies based on books. A blue-eyed, gorgeous guy who kissed Jordan like she had never been kissed before – a kiss she can’t forget. But wait, did I mention he has a girlfriend? Yep, a girlfriend. More like an ex-girlfriend-turned-current-girlfriend.
Up until the point where Jordan and Noah get together the first time, I enjoyed the story. And to be honest it reminded me of Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss. I would have been quite happy with the book had it ended then. But you can’t always get what you what! *Humph*
Noah irritated me to hell and back. Jordan was alright, but she acted quite immature. Now Griffin, him I loved. I wanted more of him in the book. He leaves by 1/4th of the book. The side characters Elaine and Duncan were also very entertaining and likable.
The first time Jordan and Noah become a couple, I love them together. They were good together. But alas! It only lasted for twenty-four hours. I seriously wanted to kick Noah in his nuts for the way he behaved with Jordan. I don’t think he ever really cared for her. He was always so caught up in himself to actually pay attention to Jordan’s feelings. At first he was with his ex-girlfriend-turned-girlfriend, Hailey, and then when they do break up and gets together with Jordan, he is still a dick. A journal entry in Jordan’s diary written by Griffin, weeks before he and Jordan ever became a couple is enough to get him running. That was just wrong in so many ways. First, reading Jordan’s diary was an invasion of her privacy. Secondly, he is quite fast to jump to conclusions. The guy just can’t give her a break. Not to mention he was very spiteful towards Jordan after that. Sure there were moments when Noah was really sweet, but for the life of me, I can’t move past his asshole ways and see them.
Jordan was also pining after a guy who never really cared about her. She was never once in the whole book a priority for Noah. She was more like a back-up plan. She should have booted him out the door when he walks out on her after reading her diary. She really needed a lesson in letting-go. Even when Noah and Jordan do get together in the end, it did not pacify me. I honestly would have preferred her to show Noah the door and forget him forever.
Griffin was one character I loved. He was a great friend to Jordan and they were dating casually too. But during that whole time, he never once indulged in his Casanova way of life. It’s too bad he left by 1/4th of the book. I would have loved to see more of him. But had he not left, he might just have had his heart shredded. It was quite obvious from the very beginning of the book that Jordan would end up with Noah. She never had that passionate chemistry with Griffin that she had with Noah. She was so hung up on that one kiss they shared on the train.
Elaine and Duncan were quite a welcome reprieve from the rest of the drama in the book. They were fun and entertaining and quite lovable. Duncan with his Welsh accent and kilt was quite adorable. Elaine with her straight-forward manner was a force to be reckoned with. Then there was Sam, Jordan’s best friend from back home. From what Jordan keeps saying about her she seems great. I wish we could have met her though.
I enjoyed this book till the time Noah and Jordan finally figure their shit out and get together, but then it was just disappointing. I really wanted to physically harm Noah. Jordan was quite immature too. Overall it fell flat. The only reason this book gets 3 gems is because I liked at least a part of it. But otherwise, with the way Noah drove me to violence, I would have trashed it.