Author: Elizabeth O'Roark
Format: ebook via KindleUnlimited
Synopsis: She’s just lost her job.
Her parents are acting like idiots.
And now she’s the focus of a national media scandal.
The summer has gotten off to a bad start for Elle Grayson, leaving only one option: a summer spent hiding out at the beach with her best friend – and her best friend’s older brother James.
James Campbell, the focus of every childhood daydream, now grown up and gorgeous and … unpredictable. Fiercely protective one minute and belligerent the next.
Determined to keep Elle safe, from himself most of all.
Bloom is a guy-falls-for-sister's-friend story. Sure, it's not inconceivable of a situation, but it does pose several issues.
Our older brother, James, is already going through a major shift in his life when he decides to share a family beach house with his friends and younger sister, Ginny, for the summer. He has decided to quit a career enhancing internship, dumped his stale girlfriend, and wants to take his life in a new direction.
On the other hand, we have Elle. If you think James' life is in turmoil, you haven't seen anything yet. Elle has somehow let herself become the star of a dirty scandal, even though the only thing she is guilty of is being young and naive. Her entire world is tossed upside down and at the invitation of Ginny, Elle escapes her disaster and heads to the beach to lay low.
From the first moment that James and Elle come together, there is tension in the air. James is unaware of the fact that Elle has had a crush on him for her entire childhood. But he is definitely aware of how much Elle has grown over the years they have been apart. He suddenly realizes that the girl he knew has become a woman. A woman he can't help but be drawn to.
But then James begins to annoy me. He spends too much time focusing on the six-year age difference between him and Elle, yet he can't help but want to be near her. He becomes possessive and overprotective, to the point where it's alarming. And his behavior toward Elle is confusing to her (and to me!). He wants her, yet he has convinced himself that he can't have her. It's a hot-and-cold relationship if there ever was one.
Elle doesn't handle the situation any better, however. It could be due to immaturity or inexperience, but Elle is unable to just outright confront James. It is frustrating to me, as a reader, because while the push and pull between them is entertaining for a while, it eventually runs its course and hinders the story progression. It takes way too long for the couple to come to their senses.
Perhaps, if this story had been shorter, I would have enjoyed it more. Overall, it was a good read and I am still a fan of Elizabeth O'Roark! 3.5 suns!