Because of You by Connie Lafortune
For 21-year-old Hunter Davis, being a lifeguard on one of South Carolina's most popular beaches has its benefits. With his chiseled body, panty-dropping good looks, and penetrating blue eyes, he's every woman's dream and every father's nightmare. So why would he want to commit to one woman? Love is not in his vocabulary. For 18-year-old Riley Hamilton, it's just the opposite. Her father left when she was six years old, and her mother has been angry and bitter ever since.
Riley finds solace in the thought that one day she will be worthy of someone's love. So when her father calls-out of the blue-asking her to move to South Carolina with a free ride to USC, how can she refuse? When Hunter and Riley are suddenly thrown together, Hunter wonders if the demons from his past will come back to haunt him-or is the woman with the face of an angel the only one who can save him? Because of You is a sensuous and powerful debut novel-a story of love, loss, and the tragedy of holding on to family secrets.
Riley Hamilton had no reason to refuse the offer her father gave her to go live with him and he will pay for her college expense. Even though her father walked out on her and her mother when she was young she agreed because she wasn't getting any love from her mother either.
Hunter Davis, a very hot lifeguard was every woman's dream but he had a dark past. He had great friends but he never dated anyone that seriously until he met Riley. When these two met, sparks fly and they couldn't take their eyes off each other.
I'd read many great reviews for this book and I was very excited to finally read it but it fell short for me. I find Riley very vulnerable and it wasn't a surprise because her mother kept calling her mean things.
Riley and Hunter connected with each other because they were both hurt and scarred. Hunter saw the old him when he looked into Riley eyes so he wanted to help her. Riley had her heart broken once when she was younger and trusted too easily so she was cautions about who she let in but with Hunter she could be herself.
But I did feel their relationship was too fast. They just met for a couple of hours but they already wanted each other. I liked Hunter for not moving too fast even though he wanted to. They both been through some tough situations so they found comfort in each other. While I liked the story, I still feel something was missing. I love romance but this wasn't what I expected. It was an okay read.