First Position - Prescott Lane
Emory faces life’s challenges at the one place that never failed her, the ballet . But even the can’t steady her when fate brings her face-to-face with her old college flame, Mason, who’s hoping to return to the NFL after a career-threatening injury. Before they can surrender to their sexual desires and find salvation in each other’s arms, they need to come to terms with their past. Mason must confront the demons that have set him on a path of self-destruction, while Emory must decide whether to keep her painful secrets locked away, or expose them and risk losing the love of her life. But nothing can prepare Mason for what Emory has kept hidden, or the possibility that he himself may be to blame for the very secrets she keeps and why they continue to haunt her.
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I'm just going to start by saying I really liked this book. I'll be honest- there are some religious aspects to it, but if you aren't into that (like me), you won't be turned off. They aren't all over the place and you'll be fine.
I really want to tell you what Emory's big secret is but I can't because it will absolutely ruin it for you. Totally ruin it. But let's just say- her hesitancy about sex makes absolute sense once you get to the end. She makes the comment that the only person who ever hurt her was herself and you're left wondering what the hell that means, but once you get to the end and you learn of her secret, it all comes together. You see how she blames herself and then you realize why she is the way she is at that point in her life. Totally makes sense.
I'll just say it- I loved Mason. He's kind of a self centered moron who finally gets that he was a self centered moron, and that's just the best. He makes real strides to do better for Emory than he did in college and his decisions are thought out, if not flawed. I also LOVED his mother. Sure, she's meddling and she wants the wrong things for him for the wrong reasons. But she calls another woman a cunt in a really epic smack down and I thought- bravo to this author for going there. For going there, and going all the way. Anything less would have felt contrived. You get the sense that the mother is a true Southern mother and she isn't afraid to lay the law down when it's needed but that she also always knows what's going on.
Without giving too much away, I would have really loved an Alexis versus Emory showdown. You don't get one, and it doesn't ruin the book, but it could have been great. You're shaking your fist at Alexis the whole time because she's clearly a terrible person, but in her final meeting with Mason- you almost feel sorry for him. You get the impression she actually loved him but could never come up to the standard Mason set with Emory. To live in another woman's shadow is rough, and so I felt sorry for her. For like a nanosecond, but it was still there.
Oh! And Wesley. I loved Emory's gay room mate, Wesley. He's like the gay friend you wish you had. I also loved at one point in the book where Emory, Olivia, and Wesley are with Mason's mom and they are all ribbing the mom. Her response that she's not above a homosexual hate crime, cracked me up. Which it shouldn't because hate crimes are bad and wrong. But you could almost picture Wesley's face and know that the point came across to him.
Overall? I'd give this one 4/5 stars. I flew through it, it had romance, it had sex without being vulgar (if you like vulgar, you'll be disappointed), it had thoughtful relationships and the dialogue didn't make you want to roll your eyes. It also had just enough humor to make it almost feel like a novel by Dorothea Benton Frank. Which is huge, because I really like her too. So if you are looking for a solid romance that isn't over the top with ball gags, this is a good fit for you.