What would happen if you lost everything? If the people who were supposed to love you unconditionally were no longer there for you, how would your world change?
That’s exactly what happened to Madeleine Becker when her parents died when she was ten years old. Ripped from her home and everything that she has ever loved, she is forced to start all over again. The only way for her to move on is to build walls around her heart and keep everyone at a safe distance. Her logic: she can't get hurt if she doesn't fall in love.
That theory is blown to pieces when she meets Reid Connely during her freshman year at college. He is gorgeous and darkly mysterious. He understands Maddy's pain all too well, but sharing his pain would mean breaking down the walls he put up around his own heart. Conflicted between loving Maddy and hiding his dark past, Reid starts to reevaluate his world. Maddy's inner strength, snarky personality and breath taking beauty help Reid to make peace with his past.
Together they find out what happens when they let love in.
BUY LET LOVE IN ON AMAZON
REID'S POV - WHEN REID MEETS MADDY
I heft the one hundred and seventy five pound weight above my head for one last bench press. My chest burns and I’m going to be fucking sore tomorrow, but I don’t mind the after effects. Jake, my spotter and gym buddy, helps me place the bar in its holder and I slide from under it and off the bench.
“Thanks, man.” I say to him as I wipe the sweat from my face with a small towel. “I think I’m done for the night.” My words are winded from the exertion.
“Yeah, I’m good too.” Jake rubs his biceps which have to be sore after two hours of arm and upper body workouts.
As we clean up our workout area and head over to the locker room, Jake asks, “So what are your plans tonight? Got anything going on?” He swipes his towel over his short cropped brown hair.
Twisting the dial on the combination lock on my locker, I say, “There’s a party at the house, again. So I’ll probably find something to do.” I think the smirk on my face conveys exactly what I mean.
“And by something you mean someone, right?” Jake laughs and punches me in the arm.
Jake and I have been friends since freshman year and we go to the gym pretty regularly. He usually makes an appearance at my parties and he also finds something, and yes by that I mean someone, to occupy his time, but his most recent hook-up turned into a pretty steady thing.
“Oh, cut the shit. You were all about the newest someone until Jocelyn came along. Now you’re all wifed up. So if anything, I should be giving you shit!” I push him knocking him slightly off balance and he almost falls off of the bench that runs between the two rows of lockers. Recovering his balance and pulling his hoodie out from his locker, he turns to me. “Whatever, man. At least I know I’ll be getting some tonight and I don’t have to waste my energy playing some chick just so I can get laid!” He scoffs as he slides his gym bag over his shoulder.
I get the last of my things out of my locker and pull my bag across my chest. Jake’s words echo in my thoughts. I’ll never admit it to him aloud, but he’s partially right. Three years of playing the game –being all douchey and aloof, being in a permanent “I don’t care mode” is exhausting. I’m still shocked that so many girls are attracted to it.
Can someone say Daddy issues?
As Jake and I walk across the quad to the parking lot, he continues his ribbing. “Seriously, dude. You can fuck around with me all you want about being with Jocelyn, but at least I know who I’m waking up with.”
I roll my eyes and slap him on his back. “That is where you’re wrong, my friend. I know exactly who I’ll be waking up with.” He eyes me suspiciously like I’ve just confessed a huge secret. “Chill the fuck out. I just meant that I’ll be waking up alone. You know I never let ‘The One Nighters’ stay over.” How could he forget my number one rule.
He shakes his head in disgust. “Whatever. Maybe I’ll catch you later.”
“Sure thing.” We do the whole fist-bump-and-slap-on-the-back dude handshake thing and he stalks off to his car.
Never in a million years did I ever envision Jake being the one to give me relationship advice, or whatever the hell that just was. Jake was an even bigger player than me in his prime. Then Jocelyn came into his life and it was like a complete turnaround. In all of my disillusioned wisdom, the only reason I can muster up is that she must be fucking amazing in bed.
As I approach my car, I see someone leaning up against it. It’s Jessa. Thoughts of Jake and his pussy-whipped mentality vanish immediately. The only thing I can think of in this moment is Jessa bent over the side of my bed as I drill into her from behind. That’s how we spent last weekend anyway.
Even though I can’t stand her, I can’t deny that she looks fucking smoking hot. She’s a pain in the ass, clingy as fuck and all that, but she’s a good lay. As I get closer to her, I take in her long, skinny legs which are barely covered in the too-short-to-be-worn-in-public mini skirt. The skirt along with her extremely miniscule top, make her look more like a prostitute than a college student. She must be on the prowl.
“Hey sexy.” She purrs as I approach her. Sometimes I just wish she would cut the shit and just get to the point.
I nod my head curtly in her direction. “Hey yourself. What are you doing here?” She’s clingy and I hate it, but I tone down my words. I could use a good lay.
She moves away from the car and straightens her skirt. Even straightened, it still doesn’t cover much.
Probably won’t even have to take it off. Slide that right up over her ass, move the thong to the side, fuck her and send her on her way. Won’t even have to wait for her to get dressed again.
My dick throbs at the thought.
“I was hoping that we could get together later.” She’s trying to be coy. Like her fucking outfit and body language aren’t already screaming “I want to fuck.”
“Sure. Whatever. Stop by the house later. There’s a party.” She leans into me seductively, like my words were just some kind of magical foreplay or something like that. See what I mean, be a dick and they come flocking.
She runs her hands over my chest and reaches up on her toes. Pressing her lips against my neck, she whispers, “You got it, babe. I’ll see you for more of this,” she traces her tongue along my neck and nibbles on my earlobe indicating what she means by this, “later.”
She struts off in front of me, purposefully swaying her ass and hips. I have to laugh at her over the top behavior. If she only knew that I don’t really care how the hell she acts, as long as she spreads her legs, which she never seems to have a problem doing, then I’m fine.
It’s a shame that none of these girls realize that sex is all I’m after with them. No one is getting close ever. That’s how it’s been for the last four years, and, as long as I have any control over it, that’s how it will remain for the foreseeable future.
When I pull up to the house ten minutes later, the party is already in full swing. Either these things are starting earlier or I’m staying at the gym later. I park my car far enough from the chaos that is our driveway. I don’t want anyone to fuck up my car.
Walking through the living room and into the kitchen, I don’t see Jack anywhere. He must be out back. I think I remember him saying something about Cammie and her new roommates coming over tonight. I’m going to have to avoid them at all costs. Clingy freshman who make it their life’s mission to get to know everything about everyone they meet is the most fucking annoying thing ever. I like not knowing anything about anyone. I’m even happier to know that no one knows anything about me.
As I walk into the kitchen, I notice a few guys from Jack’s PT program doing shots along the counter and I nod a “hey” in their direction. They don’t hold my attention for long, though. As my gaze falls to the ass that’s bopping up and down from behind the refrigerator door, the rest of the room fades away.
That’s one seriously fine ass. Now I’ve got my back up if things fall through with Jessa tonight.
I slide in behind her and notice that her tight ass is attached to tiny waist. Her legs are to die for and I can’t help but think about them wrapped around my hips or up around my ears – either will work for me.
When she turns around and crashes into my chest, the scent of her hair invades my nose and scatters my brain. Light and citrusy, she literally smells like a breath of fresh air. I just shake it off. I mean what guy doesn’t love the smell of a gorgeous woman.
Hmmm, I wonder what the rest of her smells like.
“Hand me one?” My voice catches a little in my throat as I try to take in her face. She’s fucking beautiful. Bright green eyes, a perfect little nose, but what’s most disarming is the look of shock as I catch her off-guard. If I’m not mistaken, she might have actually blushed when I spoke. Do girls actually blush? Most of the girls I’ve known aren’t embarrassed by much of anything – blushing and embarrassment aren’t part of their behavior.
“Here you go.” Her voice is soft and sweet. It quivers with uncertainty and it does some serious damage to my game. Not knowing exactly how to react to this sweet creature in front of me, I chug down my bottle of water to avoid having to say anything. I swipe my arm across my mouth to wipe away the water that’s dripping down my chin.
It’s water. Not drool.
Her eyes rake ravenously over my body. She likes what she sees, most of them do.
“Thanks…” My sentence ends abruptly. I don’t know her name. Waiting for her to fill in the blank, I eye her up and down. She really is beautiful, perfect really. I quirk my eyebrow up at her, prompting her to tell me her name.
She finally catches onto my unasked question. “Maddy. Sorry, my name is Maddy.” I can’t suppress the lopsided grin that curls up the corner of my lips. Her voice is so shaky and unsure. It’s been so long since a girl has been caught off-guard with me, since someone has been real around me, that I almost don’t know what to do with it.
She continues talking to me and I have a hard time focusing on her words. All I see are her soft, full lips moving quickly trying to explain her presence. “My suite mate, Cammie, is dating one of the guys who live here.” She says.
Hmmm. So maybe hanging around with Jack and Cammie tonight might actually pay off.
I realize that I still haven’t said anything to her earlier statement. I’m still lost in the thought of what her lips taste like, what her creamy skin would look like if I could make her blush all over.
“I’m not that much of a drinker so I hope you don’t mind if I steal one of these from you?” She’s so freaking adorable. Wait. Did I just think that a girl was adorable? What the fuck?
Returning to my standard dickishness, I say, “Help yourself. It’s just water. I’m going to go grab a shower. Maybe I’ll see you later, Maddy.” Effectively putting an end to the conversation, I walk away from her and head upstairs to my room. She might be downstairs, but thoughts of her sweet mouth will definitely be accompanying me as I shower.
When I come back downstairs a while later – the shower took a little longer than planned – I was definitely distracted by thoughts of Maddy, I see her moving and swaying on the dance floor. Our eyes meet and I’m mesmerized by her body flowing in rhythm to the music. The girl can move. In that moment, I need to feel her body up against mine. I need to know if the real thing lives up to the fantasy I just created in the shower.
Slinking up behind her, I glide my hands over her waist and pull her close to me. Leaning into her hair, I inhale deeply. I can’t deny it. I want her.
Leaning in so that my lips are no more than a centimeter away from her ear, I say, “I think you owe me a dance.”
She turns around sharply, caught off guard by my flirting. “Owe you? For what?” There’s so much innocence in her voice that I’m thrown a bit. “For the water of course,” I say sweetly.
I register the shock and apology that spreads across her beautiful face, “Oh. I’m sorry. I didn’t realize…” I have to laugh. Does she really think I’m pissed about a bottle of water? My God, how fucking cute is that? Okay, something is definitely wrong with me tonight. I’ve just thought of the words “cute” and “adorable” to describe a girl. I need to walk away now before I’m completely and totally knocked off my game.
I want to walk away, but I can’t. I’m drawn to her and this playful banter is kind of fun. I laugh – at both her embarrassment and my extremely out of ordinary behavior.
She looks wounded as I laugh. Before I can even get the words together to explain myself, she places her hands on my chest and leans up on her toes. Close to my ear, so close in fact that chills course through my body, she pitches her voice low and says, “I could pay you back with more than a dance, Reid.”
Holy fuck! She’s sweet and sexy. This can’t be for real.
Quickly regaining my composure, I cock my head to the side. “So you did a little digging huh?” I need to stay on top here. I’ve never been out of control like this, but Maddy is fucking killing me here. I never know what to expect from her.
“My name – you just had to find out who I am, did you?” I’m messing with her, but I have to admit that part of me is very turned on that she had to figure out who I am.
“Of course I dug. I needed to know who was responsible for getting me all hot and sweaty before.” As soon as the words are out of her mouth, she regrets saying them.
Going in for the kill, I put my lips right up against the outer shell of her ear. “So I got you all hot and bothered? Hmmm. Let’s see if I can do it again.” I pull her onto the makeshift dance floor in the living room and thank fucking God that it’s a slow song. Now I have the perfect excuse to keep her tight ass pressed up against my groin.
When she raises her arms above her head and starts shimmying against my body, I nearly lose it. Needing to feel her skin under my fingertips, I trace lightly over her arms. Her skin flames and my desire for her is out of control. I feel her skin pimple as goose bumps cover her arms. When her hands start roaming all over my back and chest, I want nothing more than to take her up to my room.
We move, perfectly in sync with one another. Her soft body pressed up against mine is pure heaven. I spin her around and our eyes meet again.
Fuck. Her eyes are wide but crinkling in the corners. She doesn’t have to try all that hard to figure out what I’m thinking. Thousands of unspoken words are exchanged in that one simple stare. I feel vulnerable and exposed. She knows I want her. But what’s scarier than that, is that I do – I want her so bad and not just for one night.
Remembering my vow to myself from so many years ago, I remind myself to keep my walls intact. I have to get away, now, before she figures me out, before I do something I regret.
“Thanks for the dance.” I say sharply as I help her stand up straight from the last spin. She tenses at the cold, hard change in my demeanor.
Whatever. I can’t risk being hurt again.
As I strut away from her, I see Jessa across the room. Desperate to forget Maddy, I spend the rest of the night making out with Jessa on the couch, certain for Maddy to witness the whole sickening scene.
I want her to see me with Jessa. I want her to be disgusted with me. The more I can piss her off, the more I can guarantee that she’ll leave me, and my dark secrets, alone.
Let Love in is the first book in The Love Series. Melissa Collins weaves us through this emotional romantic read. She perfectly penned this book in both Maddy and Reid’s POV and we all know I LOVE getting the guys POV!
Madeleine (Maddy) Becker lost not only both her parents but also the Aunt she lived with after their passing, all before the age of 18. Maddy keeps people at arms-length because it is easier than losing one more person. Maddy is a strong resilient young woman. While preparing to leaving for college, Maddy breaks up with her high school boyfriend and develops this motto:
“They’re very simple promises, but ones that I hope will wipe the slate clean.
1. Choose happy
2. Appreciate beauty
3. Let Love in
Like I said, simple refreshingly simple.”
Can she stick to these three simple promises? Will college be everything she fears or will it open possibilities?
Reid Connely is the drool-worthy upper classman and he carries a whole set of dark secrets. Reid lives in a typical college party house with two of his closest friends. Always lucky with the ladies, Reid has a revolving bedroom door and is hell bent on keeping it that way. I liked Reid from the start but don’t get me wrong I wanted to kick his ass not long after their first dance.
Maddy and Reid have instant chemistry. Not only are they physically attracted to one another but they see similar pain in each other's eyes. Their relationship has its share of flaws. They are both young and this is the first real relationship for both, so it goes without saying that they have some growing pains.
“You’ve completely knocked my off my game. I’ve never met anyone like you and it scares the shit out of me.” ~ Reid
“Reid, the love of my life, has always been the darkness in search of the light.” ~ Maddy
I enjoyed Maddy and Reid! I give this a solid 3.5-4 stars. This would have been a 4.5 star read for me if they would have held off just a little bit longer on professing their undying love. The last few chapters of this book are gut wrenching and yes it has a cliffhanger. I DID NOT see it coming and will be on the edge of my seat until LET LOVE STAY (The Love Series #2) is released sometime later this summer.
I’ve always been an avid reader. Majoring in English Literature was a no brainer. Becoming a teacher and instilling my love for reading into my students was also a no brainer. I’ve spent the last ten years teaching and I’ve loved (mostly) every minute of it. When I was home on maternity leave for my third son, I discovered a new genre that sparked my creativity. My passion for writing sprang from my love of reading and once I knew I had a story to tell, I couldn’t wait to get it out there. I only hope that my readers enjoy reading my story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
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