Dearest Clementine (Dearest #1) by Lex Martin

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ARC provided to me by author Lex Martin in exchange for an honest review.

This was a super sweet, cute, summer/spring time read, with a mystery sub-plot that, even though it was pretty obvious, really pulls you into the story and makes it hard to put this book down.

Clementine is attending Boston University, where she is pursuing a degree in writing/english, even though she has already published a bestselling novel her freshman year, under a pen name. The story she had published is an account of real events that happened to her during her senior year of high school, but has changed all the names and tweaked the information. Yet, it would be absolutely devastating if people found out that she really wrote the book, because her and her family has been in the public eye for a long time.

Because of her apprehensiveness about being in the spotlight with the press, she is very averse to meeting new people. Also, because of the bad break up that she wrote about in high school, she is also very averse to dating anyone. That is, until she meets Gavin, a RA and journalist that is also the newest member of her friend’s band.

Clementine, being apprehensive about relationships, doesn’t want to give Gavin the time of day, but she is struggling with writers block and an assignment in her new romance class and he is the only thing that helps give her inspiration.

There is also a missing girl from Clementine’s university and Gavin is writing piece after piece trying to help bring her home. Clementine is also feeling very unsafe on campus, because she was sexually assaulted by a college professor her freshman year. Even though she had gotten a restraining order, he is back and is making it very apparent that he isn’t willing to stop pursuing Clementine.

We also are introduced to some amazing side characters that get their own spinoffs in this series, too! Jax, Clementine’s twin brother and soccer star, gets to be the male lead in Finding Dandelion! And Darren, who is Clementine’s ex, star quarterback of the rivaling university’s football team, gets to be the male lead in Kissing Madeline! I loved Darren. Don’t get me wrong, Gavin was pretty dreamy and Darren did mess up pretty inexcusably in high school, but I was low-key in love with Darren once he actually came into Clementine’s story personally.

I really enjoyed it, and it’s honestly such a good romantic contemporary that is perfect for this time of year. I only really have two negative things to say about this book:

The first being that, again, the abduction mystery, paired with the stalking professor, made for a really unexpected and enjoyable read, but it was also painfully obvious what was going on and how the situation was going to unfold.

The second thing is that there was a lot of “joking around” slut shaming in this book. I completely understand that I used to be very guilty of this, too, and this book was published in 2014, so I’m willing to give it some slack, but it still made for a jarring and unpleasant read when the girls/friends were talking to one another.

Overall, I really enjoyed this and I am so thankful that I was able to get a copy of this for free. I also fully plan to read both Finding Dandelion and Kissing Madeline, because all of these characters were so cute and so enjoyable to read about. Lex Martin did a wonderful job writing this story, and I have nothing but high hopes for her future.

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