I Want It That Way is the first book in the 2B trilogy from bestselling author Ann Aguirre. My request to read and review the third and final book in the trilogy was approved a couple of weeks ago and, being the reader and reviewer that I am, I decided to read the first two books and review those as well. ^.^ Yeah, I'm kind of anal that way. Hehe. And hey, how could I resist three books that had Backstreet Boys songs as their titles, eh? I've only finished this first book but have already started the second one and things appear to be going quite swimmingly.
Nadia Conrad is a twenty-one-year-old college junior with a scholarship and studying for a degree in special education. She works part-time at a daycare center called the Rainbow Academy and is also about to begin her practice teaching with students who have special needs. She's got a lot on her plate but moving into a new apartment with her three closest friends, Lauren, Angus, and Max, is a definite plus. Their downstairs neighbor doesn't look too thrilled at the arrival of four college students to the apartment complex there's something more that's hiding behind his grumpy exterior.
Daniel "Ty" Tyler is a twenty-four-year-old single father to four-year-old Sam and is juggling being a parent with a full-time job and taking night classes for his architecture degree. He needs more time to do everything that needs to be done and he desperately needs more sleep. Sam will always come first in his life, especially after the child's mother basically made it clear how much she did not want to be a parent and left both Ty and Sam. The last thing he needs right now is a distraction but he can't seem to help himself when he meets his new upstairs neighbor with the ready smile.
Nadia and Ty forge a hesitant friendship after they spy each other more than once outside their respective patios. Nadia becomes an assistant teacher in the class that Sam is enrolled in and she sees what a great kid he is, obviously benefiting from the parenting of Ty. When their mutual attraction becomes difficult to deny and resist, the two engage in a "friends with benefits" non-relationship. Nadia already knows she's fallen for Ty but doesn't want to scare him away. However, Ty has also fallen for Nadia and doesn't think that they should pursue a serious relationship, believing Nadia isn't ready for life with him and Sam.
Nadia knows that Ty's been hurt before but she's never been in love before and Ty's decision to abruptly end things between them has her experiencing an unfamiliar pain. She recognizes that she's only twenty-one and that she still wants to get her degree but she also misses Ty and Sam. She's at a loss at what to do next but Ty made it clear that there was absolutely no way they could have something more, afraid that Nadia will regret it someday and Sam will get caught in the middle. What's a girl who's finally fallen in love with a father and his son to do?
I quite enjoyed reading this novel even though there were moments that the pacing seemed to switch from fast to slow and vice-versa at times. Nadia and Ty's love story isn't a simple one and they struggle with being together and being apart. Nadia's working in a daycare center made me think back to when I was a preschool teacher so I could definitely relate to her love of teaching. I liked that this was about love for family, falling in love when you least expect it, and how plans change but open new opportunities for something better. I can't wait to read the other two books! I Want It That Way gets four stars.
Date read: 09 December 2014
Learn more about author Ann Aguirre here.