Title – Eighteen
Author – JA Huss
Publication Date – November 17, 2015
Eighteen is hard.
And so is Mateo Alesci.
Hard to read, hard to predict, hard in every way that counts.
He wants things from me.
Dirty things, nasty things, forbidden things.
And I have to give in.
His attention is completely inappropriate, but I can’t say no.
The way he looks at me… the way he watches me through my bedroom window… the way he drags me deeper and deeper into his completely forbidden fantasy just… turns me on.
He knows it turns me on.
He holds all the power. He holds all the cards. He holds my entire future in his hands.
And I have to give in.
Because Mr. Alesci is my teacher.
And I need everything he’s offering.
I have read a lot of novels by JA Huss, but I could never pinpoint what exactly it is I love about her and the worlds she creates – until I got to the EOBS of Eighteen. She doesn’t write what everyone out there is writing; she doesn’t do something because it’s popular. She writes her characters as real and broken in different ways, and in doing so, I’ve found that I relate to her stories on a different level from other books. This author and I clearly have had threads of similarities in our pasts and it has made me come to love her novels and identify with them in unexpected ways.
“I’m addicted to him and what he does to my body. There’s no starting over or going back now.”
Eighteen is a hard story to describe; it’s sexy, sometimes gut wrenching, often eliciting sympathy, yet all about those coming of age experiences that everyone goes through. Not everyone will relate to Shannon’s exact story, but they will understand the milestones of independence and searching for their place in life. However, I – unfortunately or fortunately – could resonate with this character and what she had been going through on a much deeper level. I knew those things she felt all too well, felt that pain she would experience, and that made her all the more real to me. Simply put, I loved her, and found myself rooting for the underdog.
“You’re an unmissable girl. You’re a fucking explosion in a bottle waiting to happen. People talk to you because they can’t help but see you.”
Mateo confused the crap out of me! He was so possessive and dominating, sometimes on a creepy level, I will admit. However, the acknowledgement of that in the dialogue helped to make it less so, which I certainly appreciated. He was the definition of a primal, raw, alpha. He wasn’t afraid or even hesitant to take what he wanted and it added to the delicious factor for me. While I loved these character traits, it was the way he desired success for Shannon that blew me away. He could have easily taken different routes and chosen many other options to get there, but I liked that he was always on her team, always pushing for more as that endgame.
“I’m gonna be seeing a lot of you, Shannon Drake. There’s no way in hell you’ll be invisible to me.”
The journey of Eighteen made me feel so many mixed emotions. I remembered feeling lost and out of place, trying to figure out what I wanted out of life and where I’d go. I remembered the stress of caring for the little family I had, and rejoicing in those moments where I could let it all go. Most of all, I remembered that family is something I will always strive for because of how little of them I have. Yes, this is a taboo student/teacher romance but it’s not really. JA Huss made it about so much more than that. It was juicy and raw and heartbreakingly real, especially toward the end, but that’s what makes this author shine. I’m so excited to have gotten a sneak peek into her next project as well, and I’m so flipping glad I don’t have to wait long to dive in!
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JA Huss is the USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty romances. She likes stories about family, loyalty, and extraordinary characters who struggle with basic human emotions while dealing with bigger than life problems. JA loves writing heroes who make you swoon, heroines who makes you jealous, and the perfect Happily Ever After ending.