Book Review: Dearest Clementine by Lex Martin

Twenty-year-old Clementine Avery doesn't mind being called bitchy and closed off. It's safe, and after being burned by her high school sweetheart and stalked by a professor her freshman year of college, safe sounds pretty damn good.

Her number one rule for survival? No dating. That is until she accidentally signs up for a romance writing class and needs material for her latest assignment. Sexy RA Gavin Murphy is more than happy to play the part of book boyfriend to help Clem find some inspiration, even if that means making the name of research, of course.

As Gavin and Clem grow closer, they get entangled in the mystery surrounding a missing Boston University student, and Clem unwittingly becomes a possible target. Gavin tries to show Clem she can handle falling in love again, but she knows she has to be careful because her heart’s at stake…and maybe even her life.

Did I love Dearest Clementine? To quote the novel itself, "The smile on my cheeks might break my face." and "Gavin Murphy has reduced me to a giggling fool." Did I love Dearest Clementine? Oh, let me count the ways...

Right away, author Lex Martin created a living, breathing college atmosphere. I could imagine myself walking through Boston University's campus and dorms, and picture myself hanging out with Clementine and her circle of friends. I adored all of their quirks, interactions, and every second of each conversation--sometimes funny and sometimes tender. All of the little things added up to give the book a unique personality.  For example...I think, in real life, every girl deserves a fiery best friend like Jenna, Clementine's roommate-slash-BFF.
Jenna writes back: Wanted you to meet...the new guitarist. Very cute.
Laughing, I respond: Stop trying to set me up!
Jenna: Your vagina is going to close up, and you'll need surgical assistance to use it again.
That's not even the best texting convo in the book. They only get better...*cough* and dirtier *cough*...and you'll just have to read this book to find out what I mean. ;)

You see, at first, Clementine is a girl starting out her senior year and trying hard to maintain a protective shell. She is smart-mouthed and shuts down any idea of dating...But instead of being irritated, I felt for her! She had good reason for that hardened exterior! More and more details about her past came to light as the story progressed, helping me to understand how she ended up that way. (There's a scene with her brother that just broke my heart.)

That's where Gavin comes in handy, though. Gavin Murphy, the sexy RA extraordinaire. Clementine is having trouble with an assignment for her romance-writing class...not to mention, in a bit of a this "Henry Cavill doppelganger" (*shrieks*) steps up to the plate. ;)
“Clementine, I want to warn you” His voice is husky and deep. “I’m going to kiss you, and you’re going to like it. A lot. But I want to be clear that I’m not going to sleep with you, because I want you to respect me in the morning.”

“I’m doing this in the name of academics. You need inspiration? You’re looking at it. Now shut up and let me kiss you.”
The cheeky banter is the best. The flirting is. The. Best. They have the kind of banter that you want to smirk and roll your eyes at, but internally, you’re melting into a big fat puddle on the floor and squeeing the whole way down. The *kisses* alone were scorching, and the sweeter moments made me happy-sigh. I mean, seriously...HOLY FIRST DATE, BATMAN. 
"I'd like for you to come upstairs with me." I lean back and look at him, studying his face..."I'm not ready for any home runs tonight, but maybe we could go for second or third base?" I keep staring into his eyes as I kiss his lips softly, waiting for him to answer.

"Have I ever told you how much I fucking love baseball?"

As with all great New Adult novels, though, there was so much more than the highs of the romance. I spent a lot of time abusing my vowel OOOH, GAAAH, and EEEEEP...and it wasn't always because of Gavin! I got to see Clementine slowly break out of the walls that she built around herself, overcome the most painful parts of her past, and deal with the angst and doubt that comes with falling in love.
I’m tired of being closed off. It hasn’t made me any stronger or braver. It hasn’t imparted any wisdom or comfort. It’s just made me lonely.
While there were a couple of aspects that I wished were explored a little more, and although there was an occasional, tiny detail that didn't quite click for me, I just enjoyed Clementine and Gavin too much. I enjoyed all of the other details and surprises so much more.

Dearest Clementine had personality, humor, and heart, and I was thoroughly captivated. Wooed. Satisfied. This book had a great cast of characters. And, as it turned out...not everyone was exactly what they seemed. I loved most, I loathed some, and I even switched sides for a couple of them. With just enough twists, the story was fresh and interesting. 4.5 stars for Dearest Clementine, and I can't wait to see what Lex Martin will give us next! :)


| Amazon |


| My Review | +Goodreads | Amazon |


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