Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. She has her reasons; missing her family, losing her college scholarship. But then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.
Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He’s the guy who women love and leave, not the one who makes them think of forever until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her.
Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.
Years of pent up feelings. I already saw these characters getting together but then I’m just clueless on how they’ll get to that point of their lives.
We’ve been previously introduced to Lauren in I Want It That Way as Nadia’s best friend who dropped out of college and decided to return to their small town in Sharon, Nebraska. My first thought when Ann Aguirre pulled that “drop out – return to their town” scenario was “Oh how fitting for Lauren and Rob’s character to meet-up again”. I was really giddy and at the same time apprehensive about it. I’m not so sure if Aguirre just used it for their characters to cross paths again. But then looking at it now that I’ve finished reading the book, it was a fitting move for Lauren’s character and it was something she actually needed to do.
In IWITW, Lauren pretty much kept everything about herself locked in and didn’t offer to open up to Nadia. Until the latter part of the book which isn’t that much of an explanation to everything. So here in ALAYLM, we were able to figure out what triggered her actions in the previous book. Apparently, Lauren has a severe social anxiety. She gets all panicky when thrust into situations which involved huge crowds and even meeting new people. She even resulted to creating this another persona/identity to cover up her real self and getting herself drunk just to surpass those kinds of circumstances.
In this book, we see Lauren addressing her issues and seeking professional help in dealing with it. I love the fact that she tried to fix herself on her own. She knows she needed to do it to be whole and before being fully into a relationship. Lauren exhibited such growth and maturity.
Rob Conrad is the brother of Lauren’s best friend, Nadia. It was revealed in IWITW that Lauren has a crush on Rob since they were kids and at present her feelings for him stayed the same. In her world, Rob is the perfect guy and a true boyfriend material.
“Don’t change for her, okay? You’re great the way you are.” – Lauren