Author: Pippa Croft
Series: Oxford Blue #1
Format: Kindle ARC
Review by: Onnica
Basic story: Lauren Cusack has begged, pleaded and finally convinced her parents to accept her decision to leave Washington DC to pursue a Masters at Oxford University. Largely pleased with her decision to move so far away, she is determined to commit to her studies and get over her ex-boyfriend. If only it would stop raining! Suffering from severe culture shock, Lauren is thrust into a world of privilege and decadence. A congressman’s daughter, she’s no slouch and can certainly hold her own, but running in the same circles as the landed gentry, haughty students and having to face overt anti-American hostility, Lauren feels a little out of her depth. Luckily she has a friend in Imogen, who lives in her building, who sees her through the term.
Lauren is trying to find her feet, when she is introduced to Alexander Hunt. Fellow student at her college, and all set to become a Lord someday, Lauren is knocked off her feet when she meets him. He’s arrogant, self-assured and enjoys the thrill of the chase.
Having split from his girlfriend of two years, Alexander is busy with studying, his duties in the army and fighting with his father, who believes he should pay more attention to the estate. Lauren brings a rare opportunity for fun and she refuses to be seduced by his title and money. Things are going great until Lauren actually meets Valentina, his former flame and she begins to question whether she really knows Alexander at all.
Why you should read this: I was really interested in the premise of the book. Inevitably, it will draw comparisons to Fifty Shades, but it isn’t like FSoG at all. Lauren is a strong-willed and likeable heroine. The all-American sweetheart is thrust into a world full of stuck up snobs. Alexander – once you get a feel for his character has vulnerabilities that I’m looking forward to reading about and hopefully we’ll get to know the characters quite well throughout the trilogy.
What you might hate: I’ll confess, it took me a while to get into the story. The start was slow and I felt like I couldn’t connect with these frankly horrible snobs! I have friends who studied at Oxford and I’ll have to ask them whether they know people this horrendous! It took a while, but soon after the book hit its stride and I really began to enjoy the scenes. There’s plenty of sex but it doesn’t go on for pages and pages. There is actually a story underneath.
Rating: 4/5 for a strong start to the series. I’m halfway through book two, The Second Time we Met, and look forward to reviewing that one too.
The Oxford Blue series will be out in October in the US, but is already available in the UK.