Dear Mom & Dad, I dropped out of school. I’m going backpacking. Sorry. Love you both.
At nineteen, Nina has endured two lifetime’s worth of humiliation. Tired of waiting for it to get better, she decides to get going—across the globe to New Zealand. There she soon faces what she most fears: a super sexy guy ready to be Nina’s next mistake.
Once Sam’s life was all about having fun. That was before the accident. Now his friends have bailed and his world is broken. But when a gorgeous girl on his flight looks at him with passion instead of pity, Sam feels his old self coming back to life.
Now traveling together, Nina and Sam know this isn’t just a fling. They’re falling fast, hard, and deep. More than anything, Sam wants Nina to forget her fears. But to help her do that he must reveal his own painful secret—and risk Nina never seeing him the same way again.
Nina needs to get away from her life. FAST. So she packs her bags, leaves her eccentric family a note and sets off for New Zealand. While she is at the airport she sees a guy sitting across from her and immediately labels him as Hot Guy. Turns out they are on the same flight and that is when hilarity ensues.
Sam (aka Hot Guy) is also running away from his family. He is tired of being the one keeping his family together. He has spent a year thinking of everyone but himself and this trip is a kind of a reset button on his life. Then he meets Nina. These two had one of the most embarrassing meet cutes I have ever read. It had me laughing out loud and at the same time thinking "Just drag him into the bathroom!!!!"
I just LOVED Nina & Sam. It is obvious from the beginning that Nina is attracted to Sam and you kind of get the idea that Sam may be attracted to Nina, but it isn't until they end up at the same hostel and they share a meal of pizza bagels that I thought "Oh yeah...he has it just as bad as she does!" They were so compatible and once Nina was able to get over her awkwardness with him, their formed a great friendship, which of course turned into much more.
A few days into their trip Nina and Sam end up travelling together. Sam had purchased a beat up old car when he arrived, so it is just the two of them driving through New Zealand. Before they even get on the road they have the below exchange that made me laugh out loud:
Sam opens his door and slides into the driver’s seat as I yank the seat belt again. It moves but jams midchest. Shit. “Sugar,” I hiss.
He freezes, his arm reaching to shut his door, and he snorts dramatically. He pulls the door shut and faces me. “Before we hit the road, we need to clarify what just came out of your mouth.”
“Sorry, what?” He has my mind so muddled, I can’t even remember speaking. I tug on the belt some more, but it doesn’t budge.
He shifts toward me, one hand resting on his armrest, the other on the steering wheel. “I’m pretty sure the word ‘sugar’ just passed those lips of yours in some sort of adorable curse. Is that a fair assumption?”
Frickin’perfect. I’m so used to not swearing, I don’t even notice when I word-vomit stuff like “sugar.” My dork status just tipped the dork scale.
He cocks his head and studies me. “Explain yourself, Canada. Don’t make me regret these travel arrangements.”
That smirk on his face is infectious, and I find myself smiling with him. To explain what I said would mean I have to talk about my family, which is something I rarely do. Growing up, I never invited friends (my one former friend) over to witness the oddities in my house. If my clumsy self didn’t send people running for the hills, Dad’s tendency to hoard, Mom’s always smoking oven, and their need to dance around to hippie music semi-clothed would surely do the trick.
I tighten my hands around the still-stuck seat belt, squeezing like it’s a security blanket. I shrug with a tight laugh. “I told you I have five younger siblings, right?” He nods. “Well, I try not to swear in front of them. You know, to keep it clean. Old habits die hard.”
His eyes roam my face. “Cool. I get that. And it’s fucking adorable. Shit. Shit. Sorry. Do we have to make the car a swear-free zone?”
“No. God, it’s not like that. I don’t have a problem with swearing, I’m just so used to not doing it.” I release one hand from the seat belt and wave it in the air. “Let the obscenities fly.”
Scrunching his face, he throws his hands rapper-style. “Fuck, bitch, that’s some motherfucking kick-ass skirt.” Then he winks.
A yelp bursts from my mouth. I laugh, tipping forward into the seat belt, holding onto the thing for dear life. He leans toward me, looking sheepish. “Was that too much?”
I hold my thumb and finger an inch apart. “A tad,” I say, the remaining giggles still heating my face.ARGHHHH!! These two are just the cutest! I loved how Sam was so fascinated by Nina. She was unlike anyone he had ever met before and I that is why he found himself so drawn to her. When he finds out that Nina has a list of phobias a mile long, he sets out to help her face those fears. He puts her in some pretty high stress situations and she handles everything pretty well, but he is there for her every step of the way. They "chase the crazy" together. They had this ridiculous sexual tension, but it was a slow build that made me crazy. Like Nina, Sam had his own insecurities, but that didn't stop him from eventually going after what he wanted. And when the two of them finally did have sex, I found myself tearing up because it was so darn perfect.
Guys. It's only mid-January and I can say that without a doubt that this book will be one of the best I will read this year. It is a wonderful debut novel and I look forward to reading Kelly's books in the future!