Series: Study Abroad
Published by Peterson Paperbacks on December 12, 2016
Genres: College, Famous, New Adult, Sports Romance
“Ten minutes ago, I was just an American student studying abroad in Spain. But now? Now I’m a professional soccer player’s muse. His good luck charm...”
Soccer star Rhys Maddox’s recovery from an injury isn’t going well—until one night with a beautiful American and a few terrible pick-up lines changes everything. With Laura at his side, he plays smarter, runs faster, and fights harder than he ever has on the pitch. She’s just the good luck charm he needs to turn his flailing career around.
Laura Bennet begins her semester in Madrid with plans to ditch bad habits and worse boyfriends. But when she unexpectedly gets caught up in Rhys's A-list life, her plans are put on hold. Who wouldn’t skip class to fly on a private jet with a studly Welsh footballer? It’s a no brainer, or so she thinks. Turns out Rhys’s glamorous lifestyle hides an obsession with appearances—an obsession that makes her totally miserable. Determined to take back her happiness, Laura decides to dump Rhys and tackle a “Spain Bucket List” on her own.
But Rhys isn’t letting his good luck charm go without a fight. He’s spent his entire life trying to earn his way into the big leagues, and he’ll do anything to win—even risk his carefully crafted image to help Laura with her bucket list. Will he be able to let go of his ego? Or will he and Laura ultimately let go of each other?
To say that I’ve been dying to get my hands on this book is a bit of an understatement. I fell completely in love with this series when my fellow sister Shannon gifted me Spanish Lessons. Little did she know it was my first hit in my addiction.
I just love the whole concept of this series and adore it even more because the author is writing from her experience from her semester abroad. I loved the connection that she put into the first two novels, but it’s even more apparent in Lessons in Letting Go. This book is different than the first two, and by far my favorite. Not only do I see how this series is changing and evolving, but I’m witnessing first hand Peterson grow as an author.
We first met Laura as one of the Madrilenas in both Spanish Lessons and Lessons in Gravity. We learn mostly in Lessons In Gravity that Laura becomes involved with a very well know sexy Welsh football player that plays for Madrid. When we get to see a glimpse of them in LIG I just had this gut feeling that Laura and Rhys’ story was going to get me.
Laura and Rhys have a lot of things in common. They both have a lot on their shoulders, expect more from themselves than what they would ever expect of anyone else, and feel like everyone is watching their every move just waiting for them to make a mistake. I feel like every woman will be able to identify with Laura. We are our own worst critics and often our own downfall.
I always felt less than. Less than pretty. Less than smart. And because I wasn’t pretty and perfect and bubbling with intelligent things to share with the world, I thought I didn’t deserve a place at the table. I didn’t deserve anything. I was nobody.
Peterson is pretty much a genius when it comes to meet-cutes. In Lessons in Letting Go we get a first-hand experience of Rhys’s awful attempts of pick-up lines.
“Hey Girl. Do you work at Starbucks? Because I like you a-latte.” He leans in. “Get it? A-latte?”
“I do,” I manage. “Keep going. The ‘hey girl’ part is amazing.”
It’s completely adorable. Another thing Peterson is a genius at…well, you’ll have to check out chapter 18 on that!
Just as we start to see this incredible connection form between Laura and Rhys we also start to unveil a lot of their flaws and self-destructive behaviors. Laura and Rhys were so carefully crafted to have us fall in love with them, accepting them for who they are and what they become through this journey. There’s points in this novel that I thought to myself that this wouldn’t work in other books that I’ve read, but with Laura and Rhys, it’s perfection.
Rhys’ drive to drown himself in his success, playing against the ghost of his father’s tainted reputation, starts to become incredibly overwhelming for Laura. She finds herself reverting back into her past, putting her in a dark place.
I’m starting to get the feeling that Rhys is a man of many faces. One he wears for his fans. One he wears for me. And one he keeps for himself. Maybe the faces he shows to the world are just masks he hides behind. I don’t know why I want to dig deeper, and uncover what it is those masks hide.
Rhys slowly sees her slipping away. This is my favorite part in the book, watching Laura reform herself into this confident woman that strives to reach her goals.
The Laura who lives in the moment. I admire her. I want to be more like her.
When the downfall starts to spiral, I became furious with Rhys. I wanted Laura to scream at him, stand up to him, pound on his chest to make him see clearly. At one point I questioned how this could resolve. What grand gesture could Rhys provide that would flip my emotions from one end of the spectrum to the other?? The last 10% was a perfect volley of perspectives. I mean, honestly, it was perfection. Rhys starts to recognize that you can’t buy happiness, and when you are lucky enough to stumble upon it, you latch on to it, guarding it close to your heart. Rhys’ gesture was a-dork-able and incredibly genuine. I smiled, I laughed, I teared up a bit.
I’m beyond happy that I was granted the ability to read this book early and I’m just as ecstatic that Lessons in Letting Go was beyond my expectations!!! Like I mentioned before, this book is different but still fits so well in the series. It’s deeper, it’s stronger, it’s the game changer!!!
*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review