Special thanks to the author for providing an ARC via Grey’s Promotions in exchange for an honest review!
Goodreads: From the Top (Central State #2)
Published: 15 February 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Falling for the captain was never part of the plan…
Cami Simpson is the ‘it girl’—at least until a string of terrible decisions leads to no boyfriend, no captainship of the dance team, and no fancy apartment. Due to a mold outbreak at her place, she’s forced to relocate to a co-ed dorm as a senior. And to top it off, she finds out she’s at risk of not graduating due to an error in her schedule. Talk about the worst senior year ever.
Frederick Brady the IV would never admit the massive crush he once had on the dance darling. Not to anyone. They’d almost had a moment a year ago, but she crushed him, so she’s the last person he wants to live next to. It doesn’t matter though. He’s on his way out to an internship and almost done with school where he can leave his heartbreak and data foes behind.
Neither expected to form a friendship or know what to do about their insane chemistry. With late nights, inside jokes, and the rare comfort they find in each other… lines blur, and the popular girl gets with the nerdy guy. Only, Freddie’s done this before and knows how it ends. His insecurities clash with Cami’s need to be picked first, so when Freddie has to choose where to attend his internship, he can either pick the job or the girl. And for the guy who’s set on protecting his heart, well, he might break hers in the process.
Jaqueline Snowe lives in Arizona where the “dry heat” really isn’t that bad. She prefers drinking coffee all hours of the day and snacking on anything that has peanut butter or chocolate. She is the mother to two fur-babies who don’t realize they aren’t humans and a new mom to the sweetest baby boy. She is an avid reader and writer of romances and tends to write about athletes. Her husband works for an MLB team (not a player, lol) so she knows more about baseball than any human ever should.
TL;DR: If you’re looking for a fun/fast read and a steamy frenemies-to-lovers situation between a popular girl and nerdy guy that’s full of sweet vulnerability and explosive chemistry, then I would definitely recommend checking this out!
Aah, I had such a fun time with this read! I can’t remember the last time I read a popular girl + nerdy guy combo but… I need MORE, ASAP! The way Freddie was a simp for Cami had me swoon crying in all my single feels and I just?? 😭 He’s awkward as hell sometimes but so damn sweet and I was weak for it and it’s not just because I am weak for guys with glasses okay, haha!
Cami is the ‘it’ girl on campus with a bad reputation that says she’s wild and unpredictable, a b*tch, an easy lay and dumb but that’s just a well-crafted persona that she plays up in public. In reality, she’s smart, passionate and hard-working even though nobody takes her seriously; not even her parents, sister or her coach. Cami was surprisingly easy to empathise with and I loved her confidence in herself. She knew what she deserved and rightly never accepted any less, but that also didn’t make the continuous lack of faith from the people who were supposed to be on her side hurt any less. Keeping up with her persona also meant she had nobody and you really felt her loneliness and struggle to cope with all the bad news that came her way.
Then comes Freddie. *cue swooning* He’s her opposite in every way; he prefers library study sessions and trivia nights over parties and social gatherings. He might have a large physical presence but he’s shy and quiet and doesn’t always do well in social situations—honestly, I related to Freddie so much? 😂 He’s a serious relationship guy and was left with a broken heart and tattered confidence after his ex ended things by claiming he was too boring (oof, how I wanted to hurt someone for that)! Although he starts off being standoffish with Cami because of an incident at a party over a year ago, he can’t help being pulled into her orbit and they soon strike up a sweet and unlikely friendship that turns into something more because their chemistry was undeniable! Freddie is legit one of the most genuine, sweet and caring romance heroes and he is such a lovesick fool that only wants to make Cami happy.
Honestly? I loved the way they communicated in their relationship. They both have insecurities where they feel they’re not good enough and I loved how their relationship became this safe space where they can be vulnerable with each other. Being honest about your insecurities (as few or many as they might be) is tough as hell but I loved how they encouraged honesty and openness with their feelings and the way they grew together because of it! I was so so happy for them 🥲 With their undeniable chemistry that built up SO well, it’s unsurprising that their steamy scenes were absolute fire! I mean, I didn’t expect Freddie to go absolutely FERAL during sex but *phew*, this guy!! 🥵 Why is it a million times hotter when the nerdy/shy ones go wild in the bedroom?! Ugh, I’m so here for it!
Overall, I’m so glad this got on my radar thanks to two of my favourites on romance book twitter! I can’t wait to read the first book which is about Naomi and Michael, and I can’t wait for more in this series. Please tell me there’s more and that it’s Daniella’s story with a certain athlete cos I can already *feel* the vibes there?! 👀
Have you read From the Top or is it on your TBR?