Rule #1 of falling for the younger girl: Don’t let her know. Even though Hadley Gibson seems to know everything. Returning home after years away isn’t supposed to be easy, but Spencer Lee never imagined it would hurt so much. When he left, he didn’t expect to come back, but one email from his little brother has him running to the family ranch where hard work is an expectation but conversations are not. Conversations about why he left, why he came back. Why he can’t stay. When a senior prank involving the family’s goats at the high school goes hilariously wrong, the prankster herself is sentenced to a spring break of work on the ranch. Hadley is everything Spencer detests. Rich. Spoiled. Too darn happy. And also in high school. Her smile should send Spencer running from Gulf City just like three years before. The constant laughter should remind him how different they are. Falling for a ranch hand is against the family’s rules. But if there’s one thing Spencer has never been good at its following the rules. Beware of sassy goats, ridiculous pranks, and an emotional ride with a HEA.
Spencer and the Younger Girl (Gulf City High Book 3)Featured
Hadley was introduced in the series during Jesse and the Ice Princess as Charlotte’s best friend. I adore Hadley! She is sassy and unapologetic about who she is. She knows she’s beautiful and that her looks attract people. However her outgoing personality tends to push people away. That is all except her closest friends. She would do anything for them, and you have to love her for that. As their senior year is coming to a close, Hadley feels more and more invisible at school. She wants to leave a mark and decides to do that with an epic senior prank: goats in the school. The only thing is she has to convince the underclassman Damien Lee to let her borrow his goats. As you can guess, Hadley’s prank goes awry and she winds up caught. Her grandfather makes a deal with the Lees that while Hadley is suspended from school, she’ll work on their ranch. Now she’s stuck spending Spring Break working with the handsome, if not a little bit of a jerk, elder brother.
Spencer Lee stole my heart from the first page. This is a broken man who was forced to grow up too soon. I identified with him on more levels than I’m willing to admit. He left home the day of graduation and never looked back. Heartbreak drove him away, and now family is bringing him home. His baby brother needs him, and it isn’t until his mother, shocked by the sight of him, opens the door that Spencer realizes how much he needs them. His time away didn’t heal the open wound he left with. If anything, it allowed it to fester. Now he is home with the family he left and it’s time to confront his demons.
Overall, I loved Spencer and the Younger Girl. The chemistry is sweet with a hint of steam. Hadley and Spencer are both lost souls looking for their place in the world. Their banter and Hadley’s confidence are refreshing in a YA novel. If you enjoy YA contemporary, I highly recommend this sweet, mostly clean, romance.