I Want It That Way [2B Trilogy, #1] by Ann Aguirre

Harlequin | ARC, 343 pages
Publication Date: August 26th, 2014
Contemporary Romance
Rating 2 out of 5 Stars

Listen, I’m not a fan of Backstreet Boys, never in their prime, definitely not now when they’re staging a comeback. So, why did I think this book would be good knowing that it’s a part of a series named after songs of said boy band? Well, I wanted to keep an open mind. I didn’t want my dislike for BSB to cloud my judgement over this book. Besides, I met Ms. Aguirre. She’s a super nice lady. It’s too bad I can’t make niceties with her book, however.

This is a story about a single dad who’s had some really awful experience with a woman whom he thought loved him enough to stick around. Especially after giving birth to their son. But since she wasn’t built to be a mother, she took off. Single dad, then decides that relationships are just too much work for him and his son. So he squashed any signs of attraction to any woman that comes along. He wasn’t prepared to run into Nadia, however.

Nadia is a woman determined to overcome Ty’s misgivings about relationships. In the meantime, she’ll bide her time and take his offer of friendship. They didn’t count on their innate attraction towards each other to be so all-encompassing. They tried, though. And when they finally give in, it’s like an explosion that was too bright, but was spent fast.

There wasn’t much conflict here, to be honest. Ty’s back and forth about Nadia was borderline boring. There wasn’t much substance to the characters either, and Nadia fell too fast for Ty. Sometimes, instant-lust is okay. But the thing is, I couldn’t find anything remotely attractive, personality-wise, about Ty. I didn’t get it. I do like how close to the characterization Ms. Aguirre was for a single dad who works full time and who goes to school part time. I felt ever exhaustion in his bones, and imagined every tired lines mapping his face.

Despite my lacklustre reaction to this book, I want to believe the rest will be at least good. After all, this is Ann Aguirre we’re talking about. I’m hopeful that the brilliance she’d shown in Urban Fantasy would somehow bleed into her contemporary romance stint. However, as the rest of the books share titular rights to BSB songs, my expectations aren’t very high. I guess that could be a good thing.


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  • I am sorry you didn’t like it, but this seems like a boring book indeed. a lack of conflict and insta-love is a big no for me. I love this author, but this book sounds boring to me too. Pity!

  • Haha I like BSB when I was a kid. As for this book tho, absolutely no interest and I’m glad since you say the chemistry was lack luster.

  • For some reason I thought the BSB would be influential in this story. I guess because of the song? LOL. Anyways this sounds like your typical, boring romance. I don’t think I’d like to read this. Have never read of Ann Aguirre book, but the Razorland series is on my TBR.

  • I’m already only a borderline NA fan so I won’t bother with something that’s kind of meh, Backstreet Boy titles or not.

  • Sorry the book didn’t work for you. I love the cover, but the book sounds quite boring and I’m not a fan insta-lust relationship. Great review!

  • Christy

    I haven’t read any of Ann’s books yet, but I don’t think I’ll start here. Haha – yeah, I never liked BSB. The only boy band that ever had my heart was New Kids on the Block. lol. Now if only the book was titled ‘Hangin’ Tough.’

  • Faye M.

    This is seriously my problem with Ann Aguirre with her other book. There just wasn’t enough substance in the characters, let alone the romance. And they all fell for each other pretty, pretty fast. I hate it when they do that, and I hate it when there’s no other conflict other than “should I or should I not?” that’s so boring! I’m not going to be reading this one then *cringe*

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

  • Interesting review, I haven’t heard about this one but looks like it shouold be a pass lol

  • Aw. I’m sorry that you didn’t love this one Joy. Sigh. I am not ready to read NA books yet :p But one day. <3 As I have read Ann's YA books; and I loved those. But yeah. I think I would have issues with this book too. The covers are pretty, though πŸ™‚ Amazing review sweetie. <3

  • eh no thanks. I don’t think I’ll love this book. But I love Ann Aguirre, her other books are fabulous. Romance must not be her genre HAHA the blurb is alluring, though. I get why you wanted to try this.


  • Hmmm. Haven’t read anything by her, but won’t start with this one. Thanks for honesty.

  • Ok I’m really surprised because I didn’t know at all that Ann Aguirre had another series to be released. But well with your review maybe I should stay that way. In any cases I have many series by her to read.

  • Ehh. I thought this was a NA for some reason, but it sounds like the characters must be older. Honestly, I wanted to read it because it was written by Ann Aguirre, but after reading your review it doesn’t sound like it’s different in any way from the millions of other NA books. I also don’t like the sound of the guy. He seems frustrating and not well-developed.
    I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you, Joy! πŸ™

  • Awww I am so sorry to see you didn’t enjoy this more πŸ™ I have such high expectations for this one and am really hoping it’ll add something more fresh and original to NA. I am still maintaining my hope that I’ll like it because I really have enjoyed Ann’s other books (if not loved) so I am hoping Ty will win me over.

    Thank you for sharing your honest opinions with us, Joy! πŸ™‚

    Fantastic review!

    • Sorry, Rashika. But this one is a pedestrian NA. Nothing splendid or earth-shattering about this.

  • Aw, man. Now that song is going to be stuck in my head. I’m not a big fan of anything insta, but I can forgive insta-lust/attraction if the characters are interesting and the romance have chemistry. Ty sounds wishy-washy though and Nadia character sounds shallow since she’s only described as someone who would wait for the hero. I understand why you were bored! I haven’t read anything from the author so this book is probably not a good first! Great review, as always, Joy! πŸ™‚

    • Hahahah! Like it is in mine every time I come across this book. That’s exactly it! Ty couldn’t make up his mind. It was annoying. This is definitely not one of her best; if you’re to try a taste of Ann Aguirre, you’re better off reading her Adult UF, or YA offerings.

  • It’s weird that Aguirre’s brilliance in Urban Fantasy and Space Opera hasn’t bled over into her other works for me either. I remain passively unimpressed by her YA stints and much prefer Bronze Gods or Sirantha Jax. I was hoping this would be a good one since I’m always on the lookout for good New Adult (which is SO hard to find!) so I’m sorry to see this didn’t live up to Aguirre’s name or writing. I’ll probably check it out, but definitely with far lower expectations. Fantastic review!

    • I think for someone who has her imaginative mind, this type of romance just doesn’t suit. It’s almost like it was too easy, and I wouldn’t say she slacked off, because I don’t know that. But I definitely felt weirdly blasΓ© about this book. It was bland; very pedestrian romance.

  • I have to say, I really love that the books are named after Baskstreet Boys songs. Yep. I’d seen her talking about this one but didn’t know what it was about. I’ll probably skip it and stick to her YA, but I’ll hope with you that the other books are better than this one for you! πŸ™‚

    • The drawback is that the song is stuck in my head. And that’s pretty much how it was the whole time I was reading. Lol.

  • I didn’t even know that Aguirre had an NA book. I loved her Razorland series. I am unsure if I want to read this though. I’ve been staying away from NA lately. I can’t even remember the last one I read. Based on your review, it’s not really a good one, sounds meh to me.

    • NA and I don’t see eye to eye. So that’s the number one problem, I think. Totally meh. πŸ™‚

  • I am sad you didn’t like this one, I really wanted it to be a great read. πŸ™

    • maybe you’ll like it? I’m not a huge NA reader. You should try!

  • Oh no! I’m planning on taking this one with me to the beach next week. I probably still will, b/c I need to read it, but now I’m . . . feeling cautious? Timid? Filled with TREPIDATION?? Kidding, LOL. But I’m sorry it such a bland read for you. Maybe if I go into it with lowered expectations, it won’t be as bad for me. *crosses fingers*

    • hahhahahah! Jess. You’re hilarious. Definitely. Nothing earth-shattering about this one. πŸ™‚

  • That’s hilarious that there’s a series of books based on BSB songs. (I was always more of an *NSYNC fan…)
    I still haven’t read her YA trilogy so maybe I’ll start with that instead….
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    • Well, I’m more partial to NSync as well (JT, man). But I don’t think I’d be able to enjoy books that share their song titles. Lol.

  • I haven’t heard of Ann Aguirre, or this book. But I think its rare to find a book in the POV of a single dad. Tho its kinda disappointing if the romance wasn’t good. :((

    • Oh man. You’ll probably enjoy her Razorland series. Try those!

  • Eh, kind of sounds like a stereotypical and lacklustre romance, unfortunately. I like how it’s named after BSB’s song though (I’m a 90’s gal). Great review though Joy, sorry you didn’t enjoy this one too much.

    • Plus the stupid song is stuck in my head. Grrrr.

      I’m sorry too; I was looking forward to finding the right NA to read. Obviously, this one was not.