by Alexa Riley
Published by the Author (Self-Published) on September 11, 2016
Sub-Genre/Theme: Contemporary, New Adult
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It’s Lily Parker’s first day at a new high school. She’s a senior finishing her last semester, and all she wants to do is graduate and get out of town. Her home life is a secret hell, and she’s trying to find a way out. But everything changes when Ren says hello and sees right through to her truth.
Ren Hendricks succeeds at everything he touches, including football. But he’s never been passionate about anything. He’s quiet and keeps to himself, which pisses people off. But he can’t find the desire to care. He’s lived a life without color, until Lily walks in and lights up his world.
Their story is one of sweet young love and finding your forever before you can even dream of what that is. It’s one of protecting what belongs to you and having the courage to follow your heart, no matter your age.
Warning: Call your dentist and schedule an appointment, because you’re going to get nothing but cavities from this sugary book. Ren and Lily start off so innocent, but by the time it’s over, you’re gonna need to hose yourself off. We’re talking two virgins who turn into maniacs. You’re welcome!
Alexa Riley’s books are pure escapism for me. They’re not realistic, there’s not much character development, and in most of their books, there’s not even much plot. But I enjoy them anyway. Shielding Lily is probably one of my favorite of Riley’s books that I’ve read so far. On the sweet to smutty spectrum, this one is definitely off the charts sweet–but fear not, it’s got plenty of dirty parts to keep you happy, too.
Lily is a high school senior who has just transferred to a new school in the middle of the year. After the tragic death of Lily’s mother, Lily’s father has become a raging alcoholic. Lily is the image of her mother and it’s slowly driving her father mad, causing him to lash out at Lily, physically and verbally abusing her. Lily just wants to finish school and find a job so that she can escape the hell of living with her father.
Ren is the star quarterback at Lily’s new school. He already has a full ride football scholarship, so his future is set. He has loving parents, but despite being the golden boy athlete, Ren doesn’t really have friends and tends to keep to himself. Something is definitely missing from his life.
When Ren meets Lily, it’s safe to say that it’s love at first sight. Ren is drawn to Lily’s vulnerability in a way that makes him need to protect her. There’s no sense or logic to it; it’s pure instinct. Lily isn’t sure what to make of Ren at first, but soon realizes that he has sincere intentions. She knows that she can trust him.
As is the standard with Riley, the couple falls for each other fast. At first, Lily’s more hesitant because she doesn’t want love to destroy her the way that it has with her father. But Ren quickly convinces Lily that he only wants to protect and care for her.
There were some things I didn’t like: for example, just how quickly Lily and Ren go from both being virgins to having amazing, mind-blowing sex. Also, the numerous epilogues were a bit tedious for me.
Having said all that, as insta-lovey and unrealistic as this book is, I still liked it. There are moments when Ren is so darn sweet that I was actually smiling at some of the things he says to Lily. Here I was, reading this book, smiling like an idiot. This book is sweet enough to warm even my cynical heart.
It’s kind of hard to believe that this is the same writing team that brought us Trailer Park Virgin (because that book was filthy to the max), but there you have it. I’d especially recommend Shielding Lily to readers who might be new to Alexa Riley and aren’t ready to dive into their taboo books just yet. Loyal readers might still enjoy this, but just be aware that this isn’t a full-on smutfest like most of their other books.
Rating: 3.5 stars