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After Math (Off the Subject #1) by Denise Grover Swank

Scarlett Goodwin’s world is divided into Before and After.

Before she agreed to tutor Tucker price, college junior Scarlett was introvert, struggling with her social anxiety and determined to not end up living in a trailer park like her mother and her younger sister. A mathematics major, she goes to her classes, to her job in the tutoring lab, and then hides in the apartment she shares with her friend, Caroline.

After junior Tucker Price, Southern University’s star soccer player enters the equation, her carefully plotted life is thrown off its axis. Tucker’s failing his required College Algebra class. With his eligibility is at risk, the university chancellor dangles an expensive piece of computer software for the math department if Scarlett agrees to privately tutor him.Tucker’s bad boy, womanizer reputation makes Scarlett wary of any contact, let alone spending several hours a week in close proximity.

But from her first encounter, she realizes Tucker isn’t the person everyone else sees. He carries a mountain of secrets which she suspects hold the reason to his self-destructive behavior. But the deeper she delves into the cause of his pain, the deeper she gets sucked into his chaos. Will Scarlett find the happiness she’s looking for, or will she be caught in Tucker’s aftermath?

4.25-4.5 Stars

“Scarlett, open your eyes.”
I do as he says, looking up at him with confusion.
His eyes burn bright with desire. “I want you to see me when I come into you. I want you to know I’m here. I want you to know I see you.” 

Holy. Mother. Of. God. This was such an unexpected surprise hit for me. I mean, just reading that opening quote above makes me both squirm and swoon at the same time. Before I go on and review, I have to stake my claim on Tucker Price. From this day forward, be forewarned, chicks…Tucker Price is Mine! Yea, that’s right. Mine! I love him!! 

I have to admit, when I read the blurb, I had already taken a keen to our heroine. She’s a Math major for cripes sake. Oh, just an FYI, I’m a Math geek myself. Proud owner of a Mathematics degree over here – love being a geek :) Therefore, it’s no surprise that I’ve always loved nerdy/geeky girls getting the hot jock. In this case, the hot jock is Tucker Price. But what brings these two souls together? Well, believe it or not, this story is far from typical. 

“I’m broken, Tucker. I’m hopelessly broken inside, and I’m not sure there are enough pieces in me to put back together. But when I’m with you, I feel like maybe I can actually be whole.” 

Solving math problems is Scarlett’s way of de-stressing. Her goal in life is to not end up like her alcoholic mother, dependent on people to get by. Her career ambition is to work for the CIA as an Analyst. It’s safe to say Scarlett is beyond shy. As a matter of fact, she suffers from social anxiety. She likes to keep to herself and has a hard time trusting people. And when it comes to her past, she definitely wants to keep that hidden. Except for her best friend, Caroline, no really sees Scarlett…that is until Tucker Price enters her life. 

Tucker is a star soccer player at the University, as well a well-known man-whore. However, to continue to play soccer, he needs to remain in good academic standing, which includes passing his Algebra class. So whom does he run into at the math tutor lab…Scarlett, of course. Tucker sees something in Scarlett, and vise versa. For some odd reason, no matter how opposite they might seem on the outside, they can both see past their façade and just be themselves around each other. They’re both hiding their past, afraid that what others may see, might make people run the other way. However…

“Everything just feels so right when I’m with you, Scarlett. I can be me. But it’s more than that. You give me something I haven’t had in a long time, if ever. You give me peace. It’s like the jumbled mess in my head can settle down, and I can be still with you. Like none of the other stuff matters.” 

I really, really enjoyed this book. If it didn’t start out a little slow, I probably would’ve given it more stars. I loved both Scarlett and Tucker. Their relationship started out slow and they both initially started as friends, but slowly turned into something more. And what was amazing was how they could be themselves around each other, how they became better and amazing people because of each other. Just loved it. Definitely recommend :)

Other favorite quotes:
“If I kiss you now, I won’t be able to let you go, and you’ll end up hating me. Tell me to walk away right now before it’s too late. Tell me to leave you alone so you can have the life you deserve, Scarlett Goodwin, and not get stuck with a fuckup like me.”
Nothing easy is worth having.
“I’ve never wanted anyone as much as I want you, Scarlett. That scares the shit out of me.”
“You make me want to be a better person. This is me being a better person.” ~ Tucker 

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