Sunday, July 22, 2018

Review: "It Was Always You" by Judy Corry

After enjoying the first two books in Judy Corry's Ridgewater High series, I was excited to find the third available on Kindle Unlimited (Kindle owners can borrow one KU book per month without subscribing to Kindle Unlimited).

What’s the first rule when pretending to date your brother’s best friend? Don’t let feelings get involved.

Sixteen-year-old Lexi Stevens has never been kissed—never even been asked on a date. So when she humiliates herself in front of her crush and her brother’s best friend offers to be her fake boyfriend for the week to make her crush jealous, she doesn’t know if it’s the stupidest idea ever, or a dream come true.

When Noah Taylor’s abusive stepdad kicks him out of the house, the last thing he needs is for anyone at school to find out—not even his best friend. But when his new “girlfriend” discovers he’s homeless and lets him sleep in her closet, he starts to wonder if he’s found someone he can confide in after all.

Soon Noah and Lexi are putting on a big show in front of the whole school while sneaking around behind her overprotective father’s back. It isn’t long before feelings develop, and it becomes harder and harder to discern between what’s fake and what’s real.

IT WAS ALWAYS YOU is a standalone novel in The Ridgewater High series, a collection of simmering YA contemporary romances. If you like sweet romance with ballad-worthy chemistry, swoony kisses, and endearing characters, then you'll love Judy Corry's latest book. 

Judy Corry's books just keep getting better! It Was Always You is the third book in her Ridgewater High series, and it's definitely my favorite (so far). This book features bad boy Noah, the ex-boyfriend of Ashlyn from Meet Me There. Noah did not seem very redeemable in that novel, but here he's fully fleshed out and basically reformed.

Lexi and Noah have loads of chemistry, and I really enjoyed their relationship—fake and then not-so-fake. I didn't particularly like how they sneaked around behind her dad's (and brother's) back, but it did feel totally authentic ... and Lexi eventually did the right thing and respected her dad.

While the relationship is fun, this book has lots of serious matter, too—it deals with domestic abuse, strained parent-child relationships, and bullying. I thought all of these issues were handled well.

One slight complaint: When Lexi and Noah begin fake dating, many students believe they're sleeping together because of something Lexi said that came out totally wrong. Noah assures her that no one will really think they're having sex because she's still wearing her purity ring. Similarly, Lexi's brother basically confesses a prior sexual relationship to her by pointing out that he's no longer wearing his purity ring. I grew up in the height of "True Love Waits"/purity culture, and I knew a lot of girls (but no guys—that part seems weird to me) who wore purity rings ... and I can't think of one of them who would have taken it off just because she became sexually active; the ring was a symbol, but it wasn't a clear line in the sand—the removal of a purity ring did not necessarily represent a loss of virginity, just as the presence of a ring did not necessarily signify virginity. Besides, if you were having sex and didn't want anyone to know about it, wouldn't you just keep wearing the ring?

Purity ring weirdness aside, this story is so good. I enjoyed every minute I spent reading It Was Always You (which went deep into the night because I just couldn't put the book down). 4-1/2 stars.

Content note: This is clean YA with no sex or foul language. There are a few mentions of sex, and some of the kisses get heated. The domestic abuse plot line, while not at all graphic, might be too much for some readers.

Buy (or borrow) the book.
Read my reviews of Corry's Ridgewater High books Meet Me There (4 stars) and Don't Forget Me (3-1/2 stars) and her billionaire romance The Billionaire Bachelor (4 stars).

Judy Corry has been addicted to love stories for as long as she can remember. She reads and writes YA & Clean Contemporary Romance because she can't get enough of the feeling of falling in love. She graduated from Southern Utah University in an area that has nothing to do with writing. Some of her favorite things are chick flicks, singing, and playing the piano. She believes in swoon-worthy kisses and happily ever afters.

Judy met her soul mate while in high school, and married him a few years later. She and her husband are raising four beautiful and crazy children in Southern Utah.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I borrowed this book and chose to review it. The opinions expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. Sounds really cute! I'll have to look these up on Amazon. :) Thanks for the introduction, Becky.

    1. You're welcome, Rissi! I'm so glad I somehow stumbled across Judy's books :-)


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