Review: Lessons in Gravity (Study Abroad #2) by Jessica Peterson

Lessons in Gravity

(Study Abroad #2)

Publication Date: April 4th, 2016
Publisher: Peterson Paperbacks
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

My Rating:


Maddie Lucas is only looking for a one night stand…

While studying in Spain for her semester abroad, Maddie hopes to escape the drama surrounding her parents’ divorce—a divorce she may or may not have caused—while researching Spanish architecture for her thesis. And if she hooks up with hot Madrileños along the way? All the better.

But handsome Spaniard Javier Montoya wants so much more.

Guitarist Javier is ready to set aside his rock star ways and settle down for good with his gorgeous ex-girlfriend. But after a one night stand with sexy, passionate Maddie blossoms into genuine friendship, he begins to wonder if Maddie might be the forever girl he’s looking for.

Too bad Maddie believes forever is more fiction than fairy tale. Can Javier prove to her that fairy tales exist? Or is Maddie right to think she doesn’t deserve happily ever after? 

Lessons in Gravity is the second standalone story in the Study Abroad series, but this is the first one I’ve read thanks to the New Adult Book Club on Goodreads. I didn’t encounter much confusion when I read this one, so I think it’s safe to say you can read it without reading the first. 

After watching her picturesque family shatter into a million pieces, twenty-year old Maddie Lucas finds temporary relief and distraction in the form of one night stands while in Madrid for her university’s study abroad program. On one night out with her best friend Vivian and her boyfriend Rafa, Maddie meets Javier Montoya, Rafa’s hot uncle. No, he’s no George Clooney. He’s only twenty-four.

As soon as she sees Javier, she knows she’ll have him in bed for a night. Javier, however, is done with all things casual. Recently returning to Madrid from touring as a guitarist for a famous singer, Javier wants to settle down and find his el amor, hopefully his beautiful ex-girlfriend. A casual romp in the sheets is not in his agenda, and Maddie certainly isn’t. 

But they just can’t resist each other, and so the night ends in one (or more) magical hook-up. Maddie has no interest in a follow-up. One night stands are one night stands for a reason. Javier didn’t agree.

First of all, I loved that the story is set in Madrid. It’s one of the places I’ve always wanted to visit, and this book just made me want to go even more! I could almost picture the cathedrals and the sights and the food and the people! 

Their chemistry is just wow. Obviously they’re attracted to each other, and they’ve proven time and time again how compatible they are in bed, but Maddie and Javier get along outside the bedroom too. They have similar tastes and appreciation of life, and they just get along and actually enjoy each other’s company. Maddie likes him for himself—not as the guitarist for Juan Ramos, but as Javier. Just Javier.

Javier is unreal. If I ever meet anyone like him, I will never let him go! He is hot, funny, sweet, can cook, can drive, can FLY A PLANE, and he can play the guitar. He understands Maddie, and is as passionate as she is when it comes to their loves—Maddie with architecture, Javier with music and Madrid. I love it when the two talk, and you know they just jive well. That’s what I’m looking for. I want that.

And Maddie is so relatable. She’s confident most of the time, but she has her bouts of insecurities. I think she was an accurate depiction of what most twenty-year old people could be like; adult but not quite adult just yet. She hasn’t fully figured out what she’s going to do with her life, but she knows her passion for architecture will be a big factor.

I’ve always thought your twenties were all about finding yourself. But at almost twenty-one, I feel more lost than ever.”

It had a few nods to Jane Austen here and there. Names and suchMeryton University (Meryton is a fictional town in Pride and Prejudice), Maddie’s last name is Lucas (a family in P&P), and Vivian’s last name is Bingley (another family in P&P). Plot-wise though, I don’t Ms. Peterson based this story on any Austen novel.

The book was a fairly enjoyable read, although I wasn’t that of a fan of Maddie’s hot and cold attitude. I get that she’s hurting and going through a lot, but I didn’t think it was fair of her to push Javier away, only to pull him back a second later.  She rejects him, but goes to his house the next day. 

They had a few problems due to miscommunications/lack of communication, too. Things would’ve gone more smoothly if only they had talked to each other, instead of jumping into conclusions. 

Other than that, I enjoyed the book and liked it.

I’m definitely reading the first novel in this series, and would watch out for the following books in Study Abroad.
Complimentary copy given in exchange for an honest review

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