Title: How to Date a Douchebag: The Failing Hours
Genre: New Adult, Sports Romance, College Romance
Author: Sara Ney
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Zeke Daniels isn’t just a douchebag; he’s an asshole.
A total and complete jerk, Zeke keeps people at a distance. He has no interest in relationships—most assholes don’t.
Dating? Being part of a couple? Nope. Not for him.
He’s never given any thought to what he wants in a girlfriend, because he’s never had any intention of having one.
Shit, he barely has a relationship with his family, and they’re related; his own friends don’t even like him.
So why does he keep thinking about Violet DeLuca?
Sweet, quiet Violet—his opposite in every sense of the word.
The light to his dark, even her damn name sounds like rays of sunshine and happiness and shit.
And that pisses him off, too.
If I’ve learned anything from the reality of everyday living as well as the fictional world of books, it’s that there are always reasons for people’s actions and comments…behind-the-scenes’ information that most people don’t try to break through to because the outer shell of callousness, broodiness, and downright douchebaggery is too tough to pierce…too hellish to confront.
But then there are others who see beneath the bullshit…who may seem meek but actually have strong backbones because of what they’ve endured and their willingness to go beneath the abrasive surface and unearth the goodness wrapped around the rough and jagged edges that very few choose to battle provide them with enough compassion and selflessness to weather the menacing glares and hurtful words that are thrown their way and teach the douchebags that there’s another way to live.
Douchebags are a complicated and layered breed whose foul temperament and unapproachable personality leave others feeling uncomfortable and annoyed, and Zeke Daniels definitely personifies this category; in fact, he just might be its King. There are so many characteristics about him that should and will rub other characters and readers the wrong way, but here’s the thing, that’s what he WANTS them to feel…that’s what he lives for…his self-deprecation knows no bounds and he uses it as a shield…as a way to prevent anyone from getting close to him so that he doesn’t have to fear being abandoned yet again. Every abrasive comment…every menacing glare is all a part of his coping mechanism, and because everyone, for the most part, takes Zeke at face value without trying to consider why he is the way that he is, which further feeds into his resentment of others and further proves that there’s no reason to be anything but an asshole because no one seems to be worth acting any other way.
Violet DeLuca, unbeknownst to both her and Zeke, is a game changer for him. When she’s around, he can no longer act like a lobotomized cretin because even though she’s shy and intimidated by Zeke’s big bad wolf temperament, she also calls him out on his shit and refuses to be treated like a second-class citizen in her own life. Violet’s perfectly aware of the chip that Zeke has on his shoulder and one would think that his arrogant, sarcastic, and condescending facade would deter her from spending time with him and asking him for things that he would never readily do for anyone let alone someone he hardly knows, but when it comes to helping others, Violet’s compassionate side always wins out, which means that if she needs to poke the bear in order to get what she needs for other people, she’ll do so with an arsenal of snark, kindness, and patience.
The Failing Hours is my first read by Sara Ney, and I’m happy to say that I’ve found another author I adore; Ney’s characters are dynamically layered, and those layers are exposed throughout the course of the story, illustrating that there’s so much more to them than what other characters seem to want to take at face value and proving that if someone were to take the time to understand who they are and why they act the way they do, it just might allow that person the chance to change his ways.
There’s definitely a stereotypical, societal view of who a douchebag is, and while Zeke epitomizes that perception and even owns up to being an asshole, for some, Zeke included, it’s all an act to conceal their true feelings…the pain beneath the anger…the brokenness just below the impenetrable facade, and while there may never be anything or anyone that will be able to get through to every douchebag in the world, those who wear those qualities as more of an albatross than a crown can alter their demeanors when the price of remaining a jerk is too great to pay, especially if it means losing someone who makes them a better person.
Sara Ney’s How to Date a Douchebag series is a great addition to the New Adult Romance genre because it goes beyond the surface level components and allows an insider’s look at what makes people who they are and what it takes to help those who need it most to change their ways. A douchebag will definitely always have douchebag tendencies, but if he’s lucky, he’ll find someone who takes those characteristics and proves that there’s more to him than his toolish ways.
Bring on the next douchebag!
4.5 Poison Apples
“Best Read of 2017! A one click must for any lover of hot, sexy romance done RIGHT ! [This] story is the quintessential slow burn effect…Zeke will come to own your body and soul–I am OBSESSED with this series and The Failing Hours has just shot to my ‘Best of All Time’ list. Be prepared to fall in love with a douche bag and the woman who sets him straight. ” – Books and Boys Book Blog
“That was EVERYTHING I expected, wanted, dreamed of. . . this is a MUST FREAKING READ. UNFORGETTABLE goodness. NA romance at it’s best.” – Angie’s Dreamy Reads
“Sara Ney has delivered a sexy, jerkwad douchebag with soul-deep feelings and the sweet, kind, unassuming girl to reach his hidden heart in one of the best NA romantic comedies I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. Ney’s impeccable writing, fresh characters, and feel-good story will stick with you forever.” – Bestselling Author Staci Hart
“I took so much pleasure in Zeke’s looming destruction (insert evil laugh)….” – The Reading Belles
The clock on the wall counts the seconds, steady as the rhythm of my beating heart, which thumps wildly within my chest until the glass door to the library opens, propelled by a gust of wind.
Some new fallen leaves flutter in, the heavy doors slamming from the draft.
Along with them? Zeke Daniels.
He shuffles in, dark gray sweatpants hanging low on his hips, black Iowa Wrestling hoodie pulled up over his head, the university’s bright yellow mascot screen-printed across the chest. Backpack slung over one shoulder, black athletic flip-flops, and a pair of black sunglasses perched on the bridge of his strong nose complete the overall ensemble.
He is utterly…ridiculous.
His arrogance knows no bounds; I can see it in his loose gait, the exaggerated swagger, and the too-casual way he’s dragging his flip-flops across the cold, marble tile floor. It’s noisy, irritating, and completely uncalled for.
In the moment, my mind drifts to his personal life, and I theorize that he listens to heavy metal music to sooth his foul temperament, drinks his coffee black—as black as his soul—and his liquor straight up. I imagine once he’s had sex with someone, they’re never invited back. I go one step further and theorize that they’re never invited to spend the night at his place, either.
Zeke Daniels makes his way to a table at the far end of the room, near the periodicals, one out of the way with plenty of privacy.
Sets his bag down in one of the four wooden chairs. Flicks on the small study lamp. Plugs his laptop cord into the base and stands.
Our eyes would have met then were it not for those ludicrous sunglasses. I choose the exact moment he lifts his gaze to look down at the ground. Busy myself with shuffling papers on the counter. Count to ten instead of chanting, Please don’t come over, please don’t come over, please don’t come over…
But luck isn’t on my side because he most decidedly does.
Makes his way over like a predator at a pace so deliberate, I’m convinced he’s doing it on purpose. As if he suspects I’m watching from under my long lashes, dreading his imminent arrival.
He basks in my discomfort.
The distance between us closes, his strides purposeful.
His large hand reaches up, pushing down the hood of his sweatshirt, his fingertips pinching the earpiece of his sunglasses and pulling them off his face. My eyes follow the movements as he folds them closed, hanging them on the neckline of his hoodie.
His gaze lingers—those clear gray eyes famous around campus—and finds the shiny silver bellhop bell perched on the counter with the sign next to it that reads, Ring for help.
The tip of his forefinger presses down on the small bell.
He hits it again, despite me standing not three feet in front of him.
What an ass.
Purveyor of all things witty & romantic, I love: iced latte’s, traveling, and bright, bold colors. On any given day, you can find me in my office, lovingly gazing at my bookshelf or shuffling my Bic felt-tip pen collection. I love hand writing letters, and sarcasm.
I live in the midwest, but “Will Write for Travel,” and believe everyone should follow their dreams, no matter how big or small. My favorite authors include Cindy Miles, S Walden, Suzanne Enoch, Tessa Dare (to name a few). I am a glutton for Historical, RomCom, Sports and MC romance.
One husband. Two daughters. Plenty of chaos.