{Review} Trouble From the Start by Rachel Hawthorne (with Interview and Giveaway)

Trouble From the Start Rachel Hawthorne

We’re so excited to be participating in the blog tour for Trouble From the Start, the newest book from author Rachel Hawthorne. We loved this book so much and can’t wait to tell you our thoughts. We’ve also got a great interview with Rachel and a fabulous giveaway! First, here’s the 411 on the book:

{Review} Trouble From the Start by Rachel Hawthorne (with Interview and Giveaway)Trouble From the Start by Rachel Hawthorne
Also by this author: Love on the Lifts
Published by HarperTeen on April 28, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 400
Goodreads Buy the Book
4.5 Stars

One of two companion novels from beach-read favorite Rachel Hawthorne, this cute, romantic paperback original is about a good girl who falls for a bad guy.

Avery knows better than to fall for Fletcher, the local bad boy who can’t seem to outrun his reputation. Fletcher knows he shouldn’t bother with college-bound, daughter-of-a-cop Avery. But when their paths cross, neither can deny the spark. Are they willing to go against everything and let their hearts lead the way? Or are they just flirting with disaster?

Trouble from the Start releases simultaneously with companion novel The Boyfriend Project. These heartwarming paperback originals are the perfect summer reads, great for fans of Jennifer Echols, Lauren Barnholdt, and Susane Colasanti.

We’ve read a few other books from Rachel Hawthorne but we have to admit that this is our favorite. In fact, it’s one of our favorite books this year.

The 411:

Straight-laced daughter of a cop Avery never expects to talk to Fletcher Thomas, let alone fall for him. He’s the quintessential bad boy, but when he shows up at her kitchen table, Avery uses her good girl sweetness to help him see that he’s more than he thinks he is.

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What We Loved:

We loved these characters and this story and just everything. NGL, as soon as we read the first chapter and turned the page and saw we get Fletcher’s point of view, we literally squealed out loud! We were so excited to see what he was thinking and how he was feeling. It’s not very often that an author can pull off the bad boy attitude from his point of view–and still be authentic, but Rachel Hawthorne does it and does it well.

Fletcher is seriously one of our favorite characters ever. He’s a bad boy with a reputation but when he gains Avery’s attention he wants to change. We love that it’s not just for her, though. There’s a lot going on with him and we won’t spoil it, but his character was multi-dimensional, and we loved him.

We found myself surprised by how much we liked Avery. Every decision she made was authentic to her character and she didn’t drive us crazy. She’s a sweet girl and a good girl and she’s not ashamed of who she is or who she thinks Fletcher can be. Not because she wants to change him but because she knows he can do better. She was realistic and relatable, and we loved her, too!

Together, these two are super cute and sweet and just…*sigh* We loved how their relationship progressed to friends to falling for each other. They’re funny.

“Breathe deep.”

“Deeply,” I forced out through my tingling mouth.


“Deeply. Adverbs follow verbs.”

“Seriously? You’re giving me a grammar lesson in the middle of your barfing?”

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Um...Not So Much:

Sure, the story’s predictible, but guess what? Sometimes you just need a fun, refreshing read, and this story is the perfect little pick me up. So really, we loved it all.

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Dream Cast:

Fletcher’s hair is dark brown, but we think this guy will do just fine.

Fletcher Thomas from Trouble from the Start by Rachel Hawthorne

“Fletcher Thomas”

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Bottom Line:

With great pacing, relatable characters, and an adorable storyline, Trouble From the Start is perfect for readers who want a sweet contemporary that has substance without being overly dramatic.

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Swoony Boys Podcast Approved

Rating Report
4 Stars
4.5 Stars
5 Stars
5 Stars
4.5 Stars
Overall: 4.5


Thanks for stopping by Swoony Boys Podcast today, Rachel. We’re so glad to have you back!

I’m thrilled to be back!

You’ve got so much going on this month! What’s it like to have three books hitting shelves on the same day?

It’s incredibly exciting. I’m so glad to have the opportunity to share two of my favorite earlier works in one volume with readers. I’m equally thrilled to be able to share two new stories and four new characters with readers.

We’ve got the original paperbacks of Thrill Ride and Labor of Love (and love them both!). But we can’t get over the beautiful cover for One Perfect Summer. We have to have it! [We know that’s not a question, but we wanted you to know we tracked down all of your books after you sent us Love on the Lifts ]

Thank you so much! I love the cover for One Perfect Summer. I think the covers for Trouble from the Start and The Boyfriend Project are a lot of fun.

Us, too. We them! Tell us a little about Trouble From the Start and The Boyfriend Project. Were they fun books to write?

They were a lot of fun to write. Both stories had been bouncing around in my head for a while so it was incredibly gratifying to be able to put them to paper. What made them even more fun for me was that they are the first books I’ve written for teens where I included the male viewpoint. I really enjoyed viewing the world through Fletcher’s and Jeremy’s eyes and sharing their thoughts. One of the reasons that I took this approach was because I’d heard from so many readers who wanted me to write each of the Dark Guardian books from the hero’s point of view. It made me realize that the readers were as invested in what the guys were experiencing as they were in what the girls were experiencing.

Not gonna lie, we squealed when we saw we were getting Fletcher’s and Jeremy’s points of view. We were so excited for that! How was your approach to writing Trouble From the Start different from writing The Boyfriend Project?

Fletcher is a strong character and I always considered Trouble from the Start to be his story even though it’s equally Avery’s. But his going from bad to good was the main element that guided the story forward. I saw The Boyfriend Project as being more Kendall’s story because she has the perfect boyfriend but thinks he would be more exciting if he was just a little bit bad. So one story was hero driven while the other was more heroine driven so each story has a little different tone.

We love them both for sure. Let’s talk about Trouble From the Start. Bad boys make us weak in the knees 🙂 Tell us about Fletcher.

I know writers aren’t supposed to have favorite characters but I have to admit to having a soft spot for Fletcher. He’s developed a hard shell to protect himself. He doesn’t think he’s worthy of someone like Avery, but she makes him yearn to be better, to dream of possibilities. He’s a tough guy who sees himself as trouble for someone like smart, good girl Avery so he’s constantly fighting his attraction to her by trying to prove—to her and himself—that he’s not good enough for her. But Avery is a strong, confident character who is really his match in every way.

*nods* Fletcher is one of our favorite characters—ever. And what about Jeremy? We want to know all the things!

Jeremy is the absolute good guy. He’s well-mannered, wears nice clothes, tries to please his parents and Kendall. Because he is so nice, people don’t always realize that he has some steel in him. He has a strong shoulder to lean on and is the guy you want in your corner when things aren’t going so great. He’s the opposite of Fletcher but he’s as misunderstood. One of the things that I liked about writing these two books was that each of the characters and each of the couples were so different. It was like telling stories about the different side of the same coin because in the end they have love in common.

If you could introduce one of your characters to another character from any other book, who would it be and why?

I would like to introduce Avery to Megan from Thrill Ride. I think they’d get along great. They’re both quick with the comebacks and can stand toe-to-toe with the guys. Plus they have to work really hard not to fall for a guy who they think is totally wrong for them. I think they could offer each other advice.

We can totally see that! How would you describe yourself in three words?

Quiet, shy, imaginative

*grin* Of all the novels that you’ve written, which one do you feel most proud of and why?

Trouble from the Start because Fletcher is my most complicated hero. I’ve enjoyed the heroes in all my stories but because I decided to include Fletcher’s viewpoint I was able to explore him more deeply and give more depth to his character. The story seemed more complete because I switched between Avery and Fletcher’s viewpoint. So I wanted to carry that sense of accomplishment over into The Boyfriend Project.

You already know we’re crazy about him. This book is a favorite for sure! Which character makes you swoon the most (yours or someone else’s)?

Fletcher. He’s such a bad boy and is the first bad boy that I’ve written for teens. He’s brooding, doesn’t like to give away anything about himself. But he also has a vulnerability that makes him multi-dimensional.

*flails* Do you have any future projects you can tell us about?

I’m working on a proposal that I’m excited about but since it’s only in the infant stages of development, I need to keep it to myself for now until I see how it pans out.

Well, we can’t wait to read all about it when it’s ready! Is there ever anything that you always wish someone would ask you, but they never do?

I really can’t think of anything. Loved the questions that you asked. They were different and fun.

Thanks again for stopping by today! We {heart} you, Rachel!

**About Rachel Hawthorne**

Author Rachel Hawthorne

Rachel Hawthorne, who also writes as Lorraine Heath and Jade Parker, is the daughter of a British beauty (her mother won second place in a beauty contest sponsored by Max Factor® during which she received a kiss from Caesar Romero-who played the Joker on the old Batman TV series) and a Texan who was stationed at Bovingdon while serving in the air force. Lorraine was born in Watford, Herts, England, but soon after moved to Texas. Her “dual” nationality has given her a love for all things British and Texan. She enjoys weaving both heritages through her stories.

When she received her BA degree in psychology from the University of Texas, she had no idea she had gained a foundation that would help her to create believable characters—characters that are often described as “real people.” She writes for both adult and young adult readers. She received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Americana historicals. Her novels have been recognized with a RITA, Romance Writers of America’s most prestigious award for excellence, a HOLT medallion award honoring outstanding literary fiction, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award, five Texas Gold Awards, the Golden Quill Award, the Rising Star Award as well as other awards and recognitions. Her novels have been selections of the Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Club. Her novels have appeared on bestseller lists, including USA Today, Waldenbooks, and most recently, the New York Times.

Find Rachel Here: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Win a copy of Trouble From the Start and your choice of either The Boyfriend Project or One Perfect Summer by Rachel Hawthorne

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Featured on Swoony Boys Podcast

4.5 Stars


  1. Christina R. says

    I’d choose Trouble From The Start because I LOVE the sound of the romance and both characters seem likable 🙂

    I have a US address but rafflecopter might show my location outside US because I’m doing a semester abroad

    thank you so very much 🙂

  2. The Boyfriend Project sounds adorable in that Can’t Buy Me Love/She’s All That kind of way. I eat that stuff up

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