Author: Sophie Jordan
Genre: NA Contemporary
Series: The Ivy Chronicles (Book 1)
Publication Date: November 5, 2013
Format: Paperback, 320 Pages
ISBN-10: 0062279874 (HarperCollins)
ISBN-13: 978-0062279873 (HarperCollins)
Reviewed by: Bridget
Before she goes after the life she’s always wanted, she’s about to find the one she needs.
Pepper has been hopelessly in love with her best friend’s brother, Hunter, for like ever. He’s the key to everything she’s always craved: security, stability, family. But she needs Hunter to notice her as more than just a friend. Even though she’s kissed exactly one guy, she has just the plan to go from novice to rock star in the bedroom—take a few pointers from someone who knows what he’s doing.
Her college roommates have the perfect teacher in mind. But bartender Reece is nothing like the player Pepper expects. Yes, he’s beyond gorgeous, but he’s also dangerous, deep—with a troubled past. Soon what started as lessons in attraction are turning both their worlds around, and showing just what can happen when you go past foreplay and get to what’s real…
Quick & Dirty: Great sexy book with relatable characters, steamy romance, and a good life lesson. I would recommend it for any fans of new adult contemporary reads.
Opening Sentence: ALL MY LIFE I knew what I wanted.
Pepper has always known what she wanted in life. First she wanted to be nothing like her mother, who was a drunk and abandoned her when she was a child. Second she wanted Hunter, her best friends older brother. He is everything she has always wanted, but until very recently he has had a girlfriend. Now is Pepper’s chance to make a move, but she has very little experience when it comes to guys. She has only kissed one boy and it was a long time ago. Her friends convince her that she needs someone to show her the ropes and they have the perfect boy in mind.
Reece works at one of the local bars that all the college kids go to. He is hot, sexy, and very experienced. Perfect for Pepper to get some practice in before she goes for the real prize. But Reece turns out to be a lot more than just a pretty face with a hot body. With his troubled past and kind heart, he becomes so much more than just a practice run. Pepper has always known what she wanted, but now she’s not so sure her dreams of being with Hunter are what she wants in reality.
Pepper is a sweet girl that I found myself easily connecting with. She has a sad troubled past, but she hasn’t let that stop her from getting what she wants. She is in her second year of college where she has decided to hopefully get a degree that will allow her to work with children. Ever since she was twelve years old she has been madly in love with her best friends older brother, so her dating experience is very limited. One of my favorite qualities of Peppers’ is that she is very honest, even when things are awkward or uncomfortable she still tries to tell the truth. I really respected that about her. She has a hesitant side to her personality because of her upbringing, and at times she runs instead of letting people in. It was fun getting to experience all of Peppers’ firsts with her, it made her easier to relate too. She was a fun character that I ended up really liking.
Reece is totally yummy and easy to fall for. Not only is he completely gorgeous, he is sweet, great with kids, and loyal. He turns out to be so different from the player Pepper first thought him to be. He has some sad secrets from his past that have made him the man he is today. He is so adorable with Pepper. The patient and gentleness he expresses towards her while she gets experience is very endearing. I love that he encourages Pepper to try new things, and he never pressures her to do anything she doesn’t want. I loved watching their romance unfold throughout the pages. Pretty much everything about Reece was perfectly done, he is a totally swoon worthy guy.
This was a very fast, enjoyable read for me. From the moment I picked it up, I flew right through it without taking any breaks. I thought that the idea was unique and fun. Surprisingly, there were a few plot twists that I wasn’t expecting. Which for me was a big plus; in most contemporary books it is really hard to surprise me. I loved the whole cast of characters and I am really hoping that with the rest of the series we get to know some of the secondary characters stories better. The romance was steamy and full of yummy goodness. I have read some YA books written by Sophie Jordan, but this is the first New Adult I have read by her. She has a wonderful engaging writing style that always seems to captivate me. I am a huge fan of hers and I am excited to see where she goes with the next book in the series. I would highly recommend this book to fans of NA contemporary novels, it won’t disappoint.
I reminded myself that I would not be hooking up with anyone tonight . . . especially a bartender with a reputation for swapping DNA with the entire female population of Dartford. Thanks, but no. I couldn’t imagine myself with someone so undiscriminating. I had standards. There was no way I could contemplate messing around with someone like that. Even if it was to gain some much-needed experience to win over Hunter.
And then I saw him.
The air froze in my lungs. He stepped up in front of the two girls, bracing his arms against the bar top. I heard his voice, low and deep, over the steady drone of the bar. “What can I get for you?”
I gawked, unable to blink. I had an unobstructed view of him in the space between the girls. The blood rushed in my ears, and suddenly it was last night all over again and I was on a lonely stretch of country road, the acrid smoke of my overheating car filling my nostrils as I stared at his familiar face. That dark blond hair cut close to his head. The tall, lean body that had bent over the engine of my car less than twenty-four hours ago. I could see him even more clearly now, but I hadn’t been mistaken in my initial assessment. He was hot. His jaw square and strong. His features like something chiseled from marble. There was a shadowy hint of stubble on his face, and his eyes were so piercing a blue they looked almost silver.
He looked just a few years older than me. I could see that now. It was probably just the way he held himself. Experienced. Capable. He wore a well-worn cotton T-shirt with MULVANEY’S stretched across one of his impressive pecs. Dimly I wondered if his shirt looked as soft as it felt? If his chest was as solid?
The girls were tittering like seventh-graders now. Gawking at him, too. I felt like someone sucker punched me. My rescuer. My bartender. Mulvaney’s man-whore. One and the same.
The Ivy Chronicles:
1. Foreplay (November 5, 2013)
2. Tease (May 27, 2014)
FTC Advisory: William Morrow/Harper Collins provided me with a copy of Foreplay. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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