Series: The Ivy Chronicles #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 11/5/13
Rating: 4 stars
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…
First Impression ....Foreplay seems like the "typical" New Adult story. But my friends swear it's great, so I'm hoping they're right.
The Story... Pepper has waited her whole life - saved herself - for one boy, Hunter. The brother of her long-time best friend, Hunter only sees Pepper as family. In an effort to learn the art of attraction, of getting and keeping his attention, Pepper seeks out Reece, a man with a reputation for satisfaction. As Pepper and Reece get to know one another, it's clear they have something special. But Pepper refuses to let go of her dream of Hunter. As the time to make her move comes, Pepper must decide if she wants that old dream, or find a new one with Reece.
The Characters ... Pepper and Reece, though different in many ways, both have a painful past, and have built necessary walls. Pepper, though she has friends, is lonely. She definitely has abandonment and trust issues. Though it's clear from the get-go that she's totally barking up the wrong tree with Hunter, it's really easy to see why she's wanted him for so long. It's almost enough to see why she is so, so blind, even with the handsome, sweet, charismatic, and caring Reece right in front of her face. While I liked Pepper, Reece is what made this story for me. It was his personality, the way he let Pepper be who she wanted to be, make her own decisions, and waited for her to wake up and see what she could have with him. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for a handsome guy, but the hot book guys are a dime-a-dozen. Give me a good guy any day of the week.
Foreplay also had a nice cast of secondary characters. Peppers suitemates, Emerson and Georgia were fun, though Em could be a bit much at times. You know, that quirky, crazy BFF? I'm having thoughts, though, that maybe Emerson has a story to tell, too. Hunter, the object of Pepper's affections, was in the story very little, but he also seemed like an interesting -very good- guy. And Logan. That boy was something else!
The Writing .... Sophie Jordan is widely praised for her writing, and now I know why. Though Foreplay was over three hundred pages, it was a very fast read. It got off to an interesting start, never lagged in the middle, and the ending was fairly strong, and not rushed. I will say that though I really did like her writing, the physical descriptors, in regards to Reece, were too much. I was well aware that the dude was way hot for the get-go. It was not necessary to repeatedly remind me how carved/cut/sculpted he was and that his muscles rippled and bunched every time he moved. That issue, combined with the overall predictability, are the only aspects that took my overall enjoyment down a notch.
The Heat ... was just the right amount, considering the story. Pepper's education was thorough, but Foreplay was never taken over by the physical.
Could I Put Foreplay Down? .... The story got off to a good start, never lagged in the middle, but I wasn't consumed. The last one-fourth of the book, though, really picked up in emotional intensity and I could not put it down. I didn't cry, or become overwhelmed, but I had to know how what was going to happen between Pepper and Reece. Who would she pick?
In the End ... Foreplay, though not completely new and fresh, was a very, very enjoyable story. Good writing, good story, great characters.
"I can spot you a mile away with this hair. It's like candlelight. A thousand different colors."
"A poet bartender," I murmured, settling my hand against his upper chest.
"Sweetheart, every bartender is a poet."
"I guess you get to see quite a bit of the world from behind the bar."
"I see enough. I saw you."
"I like your laugh, too," I whispered, feeling pulled in, cozy in the cocoon of his bed.
I flattened my palm over his chest, enjoying the sensation of the firm flesh, even warm as it was. He sighed, like my cool hand offered him some relief.
"I laugh more since you came around," he said quietly, his lips barely forming the words.
About the author
Sophie Jordan took her adolescent daydreaming one step further and penned her first historical romance in the back of her high school Spanish class. This passion led her to pursue a degree in English and History.
A brief stint in law school taught her that case law was not nearly as interesting as literature - teaching English seemed the natural recourse. After several years teaching high school students to love Antigone, Sophie resigned with the birth of her first child and decided it was time to pursue the long-held dream of writing.
In less than three years, her first book, Once Upon A Wedding Night, a 2006 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Nominee for Best First Historical, hit book shelves. Her second novel, Too Wicked To Tame, released in March 2007 with a bang, landing on the USA Today Bestseller's List.
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