Tuesday, November 26, 2013


I've been having a hard time with my reviews lately, even for the books I love. So you will notice (or not) that I'm trying out a new review format. I'm hoping this format will help me organize my thoughts in a way that satisfies me, and helps other readers decide if the book being reviewed is for them. This is a work in progress...

Foreplay (The Ivy Chronicles, #1)Series: The Ivy Chronicles #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 11/5/13
Format: eARC
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher
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.

Favorite Quotes:

  "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.  
Purchase Foreplay

About the author
Sophie JordanSophie 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.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter



  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I'm liking the new format! I agree with you on Reece! He really was great and not just because he was hot. I'm with you the good guys are always my favorites. Great review.

  3. "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."--this is exactly the kind of guy/girl everyone should be with. Haha. Everyone keeps talking about Logan and I wish to meet him. I think that even though it sounds very typical, the fact that peopl give praise to it, really perks my interest. I hope I'll enjoy it just as much as you did :)

  4. I really like your new format Andrea! I've been really struggling with my reviews too lately. So, this seems very helpful! I really enjoyed this one too. You are right- it wasn't really a new story, but I found there was something about Jordan's writing style that kept me hooked. Great review girl!

    1. Thank you! This seems to work for me. I'm not as overwhelmed.

      And yes, Jordan is a great writer.

  5. Great review. Sounds like an interesting book.

  6. I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed this one and I'm glad I gave it a shot.

    My complaints are the same as yours. I get it already....Reece is hot. That always make she question the heroine and her love for the guy a little. What if he wasn't that hot?? lol

    And yeah - there was a lot of bunching muscles and feathering jaws.

    But other than that it was really good! YAY for NICE guys!!!!

    1. We love our nice guys, don't we?!

      I've actually started following my husband around, describing his muscle movements. Im such a jerk! lol

  7. I love the way you're writing your reviews now. Glass is doing it often and I need to try it sometimes, but I'm so used to my way so it'll need some time. Now onto the book. I loved Sophie's Firelight series and I cannot wait to read this one. Sounds like a really great read. Great review, Andrea :)

    1. Thank you, Tanja. It really seems to work for me.

      I hope you enjoy Foreplay!

  8. I'm glad you liked it though I do think I loved it more. I like the new style.

  9. Wonderful review, Andrea. I've heard Pepper can be a bit annoying but other than that the story is good. I hope that's the case because I bought this. :)

  10. Great review Andrea. I am reading this soon. I like your new format, but you have always done an outstanding job with your reviews and they have always been very well organized.

  11. I loved your old reviewing style, but this one is good too :) I've been wanting to read Foreplay because I've heart so many great things about it. I'm glad it was so fast paced, and the heat was just right! Awesome Review!

  12. First, Foreplay...I loved your review. I just finished it last week but haven't posted my review yet. I really enjoyed Foreplay, myself. I totally agree with you on Reece making the story! I could identify with Pepper, though, so I liked her. And her roommates...well, I hope we get Em's story next. When I met Sophie at the signing here, she said that her husband is convinced he's Reece. I say LUCKY SOPHIE!! :) LOL

    Well, I happen to love your reviewing style, Andrea - no matter your style! ;) I know what you're saying - sometimes I feel like my reviews are all over the place - particularly if I LOVE the book. But I always know I can trust your opinion of a book. So, there's that... I just want you to know that I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on books! :)

    1. Thank you, Brandee!

      And wow, "Lucky Sophie!" indeed!

  13. Despite hearing all the 'OMG this is so amazing' reviews I've read, this sounds like a virgin book and I have reached my limit! Passed it actually. I still want to read this one but I'm gonna wait for it a while.
    I like the new review style! Was it easier for you? I've tried this before and it didn't work for me. But I like it on other people :)

    1. This style is easier for me. I get overwhelmed, so it helps me focus.

      I almost didn't read this for the "virgin-bad boy" reason, but it's better than most.

  14. I generally don't like virgin heroines in my contemporary reads because I usually want to smack their heads for various reasons. Every blog I follow that's reviewed this have gushed about it and though I'm not convinced I'll like it, I'm curious to try her other work just to sample her writing. Happy Thanksgiving!

  15. Yay I'm glad that you and other people are liking this book. I really do not like the New Adult genre so far because everything I read in it just doesn't seem to fit what I like but I bought this already so I'm hoping I can connect with this book. Or even just generally like it more than I have other books in this genre.

    Thanks for the great review, I do like the new format. Been thinking my format sucks lately as well so I might revamp soon too. :)

  16. I liked this one. I really hope she does a book about his brother though. Glad you liked it too.

  17. I loved the way you wrote your reviews before, Andrea, but this way is also great. I like that you highlighted all the aspects that I look for in a review.
    Anyways, no matter what format you choose, your personality will always shine through. :)

    I loved this book too despite it not being the most unique story. It was so much fun and I completely agree with you about the characters. Pepper was loveable but Reece is who made the story special for me too. He was such a good guy despite giving off the appearance of a bad boy. He made me swoon hard! ;)
    I'm glad you enjoyed it despite it not emotionally consuming you, Andrea.

  18. Oh I'm liking your new format for reviews Andrea, lately I've certainly been finding it difficult getting my thoughts down for books, especially when they've left me with mixed feelings. But I think you did an amazing job as describing the different ways in which this book affected you. Wonderful review Andrea!

  19. This definitely sounds like the type of book I would love. I always enjoy when a book is well balanced and has great secondary characters. I love the format for this review also. :)

  20. hum interesting. I too am a little cautious about hyped up New Adult books lately. When I do end up picking up one, it seems like the rest of them. The last one I picked up because all of my goodreads friends loved it and gave it 5 stars I ended up barely finishing it, 2 at best for me but I am glad this one did not fail you. It does seem like the storyline is good.

  21. I've heard this isn't the typical NA, so I caught it on sale and downloaded it for myself. Haven't read it yet, but your review has definitely made me want to push it up the pile. :)


Comments are bloggy food. Feed me!

Recent Post