Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review: Foreplay

Author: Sophie Jordan
Published: November 5, 2013
Paperback, 320 pages
4 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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…

I think this has been my favourite New Adult book yet. I'm still new to this genre and have been iffy about picking up some books. But Jordan's Firelight series is one of my favourite's and I just finished Uninvited, so I hoped that because I enjoyed her YA so much, I'd like something out she's written. I wasn't wrong. This book had as much fire and heart as her others and I had a really great time reading it. Pepper is very sweet and innocent and has her future planned out - she is going to marry her best friend's brother, Hunter. But Hunter only sees her as his little sister and she is determined to change this. The problem is she has no experience at all and doesn't want to go in unprepared. So when her friends tell her about a hot bartender who beds lots of women, Pepper is ready to track him down and get him to teach her a thing or two. But things don't work out as planned. Reece is hot yes, and he sure looks experienced, but he is also really good with kids, cares a lot about his bar and rescues girls from the side of the road when their cars break down. Can Pepper just be involved with him to gain experience or is the way he's making her feel going to interfere with her plans for Hunter? 

Pepper is an average girl and more relatable than some characters NA these days. She focuses on school, babysits to be able to afford it and tries to make her friends happy by going along with their plans. So when her friends finally get her to the bar, her awkwardness getting his attention. Everything Pepper has planned changes when she really gets to know Reece and would could blame her? Reece is not the player Pepper pegs him to be. He is sweet and caring, and shows his affection for her in more ways than one throughout the novel. I love that nothing goes as planned. As soon as we meet Reece, I knew he'd be more than a fling for Pepper. Both Pepper and Reece regret their first impressions of each other, gradually becoming more aware of each other and their needs throughout the novel. Their interactions are fantastic to read, both when they first meet and have very different opinions of each other and later when they can't decide the next steps to take. I fell in love with them as they discovered each other. The pacing is perfect, and it kept me on the edge of my seat, toes curled, as I begged Pepper to go to Reece every time she told herself not too. The amount of tension between them is frustrating, as I think I wanted them to get together more than they did!

The notable difference in YA and NA is easily pinpointed - there are no hold bars when it comes to sexuality in NA. I love the young love, the first kisses, and the stolen moments in YA, but I won't deny how enjoyable it was to read about physical contact in its truest form. Relationships are taken to the next level and it adds to the story in a way. I felt a real connection between Pepper and Reece as they experience real life moments that college students would definitely be involved in. The title tells it all, I supposed, and I wasn't let down. This whole book was foreplay and I didn't get satisfaction until the end. Throw in some humour, genius side characters (Emerson is the main character in the second book, Tease) and a very dramatic happy ending, and I'm willing to give NA another try. 

“I wouldn’t have waited this long for you. I would have already showed up at your dorm the minute I decided I wanted you. I wouldn’t leave until I convinced you that you were mine” 

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